Ruth Axtell Morren’s interview

» Posted on Oct 21, 2008 in Blog | Comments Off on Ruth Axtell Morren’s interview

If you want to be entered in the drawing for Ruth’s book, please leave a comment with an email address or email me at The drawing ends next Sunday evening.

Ruth Axtell Morren’s interview:

1. What made you start writing? I’d always wanted to be a writer, since about the age of eleven or twelve when I became such an avid reader. But I pretty much gave up that dream in college to pursue more practical things. Then, in my late-twenties, stuck in a dead-end job, I began co-writing a historical romance at the instigation of a college friend. She quit after a while, but I kept going, writing in my car during my lunch hours.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book? I sold my first book about 14 years after I started seriously pursuing writing historical romances.

3. How do you handle rejections? It’s never easy. I just put aside my disappointment and get my mind on the next or current project.

4. Why do you write? Several years ago, before publication, I came to the conclusion that I write because I’m a writer, regardless of whether anyone would ever read my words or not.

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing? Who knows? By now, I’d probably have an outside job, since my kids are old enough to take care of themselves.

6. What are you working on right now? A regency for 2009. It’s a sequel to a book that’s scheduled to be released late this summer.

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters? Most definitely. My hero and heroine become an extension of me (or me of them) for the few months I’m in that first draft mode.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now. The Rogue’s Redemption is the story of a man who’s empty inside. He’s suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome following his years of battle during the Napoleonic wars. He’s carrying around a lot of guilt, which he deals with by heavy drinking, gambling and wenching on his return to England after the peace. Few suspect what is going on within him, because on the outside he’s very carefree and witty. Only the heroine, an American Yankee, suspects he is a man who desperately needs redemption.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers? In today’s competitive market, I would say only pursue a career in writing if you cannot imagine NOT writing. And, have another job which enables you to keep writing on the side without having to fret too much about the next contract or royalty statement (or have a husband whose income allows a one-income family). This advice may sound like a downer, but I think few unpublished writers realize the grim economics of the fiction writing career. This is probably why most literary writers are also professors on the side.

10. How important is faith in your books? Very important. The only reason I’m published is because my work was given into the Lord’s hands at a crucial moment in my career, and the only reason I continue to be published is to glorify Jesus Christ.

11. What themes do you like to write about? Salvation, redemption, forgiveness, sanctification, walking the walk…

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why? It’s always the current one, because that’s the one I’m living at the moment.

13. What is your writing schedule like? After the children are off to school and I’ve straightened up the kitchen, dressed, etc., I sit down at my computer. When I’m under deadline pressure, I stay away from email, and get right to the manuscript. When I’m still in the beginning phases of a book (like right now), I can indulge myself a little more, check my email, the various writers loops, etc., before I open up my manuscript.
But ideally, I write about ten pages a day and finish up in the early afternoon, so I can go take a walk and be ready for the kids when they come home.
A lot of my brainstorming, though, takes place at odd hours of the day or night—during my walk, or in the wee hours of the morning. Then, I usually have to jot things down for use in later scenes. That’s when my plot really develops or I get the great lines of dialogue, not when I’m sitting down at the computer.