Meet Debut Author Ruth Logan Herne

Ruth Logan Herne is a contest circuit success story. Her first-place entry in the 2008 Finally A Bride contest sponsored by Oklahoma Romance Writers sold to one of the final round judges, Steeple Hill senior editor Melissa Endlich. Winter’s End is due out in March 2010. That was more than enough to make Ruthy shout “Oh. My. Stars!” But the good news didn’t stop there. Oh, no! She’s sold two more titles from her North Country Series.

A lover of modern country music, Ruthy believes she was destined to be Southern but was dropped into upstate New York by a directionally challenged angel. The seventh of nine children, Ruthy and her mostly patient hubby had six kids of their own. All grown, their four sons and two daughters, along with two daughters-in-law and two sons-in-law, have blessed them with 5.5 beautiful grandchildren.

One of the fifteen women who founded the popular blog The Seekers, Ruthy regales visitors to Seekerville with a repast of cyber treats that leave visitors happy the tempting fare is calorie-free. She also dishes out her trademark brand of humor, which runs the gamut from good clean fun to downright snarky at times. But what can you expect from a witty woman with one post categorized “Ruthy Being Nice” as opposed to four bearing the label, “Ruthy’s Harangues?” She keeps her Seekerville sisters and visitors alike in line as no one but Ruthy can, doling out pep-talks borne of lessons learned during her many years in pursuit of that first contract–and is loved for her witty ways and down-home charm.

When not writing, doting on her grandkids or putting smiles on the faces of Seekerville visitors, Ruthy loves to bake. Cyber-baking allows her the old-fashioned pleasure of feeding others with no weight gain, thereby filling multiple directives. Her favorite kind of day would be one filled with God, friends and family, chocolate, probably not in that order.

Join me as we learn about more about Ruthy and her journey to publication.

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Ruthy Logan Herne

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Before We Begin . . .

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•Ruthy, no interview with you would be complete without the delectable cyber fare you’re known for. So, what can your visitors look forward to? And is there anyone in particular hanging out to serve the goodies?

Well, I contacted Barista Jack, but he has prior commitments working on the filming of the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I tried every which way to get a fellow Seeker to serve as lackey, but they’re somewhat full of themselves and think day jobs and writing take precedence. I mean, hey! What’s up with that?

And Keli, dear, YOU’RE the host. Really, darling, it should be up to you to provide the food for the day, don’t you think? Get right on that, dear. We’ll wait.

Aw, shucks, Ruthy. Thought I could get out of cooking. I’m sooo not talented in the kitchen. But since you insist, I’ve contacted a shop in town that makes to-drool-for cinnamon rolls. I mean these things are massive as well as scrumptious. And you can get yours with or without nuts. I’m nutty enough without adding more, so I go without. As for coffee, I don’t drink the stuff, although I love how it smells. But since many do, I’ve got Java City ready to fill your mugs with whatever you’d like. So, prepare to munch out. ~ Keli

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Ruthy’s Journey Begins

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•Seven years ago you turned your dream of being a published author into a goal, beginning your first story. What prompted you to embark on a journey known to be fraught with hard work, hardships and heartbreak? Was it a story that had to be told, characters who wouldn’t stop chattering in your head or dogged determination not to let dismal publishing statistics staunch your creative spirit?

Oh my stars, darling girl, let’s just strike that last line now… I’m nervous even contemplating the words dismal publishing statistics. 🙂

You can’t look at those, I repeat: do not look at those stupid statistics. Statistics have nothing to do with God’s plan for you or your level of determination.

This is where I say I wrote the story of my heart, right? But they’re all stories of my heart. You can’t live this long (or shouldn’t, in any case) and not have tales to tell. So yup, I dove in, made multiple stupid mistakes, learned from them, pulled up my big girl panties and moved on.

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•The Books page of your Web site lists seven completed manuscripts. Is that the total of your works, or are aborted attempts not fit to be seen by others shoved in some dark corner?

Those are the seven I had time to play with and load, LOL!

I have fifteen completed manuscripts right now. The early ones don’t count. They were horrible. Unfortunately they had good beginnings and made it onto an editor’s desk. She ran screaming and hasn’t been heard from since. This is a true story; the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Find a good critique partner (thank you Sandra Lee Smith!!!) to watch your back and save you from yourself before you do what I did. It wasn’t pretty.

