The Smashwords Interview with Rue

Everything you never knew you wanted to know about Rue!

You should see the shots that didn't make the cut! ;-) Photo by Michele Bradley - who actually did an amazing job with a VERY difficult subject.

You should see the shots that didn’t make the cut! ;-)
Photo by Michele Bradley – who actually did an amazing job with a VERY difficult subject.

Q: Describe your desk.

A: My desk is my altar. A section of trinkets, mementos and inspirational sayings, help encourage and motivate me as I write. A copy of a special invocation to the Goddess of Skills—is part of my ritual of relaxing into my writing space and focusing on the day’s project. I have my stack of notes, printouts, pictures and any other research pertaining to the current project on my right (and it sometimes spills onto my left). I cannot begin without a dish of peanuts or almonds and a dish of dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds. My office supply addiction requires a healthy supply of pens and a post it note dispenser—stocked with notes for posting. However, I would have to say that the things NOT on my desk are even more important. I do not have bills, To Do lists, business cards or my cell phone. My writing space is sacred, and when I sit down to write I have to minimize all potential distractions.

Q: Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

A: I grew up everywhere—Minnesota, Kansas, Massachusetts, Georgia, California and finally Arizona. I sometimes even got to revisit places, in fact there were a few rounders in the Land of 10,000 Lakes (MN). I would have to say that the nomadic lifestyle was hell as a child, but looking back I can appreciate all the nuggets I was able to collect for future stories. The reason I write fiction is simply because my entire life has been crammed full of experiences that are just too amazing to be true. The characters I create all have threads pulled from real people I encountered in my travels—yes, every one.

Q: When did you first start writing?

A: I wrote my first manifesto at age three; a letter begging my grandfather to stop smoking; to the small pink piece of stationary, I taped two dimes and a nickel—his reward for quitting. The entreaty was successful and the power of the pen was instilled in my soul. Throughout my life I have written unceasingly; journals, poems, short stories, screenplays, and articles for newspapers and magazines. My love of ink led me to pursue a B.A. in Journalism from Pepperdine University in California. I also suffer from a slight obsession with office supplies—mostly pens and fine paper.

Q: What’s the story behind your latest book?

A: At the time of this answer my latest book is Book 2 in The Lake Effect Series, “My Favorite Second Chance.” The story of the Hutchinson sisters is close to my heart. I have two brothers and a sister—I love them all, but my sister and I have a deep connection that deserved to be memorialized in print (or “e”). Now, just to be clear, the story is a vehicle to explore the unbreakable bonds of a sibling relationship in the face of serious family drama—but it is not “about” my sister or my family. I drew on decades of school, work and uncomfortable church-related interactions to create the characters in The Lake Effect Series.

Q: What motivated you to become an indie author?

A: I was motivated to become an indie author because I love challenges. I started my own publishing company and forged ahead. I learned most of my publishing lessons the hard way, but I am also grateful to those who came before me and were kind enough to throw out a proverbial breadcrumb here or there. I write five to six days a week and I love it. I am not crazy about marketing, but I am told it is a necessary evil. :-) I plan to pay it forward whenever I can and to share the knowledge I glean along the way.

Q: What do your fans mean to you?

A: Fan = Reader.
Fans are the most important part of the entire process! If no ones reads (and enjoys) my books then the process would be far less rewarding. One of the best parts of writing about the characters in my head is to hear from a reader who enjoyed the book. I could write a stack of novels and put them on a shelf—but that’s not really the point. I want to share all these stories with other people. For someone to be called a “fan” I think that means that they would have to love the work and look forward to future novels I write—that is priceless.

Q: What are you working on next?

A: At the time of this answer I am approximately half way finished with Book 3 in The Lake Effect Series, “Finally My Favorite.” The next two projects on the slate are a standalone YA novel and an illustrated children’s book.

Q: Who are your favorite authors?

A: I love writing, but working on “My Favorite Second Chance” did come with some moments of “freak out.” Reading helps me escape from reality and relieves stress, and with a teenager running around…I need relief! Books are my best friends!

Here are my all-time favorites:

10. Steven Pressfield

9. Sara Gruen

8. Michael Chabon

7. Gregory Maguire

6. Colette

5. Clarissa Pinkola-Estes

4. Yann Martel

3. J. R. R. Tolkien

2. Marian Keyes

1. Juliet Marillier

This list would be different if you asked me tomorrow. There are always new authors joining the fray, and I know working on the third book in The Lake Effect Series will have its share of ups and downs. Read! Read! Read!

Q: What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

A: Nothing. I hate getting out of bed. I am the human equivalent of Garfield. I hate mornings. Coffee is my avenging angel.

Q: When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

A: I cook to relieve stress, and then I eat to forget about the stress I was trying to relieve. I also love movies, television and reading. I’m an old school book reader. I have an eReader, but I don’t love it. I like the smell and feel of a solid, page-filled book in my hands.

Q: Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

A: Yes, it was a sad tale of a young girl hell bent on running away from home and going to the same school for two or three whole years. Tragically that epic piece of fiction was lost in one of my family’s MANY moves.

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