It’s my pleasure to welcome Ruth Kaufman. Where were you born, Ruth?
I’m from Chicago and live there now. I love going to the theatre, and Chicago has amazing options from huge musicals to storefronts where you sit so close to the actors you feel like you’re part of the play. And I love trying some of our many different restaurants. We also have an amazing skyline and lovely parks and lakefront.
It’s a city I’ve always wanted to visit. What’s your favorite season? Fall. I love the crispness in the air and the changing leaves.
Any school memories you’d like to share?
A very important moment was getting into my high school’s Varsity choir, which required a grueling audition that included tonal memory, scales and sight reading. I’d prepared for years by taking voice lessons, singing in non-audition choirs, etc. We went on tour to Greece, made albums (a big deal at the time), and even had a half-hour Christmas special on WGN-TV. And, choir was an honors class so an A was worth more, you couldn’t be in the musicals if you weren’t in choir, and there were a lot of social gatherings.
A great adventure! What is the worst job you ever had?
Working at the concession stand in a movie theatre, especially during weekend. The smell of popcorn wouldn’t wash out of my jeans, and I often had to wash my hair when I got home.
Sounds like a job my daughter had at KFC! Have you had any unusual or noteworthy occupations?
My “day job” is a voiceover and on-camera actor (www.ruthtalks.com). I spend a lot of time auditioning in person or via self-recording, learning lines, recording voiceover projects from home and working on various sets. I just finished three days as the lead’s boss on an independent feature film, https://www.facebook.com/RedemptionWayMovie.
How exciting! Do you have any hobbies?
I sing in a symphony chorus. Our last piece was the Brahms Requiem. So many people coming together to create one sound is a great experience every time. And I do some storytelling/live lit. I’m taking a stand-up comedy class to learn how to add more humor to my stories and maybe my books.
You’re obviously a woman of many talents. What is your feeling about social media?
I enjoy Facebook and following friends and communicating with readers. I do feel a bit of pressure if I don’t keep up, because I don’t want to miss anything important.
Tell us something you are really good at.
I’m very good at talking fast.
Ha! Can you confide something you wish you were better at?
I wish I was better at worrying less. I have affirmations and quotes posted in my office, such as “worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of troubles, it empties today of strength,” but….
What’s your pet peeve?
I have two: lack of clear communication and lateness, because I think both are disrespectful.
Do you like animals? Pets?
I love dogs, but don’t currently have a pet…in part because of my erratic schedule. I used to have a Norwegian Elkhound named Voltaire.
What do you enjoy most/least about being a published author?
There’s so much to do in addition to writing new books, from promotion to communicating with readers, that it can be hard to find a balance. Also, getting my books noticed even with great reviews from readers and publications such as Publishers Weekly and Romantic Times when there are so many new releases is a challenge. Hearing from readers that they enjoyed something makes it all worthwhile!
To what do you attribute your success as a writer?
Thank you for assuming I have success. I’d say not giving up.
Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
Honestly, the first scenes for most of my books just popped into my head. Then I’d go from there. For example, for my first book, AT HIS COMMAND (which just won Best Historical and Best First Book in the Booksellers’ Best Awards), I saw the heroine collapsed on a horse walking slowly over a hill. How did that come to be? Would someone see her, and choose to help or not? What if someone was following her…who would that be and what did he/she want?
Tell us about your latest release.
My newest and fourth book is MY ONCE & FUTURE LOVE, Unsung Knights of the Round Table #1. With this book, the hero’s opening scene popped into my head. It took awhile before I realized who he really was, and that it might make a good series. What if there were knights of the round table no one had heard about? A prologue for the heroine also popped into my head, but editorial feedback led me to delete it. Perhaps I’ll post it on my website, because I really liked it.
(Coming in early September is a novella Kathryn Le Veque asked me to write for her Kindle World.)
Is it part of a series? If so do you enjoy writing series?
MY ONCE & FUTURE LOVE is intended to be part of the Unsung Knights of the Round Table series. I started book #2 during last year’s NaNoWriMo, but don’t know if I’ll finish that or release other books I’ve already completed.
I do like series, but my first one wasn’t the usual kind, say, books about different residents of a small town or siblings in a large family. My first three books each stand alone while also forming what I call the Wars of the Roses Brides series because of the flow of the underlying history.
AT HIS COMMAND http://amzn.com/B00QPG52A6
FOLLOW YOUR HEART http://amzn.com/B00TYM7XBE
THE BRIDE TOURNAMENT http://amzn.com/B016YZEW0I
MY ONCE & FUTURE LOVE http://amzn.com/B01DC8XXNM
Excerpt from MY ONCE & FUTURE LOVE:
Northern Wales, September 1463
Flames of agony seared Morgan ap Myrddin. Blood, crimson as the dragon on his long-lost banner, streamed down his side, soaking remnants of the shirt pressed against his arrow wound to staunch the flow. He sped through the forest, cracking branches in his haste.
Heart pounding hard as a hammer on an anvil, he caught his breath behind a wide oak and leaned heavily on the rough bark. Amidst a shower of autumn leaves, he closed his eyes to focus his dwindling strength and energy on listening. What he sought lay beyond the wind swishing through the trees.
He sought the footsteps of his enemies.
Morgan’s ears, keener than those of any mortal man’s, strained to capture the distant sounds of an army on the move. The faint rumble, the subtle shaking of the ground beneath his feet told him what he needed to know. His enemies approached.
Never before, in thirty-two mortal years fraught with danger, had he come so close to being trapped.
Closing his eyes, he raised his arms to summon aid, to call upon his vast powers.
Nothing happened. Nothing changed.
Icy needles of unfamiliar fear pierced him. “Taliesin preserve me,” he breathed.
No answer. His Mysteries had faded so, he couldn’t even hear the wisdom of his ancestors.
Morgan ran. He stumbled into a tree, dizzy from loss of blood. He had to move faster or they would capture him.
And his father would remain imprisoned for all eternity.