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•Your characters face tough stuff–painful pasts marred by abuse and alcoholism, disillusionment and divorce, liars and loss. What is it that compels you to work such heartache and hardships into your characters’ lives? And what part does faith play in their recovery and redemption?

Heartache and hardships???

Oh Mylanta, girl, wait. I need more coffee. With sweet creamers, please, maybe a shot of vanilla.

🙂

Here’s the scoop. I love using humor to defuse tough situations in life and fiction. God has a sense of humor. I’m sure of it. I’ve seen possums. It took a humorous and possibly quirky mindset to craft a creature like that, let me tell you, and they’re not all that funny when they set up camp on my front porch, enjoying the cat food originally intended for the… you guessed it… cat.

Life’s tough. I don’t downplay that in my books. It’s how my characters deal with a given situation that rounds them out. So I try (that being the operative word, Cupcake) to develop characters who CAN handle what I throw at them, with God’s grace. This generally takes repeated smacks upside the head, but eventually they get it. I’m still trying to figure out what takes them so long, LOL!

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Ruthy’s Milestone Moments

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•You and your Seekerville pals met as you bumped into one another on the contest circuit, juggling the placements amongst yourselves. I performed a Google search to discover some of your successes, Ruthy, and quickly lost count of how many contest winners’ lists you’ve graced. How many placements have you racked up? Of those, which have meant the most to you, and why?

I have no idea, but isn’t it SAD that it took this long, LOL???

Grinning here.

I loved placing in contests. Winning did not matter. Still doesn’t. While I’m outrageously competitive, it’s self-competitive, aimed at making myself a better writer, public speaker, person and friend. Contests were a means to an end, to getting good critiques (sometimes) and on an editor’s desk (sometimes).

I have to say that I loved winning the Noble Theme (now Genesis, run by the American Christian Fiction Writers) in the General Fiction category with a book called The First Gift. But I was just as pleased to draw the attention of Paula Eykelhof with my query letter entry in The Peninsula Pitch contest two years ago.

I love writing warm, funny, inspirational stories and to have editors like Melissa Endlich, Wanda Ottewell and Paula Eykelhof like my work, that’s huge to me. That’s what matters. These women know their stuff, like good bird dogs in the bayou, unafraid to ferret out the prey. In this case the prey is good fiction, and nobody does it better.

Do you think they’re going to love that analogy, the whole dogs in the bayou thing? 🙂

Forging the Seekers reflected this mindset for all fifteen of us. Our goal wasn’t to beat one another (although it happened, and still happens frequently) but to earn and glean that first contract. To make the step off Unpubbed Island. With four more gals to go, we’re redoubling our spiritual, emotional and humorous efforts to kick them off the island. I mean, seriously, how much fish can one girl eat? Even with a huge supply of coconuts?

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•Congrats on your stellar showing. It’s clear your stories have stood out to many contest judges. No doubt, one win stands out to you. Please tell us about the 2008 Finally a Bride Contest.

Well, that one is in a category of its own. The gals at OKRWA do a great job with their contest. Entries must have finaled in but not won a contest in the past year, so already the competition is stacked. Every one of the entries has merit noted by a team of judges somewhere. I entered two manuscripts. Both finaled, and resulted in multiple requests by Melissa Endlich of Steeple Hill and Rebecca Germany of Barbour, the two final round judges. What a lovely honor!

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•So, the FAB paid off in a BIG way. Melissa made The Call in June of this year. But you missed it. You’ve shared the detailed account of that incredible experience at The Seekers, but please give an abbreviated version for your visitors here who may not have heard it.

Oh my, what a crazy experience that was! I was out of town, watching my beautiful granddaughter while her parents traveled to Ethiopia to pick up their newest addition, little Nathan. My second daughter called me from home to tell me Harlequin had called.

Gulp.

We all know what that means. They only call for ONE THING.

Gulp.

The question right then was, WHICH HARLEQUIN?  Inadvertently, I had two versions of the same manuscript on two editors’ desks as the result of different contests.

Gulp again.

Both editors were aware of the situation, and I had to check the area code to know it was Melissa calling from NYC. I had no Internet on my computer, had to use my daughter’s slower-than-an-Apatosaurus-on-Ambien laptop, and my fingers shook while I tried to access my e-mail. Yup, there it was, an e-mail saying:  Greetings from Steeple Hill.

Smiling here. Big time. Of course I have big front teeth so I HAVE to smile big.

