Welcome to red wine and books! Where an avid lover of all genres shares with you her opinion on some of the best (and not so great) stories she reads.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Author Interview: Ruth J. Hartman!!

Good morning fellow book lovers! Today, one of my all time favorite authors (seriously if you don't know who she is, you need to find out) is here hanging out to answer some of my questions. At the end of the interview, you'll be able to ask her some of your own questions as well. 

Are you guys ready? Are you excited? Good! Then say hello to Ruth J. Hartman


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First of all, thank you SO MUCH for agreeing to this interview! 
:) Thanks for inviting me!

Would you like to share with us a little bit about yourself? What your (other) hobbies are? Anything we don't already know? 
I love to take walks with my husband when the weather is nice enough. There's a woodsy walking trail just a mile from our house that we love. And I love to read! Mostly romance and historicals, but I also read anything by John Grisham and Brad Meltzer.

What made you decide to become an author? Was there ever one moment that made you go "Yeah.. I can do this?"
 I didn't write my first book until I was 45. It was a memoir about my experience of living with severe OCD. I had never planned on writing another book, but one day at my dental office while I was cleaning a patient's teeth, I wondered what would happen if a dental hygienist fell in love with a patient. And my first romance idea was born.

Are there any author's you look up to? Or ones read as a child/teenager that inspired you?   
 I've always admired Debbie Macomber. She started writing as a means to help her husband pay their bills. She'd never had any training in writing, but dissected a romance novel that she had and from that figured out how to write one!

What are you reading right now, and was there a reason you decided to pick this particular novel? 
I'm reading "Sycamore Row" by John Grisham. It's a follow-up to his first novel written over 25 years ago - "A Time to Kill". His writing style keeps you turning the pages, dying to know what happens next.

When you're writing (or even plotting to write), do you picture people/celebrities as the characters? Do you find this helps? 
 Most of my book heroes are based on my husband, so I try to think what he would do or say in certain situations. Although that can get me into trouble, too, because he loves to tease me and sometimes that comes out in the characters. :)

Along that same line are there certain songs you listen to when you write? Can you name a few for us?
I love music, especially rock, but because of my OCD, I can't concentrate on writing unless it's pretty quiet. If my husband starts listening to REO or Toto, I'm lost :).

What kind of research goes into your novels?
For my historicals, I use a lot of Internet sites. I'm continually amazed at all that I've learned about the Regency period since my first historical was written in 2012. It's a whole different world, way of thinking and lifestyle. I did have a little trouble the other day while writing, though. I was trying to edit two books at once. One was a Regency and one a contemporary fantasy. While typing something for the historical, I had to stop and re-read that I had typed. I'm thinking, wait a minute - someone in the Regency period would never say THAT! I had to put the contemporary aside and only work on one at a time.

What are you working on now? Any hints you can give us? 
I've just signed contracts for two new books, one a contemporary romance and one a short Regency. My current work in progress is a Regency romance that is book three in my Love Birds series. Book two, "The Unwanted Earl" is due to be released in March.

What makes your books different from others in the genre?
 I use a lot of humor in my books. My heroines are always funny and often clumsy, endearing them to readers because they can often see themselves in the characters.

Do you have any advice for people wanting to become authors?
 Don't give up. Keep writing and submitting to publishers. Some of my books were accepted after only a few submissions, but others I thought never would see the light of day. I think one of the keys is to keep looking until you find a publisher that's a good fit for you. Your book is different from everyone else's out there and every publisher is unique, as well.  So it only makes sense that not every publisher is going to like every book. And when you do find that publishing house that is just right for you and they love what you write, chances are that they'll keep accepting more and more of your books! Write as often as you can, every day if possible, even if it's just a few paragraphs. That will keep you going and keep you in the right frame of mind for creativity. Also, read a lot!! It's not that you want to copy anyone else's work, but reading opens up your mind to thoughts of your own work that you can use later.

Anything else you'd like to say? Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog! It makes my day that you thought enough of me and my books to want me to visit. :)

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There you have it guys & dolls! I hope you've enjoyed my brief chat with Ruth (and I hope to have her back soon to talk about her upcoming novels). If you have any questions for Ruth, please feel free to leave them as a comment to this post & she'll try her best to answer them.

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