I’m excited to have Melissa Ramirez visiting the Café today! The third book in Melissa’s Lola Cruz Mystery series is out now, and she dropped by to chat about it. After the interview you can enter for a chance to win a digital copy of Bare-Naked Lola!
[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Melissa Ramirez] Busy, driven, creative woman wearing many hats.
[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about Bare-Naked Lola?
[Melissa Ramirez] I live in North Texas now, but we used to live in Northern California and not too far from our house, there was a nudist resort (although the word resort might be a bit of a euphemism). A lot of the mystery elements in the books I write stem from some real life nugget. In the case of Bare-Naked Lola, it started with this nudist resort. I could imagine Lola, a fledgling PI, having to go undercover there. But she’s a good Catholic girl with a close-knit family, so the bigger question was WILL SHE or WON’T SHE get naked for a case?
It was just a fun idea! From there, the mystery developed.
[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Melissa Ramirez] After my 5th child was born, I needed to get out of the house, have some ‘me’ time, and be creative. I started meeting with a friend at the coffee shop and we’d respond to writing prompts. From there, Lola Cruz was born, and before too long, she had parents, brothers, a sister, a boss, and a whole world. When I decided to write a book, mystery was the obvious genre for me since I grew up loving Nancy Drew, then Agatha Christie, et al.
[Manga Maniac Café] What three words best describe Lola?
[Melissa Ramirez] Smart. Blackbelt. Determined.
[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things Lola would never have in her purse?
[Melissa Ramirez] Fun questions! A gun (unexpected, right?!). A wad of money. A condom.
[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Melissa Ramirez] Probably my mom. She’s a watercolor artist and oozes creativity. I absorbed (and inherited) my creativity from her.
[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Melissa Ramirez] A computer! My imagination. Water.
[Manga Maniac Café] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Melissa Ramirez] Night Road. LOVED it. Gut-wrenching and moving. Or it might be Revolution, by Jennifer Donnely. Really loved that one, too. I think it’s a toss up.
[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Melissa Ramirez] I’d say it was an author more than a book: Agatha Christie.
[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Melissa Ramirez] Watch movies. Read. Walk. Yoga (sometimes!). Hang out with the kids. Recite Harry Potter because my kids love the series and watch the movies so much.
[Melissa Ramirez] Thank you for having me here today!
[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!
You can connect with Melissa by visiting the following:
To enter for your chance to win a digital copy of Bare-Naked Lola, just fill in the widget below:
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Didn’t win? You can purchase Bare-Naked Lola from your favorite bookseller or from the links below: