Still at Your Door by Emma Eden Ramos


Still at Your Door: A Fictional Memoir by Emma Eden Ramos
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Publisher: Writers AMuse Me Publishing
Published: February 22nd, 2014

YA — Sabrina “Bri” Gibbons has only a few short minutes to pack her things and help her sisters pack theirs before running with their mother to the bus that will whisk them away from Butler, Pennsylvania, an abusive relationship, and a secret that none of them wish to acknowledge. She was not prepared, though, for her mother to drop them on the streets of New York with the promise that she would be right back. Haunted by the sight of her mother running back to the cab, Bri, with Missy and Grace in tow, settles in with their grandparents. Thoughts of her present and her future collide with memories of her past, her dead father, and her mother’s bizarre episodes. She watches her sisters struggle with school and acceptance, all the while knowing the lack of any sense of security will make it impossible for them to carry on as ‘normal’ children. She finally lets her guard down enough to allow someone else in and sees a faint glimmer that her dreams might be attainable. Disaster strikes again, this time targeting her sister. Is it possible for Bri to find that balance between her dreams and her family’s realities?

Author interview

Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
Still, At Your Door: A Fictional Memoir is the story of seventeen-year-old Sabrina Gibbons. Sabrina, along with her two sisters, is dropped off in New York City. The three girls move in with their Hungarian grandparents and struggle to find, then cling to what's most important

If it was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
Sheila, my main character's mother, would be played by Penelope Cruz. I'd cast Camilla Belle as Sabrina, my protagonist.

Why do you write in this genre?
I don't always confine myself to one genre. My last two books, however, have been YA. I suppose I am most comfortable using that voice.

What made you want to become an author?
I had a teacher in my first year of high school assign Edith Wharton's Summer. After reading and discussing the novella, we were asked to each write a poem about the story. I knew, seconds after finishing, that I wanted to write. Always.

Name one of your all-time favourite books?
Jane Eyre.

Who, or what, inspires you?
A deep desire to connect with others.

Where is your favourite place to write?
I always write on the floor with my back propped against my bed. In the summer I'll write on a bench in Central Park.

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?
The House of Sand and Fog.

Who is your favourite author (s) and why?
I always find this question difficult to answer. I do love all three of the Bronte sisters. I highly recommend Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. It's not nearly as popular at Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, but it is certainly as stunning.

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
I'd invite Gertrude Stein and Emily Dickinson. Supposing they came, I'd listen to them discuss writing poetry then, once an argument began, I'd call in Robert Lowell for the exact opposite of damage control. This would be a bit like something out of an Edward Albee play.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I cannot drive a car. This tends to shock people who live outside of New York City.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?
Photo credit: yotambientengosuperpoderes via photopin cc
Hmm...Ellen Page.

Tell us something interesting about the area where you live.
Columbia University is practically in my backyard. Knowledge creeps through the windows when we're sleeping.

Emma Eden Ramos is a writer and student from New York City. Her middle grade novella, The Realm of the Lost, was recently published by MuseItUp Publishing. Her short stories have appeared in Stories for Children Magazine, The Storyteller Tymes, BlazeVOX Journal, and other journals. Ramos’ novelette, Where the Children Play, is included in Resilience: Stories, Poems, Essays, Words for LGBT Teens, edited by Eric Nguyen. Three Women: A Poetic Triptych and Selected Poems (Heavy Hands Ink, 2011), Ramos’ first poetry chapbook, was shortlisted for the 2011 Independent Literary Award in Poetry. Emma studies psychology at Marymount Manhattan College. When she isn’t writing or studying, Emma can usually be found drinking green tea and reading on her kindle.

They are broken into sections. You may use what you would like.
I hold tight to my memories of the solid years. Each one is a crystal vase filled to the brim with brightly colored petals. Summer, ‘99: Missy is five, I’m six. We’re vacationing at Virginia Beach with Mom and Dad. Mom wears a black one-piece, a white sun hat and no sunscreen. Her lanky, bronzed legs shimmer under the fiery rays, but it’s all well and good. “Gypsy skin,” she explains, lathering up my little sister. “You and I have it.” She winks at me. “Missy here’s more like Daddy.” In front of us, Dad talks to a blonde boy with a surfboard. He turns to us and beckons. I jump to my feet, eager to hit the waves. “Sabrina.” Mom presses her leathery palms against my cheeks. “Bri-bear.” She kisses my nose. “Go on.” I grab Missy’s hand and we scamper toward the giant salt pond, ready for Dad to scoop us up and wade us through.
Another summer, many years later, Missy and I come across what looks like a secret stash of sea glass. We collect the emerald green fragments just as a mother-sized wave unfurls to scoop them back up. The edges have been smoothed over, calmed. I slide my index finger across one side of the largest piece. Missy stands next to me, peering out toward the horizon. I turn to her, the glass held tightly in my fist. Before I can begin, she says, “Water life is easier.”
“Huh?” I stare down at the rushing waves. A thick clump of seaweed tickles my ankle.
Missy seizes a shard from her stash and flings it. The water swallows the glass whole. There’s no resistance on either side. “It wasn’t ready.” She shakes her head.
“What does that mean?” I ask. “How is water life easier?”
“I don’t know. I guess… you go in jagged. You’re jagged when you go in but smooth when you come out.”
Trying to understand, I scrutinize my sister’s profile. I recognize our mother in her pronounced cheekbones, her long black lashes.
“But not us.” Missy speaks to the open water. I just happen to be standing by. “We come in soft, without edges. Those come later.”
“You mean we get jagged with age?”
“Yes.” Missy’s eyes grow big. She cocks her head to one side, then turns to meet my gaze. “That’s what happens to us.”


  1. Thanks for being on the Still at Your Door blog tour, Suzy!!


  2. It's always a pleasure to be a part of your tours, Nichole :) x


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