Title: After Forever Ends
Author: Melodie Ramone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: ebook, 462 pages
Published: October 1st 2012
Published by: Gingersnap Press
Orphaned by her mother and brushed off by her dad, fifteen year old Silvia Cotton has lived a lonely life. That is until her father moves the family from the Highlands of Scotland to the Midlands of Wales. It is there she is enrolled in Bennington, a private boarding school, and meets the charming and rebellious Dickinson twins, Oliver and Alexander. Her regrettable life is changed forever.
Locked into a fierce friendship with Alexander and lost to a whirlwind romance with Oliver, Silvia finds herself torn away from everything she thought she knew. Married too soon, she moves with Oliver to a rustic cabin deep in a Welsh wood and embarks upon a life she'd never planned for, surviving on hope she never knew existed and faith she never knew she had. Through the years of laughter, joy, sorrow and tears, she makes her way through university and onto a career, only to surrender her ambition to raising her children and living a life that was strikingly "normal". But what is normal? Certainly not what ensues in the wood.
True love, faeries, friendship, loves lost and gained. Fate, doubt, friendship, strength and courage, Silvia's story could belong to anyone, but it is her own. Simple yet extraordinary, told with wit and candor, Silvia unravels the tangled web of her days as she reveals the secrets that exist in an ancient wood, how hearts given freely can become the stuff of magic, and how true happiness is never any further than one's own back garden.
Today I'm very excited to share with you my interview with Melodie Ramone, author of After Forever Ends - which happens to be one of my favorite books. Eeeeep!!! Check it out check it out check it out!
First things first, tell us something about yourself. Something totally random. Something we won’t find on your author bio!
Something random? OK. I wear a size 5 US shoe. Sometimes a 4. I really do have tiny feet, but it makes sense because I’m only about 5’2” tall. I’d look pretty silly walking around with size 10 US shoes. (Trivia Bonus: The scene in After Forever Ends where Oliver and Silvia are discussing feet sizes is an actual conversation from my past that I had with a boyfriend, but I changed her shoe size.)
I know that you After Forever Ends is based on your personal experiences. Can you share more about that with us?
Well, most of the book is made up of things that actually happened. Some directly to me, some taken from things that happened to people I was close to. Obviously, I had to fictionalize things that went on in the future, like their children, etc., but the basis for Oliver and Silvia and their experience together is very much pieces of my own life. Many of the conversations are real, almost word for word that I can remember them. The places mentioned are absolutely real places, too, and you can visit any of them. Like the little restaurant they stop at on their trip to Brecon Beacons, when she mentions stopping in Llangynidr. It’s called “Coach and Horses”. I don’t say the name in the book, but that’s the place. Even Bennington, the boarding school, exists, although it has a different name in real life. It’s all real stuff, right down the dog breeder mentioned when they got Duncan and on to the lumber yard in Welshpool where they bought the new door to hang on the cabin after their first night there.
Reading your book took me on an emotional roller coaster – I think anyone who has read your book experienced the same. So I have to ask… what was the writing process like for you?
The book is an emotional roller coaster. Lol. I didn’t really plan it to be that way. When I first started writing it, it was because I was dared to write a love story. I think the first copy was like 9 pages long or something. Then it went to like 45 before I let anybody read it and they were like, “I want more!” so I kept writing and it just grew. It’s funny, because I didn’t understand when I was writing it how much truth was going to be in it and how deeply personal it was going to become. But, obviously, it did. For me, it was a real release to put it on paper. And, yes, the end…I sobbed like a freaking baby! Mostly because I was remembering somebody I loved who left me too soon and wishing I had the chance to say to him the things that Silvia got the chance to stay.
Without giving away too much, which part did you like writing about the most? Which has the hardest part to write about?
