About the Author
Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne loves God, her family, her country, dogs, chocolate and coffee! A country gal with a heart for the big city, Ruthy likes nothing more than to write the kind of books she loves to read, and she's even more happy that now she gets paid to do it! She's been married for a Very Long Time and she and her husband Dave live on a small farm in upstate New York where lake effect snow buries them on a regular basis in winter. But that's all right... it gives her more time to write!
I love to write.
I have always loved to write. First I loved to read, and then I wanted to make up my own stories. Tell my own tales.
Are all writers born this way?
I don’t know, but some are. I can see the creative urge in some of my children, and now my grandchildren. Some are storytellers. Some aren’t.
So then I think genetics, that long spiral, that double helix that repeats non-stop and sets us in motion. What part of that curling piece makes us artsy? Athletic? Musical? What parts feeds genius?
I’ve heard that the chasm separating the right from left brain is narrower in brilliant people. (Of course they have to be DEAD to prove that, so not too many volunteer their brains for a check on it until it’s well… Let’s just say it’s “late”….)
But what if it isn’t just spacing and selective genetics? What if there’s a subjective component of “nurture” or (in my case) “lack of nurture”?
Hi, I’m Ruthy and I love making up stories, but because I was born into a very poor, dysfunctional family, I think it was more than gifted genetic talent that spurred my goals.
I wanted to fix things. From the time I was young and realized our family had few happy endings, I wanted to create stories that erupt into a solid happy ending. I wanted, no, make that longed to show that happy endings don’t have to be obscure. They’re here, right here, at our fingertips if we’re willing to make the necessary choices. I wrapped my goals in faith and a solid work ethic and (as life often does) I met a number of left turns including six children, multiple jobs and a quiet push from God to be patient…
What choice did I have? But looking back, I see the path much more clearly now! Waiting to jump into the writing pool offered me the chance to hone a lot of life experience, on-the-job training for book research, a fun study of human nature, cute kids, brats and everything in between! I birthed children and helped birth dogs and calves. I’ve milked cows and processed fresh chickens! I’ve smoked bacon and grown just about every fruit and veggie you can imagine. I’ve worked as a billing clerk, a teacher’s aide with emotionally disturbed children, a waitress, a bridal consultant, a babysitter… gosh, so many nametag and hairnet jobs, I can’t list them all. But each one brought me a little more experience under my belt… and more story fodder!
I love to write, and I would encourage anyone who loves this craft to jump in. Do it! Don’t hesitate. When the time is right, go for it.
Writing can be learned. I’ve seen that often. But storytelling is often an inborn gift, so if that’s your talent? If that’s your inclination…. Do it.
This Erma Bombeck quote sits above my kitchen sink where I see it several times a day: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and I could say, "I used everything that you gave me."
And that’s my goal. To use everything he gave me, making others smile. And when you read a “Ruthy” book… It’s my hope that’s exactly what you’ll do…. Smile and walk away a little big happier and more hopeful. And that’s a pretty sweet goal!
1. How long does it typically take you to write a book?
This can vary, but about 8 weeks, more or less. And then it will need revisions, but I can revise one book while working on another, so that becomes a good use of time, all around.
2. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Oh, gosh, I’ve written for as long as I can remember, but the first full real book was about 18 years ago… and it was wretchedly horribly overdone (and of course I LOVED IT!!!) but then it was about five years before I could carve writing time out again, and when I did, I produced a whole bunch of wretchedly overdone melodramatic stories, but then I was able to use parts of them later on, or ideas from them, once I tapped into the fun story-telling abilities God gave me, and dumped the verbiage. J New authors/writers are the funniest and often the craziest things on the planet. We give tween and teen girls a run for the money on the Crazy-R-Us meter!
3. What suggestions would you give a potential author to help them become a better writer?
Write everyday. Don’t stop, don’t quit, don’t get lazy or careless. Pele was an amazing soccer player, world-renowned, amazing, and he learned to play soccer in the streets and slums of Brazil using a SOCK BALL.
That’s right, a ball made up of knotted socks.
He played barefoot because they couldn’t afford to keep replacing his shoes.
He trained by running and playing with a sock ball. Now that’s the kind of dedication you need to make it in this business. Your writing is the sock ball, and the goal is publication and you practice daily so that no one in the opposition or competition can deny you your spot on the goal line at the end of the day.
Write. Write. Write. And if you love it like I do, then it’s not a punishment, it’s like total joy to be able to do what I’ve always wanted to do! BEST JOB EVER!!!! :)
4. How frequently do you hear from your fans?
I love my readers!!! I hear from readers daily via facebook or e-mail or messaging. I love chatting (I talk way too much, I’m fairly ridiculous that way) and I love people, so that regular contact is wonderful for me!
5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did becoming a writer ever cross your mind?
I always knew I would be a writer someday. I always knew that’s what I wanted, but for decades I didn’t have the time to focus on the practice needed to polish the craft, to get good enough to make editors want to say YES!!! In capital letters, of course! J We had six kids and I had so many nametag and hairnet jobs, and those jobs became the best training ground for my stories, because I don’t have to research service jobs… I lived them. I made them work for me, around the kids’ schedules and the farm and the husband and all the things that pull on time, I just kept thinking “I’ll use all this in my books one day”, and I have! And yet, there’s more, LOL!
6. What inspired the idea for More Than a Promise?
I was singing in the choir and a young father walked in with three disgruntled little boys who wanted to be anywhere else but in that church! And as he guided the reluctant trio to a pew on the far side of the church, I started thinking… “Where’s Mom? Why is he alone? Why are the boys so grumpy?” And by the time I got home I had the idea for how to pair Matt Wilmot (whom I LOVE!) with a perfect character to do a retelling of “Sarah, Plain and Tall”, adult style. I’d always loved that Patricia Maclachlin story and I could see Elle, tall, and feeling gangly and despite her amazing prodigy-style success (think Thomas Kincaid) her one dream and goal was to be a mother, and that had been snatched out from under her through no fault of her own. And now, there they are, two adults who see beyond youthful images of forever, to the importance of marriage as a partnership with benefits… and when one of those benefits turns out to be true love, how can that be a bad thing?
I love this story!
6. What hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
DO NOT LAUGH. I love painting, not artistically, but inside. The walls, the ceiling, refreshing a room. And in the nice weather, I love gardening, but there’s so little time because more than both of those I love hanging out with kids and grandkids! They are so fun! So they’re my first joy aside from writing, but when I’m on my own, I’m probably re-doing something or getting dirty. And by the way, little garden ponds smell Very Bad in the spring.
That’s one of those tidbits of information you probably didn’t need to know, right? :)
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