Read Part One here.
Read Part Two here.
Read Part Three here.
Read Part Four here.
Airship Ambassador: In your experience as a writer, what have been the hardest and most useful skills to learn?
Leonardo Ramirez: As I mentioned before, saying no to doing things that don’t have any direct relationship to my writing has been something that I’ve had to grow in the past year. Having to move on from friendships that are one-way streets and an emotional drain is another. My wife and daughter are my best friends and after them, I have a very small close knit of people that encourage me in my writing and personally. I’ve gotten to the point to where if someone is going to take more from me than give, I’m out. I can love them from a distance but life is too short to focus on egos and takers.
AA: What story would you like to write but haven’t, yet?
LR: I just had this idea that I ran by my buddy, Nicholas, that’s come as a result of the recent surge of shows involving aliens and/or scifi/horror such as Stranger Things. It’s called, Agents of Mars. There are a very small number of sudden alien abductions that take place around the world that the media does not report on or pay attention to. When a woman sees news coverage of a person being sworn into office she recognizes him as her husband. When she approaches him, he does not recognize her. She begins to dig into why and what she finds is horrifying. Mars has been abducting humans and placing them into positions of power for a takeover. I intend to start writing this after the third Jupiter Chronicles book and release it on my website as a serial strictly for my subscribers.
AA: Writing can be a challenge some days. What are some of your methods to stay motivated and creative?
LR: I listen to what music that helps me to visualize a scene. I also run story ideas with my buddy Nicholas or I say a simple hello to someone who believes in me. There are some who when you cross their paths are so encouraging and make me feel like a writer on days where I don’t feel like one.
AA: How is the Nashville area in Tennessee for writing? Does location matter for writing?
LR: I love it here because it’s a wonderful place to raise a family. The town I live in is Nolensville and it is a very small town that comes with that certain charm. We look out for each other. Nashville itself is primarily known for country music. Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of creative types here. I love meeting with Mike Halsey from Magnetic Dreams Studios which is in Nashville. His studio did the Iron Man: Extremis motion comic as well as Thor/Loki: Blood Brothers which was fantastic. The character images that you see here are from his studio. He really believes in the project and would like to see it as an animated series.
AA: Wow, that sounds really interesting, too. Perhaps some animation for Jupiter Chronicles ones day? In your experience, does it seem like readers prefer a print or electronic format? Do you have a preference?
LR: I love the feel and smell of the printed word but I don’t have an aversion to digital. The latter is cost effective when it comes to trading books with other authors asking for a review.
AA: Have you been affected by electronic piracy of your work? Aside from the loss of a sale, how does this affect you/make you feel?
LR: I’ve not been affected at all. But even if I were, I don’t know that it would bother me much unless my work was altered in any way or the numbers were high enough to have an impact. My hope, after all, is that someday I’ll be able to make a living out of books alone. Isn’t that every author’s dream?
AA: I think it’s the dream for a lot of people to do something they truly love, be successful in it, and live the live they choose. I know it’s my dream being involved with steampunk. Do people outside the regular reading, steampunk, and convention communities recognize you for The Jupiter Chronicles? What kind of reactions have you received?
LR: Once I was sitting in our car parked outside of the ice cream shop while my wife had gone in. There was a young boy with his mom who had walked by the front of his car not once but three times and he kept looking over at me. When my wife walked out of the ice cream shop she saw him and recognized him as one of her students. As the loving person that she is she went up to him and hugged him and he whispered something into her ear. She then brought him over to talk to me which is what he wanted but was too shy to walk up. It was very cute how all of that happened.
AA: Fans of all ages! Hopefully he got over his shyness, so he won’t have any apprehension approaching someone else he admires. If you weren’t an author, what else would you be doing now?
LR: I had always wanted to take a shot at acting. But because I love spending time with my family, I don’t think that I could handle being away from them for weeks at a time so I’m pretty happy with the writer that I turned out to be.
AA: Most of the authors I’ve talked with have some type of day job and that writing is their other job. What has that situation been for you and how has it helped/hindered begin a published writer?
LR: One position I held was an international marketing manager for a major record label which helped me tremendously. Seeing how distribution works overseas will hopefully be an asset at some point. I also got to see how artists interacted with employees and vice versa. For the most part, that aspect was fine but whenever I’d see or hear something that I thought distasteful or when an artist seemed entitled or unappreciative of all of the work everyone did on their behalf it really stuck with me. I don’t care how “low” an employee stands in the pecking order of things. Everyone who is there works hard and deserves to be respected. The job that I have now can be very stressful so it can be difficult to get into writing mode at times. I’m still learning to navigate that.
Hear, hear! Everyone deserves common courtesy.
We’ll pause her in chatting with Leonardo. Join us next time for the conclusion when he talks about interests, inspiration, and favorites
You can support Leonardo and our community by getting your copy of The Jupiter Chronicles here.