Sunday, February 10, 2008

Author Ruth Axtell Morren - Free Book

Today we're talking with Ruth Axtell Morren. She writes wonderful books.

Welcome, Ruth. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

There is always a certain amount. I like what Georgette Heyer replied to someone who asked her why she never gave interviews: anything of importance was found in her books.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

I have done some crazy things in my youth, some stupid things, some ‘out of my comfort zone’ things (since becoming a Christian) but I can’t really think of a quirky thing right now.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I first discovered I wanted to write—and wrote a brief spy novel, complete with illustrations—somewhere around the age of 12, but as far as seeing myself as a writer, that came much later, sometime in my thirties, after a few manuscripts and several rejections, when I knew I would always be a writer, whether or not I ever became published, whether or not it would simply mean I wrote in a journal. I was a writer. As Joyce Meyer likes to say, “It’s about your who, not your do.”

I love to listen to Joyce Meyer, too. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

My favorite stories are historical romances, but I will read any type of fiction if it’s been recommended. I recently read The Kite Runner and was blown away by it. Apart from the fine writing, as a Christian, it was fascinating to read about a Muslim culture. I love novels set in countries I know little to nothing about. In that vein, I just recently finished Vanessa Del Fabbro’s The Road to Home, set in post-apartheid South Africa, also a first novel. Another incredible book. I will read the occasional fantasy and am a fan of Karen Hancock.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

I have written 12 manuscripts, five of which have been/are being published, three are scheduled for publication, and three and a novella remain unpublished.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

It becomes a little more difficult with each new deadline. It’s a crazy business, and I now understand why pubbed writers tell aspiring authors, it isn’t over when you get that first contract.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I always read the credits after watching a film or DVD J. With most of my books set in England, I look for traditionally British sounding names. Some names have come off old cemeteries (Geneva in Wild Rose, for ex.). I used to read a genealogy column in a weekly paper when I lived in Maine, for typical names of that area for my Maine-set stories. And nowadays, more and more, I just Google.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Whenever I submit my will to the Lord’s will, even when it’s in tiny things throughout the day. And I can’t really be proud of those things, because it’s only by His grace that I can do them.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

You are asking a writer whose every spark of creativity gets used up in her manuscripts to be creative in this interview! Hmm. It would be some type of animal that observes a lot.

What is your favorite food?

I love all kinds of foods. We have a very ethnic household, Hispanic & Wasp on my side, Suriname & Dutch on my husband’s. We’ve both traveled a lot and are rarely afraid of trying something new. At this point in time, my biggest priority is probably healthy food. I’m a big lover of veggies, preferably homegrown.

We had a Dutch exchange student when my daughters were in high school. He was a real joy in our lives. Now shifting gears, what is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Coming up with plots. I always thought I was better at coming up with characters and thinking up dialogue. I think it all came together just by learning the nuts and bolts of the craft of storytelling.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Make sure you have a good paying job, which you like, on the side . Or a significant other, whose salary is comfortable enough to cover most of the household expenses. Seriously, it will take the pressure off trying to make a living at this business. You can take your time to be as creative as you like. Once you sell, you can take your time between deadlines to craft that perfect book.

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

The Healing Season is a story close to my heart. Some might see it as a “Mary Magdalene” type story, which it can be, although I didn’t have her in mind when I wrote it. I see in it more an equivalent to today’s modern woman who may have given herself over to one too many men for a variety of different reasons, but who doesn’t realize how she’s selling herself short. Fulfillment and good self-image are not found in sex, not even in romance, only in Jesus Christ.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Through my website:

Thank you, Ruth, for spending this time with us. We look forward to seeing many more books from you.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy. Three people won books yesterday. Someone wins, it might as well be you!


Cara Slaughter said...

I've read several of Ruth's books and love her writing! My favorite books are historicals.

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Great interview! Ruth gives good advice that all writers could use.

Michelle Bentham said...

Hey there Mrs. Lena... I appreciate the question to author's just starting out and what Ruth said about being a writer whether she is published or not. It is so in line with my heart. It is a beautiful interview and a beautiful testimony. I left a shout out and award for you over at my blog if you would like to check it out: here


Hannah said...

great interview! i'd love to win a copy of the book! hsmuda[at]gmail[dot]com thanks!

Carolynn W. said...

I have never read any of Ruth's book, but I would really like to!

kalea_kane said...

Great interview. I have never read one of Ruth's books, but I must say I am intrigued. I also like what she had to say about being a writer. :) Awesome.


kalea_kane said...

I guess I should add that I would love to win a copy. :)

windycindy said...

Hello, Thanks for the interview with Ruth. Her book sounds wonderful. Historical romances are almost my favorite kind of book to read!

Anonymous said...

I have a book I would like to write. I find Ms. Morrens comments realistic and encouraging. I believe I will enjoy reading her book and will be watching for it. Sounds like someone I know. Her faith is amazing.
Thank you for your reviews.
pmintpattie aka Waynette

Brittanie said...

Enter me please. :)
treewaterduchess (@)

Anonymous said...

please enter me in the drawing, thanks!

*Mini* said...

What a good interview. And thanks for the great contest!


lilac grandma said...

I would be honored to win Ruth's book. Thanks Lena for the interview.
Blessings! Melody msproule1225@gmaildotcom

Anonymous said...

I love to read! It would be a joy to win this book!

The Surrendered Scribe said...

That has to be one of the most beautiful covers I've ever seen! I'm interested!

jarduini at sbcglobal dot net

Abi B said...

Good interview. sounds like wonderful book

Karen said...

Very nice interview, and the book sounds great. Count me in:-) Thanks!

kpuleski at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I would love to win and read this book.

Cherie J said...

Wonderful interview! Please enter me in the drawing!

Maureen said...

I have not read any of Ruth's books but this one sounds like a good one.

ForstRose said...

Please enter me for the book.


Margo Carmichael said...

I loved _Winter is Past_ and _Dawn in My Heart_. I'd love to win this one. Thanks for the chance.

Nora St. Laurent said...

The cover of this book looks very inviting. The interview is good. It's nice to get to know an author better. Please put my name in for the drawing.

Audra Elizabeth said...

Please enter me!


Sue H. said...

Wonderful interview! I love all of Ruth's novels...please enter me in the book drawing.

Jenny said...

This sounds like a great book! I love the review and the author's interview.