Interview with debut novelist Ruthanne Reid

Today’s guest is debut novelist Ruthanne Reid. She’s doing a virtual book tour for her novel The Sundered.


Ruthanne will be
awarding a $5 Amazon gift card to one random commenter at every stop and a $50 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter at the end of the tour. So, please leave an e-mail address with your comment if you’d like to be entered in the drawings. You can also
follow Ruthanne’s tour and comment at other stops to increase your odds of winning.

Bio:
Ruthanne
Reid was raised in the woods, but fortunately her isolation was offset by
regular visits to New York City. She pursued music for years before realizing
she wanted to tell stories rather than sing them.
Ruthanne
has lived on both US coasts (she prefers the West one), is distantly related to
royalty, and has sung in a thousand-year-old cathedral. Her favorite authors
tend to be dramatic (J. R. R. Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss), but she
doesn’t see this as a bad thing.
Writing
in and around Seattle, she owns dust-covered degrees in music and religion, and
is generally considered dangerous around household electronics. She belongs to
a husband, a housemate, and a cat, respectively.
Welcome, Ruthanne. Please tell us about your current release.
Harry
Iskinder knows the rules. Don’t touch the water, or it will pull you under.
Conserve food, because thereโ€™s no arable land. Use Sundered slaves gently, or
they die too quickly to be worthwhile.
With
extinction on the horizon and a world lost to deadly flood, Harry searches for
a cure: the Hope of Humanity, the mysterious artifact that gave humans control
over the Sundered centuries ago. According to legend, the Hope can fix the
planet.
But
the Hope holds more secrets than Harry knows. Powerful Sundered Ones willingly
bow to him just to get near it. Ambitious enemies pursue him, sure that the
Hope is a weapon. Friends turn their backs, afraid Harry will choose wrong.
And
Harry has a choice to make. The time for sharing the Earth is done. Either the
Sundered survive and humanity ends, or humanity lives for a while, but the
Sundered are wiped out.
He
never wanted this choice. He still has to make it. In his broken, flooded
world, Hope comes with a price.

EXCERPT:
Parnum puts his hand on my shoulder. “We’ll
be at Shangri-la in a couple of weeks. By that time, we’ll have a plan.”
A couple of weeks of this? Of having to think
about things because there’s nothing else to do? Screw that idea, doctor.
“Yeah.”
Parnum pats my shoulder and stands, heading off
to talk to the captain, who smiles when he sees him coming. Everybody likes
Parnum.
I look at Aakesh.
His hair moves a little in the breeze. “It
will be done.”
He knows what I want. We’re speeding up.
“Thank you.”
Demos walks by, slowly. His arm’s in a cast โ€” he
must’ve broken it somehow last night. I don’t know if he overheard us or not.
I don’t know if it matters.
I can’t do this alone.
I try to picture paddling alone in the north of
the world, no one to share with, no one to hear. Alone.
It’s a nightmare.
Aakesh looks at me side-long, his irises no
longer glowing, and it’s my turn to know his unspoken request: freedom.
I can’t, Aakesh. I can’t.
I don’t even know when I decided he can hear my
thoughts. I just know he can. Why not? It’s no crazier than anything else
that’s happened.
I can’t, Aakesh.
He nods and turns his face away.
I guess that conversation’s over.

What
inspired you to write this book?
Believe
it or not, a dream. I often dream vividly, but usually in chunks, with glimpses
of stories and characters disconnected to anything solid. This one night,
however, the whole of
The Sundered
came to me in one fell swoop.
I
woke up too excited to keep quiet about it, which was good โ€“ talking about it
ensured the details didn’t fade. That evening, I settled down to write, and
8,000 words poured out of me.
I’m
a few-hundred-words-a-day kind of girl, so this was surprising.
Knowing
exactly where the story was going had plusses and drawbacks. The initial draft
grew more quickly than anything I’ve ever created, including one memorable
15,000-word day, but the editing processโ€ฆ yikes! At least I can say that having
to figure out what didn’t work by ripping it to pieces and sewing it back
together has made me a better writer.

What
exciting story are you working on next?
I’m
working on an epic fantasy simply titled
Notte,
which follows the 15,000-year history of the man who was the world’s first
biological weapon. It’s tons of fun, though a lot of work. I’m trying to keep
the historical details real while playing heavily with cryptoarcheological
factoids. Notte’s world is our world with spice: complex, fascinating, and
filled with nifty, as-yet-unexplained mysteries.

