Welcome to my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, scriptwriters, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with multi-genre author Ruthe Price. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Ruthe. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Ruthe: Hi Morgen, from Ruthe Price in Southern California. My first item, published in Harper’s magazine, was a poem entitled “Sands of Time.” Although I had several opportunities to write professionally after that, my true interest was acting and I passed up these chances.
Morgen: And now you’re back to it. What genre do you generally write, and what have you had published?
Ruthe: I write in several genres. I worked for many years as a columnist. Currently, my book entitled “I.O.U.$., A Funny, Fiscal Fantasy of Government, Goons and Greed,” can be found on Amazon’s Kindle. Also, a non-fiction workbook entitled “Acting in On-Camera Commercials” has been picked up by Universal Publishing, Inc. Needless to say, even though there’s been lots of work in order to satisfy the publisher’s set-up requirements, it’s a wonderful reward for the backbreaking work it took to write this course of study. My latest book “Stop Dying for a Cigarette” is finished and waiting to be promoted and I have a literary novel which is impatiently awaiting my final go-thru. I’ve also written two screenplays but haven’t yet shopped them.
Morgen: I have five novels which are waiting like yours… and eight first readers waiting to read them! 🙂 Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Ruthe: I wrote a novel and submitted it to several agents. No sale. Deal? Rejection is part of life. It doesn’t affect me. The arts are subjective and I just figure that’s their opinion and I move on.
Morgen: That’s the best way. Have you won or been shortlisted in any competitions?
Ruthe: I have. I’ve won two drabble contests (see picture above). I’ve never entered any other contests.
Morgen: Congratulations. I’d not heard of drabble (a story told in precisely 100 words with a beginning, middle and end and surprise ending) until recently, but I love writing them. We have a handful of contests here for them, Readers Digest probably being the most well-known. Do you have an agent?
Ruthe: Not at the present. I did look for one for “I.O.U.$”, but didn’t find one interested in political satire.
Morgen: Are your books available as eBooks? Were you involved in that process at all? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
Ruthe: Yes, “I.O.U.$” is on Kindle. I formatted it myself, but my editor did the rest. I read on Kindle and paper.
Morgen: How much marketing do you do?
Ruthe: None. Not a strong part of me. I just don’t know how and it takes too much time from my working as a writer. As an actress, I always worked with agents and promotion isn’t something I’m experienced in.
Morgen: Taking time away from writing is probably why most writers resent it. Do you have a favourite of your books or characters? If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
Ruthe: My favorite book is whatever I’m currently working on! I have written a screenplay. Not sure about the actors. I plan to turn the book on Kindle into one.
Morgen: Did you have any say in the titles / covers of your books? How important do you think they are?
Ruthe: Yes, I do, although I do get advice from my editor. I think titles are extremely important. It’s what first attracts me to a book.
Morgen: Me too. I’m a big titles fan. Do you manage to write every day? Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Ruthe: I write every day unless, of course, there’s an important reason not to. I’ve never had writer’s block. I have so much to say, it just pours out. When I write fiction, my characters take over and write the story.
Morgen: I love it when they do that. Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Ruthe: My fiction is based on true stories.
Morgen: Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
Ruthe: They’re drawn from real people. Sometimes, I think, the parts that actually happened are the most unbelievable. In order to create characters as an actress, I took courses in psychology. As a reader, I need to see the people’s faces. I try to do that without too much description.
Morgen: They do say truth is stranger than fiction (or at least Mark Twain is quoted is saying that). Do you write any non-fiction, poetry or short stories?
Ruthe: I have written a short story. When I get time to edit it, I’ll shop it.
Morgen: Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Ruthe: I do a lot of rewriting. “I.O.U.$” was rewritten eight times.
Morgen: About the same as my novel. Do you have to do much research?
Ruthe: It depends on the material. I wrote a novel that starts in Transylvania. I spent a lot of time researching the history of the area that became Romania.
Morgen: What point of view do you find most to your liking?
Ruthe: I write fiction in third person.
Morgen: Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
Ruthe: I hope not!
Morgen: I hope not either although I have 200+ short stories that I wrote a few years ago so they’ll probably need a fair amount of rewriting. What’s your least favourite aspect of your writing life?
Ruthe: Sitting before a computer for hours on end.