My favorite part of the book, honestly, is how the characters interact with each other. I like the banter and the tit for tats that go back and forth, as well as the running jokes. My friends and I are very much like that. So that bit was a lot of fun to write. The hardest parts were, being very vague, the chapters with Cara and the second to last chapter of the book. Sort of gut-wrenching really, I felt like I was dying when I wrote them. They brought so much up from my past that I thought I’d dealt with. But, heart-tearing emotion set aside, Melissa was a VERY difficult character to write. She was difficult because 1) She’s not very smart and 2) even though her behavior was inexcusable, in the core of who she is, she’s not a bad person. Alexander knew it, but explaining that through Silvia’s perception (not being able to come out and say it like he could) was really difficult.
We readers, we find it very hard to let go of characters when we finish a book we enjoyed so much. Did you experience some sort of separation anxiety with any of the characters when you finished the book?
You know, it’s funny because most of the people in the story are “real”. Either real people or combinations of different people I know or have known and loved or hated deeply. But, when the whole thing was finished, you know who stuck in my mind the most? Warren. Lol. I still think about Warren often.
I absolutely adored the twins! Did you always know they were going to be twins?
It was never a question whether Alexander and Oliver would be twins. I just knew that they were. What I didn’t know was how much they would resent being called “identical”, like it was a terrible insult to them. Therefore, the term “mono-zygotic” was preferred but both, if you noticed. I think Ollie actually says it at one point, “We prefer mono-zygotic, thank you” or something like that. LOL
This part of the book got me really curious: What inspired you to add a bit of magic to the story?
Oh, yes, the magic! Well, this is the deal with me. I am a gigantic Science Geek. I mean…big time. I’ve always been fascinated with Biology and the like, but over the last ten years or so, I’ve become absolutely obsessed with Particle Physics and Quantum Theory. So…I believe in Magic completely. I believe it exists in us and all around us. I believe Magic is simply energy, the smallest of things that put together make the largest of things. The stuff we’re all made up of. I believe it’s real and tangible and we just take for granted how we, as human beings, combine our energy and end up becoming, in a sense, one soul, tied to each other forever. (D’oh! What I’ve just said will ONLY make sense to somebody who’s read the book!) But, really, I believe that the universe we live in is made up of infinite possibilities and that energy exists in forms we can’t put into mathematical equations to understand just yet. Lastly, I believe that these energies can be harnessed, combine, and change form to become real and genuine experiences. Long ago, this was called Love Magic, so I didn’t take the liberty of calling it anything different in After Forever Ends.
As for the faeries…well, how many of us have heard whispers or knocks or footsteps when we knew we were alone? How many times have we lost keys or socks we knew we were just holding in our hands, gave up looking after a couple of days and said, “Must be the elves!” Like I said above, this universe of ours is filled with infinite possibilities. So…well, why not faeries, too? Subtle little folk, darting through the darkness at the edge of our awareness. I dunno. I kinda like it.
Last question: What can readers expect from After Forever Ends?
They can expect a story that’s not much like anything else floating around these days. They can expect to live someone else’s experience and see life through somebody else’s eyes. And maybe they can expect that, at least for a couple hundred pages, they will see that love, in itself, is simple and beautiful as long as people aren’t busy making it complicated and ugly.
THE LIGHTNING ROUND!!!
If I could dye my hair another color it would be:
Oh, my gosh! Jet black! But I did it once and I looked like Elvira on crack.
When I was a kid I was so afraid of:
Spiders, closets and small spaces. (Still am!)
My quick fix to a bad day:
If I could get any pet I want it would be (be specific):
I’d get back my old dog, Rocky. He was an Alaskan Malumute/German Shepherd-Husky mix that looked like a 90 pound wolf. He died with I was fourteen, but I’d bring him back in a second.
My top three favorite movies are:
(No particular order)
1. A Hong Kong movie release called “Anna Magdalena”
3. Monty Python and The Holy Grail
Thanks for your time, Melodie! Eeeep! (Still fan-girling!)
Oh, you are SO welcome! And thank you for thinking of me and for your wonderful blog! Xx