Dr. Victoria Ramirez, Weber State University English professor, has released a Revolutionary War-era novel entitled, “The Mistress of Fort Neck Inn.”
It’s the story of a young woman who struggles to run the family inn after her husband dies, leaving her with two children. Meanwhile, the Revolutionary War breaks out, and events eventually spin out of control.
Ramirez set the novel in the 18th-century Long Island — where she grew up. She has been back to the area several times and researched the topic in order to envision what the town she grew up in would have been like hundreds of years ago. She said, “I have a profound connection with that place,” and this passion and connection to the town was an anchor for her to write about this place.
Dr. Ramirez began writing the novel at the beginning of her career at Weber State, and now, 17 years later, she is celebrating the release of her novel and retiring from Weber State at the end of the school year.
Through all of the edits and rewrites, Ramirez ended up with seven different, complete versions of the novel. Ramirez teaches her students to “cut your darlings” — in other words, sacrifice the details that aren’t as important.
Ramirez had to follow her own advice and cut out characters and details that were near and dear to her heart in order to create the final product.
The support from the Weber State community, her family and friends were the driving forces that helped Ramirez to finish the novel.
Ramirez received a grant to go back to New York and research the Revolutionary War. “If they hadn’t done that, I’m not sure I would have continued on,” Ramirez said.
Dr. Ramirez continues to write and is now working on her second novel, which is another 18th century novel about being mature and knowing yourself enough to find the person you are truly meant to be with.
She is looking forward to having more time to write and promote her book after her retirement.
To celebrate the release of the novel, there was a book reading and launch party held at Weber State on Sept. 22.