Morgen: I know that feeling. 😦 What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Ruthe: For fiction, work out a good plot line and make your characters human. For non-fiction, be knowledgeable in your subject!
Morgen: Spot on, Ruthe. If you could invite three people from any era to dinner, who would you choose and what would you cook (or hide the takeaway containers)?
Ruthe: Barack Obama, William Shakespeare and Elizabeth Taylor. I would serve fish and lots of vegetarian food.
Morgen: Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
Ruthe: I love your work.
Morgen: <laughs> I love it when I get an email from someone saying they enjoyed what I’ve written. What do you do when you’re not writing?
Ruthe: Play the piano, work crosswords, read (of course), jigsaw puzzles, sudoku, watch TV.
Morgen: Are there any writing-related websites and/or books that you find useful?
Ruthe: “Double Your Creative Power!” (S.L. Stebel), “The Writer’s Essential Tackle Box” (Lynn Price), “Query Letters/Cover Letters” (Gordon Burgett), “The Writer’s Legal Companion” (Brad Bunnin & Peter Buren), “The Writer’s Digest Guide to Manuscript Formats (Buchman & Groves). There are many more. Most helpful is “Writer’s Market”.
Morgen: We have The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook in the UK. Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
Ruthe: Facebook and Linkedin. Not valuable to me. Too much time wasted just chatting.
Morgen: Easily done. What do you think the future holds for a writer?
Ruthe: E-books has opened the door to many writers who otherwise would not have an audience. True, it’s a form of self-publishing, but it’s fee-free and the writer does get some exposure.
Morgen: Where can we find out about you and your work?
Ruthe: Google me at: Ruthe Geier Price. I’m not sure if I’m still listed in “Who’s Who in America”. I moved across the country five years ago and left them no forwarding address.
Morgen: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Ruthe: If you’re a fiction writer, listen to people’s reminiscences. You’ll get great story lines. People watch. You’ll get terrific characters. Also, thank you for the exposure you’re according me.
Morgen: You’re very welcome, Ruthe. Thank you for joining me today. Is there anything you’d like to ask me?
Ruthe: Who else will see this interview?
Morgen: I get over 200 visitors to https://morgensauthorinterviews.wordpress.com each day and, although less than a month old, https://morgensauthorinterviews.wordpress.com receives about 100 a day. These are spread around the site so this interview could be regularly visited ongoing courtesy of Google (and the likes) searches. 🙂
Nothing beats the entertainment value of politicians running for office. Who are these people who loom larger than life? They profess to have pure intentions, to yearn to spend their lives in service to their fellow countrymen. Do they? In the U.S. we treat them as royalty, somehow more worthy than the rest of us. Are they?
I.O.U.$. is about the people who, on the one hand, say they’re offering themselves up for the betterment of the country, while their other hands reach eagerly behind their (and our) backs for the special favors that put and keep them in office.
While you may think you recognize some of the characters here, I hasten to tell you they’re not real people, or even take-offs of real people. They’re entirely fictional, and their representative states were picked at random, with no insults intended. I hasten to tell you this, not only because it’s true, but because a lawsuit would surely dampen my irrepressible sense of humor and spoil my day.
So enjoy the fun I poke at people the likes of whom will someday grace some kid’s history book. Plant your tongue firmly in your cheek and join me in the adventures of Harry Butz, thug and savior of his country, and others as they try to solve the problem of the National Debt in ways you’ve never imagined. By the way, your political leanings won’t affect your enjoyment of this story. The debt and its hilarious resolution are much broader than any party affiliation or dogma.
So, here it is: My view of our system and the people who run it—sometimes into the ground. Let’s go watch the show. It’s a hoot.
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the information. They do now (January 2013) carry a fee (£10 / €12.50 / $15) for the new interviews on the mixed blog but everything else (see Opportunities on the main blog) is free.
Alternatively, if you’d like a free Q&A-only interview, I now have this blog, https://morgensauthorinterviews.wordpress.com, on which I’ve rerun the original interviews posted here then posted new interviews which I then reblog here. These interviews are Q&A only, so I don’t add in my comments but they do get exposure on both sites.
If you go for the interview, it’s very simple; I send you a questionnaire (I have them for novelists, short story authors, children’s authors, non-fiction authors, and poets). You complete the questions, and I let you know when it’s going to go live. Before it does so, I add in comments as if we’re chatting, and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
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