Friday, March 30, 2012

FRIDAY FIRSTS with Ramona Butler

The First Five Sentences of... SABRINA SAYS

Please send your picture and writeto:
Three Lonesome Cowboys, PO Box 58,Stagecoach, Nevada.

“What the hell?”

Rusty Daniels swerved his shiny new four-by-four pickup off the roadand out of the crush of traffic. Open-mouthed, he stared at the gigantic billboard erected on thehillside above Highway 395.

Available now!

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1. Tell me about the first novel you ever wrote.  Whatever happened to it?
My first novel was born a short story, written via an all-night gusher of adrenaline, in a motel room on the way back home from the out-of-state high school reunion I'd just attended.  My first reunion -- my first short story.  But after I got home, I realized there was a lot more I wanted to include in that tale about reconnecting with old friends and classmates.  Until then, I'd never considered writing something as lengthy as a book.   I had been writing for publication, but that was poetry, short nostalgia pieces, and opinion pieces for one newspaper, while reporting for another.  But that reunion romance just grew and grew and grew, until it became a 400+ page manuscript.  More accurately, it became a 400+ page dust catcher, because it has never even been submitted to a publisher for consideration.  It was my "learning" book, and it's still a story I love, with wonderful characters and a unique setting.  So whenever I hit a wall with whatever I’m working on, I think about dusting off that manuscript, doing major surgery on it, and then seeing if it might fly.  But I probably never will.  There are too many other stories to tell.

2.  What's the first thing you do after you wake up in the morning?
That's an easy one.  Now that I no longer have to rush off to an office, the first thing I do is head downstairs, prepare hot tea, and then open up the house.  I've lived so long in an area where skies go on forever, that I can't stand for blinds and drapes to block out the sun or hide my view of the mountains and high desert.  By the time tea is ready, my cat is up and ready to join me for a few quiet moments before I actually start my day.  I know, I know, I'm really spoiled.

3.  Tell me about your very first date.
Gosh, that was so long ago it's nothing but a fuzzy memory.  I think it was a blind date.  A friend, a classmate named Marilyn, was invited to go on a hayride by her boyfriend, and he had a friend who was going along.  I think they set it up for me to join them just to keep their "third rail" busy and out of their hair.  I didn't mind, however.  I'd never been on a hayride and Danny was a nice kid, sort of quiet and kind of dorky, but he gave me my first kiss.  It happened that night.  I think he became a city bus driver like his father.  (Hmmm, guess that memory isn’t so fuzzy, after all.)

Ramona Butler is a true romantic. She met the love of her life at age seven -- she just didn’t realize it until they reconnected at fifteen.  They married at eighteen and are still going strong. She loves sunshine, ballads, the smell of freshly peeled oranges, the purr of kittens, the taste of nachos with all the fixings (including lots of jalapeƱos), plus the feel/freedom of truth and wide open spaces . . .  And her family.

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I’m on Twitter as Ramona2252


  1. Ramona, thanks so much for being here today! I love your bio about how you met your hubby. Very sweet.

    1. Rebecca -- You're such a dear for making sense out of my post! Thanks so much for having me. I love the concept of First Five Sentences. Really points up the importance of hooks. Thanks again.

  2. Hi, Ramona. Loved your blog. How about dusting off the reunion novel one more time. I'd love to see it published.


    1. Thanks, Ellen. I'd love to see my reunion story published, too. Need more hours. And less distractions.

  3. Great post, Ramona! It put a definite smile on my face!

    Love ya!

    1. Thanks, Lynda -- I count on you for smiles, my friend.

  4. Hey Ramona,

    I love reunion stories. I wrote three of them for a series. But I also know about reviving old books. I'm doing it now with the first one I ever wrote, and it has been a time consuming, painful experience. I'm 75,000 words into the rewrite. Can't stop now! Best of luck with Sabrina Says. What a terrific opening!

  5. Thanks, Jannine -- The book was inspired by an actual billboard along Hwy. 395. Local newspaper posted a follow-up article. I understand the cowboys received numerous letters, but no serious relationships resulted. But when I read about the billboard, I just knew there was a book in it. I guess the fact SABRINA SAYS sold to three different publishers means the true-life billboard made a good story.

  6. Hi there Grandma. I am so proud to call you my Grandma. :) I love learning more about you. I also love that I have such a great lady to look up too. Thank you for the wonderful influence you are in my life.