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•Your FABulous win led to a fabulous editor, whom you’d interviewed in November 2008. Three months before Melissa’s life-changing call, you’d also interviewed your dream agent, Wendy Lawton. How did she become your fabulous representative, navigating the publishing waters for you?

That seems like a set-up, doesn’t it?

It was. First, I’m not afraid to chat with anyone about anything, and interviewing these amazing women helps me “see” the industry from other angles, very important if your dream is to emerge successful and financially sound.

Second, Melissa had just stepped into the role of Senior Editor at Steeple Hill, and I’d heard so many good things about her that I wanted to show her off to Seekerville visitors. We had an outpouring of hits that day because not only is Steeple Hill open to working with new authors, a huge plus in this industry, they carry the strength and magnitude of the “Big H”, Harlequin behind them. Nobody does romance better, and our Seekerville visitors love to actually “chat” with editors and agents. It rocks.

Of course it DIDN’T HURT that I knew I’d just entered the FAB and that my work would land on Melissa’s desk IF I finaled. And that was a big “if” because there are no guarantees in this business. (I’m reminded of a certain Keli Gwyn who toasted me in the GH two years ago but I’m SO OVER THAT, Kel. 🙂 ) I wanted Melissa to have a glimpse of me, of who I am, of my work ethic, etc. You only get one chance to make that first impression, right?

I did the same thing with Wendy. I’d missed a chance to meet with her three years ago and regretted it ever since. Wendy is funny, dynamic, warm and straight to the point. I love that. And Books & Such has a well-documented history of being a go-to agency. Janet, Wendy and Rachel run with the big dogs.

Oops. Another dog analogy. These women will have my head. 🙂

When I approached Wendy, she was on vacation. In Alaska. Unreachable.

Doh!

But then she e-mailed me back from her phone, we eventually got a phone call in two days later where we could BOTH hear, and she agreed to represent me. Of course a contract on the table is never a BAD thing to wave in front of an agent. And it was my friend Andrea Wilder who said, “Go after your dream agent now. This weekend. Do not wait, do not pass go, do not collect your two hundred dollars. Just do it.”

Sound advice.

For the record, Ruthy, a contract trumps a contest final any day. And you have–count ’em–three!!! So, I’m very glad to hear you’re over that little GH episode and am happy as can be for you. Smiling sweetly and with sincerity ~ Keli

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•Selling that first book has got to be an experience unlike any other. But you received two more calls, each offering you a contract for another book. First Waiting Out the Storm sold followed by Made to Order Family. What were your reactions to your second and third sales?

I am so absolutely delighted to have this relationship with Steeple Hill that I can’t even describe it here, and I mean that sincerely. Melissa has been a tremendous help in extracting the “romance” out of my longer fiction works, guiding me with what to keep, what to cut. These books were originally targeted for the Steeple Hill Fiction line, so they had a single title length and feel. I had to drop 15,000 words from them and focus on the romance, but it WORKED BEAUTIFULLY!  I’m thrilled with the results of each book and can’t wait to do another series for SH. What a blessing they are to the publishing industry.

I’m still not sure this is real; I still get those surreal moments when I wonder what I’m doing here, on the mainland. How I got here. Each move forward has been a writer’s dream come true.

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Ruthy’s Process

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•Missy Tippens whispered the word “plotter” in a recent post at The Seekers so you wouldn’t get the “heebie-jeebies.” I take it you don’t labor over character sketches, flow charts, etc. What does your process look like?

Since I don’t even know what most of that means, that pretty much answers your question.

Simple plotting happens in my head. I may have snippets of a book in there for months, just hanging out, waiting for its moment, or it may come to me all at once, which sounds weird but true. One of my favorite books came to me from something a cart attendant said at Sam’s Club a few years ago. I pushed my cart through the snow, put it into the corral, and he said something like, “Gee, thanks, almost nobody does that when the weather’s bad.”

A plot fell into my head, of a guy with places to go, things to do, who sees a young woman with a small child approach an old car with a very flat tire. He hopes and prays it’s not her car. He’s busy, due at a posh dinner with a friend, and it’s cold and wet outside.

Of course it’s her car. It had to be, right? And then she tucks the little one into a car seat after unloading their meager cart. And then she pushes that cart back through the snow, nudging it firmly into the corral even though it’s cold, dark, wet, and she obviously isn’t well-heeled or dressed for the elements. He has no choice but to stop and help and thereby meet his destiny. That plot was done by the time I got home, and the book was done a few weeks later.

Writers create differently, same as artists, actors, songwriters, etc. Sometimes it just floods you and you have to go with it, right?

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•I saw that for a time you worked as a senior editor for what was then the White Rose line at The Wild Rose Press. What lessons did you learn while holding that position, and how did your experience on the other side of the editor’s desk affect your own writing?

That was a great experience. It taught me to look beyond the style of writing to the depth of writing, and it showed me that there is not enough time in my world to be both writer and editor. Writing won, hands down, but a gleaming moment in that was working with Dana Mentink (now writing for Steeple Hill, Love Inspired Suspense). What a great gal and delightful author.

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Ruthy’s Journey Continues

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You’ve sold three books and have completed a dozen more. What are you working on now?

Multiple things. I have a series I’m developing for Steeple Hill, a possible fourth book in the North Country series, and I’ve got a fun book I’m re-tooling for Superromance, one of the two series I’ve developed with them in mind. I always work a book or series ahead, so I’m researching one while writing another.

One of my favorite quotes is from Ben Franklin, a patriot who is a huge inspiration to me: “Plenty of time for rest in the grave.” Right now I want to embrace the time God’s given me, give it my best shot and have fun with the amazing people he’s put in my life.

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Five Fun Facts About Ruthy, the Writer

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Unfortunately, I’m way too boring to have FIVE facts. How about four???

~ I have a penchant for M&M’s. They are the ultimate food group.

~ I used to “fix” my characters too soon, the Mommy in me. This is no longer the case, LOL!

~ Derek Jeter is an entity unto himself and I dare you to think otherwise. On this I stand firm. And doesn’t he look SO GOOD in pinstripes??? There’s a young man who saw his dream as a child and lived it through hard work and determination. As a kid he told his parents, “I want to be the Yankee shortstop someday.” The rest is history.

~ I love winter so it’s no surprise that Winter’s End is the title of my first book because even crazies like me who don’t mind winter, LOVE when it ends, when spring bursts forth. Sweet.

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Five Fun Facts About Ruthy, the Person, That Even Her Seekerville Sisters Don’t Know

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~  There aren’t any. With these women I can be completely myself, and if I weren’t, they’d nag me ragged. They’re a tough bunch, let me tell you! I’m truly blessed to have them as “sisters”. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for them, for what we’ve found together.

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Ruthy’s Question for You

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•I’ve enjoyed having you as my guest immensely, Ruthy. You brought a huge smile to my face. Thanks for your awesome answers to my ho-hum questions. Now it’s your turn to ask a question of your visitors, so have at it.

Hmm, a question. Without handcuffs? An interrogation room? Modes of torture?

Keli, you’ve really got to expand your parameters, girlfriend!

Let’s focus on men… 🙂

Heroes draw us into a book. Their characterization makes or breaks a romance.

Badly drawn hero = bad romance

What draws you to a hero? What makes you root for him, despite the odds?

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Learn More About Ruthy

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Visit her Web site ~ www.ruthloganherne.com

Visit her group blog, The Seekers ~ www.seekerville.blogspot.com

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Leave a Comment for Two Chances to Win

To leave a comment, click on “Comments” below the date in the title at the top of the post.

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My Regular Drawing

My next drawing will take place October 31st. I’m giving away a copy of The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman, a book recommended by many authors as a must-have for a writer’s reference library. (If the winner already owns the book, I reserve the right to substitute an alternative prize of my choosing.)

To enter the drawing, just leave a comment on any blog post by October 31st and enter your email address when prompted. (I don’t share your information or add it to any mailing lists.) On November 1st, I’ll post the winner’s name in the Welcome post at the top of the blog.

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You could also win a First Sale Scrapbook

If you’d like to have a chance at winning a First Sale Scrapbook created by me, your blog hostess Keli Gwyn, leave a comment on any post between now and October 31st. Be sure to include your name and email address when prompted if you want to be entered in the drawing. (Your information will not be shared.) Click red link above to see samples of covers and pages.

On November 1st, I will choose one person who will have her/his choice of covers on an 8×8 inch, twenty-page scrapbook in which s/he can document that long-awaited first sale. The pages will cover various milestones including The Call, signing the contract, receiving the first advance payment and holding your debut novel in your hands.

(No scrapbooking skills required. You just add your photos and journaling.)

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Note: Offers void where prohibited.

Prizes will be mailed to US addresses only.

Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

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About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
This entry was posted in author interview, first sale story, Genesis contest, writing, writing contests and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Meet Debut Author Ruth Logan Herne

  1. Jessica, welcome aboard, sweetie!

    Between you and me, I had lots of fun with Keli’s questions.

    Now I’m not saying Keli’s a bit of a stick-in-the-mud…

    Wait, she’s not here…

    I can say whatever I want, LOL!

    Okay, so the Kelinator needed a smidge of humor, Ruthy-style. I provided it.

    And I still had to bring decent food. Oh mylanta, what’s up with that????

    You know, Tony’s such a character the way he is. Great complement to Magee. And I LOVE Ziva. Love that character, and the way Cote’ plays the part.

    So, alpha heroes, huh?

    I think most of us like alphas as long as they have a visible heart. A soft side. You know the whole cowboys-with-babies thing.

    We want a man to be strong enough to be gentle and confidant enough to be strong. But what things make us see that? Feel that?

    Action? Reaction? Characteristics? Modes of speech?

    hmm…

  2. Oh my stars, Kim, I’m supposed to write books, work, clean, deliver firewood, take the grandkids trick-or-treating AND bring you food???

    🙂

    You just never know.

    We refuse to recognize the terms ‘discretionary funds’ and ‘spare time’.

  3. Sue Mason says:

    Hi Ruthy,

    Just wanted to pop by and give you my congratulations on the huge take-off of your career! I’m so impressed by how fast you can come up with ideas and get them into book format. My writer’s brain is sluggish and needs a lot of prodding! Maybe Mary has a spare cattle prod! Or one of characters.

    Thanks for the yummy treats. I’m with Keli. HATE the Kitchen. HATE cooking! Last night, my husband and son massacred a pumpkin in there. It wasn’t a pretty sight. No pumpkin tarts in this house! LOL. Only burnt pumpkin seeds (and it wasn’t me).

    Anyway, best of luck with your first release.

    Cheers,
    Sue (from Ontario, just North of you)

  4. Hi Ruthie and Kelli!

    What a blast of an interview. Ruthie, I’m so excited for you and your *three* books. Awesome!

    I have to agree that M&M’s are the ultimate food group, but your forgot to mention green ones taste the best. 😉

    Hugs!

  5. Sue,thank you so much!

    And it probably only seems that fast. Sometimes I have an idea vegging in my brain (there’s plenty of space, my family will attest…empty, blank gray matter) for months and then when I get time to do it, the writing part goes fast because I’ve been ‘spirit’ writing it in my head.

    But when all else fails, Mary’s cattle prods do the trick!

    Which sounds scary, but at least it didn’t sound dirty like Mary wrestling her heroes. 🙂

    Waving to Toronto!!! Maybe we can meet at some time.

    Oh, wait, I probably need some sort of vaccine to cross the border now, huh?

  6. Carla!

    Dude, authoress of The Gladiator!

    I’m so glad you mosied over, girlfriend!

    And I regret my color omission on the M&M front.

    Yes green taste best. No one knows why. BUT rumors of the effectivity on human umm, er…

    RESPONSIVENESS is highly over-rated.

    Or so I’ve been told. 🙂

    And yes, THREE books which boggles my mind no end. Seriously.

    And makes me eternally grateful for Melissa’s open nature, for guiding me along. There’s been plenty of questions, believe me.

    Poor girl.

  7. Cynthia Chow says:

    What a great interview! I really enjoyed hearing about your journey towards getting published. It really makes me hope for the day that I will become published. Still making strides towards getting there. Hearing about other people’s journeys is a great encouragement.

  8. Anne Barton says:

    Hi Ruthy! It’s so great to see you here!

    Did you see Derek J. on The Biggest Loser? I thought of you when I watched it. 😉

  9. Cynthia, hey!

    Thanks for the shout out on the interview. Having fun at Keli’s expense is really no hardship. All in a day’s work, you know. 🙂

    I can’t say often enough that tons and tons and tons of talented people never get published or become stars or make it to the big leagues.

    Why?

    They quit.

    “Nevah, nevah, nevah give up.” I love Churchill. Love that quote.

    And Ben Franklin that I quoted in the interview: “Plenty of time for rest in the grave.”

    Honestly, it’s good to have sites like this, like the Seekers, like Inkwell, places to go where you don’t feel alone, where nice people won’t yell at you, where they’ll understand the work involved in getting there.

    That kind of support is a wonderful thing in a private industry like this. Keep at it. Seriously. Four months ago I was lounging and whining on Unpubbed Island with five other Seekers. We’re down to four unpubbed of the original fifteen… Four to go. Ya’ gotta believe and work. And when it seems to hard, seek out the Internet buddies that didn’t give up. They’ll give you the kick in the pants or the hug you need.

    And yes, I hug people occasionally, when I’m not haranguing them to get back to work, LOL!

  10. Anne!!!

    No, I didn’t see it.

    If he doesn’t guest star on NCIS (Jeter and Gibbs???? Talk about overdone yummage)…

    then I won’t get to see it.

    I’ve got him in pinstripes right now, game 2 of the series is on, Philly just scored, the brats, and I’m hoping for a better outcome than last night.

    But don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Philly. Had two boys go to school there so I feel very at home tooling around University City, Independence Park, Valley Forge, Market St., South St. the sports venues.

    But I still want my beloved Yankees in the series!

    Hooray to see your pretty face over here!
    Yay!

  11. Tina says:

    Great post. And she is not kidding about the M and M’s. I was stunned when she pulled these ginormous bags out of her suitcase at ACFW. She eats them no matter what hour of the day it is.

  12. Linda Henderson says:

    I like the usual things about a hero. Tall, dark , handsome, strong, brave, intelligent, good sense of humor, dependable, kind, gentle and a host of good qualities. However, I like my heroes to have a tortured soul. You know, dealing with past heartache, loss, injury or betrayal. It makes him much more interesting. Makes me want to cheer when his luck changes and he finds love.

  13. Keli Gwyn says:

    What fun to return and see that so many wonderful women left comments for Ruthy while I was away. Nice to see she behaved herself–for the most part. Yeah, I know she couldn’t resist that quip about the Kelinator needing a smidge of humor. If it weren’t true, I might get my hackles up. As it is, I dread the days I’m scheduled for the Jokemaster role at my weekly Toastmaster meetings. I’ve been known to laugh at my own jokes and forget the punchlines. Not funny! Now I know who to ask for help though. 🙂 Once Ruthy whips me into shape, I’ll have my fellow members roaring.

    Thanks, Jessie, for savoring one of “my” cinnamon rolls. It’s nice to know someone appreciated my feeble attempt at providing a tasty treat. And I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who lacks the culinary expertise of Domestic Goddess Ruthy, who thinks up more yummy goodies than I ever could. I appreciate your honest admissions, Jessie and Sue. Maybe we can form some kind of support group: Kitchen Phobics Anonymous. 🙂 Whaddya think?

    I had a great time with the DD today. Downer was getting rear-ended at a stop sign right as I reached the university. Neither of us was hurt, but my bumper got bent out of shape a bit. Not as much as I did though. 😦 But I was a good girl and didn’t say a lot of things I might have. (My tongue has the teeth marks to prove it.)

    Gwynly thinks my Sport Trac can be fixed up pretty easily. The other driver’s insurance company already took responsibility, so it’ s really not a biggie. All I need is a heaping handful of M&Ms, and I’ll be all smiles again. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  14. Ah, Tina.

    You didn’t believer the Ruthster.

    Yes, the M&M’s are an addiction BUT…

    I’m safe to drive with and they don’t affect my cognitive abilities. Those were compromised LONG AGO…. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping, awesome author!

  15. Linda, Linda, Linda!!!!

    Yes.

    Tortured, definitely. To have something so real in their conflict that you have to cheer him on, despite the impossibility of the task.

    You’ve got it, girlfriend.

    In Winter’s End, the first book SH contracted, Marc is a to-die-for good looking beef farmer in the North Country. He runs his spread with horses, a big ol’ truck and a Jeep, and he’s certain he doesn’t need a snazzy dressing stylish woman with “Destination: Anywhere Else” stamped on her forehead, or redemption at some cozy, country church. Been there. Done that. Didn’t work.

    Now his dad’s dying of lung cancer, his styling, fashionista mother ran off when Marc was a teen, he’s spent two years caring for his dad, their farm and feed business and running his adolescent sister EVERYWHERE a horse-showing teen needs to go. Talk about a one-man band…

    A grumpy one-man band.

