I’m delighted to have the brilliant and prolific Ronnie Allen keeping company with me today. She is the author of a unique psychological thriller series called, The Sign Behind the Crime.
**Special Treat! Ronnie will be available at 3:00 p.m. on my Author Page to give two minute Tarot Card Readings.**
Ronnie’s first two books in this series, Gemini and Aries, have released already, and she’s hard at work on Scorpio, book #3.
Here’s the back cover blurb of
I really enjoyed Gemini, Book #1.
Here’s the back cover blurb of Gemini:
“His life is exactly the way he wants it to be—until he meets her…
Both psychic and clairvoyant, Dr. John Trenton is a forensic psychiatrist who has a wife he worships and a position as a department head at a hospital for the criminally insane in Manhattan. His patients—young adult men, who are some of the most psychotic and psychopathic criminals in NYC—enable him to live his life on the edge, just the way he likes it. Then he meets a woman who changes everything.
She is two days from accomplishing the revenge she lives for—until she meets him…
Stripper by night, school psychologist by day, Gemini obsessed Barbara Montgomery, makes a critical mistake and is committed for seventy-two hours of observation, where she risks it all in an unnerving escape. Furious with Dr. Trenton for interfering in her life, she is now determined to kill his wife and unborn child, along with everyone else who has ever caused her pain—real or imagined.
As the killing spree continues, John is forced to use all his ESP, as well as his knowledge and expertise, to interpret this psychopath’s Gemini obsession and unravel her dark and murderous past. But can he track her down and bring her to justice—before she destroys his world completely?”
Ronnie, you take your readers on a gripping, edge-of-the-seat adventure, and I really enjoyed the experience of slipping into the mind of your antagonist. Would you call her a sociopath or a psychopath?
In Gemini, Barbara Montgomery is definitely a psychopath. There’s been so much research on the difference between sociopaths and psychopaths and to delve into it now, could take hours to do the conversation justice. For the sake of clarifying for the novel, this character exhibits personality traits such as killing without remorse, thinking she’s invincible, continuous lying where she actually believes her lies, very little emotionality in her daily life and that includes a very impersonal sex life to the point that she wouldn’t even feel any sexual energy thus everything is faked.
What has enabled you to delve so deeply into your characters?
I think a good portion of this comes from my psychology background. I’m a New York State licensed school psychologist and in my 33 year teaching career with the New York City Department of Education, I’ve worked with children and their families during the worst possible times. That meaning, children who had emotional issues, disabilities, children living in homes with drug addicted parents, abuse. I went through this firsthand trying to rescue and protect these children, and this actually led to my dedication of Gemini which is to all the teachers out there who protect and rescue children from the horrors of abuse they endure in their lives.
Tell us about the moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer.
This actually goes back to childhood for me. Because I suffered from severe asthma, my parents were very overprotective, so therefore I stayed home a lot instead of doing childhood activities such as bike riding rollerskating, getting together with other kids. I remember writing stories in my journals and I always had it in the back of my mind I think since I was about nine or 10 that I wanted to write a novel. Interestingly, in the late 1970’s I began a career in film and screenwriting as well as dabbling in some acting. I had been teaching since 1970 and being the hyper person that I am I wanted something to do after school so I went to screen writing and acting school in Manhattan. In the 90’s I began my journey into holistic health and I wrote and was published in nonfiction. It wasn’t until 2011 that the idea to write a novel hit again. I started Gemini in October 2011, received my contract in May 2014 and it was released in June 2015.
When did you realize you wanted to write a series?
I started writing Aries before I received the contract on Gemini. Therefore I used different characters because why continue the characters without a contract? Aries had gone through several title changes as I was working on my first draft. First I started a novel entitled Operation Destiny, and I actually got 50,000 words into it, which is quite a lot. I decided I had what we call in the writing industry and what publishers do not like is that ‘too stupid to live heroine.’ It was a DEA story. When Gemini got the contract I took a serious look at that manuscript. I reinvented the main character to be another forensic psychiatrist, used some of the scenes but not exactly (not even 2k of the word count) and a new novel, Khaos Rules, was born. Khaos for one of the main character in Aries, Frank Khaos. My tagline is the ‘mind behind the crime,’ since I write psychological thrillers. In writing Khaos Rules a lot of Aries symbolism and references came through. That became an “ah ha” moment. How about this series being called the Sign Behind The Crime? I approach my publisher when Gemini was still in edits and they loved the idea and we went with it.
Where were you when you realized you were going to be published?
This is a side note. Because I listened to my critique partners and beta readers, Gemini was accepted by my publisher Black Opal Books after a relatively few number of submissions in the scheme of what the publishing industry could be. I was in my office, actually doing the household bills and I received an email at 9:06 PM on May 13, 2014 from my publisher saying they want to publish Gemini. My first response was to yell and scream so loudly that I’m sure my neighbors who are not that close heard me. Then I ran into my husband who was relaxing on his recliner in the den and he had a hard time calming me down. I still think I’m not down from that high.
What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned in your author journey?
It’s more stressful after publication with marketing, worrying about reader reception, than it was during the entire writing process and obtaining a publisher.
What was your most embarrassing moment as an author?
In all honesty, Jennifer, I haven’t had one yet. I don’t think I have a shy bone in my body and I’ve learned to become bullet proof which is an expression I learned from another business that I have.
I love that about you, Ronnie! What do you do when you’re not writing?
Taking care of my health and nutrition is primary to me and I’ve recently gotten into gluten-free baking, though I don’t eat the starchy carbs much anyway. Cooking is a passion and always has been. That was a good thing I got from my mom, so I’ve been posting a lot of my meals that I create on Instagram and I created a Pinterest board: My Gourmet Meals.
I also do a lot of my writing at the pool, where I do water aerobics.
What are you working on now?
I recently finished Scorpio which is now with my critique partners. The fourth book in the series, which I will tell you is called Libra, is writing itself in my brain and it’s a continuation of Scorpio.
Thank you so much Jennifer for having me today.
It’s been a treat, Ronnie. Thanks for sharing your author story.
Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00YSLGOSY
LinkedIn Ronnie Allen, PhD