Stories Help Us All Find Meaning

Rica Ramos Author Interview

Nobody’s Daughter is a deeply personal story for you. How hard was it to put this story out in the world for people to read?

I know a lot of authors have trouble mining the traumatic memories when writing about painful experiences, and it can be difficult. But I never got to a point where it felt like a burden. There were some “uh-oh” moments because of the taboo subjects I addressed and I still struggle with the idea that by confronting these issues, I am somehow betraying my mother. I realize how I was groomed as a child to protect the family secrets and to put my mother’s feelings first, but I’m still fighting those daughterly instincts. Women who’ve been in toxic relationships or are dealing with mother wounds often feel guilt or shame about speaking out. That was the greatest obstacle I faced — giving my internal child the support she needed to keep going. 

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

The sexual abuse didn’t bother me, because I have written about that in the past, and I rarely feel triggered (anymore) in the process. Writing does provide an emotional release. This book was more about the mother-daughter relationship, however, and I hadn’t explored that part of my trauma, at least not to that extent. I was still on that self-discovery journey, so that was both enlightening and hard to process. There’s a quote by Flannery O’Connor that perfectly captures my experience as a writer. “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”

What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you were younger?

I think the thing I needed most was to be heard and to understand I had a right to feel what I was feeling. Those are actually the words that had the greatest impact on my life. It took decades for me to finally hear them, and my therapist was the one who said it first. I talk about that in the book, and I wish every woman and girl could receive that message. I really believe it’s the cure for shame. Being validated as a woman is so important, because many of us are wired to nurture others first, and society tells us that’s our role. And that we must always be strong—hold things together. “Good vibes only.” Well, that’s great—until we feel the need to hide ourselves because it makes others uncomfortable, or stirs things up.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your story?

Some readers have said the subject matter is dark, or difficult to read. And many people think that writing this kind of book is self-serving, or that it’s cathartic for the writer alone. But neither of those statements are true. The book has a dark side because life can be dark, but that only makes the bright side brighter in contrast. Nobody’s Daughter is a book about healing, and I think of the phrase I wrote in my first book (Petals of Rain). “As surely as the sun shines behind the grayest clouds, healing comes drop by drop. Like petals of rain.”

I write about my life because it does help me heal, but stories help us all find meaning, and they ease our loneliness because we’re able to hear other voices when we’re in those dark places.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Should Rica invite her mother to her wedding?

In her early early forties and about to remarry, Rica Ramos realizes that starting over could mean leaving her mother behind. She longs to heal the relationship, but her mother still refuses to acknowledge the sexual abuse Rica suffered at the hands of her stepfather, or her own culpability throughout the years. With old traumas resurfacing and a new life unfolding before her, Rica grasps the power of unspoken grief—and the potential to suffer or heal. Will she and her mother ever cross the chasm between them, or are some secrets meant to stay buried?

As Rica navigates her options, she faces two ultimate choices: submit to a culture that shames daughters for not honoring their mothers, or muster the courage to go her own way. Offering a bold and lucid look at mother-daughter relationships, Nobody’s Daughter underscores every woman’s right to truth and validation.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on April 20, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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