Monday, January 9, 2012

The Same Six Questions - Ruth Barrett

Welcome back to The Same Six Questions! Give a warm welcome to today's guest, Ruth Barrett! In her own words:

Ruth Barrett was born in Pointe Claire, Quebec, and now makes her home in Stratford, Ontario. Between then and now, she studied English Literature at Trent University and the University of Leeds, and classical acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Ruth pursued an acting career in Toronto where her love of the stage saw her perform in everything from Shakespeare to sketch comedy, eventually settling into voice-over work. Transforming herself into a writer has provided a rewarding new way for her to explore character and spin tales. Ruth has published numerous short stories in various anthologies and periodicals, and she formed her own Spirited Words Book Co. in Summer of 2011. In her spare time (HA!), she enjoys theatre, live music, wine, food and friends.


The Same Six Questions

1. Have you published a book yet?


Base Spirits is my first novel. If you like ghost stories with a dash of history and a theatrical twist, this may be your cuppa tea (at Smashwords and on Kindle; also available in paperback in local Stratford, Ontario bookshops: Callan Books and Fanfare.).

‘Murder has took this chamber with full hands
And will ne’er out as long as the house stands.’
~A Yorkshire Tragedy, Act I, Sc. v

In 1605, Sir Walter Calverley’s murderous rampage leaves a family shattered. The killer suffers a torturous execution… but is it truly the end? A noble Yorkshire house stands forever tarnished by blood and possessed by anguished spirits.

Some crimes are so horrific, they reverberate through the centuries.

As an unhappy modern couple vacation in the guesthouse at Calverley Old Hall, playwright Clara, and her scholar husband, Scott, unwittingly awaken a dark history. Clara is trapped and forced back in time to bear witness to a family’s bloody saga. Overtaken by the malevolent echoes, Scott is pushed over the edge from possessive husband to wholly possessed…

Inspired by a true-life drama in Shakespeare’s day, this is itself a play within a play: a supernatural thriller with a historical core.

Only one player can survive.


2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

When I was very young, I used to play out elaborate scenarios with my dolls and stuffed animals as well as my friends. The story-lines could span several days. My mother read to me a lot from day one, and I started writing my own stories down as soon as I learned how to write. Apparently a teacher in Grade 2 got in touch with my mother asking if the story I'd written for class was actually by her-- she thought it was too good for a young child to have written!

3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

The first long piece I remember writing was when I was 12 or so-- I loved the TV show M*A*S*H*, so I wrote my own ongoing original 'script' for it, but it was in more of a fiction format as I knew nothing about how to compose a real TV script. I hand-wrote it on a stack of oversized yellow paper, and I'm sure it was well over 150 pages. I think I still have it in a box in the back of the closet somewhere.


4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?

I never thought I couldn't write. Maybe that's the key!


5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

The Base Spirits gang are in turn terrified, depressed, drunk, possessed, insane, trapped, murdered, tortured and humiliated--it's a bit of a tough choice! All things considered, Emma Thornbury is a pretty cool lady. She's warm, intelligent, generous, sexy, funny and an awesome cook. I think she'd be excellent company. I like the main character of Clara too, but she has a lot of baggage.


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?

A federal Conservative candidate going door-to-door. Terrifying!

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So nice of you to share with us, Ruth! For more of Ruth and her writing, check out her blog, Twitter page, and Facebook page.