Arts + Entertainment

Author Profile: Rhiana Ramsey

Sweet Oblivion is the tense debut novel of Sussex writer and serving police detective, Rhiana Ramsey. A gripping crime thriller threaded with eroticism, it combines murder, intrigue and sex with a shocking conclusive twist.

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Hi Rhiana. Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I am currently a police detective. I have been in the police in total for twelve years and I have spent over ten years of this in an investigative capacity. Prior to becoming a police officer, I lived in Bangkok and while there I worked a number of jobs, which included web design, teaching English to very young children and also as a contributing editor for a business publication. I particularly enjoyed working for the magazine as it enabled me to combine two of my passions: investigation (or being nosey as some might say!) and writing.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I have always had a fertile, vivid imagination. I became fascinated with people watching and body language at a very young age as we moved to France when I was 11; I couldn’t speak the language, so I was dependent on these non-verbal cues for communication. People are very much an inspiration for me when it comes to writing as we are a fascinating, intriguing and highly complex species.

Tell us about your book.

The story follows DC Elizabeth Lane and her colleagues as they hunt down the killer of the chilling emasculating murders that keep happening around town. With my history serving as a police detective, I’ve always been fascinated by the psychological angle of a killer. I wanted my character to hold true power over men and a dominatrix character was the perfect way to convey this, while weaving in some elements of sadism and masochism (S&M). With the release of 50 Shades of Grey, this area of eroticism has become more mainstream and a subject people are interested in reading about.

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What is your writing process?

With Sweet Oblivion, I think it’s fair to say that I didn’t really know what I was doing when I started. I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t really know where the story was going to go, and I did very little research. However, when I was a good few chapters in, I realised that if I was going to be able to keep track of all my characters and keep things consistent, I was going to need a plan and an ongoing summary of events. So, I created back stories for each of my characters, even though not all of these were used in the book, and I drafted a rough outline of how the book was going to proceed, chapter by chapter. I also wrote down any thoughts I had which I thought could be used in the story; all of this was then stuck on a large corkboard which hung above my desk, so it was easy for me to refer to as and when required.

Now you’ve written your first novel, could there be a second in the pipeline?

I am in the early stages of writing another novel, which will also involve Elizabeth, but that is all I can say for now!

T: @RhianaRamsey

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