Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
The Wild Rose Press has published five full-length novels (one under a pen name), and Solstice Publishing has two novellas at their site. I’ve indie-pubbed The Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series (6 books), the Dreamland Series (romantic suspense, 3 books), A Very Kate Christmas, and Four Summer Days, which is based on genealogy and an old family story–the real truth of which will never been known.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Showboat Reunion, a novella offered by Solstice, was inspired by several dinner cruises on the showboat, the Branson Belle, in Branson, Missouri. I wrote an earlier full-length novel, The Showboat Affair, picked up by The Wild Rose Press, after the first cruise.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I love to take my lappy and hole up in a good eatery on a rainy afternoon. Otherwise. I just enjoy sitting in my study or outside when the weather is warm.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I cut my teeth on mysteries like Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and Grace Livingston Hill, a Christian author. (My mother used Ms Hill’s voluminous works to keep me out of other content in the adult section of the library until I was older.) As an adult, I met Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Margaret Truman, and others who wrote riveting mysteries which I like to re-read.
What are you working on now?
Retired and sometimes lazy, I’m still working on The Legacy of Diamond Springs, which I hope to indie-pub in the summer. It’s a romantic suspense set on the campus of a college sprung from an antebellum plantation. The idea came from my interest in old southern homes–restored, decaying, gone forever–and intensive research has slowed the writing process.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m not good at “shameless self-promotion”–and I’m also lazy. However, I do blog and maintain a website. Ruthann’s War is featured on my website this month, so I decided to do a few more things to get it out there. I left Twitter and LinkedIn and focus on Pinterest and my FB Author Page. It would help if I’d remember to carry cards with me, too, when I’m out and about.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write for the love of writing. Break the rules. Ignore the naysayers. Understand that all first drafts stink. Don’t get bent out of shape over rejections. At the end of each day, take joy in your accomplishments, and determine to do better tomorrow if you didn’t accomplish what you intended. Enjoy life–it doesn’t last forever.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Growing up, I used to hear an older friend say, “I just had it to do.” I remind myself of those words when I’m dragging my feet about something.
What are you reading now?
I just finished doing more research for the WIP with some first-person accounts of life during the Civil War. It was gritty reading, especially War Crimes Against Southern Civilians (Walter Brian Cisco, 2008).
What’s next for you as a writer?
~A rewrite of a book for which I asked a reversion of rights–a contemporary romantic suspense with its roots in Civil War Arkansas.
~Also the publication of a novel which has been sitting on my computer for several years–just need a beta reader.
And my New Year’s resolution is to submit at least 6 short stories during the year. I’m halfway there
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
My Bible (KJV)
Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology
The White Cliffs of Dover (Alice Duer Miller)
The Ghost Towns of Texas
(and 3-4 isn’t nearly enough!)