I was born in a railway boxcar, not to parents who fed their wanderlust by hopping trains, but to a railway maintenance man and his young wife in a hamlet called Mocane, Oklahoma. I don’t remember that home as we moved on, but I’m pretty sure the vehicle was stripped of its wheels and had a proper door.
As for my name, Raymona with a ‘y’, it honors my dad, Raymond, and my mother’s fondness for Ramona a song popular at the time. She was quite musical, Halley was, and to my joy I inherited from her a passably melodic singing voice that brings much pleasure into my life. Less fortunately, I didn’t come by a smidgen of her artistic talent.
A retired journalist, I now write novels about strong women, bold men, and sizzling romance. My husband and I share an interest in archaeology, earth sciences, browsing flea markets, attending auctions, and driving back roads in Northwest Arkansas. When our boys were young, we explored via jeep trails over high mountain passes in Colorado.
Music lifts my heart like few other things can, from singing, to listening to classical, sacred, ethnic, and show tunes. Since moving from the Oklahoma Panhandle to Northwest Arkansas, I’ve learned to appreciate old-timey hill country music as played in the Bentonville Square on Friday nights in summer. For a good book, I’ll take historical romance or a mystery with lots of action. Whatever the genre, I want lots of plot, and I write accordingly. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series rates tops with me for romance and adventure, with Colleen McCullough’s Thorn Birds close behind. Barbara Hambly’s historical novels keep me turning pages as well, as do the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child and most anything John Sanford writes. In general, I prefer books that engage my mind as well as entertain.
Movies? Well, give me an old western because I know the actors, and the good guy always wins. Then there’s The Last of the Mohicans, my favorite non-western for its tension, breath-taking landscapes, and heart-rending romance. I also have to mention the musical score. Wow, that last scene on the cliff ….