Ruth J. Hartman [ruthjhartman]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
I first read any stories I could find about cats. I've always loved to write. I have a very vivid imagination. My parents were the first ones to read things I'd written when I was little.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
I love romance novels.
The address for my website is: www.ruthjhartman.blogspot.com.
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
Usually I have a general idea of what story I'd like to tell. But the story usually seems to take on a life of its own once I start writing. It's as if my subconscious has its own ideas that come to light as I write.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Romance. especially if it's humorous.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
There needs to be two main characters who need to be together, but there's a situation or person that holds them apart. The main part of the story is these two characters finding their way to each other.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
Third person is easier for me to write. Although, I have done first before.
What well known writers do you admire most?
Debbie Macomber, Mary Higgins Clark.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
I have a tendency to make the heroine a lot like me, faults and all. And the hero usually resembles my husband in looks and mannerisms.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Definitely not. I get tongue-tied very easily if I'm in front of other people.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
Myself, but I always hope my stories are pleasing to God, too, since He's the one who gave me the gift in the first place.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Wiritng is definitely personal therapy, especially when I wrote my autobiography. Internal conflicts are what make any story. Without them, the story falls flat.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Yes, if I know someone else thinks what I've written is good, or funny, or whatever, then it encourages me to keep writing.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
I have entered several writing contests. I received an honorable mention in the One Hundred Words or Fewer contest.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Yes. My husband.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I think as an author changes and grows, so does their voice. But I believe I've pretty much got my core voice already established.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I'm actually flexible on that. I'm also a dental hygienist, so my writing has to work around that.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
I have a picture of my husband on my counter, framed copies of my published works on the wall, oh, and there's usually one if not two cats asleep on my lap as I type.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I mostly write on the computer until I get stumped. Then I back away for awhile and take written notes of general ideas I'd like to incorporate into the story. I normally don't print until I'm nearly finished, then I correct on paper anything I missed earlier.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
Twitter, Facebook, Premium Green (a women's writing group).
What has been your experience with publishers?
My first publisher was Pipers' Ash out of England. They were very kind and patient with me as it was my first book. I've also been published with Midnight Showcase Fiction, for my romance story. They have been wonderful.
What are you working on now?
I'm writing a romance based on the tooth fairy.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Drag them out again and look at them with a fresh eye. You never know when someone might be looking for exactly what you've written.
Ruth J. Hartman