I am happy and proud to introduce to you the lovely and talented author Jan Ruth.
Hi Jan, glad you could join me here today to tell us all about you and your book, or books.
Let’s not delay any further but move on to the interview, because that’s why I asked you over. Right. First question.
Can you give me your best Whoop? Unless you have another one which works better for you?
Okay, sounds like a winner that one, but does it work all the time, even those times when the muse has gone and done a runner on you? And when did you first start with it?
‘Just now. I looked up the Welsh for Whoop!’ It doesn’t work at all, actually.
Right, sounds like you are the one who’s on the right track there. Let’s do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun.
What is the title of the book you would like to talk about?
‘I’d quite like to talk about all of them if that’s not to cheeky? (I’ve seen the next question you see…)’
Hahaha, nope, not cheeky at all. It’s your party and you can talk about as many books as you want.
Did you have difficulty coming up with the titles?
‘Ah well no; other than the little book of shorts, my main titles all sit together quite nicely with a bit of a theme going on… Wild water, Midnight Sky, White Horizon. Hopefully readers will connect with all the Celtic landscapes I use as a backdrop; but then the titles also have a link to the story.’
That sounds like you really have given this a lot of thought and shows you are indeed a very professional writer, like I knew you are. But let’s go back to what we were talking about, your books.
If you would have to change the genre, what would it be then?
‘I think it would have to be YA; then I could carry on writing about relationships, rural communities and realism. I couldn’t do science fiction or fantasy, although in my book of shorts I did have a go at something with a cross-over feel. The druids circles here on the mountains are quite spooky, especially if you read all the history behind them.’
Just to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now
What don’t you like about writing, or whatever you need to do marketing wise?
‘Nothing I don’t enjoy about writing really, except maybe when you get writers block and nothing moves forward, or you get to that stage when you’re thinking a big chunk needs to come out/go in/be re-written.
Marketing can be fun but it can be a big chore too, and very time consuming. There are so many distractions on-line… too many!’
Tell me, when your muse is visiting and you’re on a roll, what would seriously drive her/him away?
What does your muse look like?
‘A very young, glamorous version of me.’
Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?
‘Oh yes, and yes. I have lots of conversations with my characters when they are in the development stage, mostly in the form of dialogue when I am driving. I don’t know why it happens a lot in the car, or if I wake in the night, the voices are there again… I am normal though… yes?’
Can you name the food and drink that will surely get you started?
‘Oh, a large glass of crisp cold Sauvignon Blanc; (no more than that or everything has to be deleted in the morning, or I find myself needing to apologise to strangers on Facebook) Or if it’s too early for that, a pot of good coffee. More than food and drink though, I find the right music gets me fired up.’
Would you be able to come up with an excuse on why you haven’t written a whole day, and have me believe it too?
‘I don’t write every day. There, I’ve said it. Having said that, it doesn’t mean I’m not working on something new or mulling over the current work in progress. (See above re the voices in my head.) I take a long time to think about my characters and their motivation before I finally set them on a path to their own discovery, or destruction. I even know their shoe size and their star sign!’
And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?
‘I like it. It’s better than going out to work!
You are so right!
Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂
‘Okay, well I’m not into children and babies so there’s no worry there; even though I did manage to have one, a long time ago.
Cats, take them or leave them. Now dogs, bit partial to a dog so can’t promise to steer clear there; and horses… feature quite a lot of dogs and horses in my novels actually. Latest pair of dogs are called Butter and Marg. Am I boring you?
Nope, not at all. I’m quite enjoying myself. Go on. *offers another drink and sits back again*
Have I told you about my equestrian knickers?
Your what? Hahaha, no you haven’t, but please do!
Not sure if it’s a dirty little secret or not. I do worry these days that if I fall from my (borrowed) horse and get taken to hospital I may need to be cut out of my undergarments. I imagine a lot of barely controlled amusement from the staff. (What is she wearing under there?)
Yeah, what are you wearing?
All of this padding is a good thing, but the knickers are pretty big, and sooo tight. Once the sports bra is in place the two items tend to merge. Then it’s the supportive knee joint bandages and the rest of the usual gear over the top, followed by a body protector which looks like a something the police might wear, like a bullet proof vest. It’s awfully stiff too but I was told when I bought it that I needed to wear it around the house to have it mould to my shape so I cooked dinner in it a couple of times (with the blinds down) Bloeddio!
Okay, now that we’ve heard about your books and random stuff we’ve, that’s to say I, have gotten curious about you. Tell me, who is Jan Ruth? And no lies, just the cold truth about Jan Ruth.
Fact: Jan Ruth was born in Bowden, Cheshire, and moved to North Wales in 1998, although she has always maintained a strong connection with the area from a much earlier age. Her feel for the Welsh landscape is evident in all of her books. Jan has been writing for more than 30 years and despite various dalliances with the more traditional publishing routes, she is now pleased to be an independent author… well, most of the time.
Jan started writing at primary school, winning prizes for poetry and short stories. Her first novel attracted a London agent, but failed to find the right niche with a publisher because it didn’t fall into a specific category- not quite light enough for romance but not literary fiction either, sitting somewhere between these two genres. Her second novel, again snapped up by a London agent; suffered the same fate. Undeterred, Jan has continued to write, believing her market is out there.
‘Amazon has completely changed the face of the industry with Kindle. It is an amazing platform for writers in that all books-successfully published or not- are available to a world wide audience but most importantly to the reader, who is after all the most important judge.’
Fiction: Jan Ruth writes contemporary women’s fiction. Love stories with strong, identifiable characters, about family life and relationships.
‘I like to think my books convey some serious threads with a good blend of humour, a balance of light and dark. Different, I feel from the majority in that I often write from the male perspective.’
‘I love the process of writing. There are not many jobs where you get to play God and be devils advocate. Sometimes I am astonished at the pearls of wisdom that must be deeply buried in my brain. At all other times I find myself frantically holding down the delete button.’
‘I think you have to be a little mad to enjoy the compulsive and intrusive way it can take over your life – but then I think it has to be this way to have the same vitality for the reader. It’s almost like being possessed by several other people!’
Right, thank you Jan for this interview. Now, where can your fans stalk you? Erm, I mean, find you. You know to follow, friend, comment or like?