Another round of The Same Six Questions! Today's guest is the lovely Ruth Madison. Welcome, Ruth!
Thanks, Andy! I'm living in Maryland after having lived in five different states after turning 18. I'm very settled in here. The East Coast is where I'm most at home. I live in a sweet little apartment with my small terrier, Thea. After work we take long walks together all over the walking paths behind the apartment. I have a game group, friends who watch Dr. Who and play video games once a week and I also have a monthly writer's group in the city. As well as writing I also work for a friend's company doing paperwork and running errands.
And now, for The Same Six Questions...
1. Have you published a book yet?
Yes, I have two books published currently and have two more coming out soon. My main book is a novel called (W)hole, which is a fictional depiction of what it's like to grow up with an unusual sexuality. We tend to think of people who have fetishes as scary freakish monsters who live in a dark basement somewhere. The truth is that they were children once, that they have very normal lives like everyone else. I wanted to show a young girl coming to terms with having a fetish and not knowing what to do about it.
That book has been a hit in the devotee community, which is the fetish it is about. I've had many readers write to me to say that it was exactly what they went through and all of the thoughts and feelings of my main character, Elizabeth, were familiar to them. I have a sequel coming out, planned for January release.
I also have a paranormal romance in the works that I'm very excited about. It involves love across parallel universes and a desperate quest to get out of a crumbling world.
2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I always had a fascination with writing. Before I could read, I would sit at my aunt's typewriter and make "bird" novels by typing a series of apostrophes and commas. When I was around ten or eleven I was visiting the town library almost every day, but I was frustrated that there were very few stories that reflected my interests and my view of the world. I started writing my own stories to entertain myself. Quickly I discovered that writing was a way that I could actually communicate with others. I could capture what I saw and explain it. I had an ability to express myself in writing that I didn't have in person. Much later I was diagnosed with mild Asperger's Syndrome. All I knew then was that writing was what took the raw randomness of life and put it into usable and understandable form.
3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, 1000+ words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?
The first piece I was really impressed with myself for was twenty-four handwritten pages. I thought it was going to be a novel. Over the years I continued to work with that story and revised and revised and revised. It is now a tight 2,000 word story that I'm really proud of. Really, though, my first long piece was a novel I wrote in high school. I turned it in for a class project, but I was already writing it and the class was a convenient way to get some credit for it. That was about 50,000 words and I was frustrated that I couldn't get it longer! It didn't feel like a real novel because it was so short. I still have it and I'm thinking about heavily revising it and turning it into the novel that I envisioned but didn't have the skills to create back then.
4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?
There was a camp counselor that I really liked and I decided that writing was how I could let her know that she was doing a good job. I wrote her a note that brought her to tears when she read it. I saw then that there was a power in writing, that I had the ability to bring out emotions in people and to use words to help and to heal.
I always believed that whatever you put your energy into, you would be good at and successful with. I have now learned that is not always the case! But at 13, I decided that I was going to be a novelist as my career and I put all my energy into that. I went to a college that didn't have required classes so I could take all writing and literature classes. I went to graduate school for writing. I submitted to agents, I practiced queries and proposals. I did not meet with the kind of success I expected.
After that I re-envisioned what success looked like. I realized that through the indie book movement, I was reaching people, my characters were going out into the world, people were interacting with them. That is success.
5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?
I'm a little bit in love with Stewart. He's the man I hoped to manifest in my life by hoping really hard. That never happened. The only problem is, I'm not sure he would even like me if we were to meet! He and I are very different. I write love stories, so of course I'm always trying to envision the most dreamy men possible.
6. It's a dark and stormy night...you're alone in the house...there's a knock at the door...you open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?
Probably my ex-boyfriend. Gosh, that would be terrifying if he tracked me down.
Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing with us, Ruth! For more of Ruth's writing, be sure to check out her Web site, visit her on Facebook, and see her about.me profile.
Next Monday, be sure to swing back and meet author Benjamin Goshko! See you then!