Ramona Richards grew up in Hartselle, Alabama, but she knew she wanted to experience the world. She would lie in her front yard and dream about the adventures of the people in the planes overhead.
By the time she moved to Nashville, she had started writing out adventures of her own—those that had sprouted from her imagination and those she had experienced by way of the hundreds of books she had read. Her mother bought her a typewriter when she was ten, and the adventures of Ramona’s imagination started piling up.
As soon as she was able, real ones happened as well. She became a teacher, hiker, scuba diver, traveler, mom, ex-wife, singer, musician, and band member. She took on the roles of a caregiver, actor, producer, and stagehand. She became a cross-stitcher, a movie buff, a speaker, a reader, a writer, and an editor.
Ramona currently lives and writes in Alabama.
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Based on the above short introduction, you have experienced a lot. If someone asked you to describe yourself with one word, what word would that be?
I struggled with this one, but in the end, I think that conveys the most about me in one word.
You’ve been involved in almost every aspect of the publishing industry, from writer to freelance editor to acquisitions editor. What has kept you on the path?
The fact that the stories won’t quit. They pile up in my head, begging to be told, and have since I was a kid. Learning about publishing merely helped me direct them and choose which ones to tell.
It also helps to have friends who encourage and understand my need to write.
What drew you to the suspense genre?
Oh, that dates back all the way to Trixie Belden, Robin Kane, and Nancy Drew. I have always loved mysteries and suspense, and my first attempts at writing fiction when I was about ten was to mimic the great mysteries I was watching and reading.
Let’s talk about Circle of Vengeance (Kregel, October 2022). Please tell us about it.
The fastest way is to share the blurb for it.
Revenge is best served cold—and this family has been waiting decades to dish it up.
Twenty-five years ago, a body was discovered in the Turney family barn—and folks around town were all too ready to believe that killing blood ran through all the Turney’s veins. Every member of the family came under suspicion, their reputations crumbled to pieces, and with no convictions, no one could be cleared.
Daughter Jill, now a Chicago lawyer, is ready for this case to be solved and for her broken family to be repaired at last. Who better to find the answers than cold-case P.I. Star Cavanaugh? But as Star begins to dig into generations-old secrets, the killer resurfaces to make sure none of those skeletons leave the closet—no matter what the cost.
As the danger mounts, Star again joins forces with police chief, Mike Luinetti, and begins to uncover truths that the whole town has kept hidden. But becoming the target of the determined killer isn’t the way Star wants to find the answers. It’s a race to solve the case before it becomes a matter of her life or death.
Readers will love jumping back into the Star Cavanaugh Cold Case series as their favorite plucky heroine drives her vintage Airstream home straight into the heart of another town’s mystery.
What inspired it?
I have wanted to create an engaging female PI since I was reading those early YA books (what were called juveniles when I was kid). Another Nancy Drew, if you wish. So I created Star Cavanaugh for Burying Daisy Doe almost twenty years ago. It took a while to get her to press, but I’m hoping it’s a series that will continue.
Combine that with my love of cold case stories, and all it takes is a few news reports for me to come up with another plotline. Setting them in the South, where I grew up and among the people I know best, seemed like a natural choice.
In a weird, life-imitates-art moment, not long after Kregel bought Circle of Vengeance and I had turned in the manuscript, a body was found in a barn not far from where I live. I noted it for my editor, and we were glad that it happened AFTER I turned in the manuscript but BEFORE it was published. The similarities between the two stories are rather eerie.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
A hot dog with all the fixings and tater tots. And ice cream. Exactly what I should NOT eat. But I learned long ago that when you’re craving something, indulge and get it out of your system. I do, then go back to the roasted chicken and braised veggies.
What Bible passage or story best describes your journey of faith?
Proverbs 2:6: For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Years ago, a sermon impressed on me that all prayer should be based within God’s will and what He wants for your life—not your own desires, although those are important to request. And to understand God’s will means asking for wisdom. Like Solomon, I think—ask for wisdom first, and everything else will follow.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
I think I’m more the eccentric weirdo prone to wearing boas and waving at strangers.
Thanks, Ramona! It’s great to have you back at Divine Detour.
Thank you!! I love your blog and am always thrilled to be a part of it.
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To purchase Circle of Vengeance, go to: