Ramon Del Villars is a published author and Attorney at Law in Texas. Here is an interview with Author Ramon Del Villars.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a Federally Certified Court Interpreter in all the United States and an Attorney at Law in Texas.
How many hours a day do you write?
I varies greatly. Either I write 5/6 hours a day or none at all depending on my other activities as an attorney/interpreter/translator.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I am working on one, that I called “Prequel and Sequel” because my fictional character is a Mexican American attorney obviously inspired by myself.
So, in this book I give an almost biographical description of myself that is basically a description of my life until reaching the position of Chief Interpreter for the Federal Court in the Southern District of Texas.
That biographical description changes when my character leaves de Court after three years to open his law office, because as for me, I continued working for the Court until 2015, when I formally retired.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It also varies greatly in my case. I wrote “Payback” my first novel in three years but only worked three weeks each year. The explanation is that I was invited for several years as a Professor of Legal Procedure at the University of Arizona, Agnes Haury Institute of Court Interpreting.
The Institute has been nicknamed the “boot camp for Court Interpreters” because it is a grueling (for the students) three-week course where bilingual individuals enter without having any idea about court interpreting and end up being pretty proficient court interpreters. Because I was only the professor of Legal Procedure, I would be giving my class only two hours every morning and boredom sitting in an office while not teaching, started me writing my novel.
My second novel took only one year in the same way. I would say that I wrote it in four weeks because I started in the Institute and finished it in my Court office the week after coming back from Arizona. The third one (“Prequel and Sequel”), I have been writing on and off for about three months now.
Where did you get the idea for your recent book?
It was to continue with my character in another book and Inklings Publishing (my daughter Fern) pushed me to start several times but to no avail until finally about three months ago I started.
How did you develop your plots?
That is actually the most interesting part. Payback, when I started was very different from the final plot. It was much longer, about twice as much and the plot itself was somewhat different. To some extent, I have discovered that what I have as the initial plot changes as am writing and have either new ideas or new experiences.
One of the reasons I had not started “Prequel and Sequel” was that I had planned to write about a case of lender’s liability, a field in which I have very limited experience other than suing my daughter’s mortgage company and getting a small settlement.
So, I decided to do research and could not find a good plot. When Fern continued insisting for me to write, I coincidentally spoke with my favorite Federal Judge. After the conversation, I for some reason remembered a case that he presided and I “the case that had two licenses but no attorneys” and I decided to write about that case.
It is interesting because a rich Mexican was arrested for failure to file a Currency Transaction Report while bringing over $10,000 dollars across the border. He was represented by two guys so incompetent that he was found guilty (the two licenses but no attorneys).
By the way, the defendant was given probation without jail time because the Judge could see the meritless defense. So I decided to make Roberto Duran, my character, be his attorney in that fact situation. I’m almost positive the defendant will be found “not guilty.”
How do you select the names of your characters?
My main character, by my initials “RD” and because there was a famous boxer by that name who was nicknamed “Mano de Piedra,” Spanish for “Hands of Rock.”
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
I am a Federally Certified Court Interpreter and an Attorney at Law in Texas, I have plenty of work, praise the Lord, because my novels have not sold.
How did you get inspired to write your recent book?
As I mentioned above, after a conversation with my favorite Federal Judge.
What is your favorite childhood book?
I do not remember having any favorite book in my childhood, but I definitively can tell you that in my early youth (I must have been in my early twenties), I instantly loved all the Ian Fleming novels about James Bond. I believe I have read all of them several times.
To a great degree, I have been influenced by his style, but not being a secret agent, my character is an attorney. I believe the James Bond movies are to some extent an aberration in that the character of Ian Fleming is actually very different from the character portrayed in the movies.
I love the highly descriptive manner in which Ian Fleming wrote his novels. I openly confess that I have attempted to copy his style of writing.
Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
What are you currently working on?
“Prequel and Sequel” will be my third novel.
I do not believe I have had any. If and when I have them, I will try to deal with bad reviews constructively, that is trying to change my bad habits and improving in any good ones.
Fern Brady and Russell Little. Fern has helped by pushing me to write and Russell has made me envious of his talent. They are both very gifted.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Write about what you like and know. Do intensive research and enjoy what you are doing. If you do not enjoy, writing stop at once.
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What’s the best thing about being a writer?
You can explore all your fantasies without any risk. Funny enough, I have read my own novels several times each and I actually enjoy reading them.
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
Yes. “Prequel and Sequel,” hopefully.
What do you want to say about our website?
I am just beginning to follow it, but I find it very interesting.