When
did you first consider yourself a writer?
For
nearly six years now, and I have my husband to thank.
I’ve
always created stories (evidently, the boys down the street were afraid to come
play with me because I’d force them to act out my latest ideas), but I didn’t
write anything down until I was eight. At that age, I took my mother’s
typewriter, switched it to the red-ink ribbon (it was prettier, in my opinion),
and wrote a story about a My Little Pony princess who survived a massacre by
the evil Snake Kingdom. She was so precious they just had to keep her, and thus
she was raised by snakes.
She
was a My Little Snake-Pony. She was fairly bad-ass, and knew magic. It was
ridiculous, but very fun, and also demonstrated the tendencies that show up in
all my stories: no one is safe, and very
big things
are happening.
I
wrote stories and fanfic from that point on, all the way through college. I
wanted desperately to be a writer, but I didn’t feel like I had
“permission.” That lasted until happily, joyfully, miraculously, I
got married. My husband encouraged me to write, broke down the false guilt that
stood between me and creating, and listened to me tell him story ideas no
matter what time of day or night it was.
He’s
the one who encouraged and supported me until I let go of my fears and embraced
my identity as a story-teller. My life changed drastically ever since.
Do
you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like?
  If not, what do you do other than write and
how do you find time to write?
I
do write full-time now, but this is fairly new. I’ve worked as a choir
director, a music coordinator for a church, and a web designer. I still do web
design for favorite clients or friends, but as of a few months ago, my husband
and I made the decision that I should do this full-time. It’s both incredibly
freeing and incredibly difficult, mostly due to pressure I put on myself.
As
for what my day is like, it’s divided. I’m not a great housekeeper, but I am a
good cook, and feeding my household is a real joy. My awesome husband works
from home, so between writing, there is a lot of cuddling.
All
that to say: I’m not very organized. That’s okay. Makes life more interesting.
What
would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I
genuinely write best when I’m out of the house. Why? Because then I have no
excuse to wander off and involve myself in things like housework. Not unlike my
kitty, I am easily distracted.

As
a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
That
entirely depends on which period of childhood, although all my ideas had the
same theme: adventure, courage, and heroism. The funny thing is, I never wanted
to be a writer. I wanted to write stories, and I did constantly (my best piano
performances were the ones to which I’d written epic sagas), but I wrote all
the time, anyway, and read constantly. Even in college when I practiced eight
hours a day, working toward my piano performance degree, I always had at least
one book with me in the practice room.
Anything
additional you want to share with the readers?
Don’t
ever give up.
I
mean that. Whatever your dream is, whether you’re happy where you are in life
or not, don’t give up. You never know when life will surprise you, or you’ll
have unplanned opportunities. Don’t be afraid, and don’t give up.
There
is no such thing as failure unless you simply quit.

Thanks for stopping by and talking about your writing, Ruthanne. Readers, remember you have at least 2 chances to win by commenting below and at other blogs along Ruthanne’s tour.


11 thoughts on “Interview with debut novelist Ruthanne Reid

  1. Mary Preston says:

    Music and writing – you are creative. I wish you every success with your debut novel. It sounds amazing to me.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

  2. Lisa Haselton says:

    Happy to have Ruthanne join my blog today. I'm always learning something new with each interview. I love it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Unknown says:

    Lisa: Thanks so much for hosting me today! It's a delight to be here.

    Marybelle: Thanks a ton! I hope so, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm terrible with more practical skills like math, so I think all the creativity balances it out. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Ingeborg: Thanks! I'm really glad you liked it!

  4. Anonymous says:

    It must be exciting to have the words flow so easily sometimes. Congratulations on the release!

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

  5. Catherine Lee says:

    How sweet that both you and your hubby work from home. I think I would enjoy that. You lucky lady!
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  6. Unknown says:

    Becky: Now I'm dying to know just where you are in the story. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Vitajex: It was a really fun thing – -and fortunate! I'm not generally a thousand-words-a-day person. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Catherine: I really love it. I find myself really hoping he never ends up having to go to the office regularly again!

  7. Marni says:

    Ruthanne, Churchill got it right: never, never, never give up! And kudos to your supportive hubby for recognizing your talent and your desire~

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