    Who has an aversion to stylish, savvy women that remind him of his mother…

    So what does God send to oversee the care of Marc’s dad???

    Of course. Totally stylin’ Kayla, a girl who pulled herself up by her bootstraps out of the foster care system and just wants to look good… normal… with great shoes, pixie hair, flashy nails and a penchant for Ann Taylor sales…

    and hide from her past.

    Did I mention Marc’s got ‘Derek Jeter’ eyes????

    🙂

    Thanks for stopping, Linda! And of course, I’m totally open to carrying on this discussion.

    I love to talk.

    Has anyone noticed????

  16. Kel, I’m so sorry about the car!

    There’s a story-starter right there.

    Sorry, I digress…

    I’m glad you guys were fine, that’s the only important thing. Cars are fixable and we find that dings and dangs actually lend some character to vehicles as time goes by. Kind of like a memory bank on wheels…

    “Oh that’s the time when Seth was almost killed by the geriatric gentleman with Coke-bottle glasses that forgot to look LEFT and RIGHT and turned right into him…”

    “Oh, I remember that ding! That’s when I was talking and tossed a log onto the back of the truck and took out the entire back window!!!”

    “Oh, yes, that one is when Zach was learning to drive and he was shifting the car while Seth drove because Seth had a broken right wrist and couldn’t shift so Zach shifted from the shotgun position…

    Because that was SO MUCH BETTER than riding the bus to school.”

    Yes, car dings can be the diary of life.

  17. Julie says:

    RUTHY!!! LOVED the interview, girl … it was almost as good as sitting down and having lunch with you!! And great job, Keli, as well.

    And you are SO right when you said, “I repeat: do not look at those stupid statistics. Statistics have nothing to do with God’s plan for you or your level of determination.” Gosh, that’s such a BIG mistake that most new authors make, so excellent point.

    Cannot WAIT to read the books!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

  18. Myra Johnson says:

    To quote a Ruthy-ism, OH. MY. STARS.

    What an interview!!! Ruthy through and through! And wow, we share a love of M&M’s in common! I go for the peanut kind, personally. I have to be careful not to keep them around very often, though, because once I start in, it’s sooooo hard to stop!

  19. Quilt Lady says:

    Hi Ruthy, great interview and I loved it. What draws me to a hero is his flaws. The more flaws he has the more I am drawn to him.

  20. Carla Gade says:

    Well, Keli, you did it again. Another fantastic interview. It is wonderful meeting all these talented authors!

    In answer to Ruthy’s question about heros . . . he can’t be too perfect, so he must be redeemable.

  21. This was a teriffic interiew with Ruthy. I feel I know her just a little better and appreciate her wit. All the very best with your debut novel. Thanks to Keli, too.

  22. Myra-kins, I love the peanut kind as well as the almond kind and the plain kind…

    I’m not big on the peanut butter ones. Too eclectic. 🙂

  23. Oh, a quilt lady! I love you already because quilting is such a wonderful blessing of time.

    Yay, you!

    So you like to ‘fix’ your heroes. Hmmm… That’s ingrained in some of us, and sometimes it works and sometimes we end up in hospital rooms, you know?

    But yes, I totally agree, flaws are intrinsic to a good story. Who wants a perfect guy… please, how boring. And tame.

    But a guy we can truly fix with God’s help…

    And a good rolling pin….

    I’m totally there.

    😉

  24. Carla, I hear you!

    In Winter’s End, poor Marc has a lot on his plate. I mean seriously, the poor guy is a one-man band without the juggling monkey, and he’s JUST A TAD BITTER because, poor baby, life didn’t go his way back when he was a teen…

    And now Dad’s sick…

    Dying…

    He’ll be alone…

    To raise his sister through THOSE years…

    You know the ones. The ones about sex and identity and fear and cliquishness and never belonging or always belonging and nothing looks right I’m too fat, I’m too thin, my teeth are too big, my chest is too small…

    Yup. He’s dead in the water. Poor guy. 🙂

    It is so much fun redeeming these guys. These girls. I mean seriously, if my children listened the way my characters do…

    Oh, wait. They do!!!

    At least with my characters eventually they have to listen to me. I own the ‘delete’ button.

    Bwahahahahahahahahaha!

    🙂

    Flawed but hot heroes. In their own inestimable way, of course!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, leaving a comment. Too fun.

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