Ramona Reeves is the author of It Falls Gently All Around and Other Stories, a collection of linked stories that explores memorable characters in Mobile, Alabama.
Debutiful asked her to answer our recurring A Life of Books questionnaire so readers can get to know her better.
Is there a book or series that, when you think back, helped define your childhood?
I loved The Chronicles of Narnia and the imaginary world inside the wardrobe. It was as though great adventures lay just beyond the walls of my bedroom closet.
Would you want any children in your life (yours or relatives’) to read those too? Or what’s your philosophy on what children read?
I would love for children to read the Narnia books. My philosophy is for kids to read many books, especially the ones that engage them and instill a love of reading. I think it’s great to expose children to many cultures and countries through reading.
Moving to your school years: what book did you read in high school and hated (or skipped reading at all) that you learned you loved later in life?
I disliked reading Great Expectations. I read it in tenth grade. Years later, I saw a lot to admire in the novel, and that had to do with maturing and seeing that individual hopes and dreams don’t always pan out or evolve according to plans.
What about the opposite way? One you loved in your teens, but realized you didn’t love it so much later on?
I remember loving Edgar Allan Poe’s collected stories. They are still great, but I’m not as drawn to them now.
Are there any books that you read while writing your debut that helped shape the direction you took your own book?
To name but a few, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, Mary and O’Neil by Justin Cronin, Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, Welding with Children by Tim Gautreaux, Ms. Hempel Chronicles by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, and Improvement by Joan Silber.
What is a book you’ve read that you thought, Damn, I wish that was mine?
I don’t know that I’ve ever thought that, but I’d love to write something as good as Olive Kitteridge, Black Light by Kimberly King Parsons or The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw.
What have you been reading / do you plan to read during your debut book tour?
I just finished Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty (loved) and will soon finish Chola Salvation by Estella Gonzalez (also love). Next up is The Last Suspicious Holdout by Ladee Hubbard. After that I would like to read Kimberly Garza’s The Last Karankawas and Dalia Azim’s Country of Origin.
And, finally, I have to ask… I’m sorry. What’s next? But wait! Only use three words.
Road trip novel!