Articles, Mystery, Short Stories
Vicky Ramakka writes about the Four Corners region, where she meets the most fascinating people who are willing to share their stories. Her publications have won awards from the New Mexico Press Women and SouthWest Writers. She and her husband reside in northwest New Mexico, near the Colorado border.
Vicky’s career consisted of originating and implementing programs for adult learners at community colleges and universities in several western states. During her academic career, she published in educational journals, wrote numerous grant applications and hundreds of reports, and created a variety of marketing materials. Since retiring, she is enjoying the freedom to write creatively and has articles in local, regional, and national magazines. She continues to teach an occasional course for the San Juan College continuing education program. She grew up on a farm in upstate New York which sparked her interest in plants and animals. She enjoys observing and photographing the flora and fauna that reside in her “backyard” which she considers any place within a mile walk.
Member of San Juan Writers, Women Writing The West, New Mexico Press Women, and SouthWest Writers.
The following was written by Kathy Louise Schuit for the August 2023 issue of SouthWest Sage:
In late July, SouthWest Writers received word of the sudden passing of Vicky Ramakka. Vicky was a vibrant person, passionate not only about her writing, but also about New Mexico. We at SWW extend our thoughts and sympathy to Jim Ramakka, Vicky’s husband of 56 years, and to all of her family and friends. Her death has been attributed to a previously undetected and very aggressive cancer.
Vicky was the author of The Cactus Plot and The Pearl Plot mysteries. Her stories were about the Four Corners region, where she would meet “the most fascinating people who are willing to share their stories.” She was an award winner in contests sponsored by New Mexico Press Women and SouthWest Writers. Her career consisted of originating and implementing programs for adult learners at community colleges and universities in several western states. During her academic career, she published in educational journals, wrote numerous grant applications and hundreds of reports, and created a variety of marketing materials. After retirement, she turned to writing creatively, drawing on a love for animals that was sparked in her early years growing up on a farm in upstate New York.
Besides SouthWest Writers, Vicky was a member of San Juan Writers, Women Writing The West, and New Mexico Press Women. She will be missed by all who knew her.
Title: The Cactus Plot
Publisher: Artemesia Publishing/2019
Genre: Environmental Mystery
Murders overshadow botanist Millie Whitehall’s peaceful summer surveying endangered plants in northwest New Mexico. Hired by the Bureau of Land Management and new to the West, Millie seeks adventure, never expecting to become involved in a chaotic hunt for a ruthless killer. Driving treacherous roads and avoiding rattlesnakes become the least of her worries. She experiences the friction of working for the Bureau of Land Management through the characters she meets—a secretive cowboy, friendly oil and gas hand, out-spoken environmentalist, foreign tourist, and a cheeky Navajo biologist. Some of these become allies, one ends up threatening her life. Autopsies reveal the seemingly unrelated deaths involve plants. Millie draws on her knowledge of ecology as she races to investigate the murderer—before she becomes the next victim. The Cactus Plot is a mystery novel juxtaposing the natural beauty of northwest New Mexico with the complexities of managing public lands.
Available for Sale
“Unintended Consequences—Terrorist Turkeys”
Anthology: Into The West (2019)
First place winner in the SWW 2019 Prose & Poetry Contest for a humorous short story. A hilarious story about what goes wrong when the wildlife department releases nuisance wild turkeys in the same location. They form gangs and turn mean. When the miscreant birds terrorize hikers, loggers and even the governor, the wildlife department comes up with a brilliant, biologically-sound solution to the problem.
Featured in Into the West, San Juan Writers’ collection of short stories and novelettes with accounts of the old west and today’s west.
As you explore this wide-ranging group of tales, you will encounter mystery, adventure, romance, humor, horror, and magical realism. Based in Farmington, NM, San Juan Writers pooled their talents and invite you to journey with them Into The West.