I’m a native Michigander–wife, mother, and grandmother–who writes Christian Inspirational Romance. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, I also enjoy reading almost as much as I love writing! I surprised myself, and in 2015 (in addition to writing two books of my own) I read 115 books. I am an avid reader!
Ruth’s Mission Statement: “My goal is to write stories that entertain, but more importantly, educate readers about Jesus Christ and His love for them.”
What inspires you to write?
Story ideas come to me from everywhere–just life in general. I might hear a song (lyrics really touch me) and it leads me to think about a possible story line. Nature gives me inspiration, along with paintings. Some of my best ideas have come to me through dreams. I’m afraid I’ll never live long enough to write all the stories I have floating around in my head!
Tell us about your writing process.
I am definitely a seat-of-the-pants writer. I tried outlining, but it just wasn’t for me, although I probably have an outline of sorts already in my brain before I ever start a book. But that doesn’t mean that I follow it exactly. My characters have a tendency to take over and the story line flows from my fingertips to the page before I even realize what’s happening!
My first drafts are usually about 30,000-40,000 words–just the bare bones of the story line. Then I go back and re-write, add in more back story and descriptions–check for more accurate facts and details. Usually during this process I add more to the story itself as additional ideas come about. It’s a process that evolves. I’m sure my way of writing wouldn’t work for everyone, but I’ve never had writer’s block doing it this way, and it seems to work for me!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters talk to me all the time. We have lengthy conversations sometimes (in my head, of course) about what they’re doing and how it’s going to change everything in the story. They are all so real to me.
My current Christian Historical Romance series “The Morgan Family Saga” series–consisting of “Mattie’s Heart”, “Clara’s Heart”, and still to be completed “Laurie’s Heart”, is about three generations of the Morgan Family who I introduced to readers in my “True Cover” series. I’ve had these folks in my brain (and in my life) for the last three years. When I finish the series, I’m going to really miss them!
Who are your favorite authors?
I love the old classics, but the writer who really got me interested in writing myself was Bess Streeter Aldrich. My most favorite book of all time is her “Song of Years”. I loved the way she wrote and the way she made the characters real to me. That is what I want for my books.
In more recently written books, I have always loved the book “Christy” by Catherine Marshall. My love for the Smoky Mountains comes from reading that book as a teenager. And it more or less inspired me to write one of my own set in the mountain area of Tennessee — “The Healing Hills”. I also enjoy reading books by the more well-known Christian Inspirational authors, but I can’t pick favorites. They’re my friends and I don’t want to leave anyone out!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
For many years I struggled with the idea of sending out queries and letters and waiting months–sometimes years for responses from publishers. When Amazon changed the publishing picture, I jumped in head first, and I’ve never been sorry.
It’s a lot of work–doing it all yourself–but there is an extreme amount of satisfaction in knowing these books are entirely ‘your babies”. You choose the title, the cover art, the layout and format, what goes in the book and what doesn’t. Obviously, if it doesn’t do well–that’s all on your shoulders too. And there is a great deal of time involved in editing, proofreading, marketing, and selling your books when you self-publish. But I’m not sure I’d ever go to traditional publishing now after doing it myself all these years. We independent publishers are mavericks!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It has changed so dramatically in the past five years or so, it’s difficult to say. But I believe the traditional publishing houses are going to have to change and adapt in order to survive. I have many traditionally published author friends who are joining the independently published authors like myself–just because they want more control of their books and decisions about them.
It will be interesting to see what comes next in the publishing world. I’m excited to see what it is!
What genres do you write?
Christian Fiction, Christian Historical Fiction, Inspirational Romance
What formats are your books in?