Ruth Harris is a million-copy New York Times and Amazon bestselling author and Romantic Times award winner for her critically acclaimed women’s fiction novels. Add that to her co-authoring thriller novels with her husband, Michael Harris, and co-blogging with author, Anne R. Allen. This is one talented, busy lady! Her quick mind and witty repartee are keenly evident in her answers to our questions about writing, life, and trying to find a semblance of balance. Join us in welcoming Ruth to our writing stage!
Interviewed By Debbie A. McClure
Q Ruth, every writer dreams of hitting the million-seller list, but what has surprised you the most since you reached that mark?
A What surprised me (even though I was expecting it) is the fact that nothing really changes. Once you’re past the initial thrill, your life goes on. Meals need to be cooked. Laundry needs to be folded. Books are just as easy/hard to write. You have good hair days and bad hair days. Any writer who thinks hitting a best seller list is going to change his/her life is lost in a fantasy.
Q Writing is a looong journey fraught with many mountains and valleys. What advice would you give to new writers just starting out?
A Keep it real and get prepared for the long haul.
Q You also write critically acclaimed thriller novels with your husband, Michael, which is a tremendous accomplishment. What would you say are the benefits and/or downsides to this type of up-close-and-personal collaboration, and why?
A Well, at least we didn’t kill each other. 😉
Seriously, here’s a look at how it worked (for us) when we had a major disagreement.
Q Who would you say has been your greatest life or career mentor, and why?
A My father, who LOVED words/language, is remembered by those who knew him (including me) as “always reading.” He was also a news junkie—all traits I inherited from him. My mother was a great story teller. She was an RN who worked in a big city hospital and told sad/funny/outrageous stories of life and death with verve and panache.
Q Your life goals/dreams have included becoming an ice skater and lawyer, before getting involved in publishing and writing. For the most part, each of these extremely challenging choices focuses on the development of the individual’s skills. What is it about these types of challenges that intrigue and draw you in?
A They never get boring. Always new ways to fail, new ways to succeed, always something new and different to learn/try/do.
Q By your own admission you like to write about “strong, savvy, witty women”. What is the message you are trying to convey to women who read your books?
A Don’t give up! Persistence is the key and don’t feel bad about your neck.
Q I’m sure you have a very full day, every day. How do you balance life and work to find a reasonably satisfactory compromise?
Q It’s interesting to note that you write in several genres. Has it been difficult to find your niche market?
A Probably. But, as I said above, don’t give up. I’m not.
Q What has been the most difficult lesson for you to learn, and why?
A Patience is numero uno!
Q Could you tell us a little about how you and author Anne R. Allen came to collaborate on a blog?
A Anne invited me and I said yes. Simple as that.
Q Like so many other writers, you struggled with blogging and what to blog about. What advice would you give to writers who also struggle with the what, when, where, and why of blogging?
A Keep struggling. You’ll think of something! J
Q What’s next on your agenda, Ruth?
A I’m writing a series of cozy mysteries set in the small town called New York City. Glam setting. Quirky characters. Friendly natives. Really!