Joining me today in The Loft is author Ruth A. Casie. A USA Today best-selling author, Ruth writes historical romance. Prior to retirement, Ruth was a speech therapist, client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and a product/marketing manager for an international bank. After retirement, she began writing. She is the author of several series, including The Druid Knight (historical time travel), The Stelton Legacy (historical fantasy), and Havenport Romances (small-town romance). When not writing, Ruth enjoys counted cross stitch, ballroom dancing, reading, and Sudoko. Ruth and her husband live in Northern New Jersey.
S: Good morning, Ruth. Thanks for joining me in The Loft!
Why did you become a writer?
R: Before I retired, I was an international product manager for a large U.S. bank. I usually traveled alone. To fill my time on the long flights or to keep me company at dinner for one, I read historical romance books. Many times, I found stories that were centered on the cities I was visiting. Fast forward to 2009. A good friend told me she was going to write a romance novel and I volunteered to brainstorm, beta read, do anything to help her. Once we started, I realized I had my own story to write. We decided we would each write our books and try to sell them together. Because she had several other priorities, she put her writing on hold. I continued to write and in four months, I had 104,000 words and my first book completed.
S: Wow, that's pretty impressive!
What attracts you to the romance genre?
R: When I traveled, I would stuff my suitcase with six to eight romance novels. They were quick reads. I enjoyed the historic aspect. I was hooked on historic romance by the end of my first trip.
S: Do you write in other genres?
R: I write in two genres. I write historical romance. In order to write with my critique partners, I also cultivated my voice for contemporary romantic suspense. We decided to write anthologies in one genre, and since I was the only one writing historicals, I opted to write contemporary stories with them. These stories are now sold separately and some of my favorite. There are challenges writing both, such as research, world-building, and speech patterns. Historical stories, even fantasies like the stories I write, require a healthy amount of research into time periods, belief systems, the food eaten, and clothes worn. I want my stories to sound realistic and to do that I must include as much realism as possible.
S: Attention to detail is so important to historical romance. It's hard to read a book where the author hasn't done the research. It really detracts from the story.
What attracted you to your current partner?
R: I was a single mom with two young daughters. I had no idea how to socialize other than with other moms, usually in play groups. I joined a singles group that played softball. I’m not an athlete, so I volunteered to handle the BBQ. As the season changed, a small group in my age range broke off. They asked if I would host parties at their houses. At the time, our local paper had a singles page. I advertised the parties and if you wanted to come, you had to call for reservations. A gentleman called to make a reservation for the Super Bowl Party. He came to the party and called me the following day. He thanked me for the dinner and asked that I put him on the list for the next party. Then he invited me to the Philharmonic. During a light supper, I took out index cards of women his age and went through them to see who he was interested in. He humored me. We spoke during the week and went out the following Saturday. I took out another bunch of index cards. He showed no interest in any of them. I was quickly running out of people to introduce him to. At our third meeting, I took out the cards, looked at him, then put them away. He took my hand across the table. “I’ve been waiting three weeks for you to realize it is you I want to be with.” It is 37 years later. He is called Daddy by my girls and our son, and Pop Pop by our grandchildren. He is my hero in so many ways.
S: What a wonderful love story!
What would you like to people know about you?
R: I am passionate about my family. Nothing is more important to me. I bring that passion into my writing.
S: What is the best or worst thing that has ever happened to you as a writer?
R: This is a hard question. There are so many wonderful things. Fangirl moments with Diana Gabaldon, Eloisa James, Nora Roberts. The first time a person recognized me and showed me my book on her Kindle. A call that my story made the USA Today bestselling list.
S: Do you read reviews?
R: My first book, "Knight of Runes," was published in 2011. I was so eager to see how it was accepted. I read every review. People liked my story. Then one review that was posted tore me apart. Yes, the book was mentioned, but it was a character assassination of me. I got over it, eventually. In 2017, I was writing a contemporary story, "Happily Ever After" for an anthology with my critique partners. I decided it would be about an author who falls off "the lists" after getting a scathing review. I used pieces of that first review in my book.
S: I think many of us have had similar experiences with reviews. It's amazing that we remember the bad reviews rather than the good. I need to remind myself that my books are not for everyone and there will be detractors.
If you had to do it all over again, would you still choose to write books?
R: Yes, but I wouldn’t have waited so long. I loved my job at the bank and spent over 25 years there. However, the creativity and camaraderie I have found in the writing community has been wonderful, and I find out more about myself as I write.
S: How do you get in the mood for writing?
R: Music instead of chocolate. I have writing playlists on Spotify that I call up. Some are cinematic and others are more lyrical. I also have one that is aggressive, action motivating. I put the phone in my office on mute. I put on the music and write.
S: Muting that phone is important.
Have you ever “shelved” a book?
R: Yes. I shelved a book I called "Einstein’s Theorem." I’ve spoken to several publishers and agents. They love the concept, but they have no idea how to sell it. So it will be a series that I will indie publish. The series traces the lives of Dr. Lori Holt, particle physicist turned art detective and Jayson Stone, a top cybersecurity officer, as they use an unknown theorem Lori found in a journal penned by Albert Einstein to time travel and investigate the truth behind the art and artifacts they’re hired to authenticate. The overarching plot of the series focuses on the romance between Lori and Jayson and their ongoing quest to rebuild their relationship while they develop their cutting-edge business, Empyrean Enterprises—Provenance Guaranteed.
S: That sounds like a fascinating tale!
Ruth, thanks so much for joining me today. If you would like to learn more about Ruth and her books, please visit--
Personal Blog: http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com
Facebook private reader’s page, Casie Café: https://www.facebook.com/groups/963711677128537/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie/
Amazon Author Page: https://amazon.com/author/ruthacasie
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