Here's Ruthy with her daughter Beth on the morning of CFRR 2017!
In what ways have you participated in CFRR?
RLH: 2016 speaker, author… 2017 author… Anything you need me and Beth Jamison for in 2019! We’re so excited!
Beth: WE are so excited to see you both!
What is your favorite aspect of CFRR?
RLH: I love all of it. When marketing began to fall onto author’s shoulders, there was nothing like CFRR... all publishers had pulled back funding because money grew tight… unless you were a NYT bestselling author. Most of us aren’t. And that’s fine, I’ve never worried about things like that, but connecting with readers makes me happy! I don’t like spending money for conferences… I can learn all that stuff with hard work and editorial help… but readers.
Authors need readers. We need to connect. And there are few readers groups around the country and bookstores don’t host get togethers like they used to… so this is huge to authors like me, who love readers and bloggers and anyone who will jump on the great story Christian bandwagon!!!
Beth: This is what I love best about CFRR, everyone is blessed and God is glorified by our love and fellowship!
Are you a hugger?
RLH: I AM A HUGGER! But I don’t hug Rachel McMillan because she’s not a hugger. I make fun of her. Because that’s fun. But I DO NOT HUG HER. (I’m nice that way.)
Beth: You are a great hugger! Rachel McMillan is also great, even without hugs!
Just for fun...
If you were a superhero, what would your name be?
RLH: Super Ruthy, of course!!!
Beth: Obviously, how silly of us 😉
What costume would you wear?
RLH: Umm… The Super Ruthy costume. Tights, a long shirt and a SUPER RUTHY YELLOW AND RED CAPE!!!!
Beth: I would love to see you in this Super Ruthy costume!
What secret talents do you have?
RLH: I can sing the entire theme song from Phineas and Ferb WITH Pepper Basham.
Beth: I don't know Phineas or Ferb but I DO know Pepper Basham!!!
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?
Beth: I could sit and listen to an Irish brogue all day!
If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?
RLH: Easy peasy. Irish brogue. I used to do it for my mother before she died… and I do a good Irish brogue.
Beth: This I must hear for myself! I love a good accent!
If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?
RLH: Have you been to my house??? IT IS A ZOO!!!!
Ay yi yi… Definitely a wolf. Cunning. Canny. Travels with others. Likes people.
Beth: I can relate to living in a zoo (although I only have one dog, not two big beauties like you!)
What is something you want to accomplish before you die?
RLH: Cure for cancer and Alzheimer’s. I don’t have to actually DO IT. I will leave that to the experts. But I want it done!
Beth: Good call!
If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a living?
RLH: I have done everything for a living because that’s what you do in Ruthy world when you have bills to pay. Kids to raise… You do whatever it takes…
But I love doing a lot of things… I love working on the farm. I love baking. I love running farm business even though it is SO SO BUSY for August-through December!!!! But it’s the best!
Beth: You are a go-getter, Ruthy! I love that about you!
If you were a spy, what would your code name be?
Because Ruthy loves Reba.
Beth: Your logic is impeccable.
What's your favorite genre to read?
RLH: Non-fiction to increase my brain power. Or Seuss to kids. Both apply!
Beth: Non-fiction is a workout I avoid but bring on the kiddie read aloud!
When reading, do you block out the world around you or seek a quiet retreat?
RLH: I can block the world. And give them scathing glances when they interrupt. I give VERY GOOD scathing glances!!!
Beth: I can imagine but I won't for fear of recurring nightmares!
Describe your favorite reading spot.
RLH: On floor… Or on a love seat surrounded by small people!
Beth: That's hardcore, Ruthy! I require a little space I like to call my personal bubble.
How do you organize your books? (by author, genre, color, read vs. unread, shelves, stacks, piles etc.)
RLH: STOP IT! DO PEOPLE REALLY DO THIS?????
Beth: *blink, blink* uhhhh...
How often do you pleasure-read?
RLH: Rarely… if there was more time, I’d read more, but I’d rather write.
Beth: Selfishly, I'm glad you do!
How many books do you average per year?
RLH: Two dozen… About 2/month. But I’m a speed reader, so that’s a lot less time than most people would imagine.
Beth: Speed reading... handy talent!
Why do you think reading Christian Fiction is so important?
RLH: Well, here’s the thing... in a country that self-identifies at 75% Christian (a number that’s sadly gone down nearly ten points in twenty years) we sold over 50,000,000 copies of of “Fifty Shades of Grey”… which means that a lot of folks bought into an erotica-filled book for whatever reason and thought it was okay.
I think we need to fill ourselves with goodness and light. Like Philippians 4:8
8, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
The more we think of good things, kind things, sharing things, Godly things, the easier it is to avoid our own sin. How fun would it be if EVERYONE tried to avoid sin??? YAHOO!!!!!
Beth: Amen to that!
How many books have you written? published?
RLH: Oh, gosh. Over 40… Almost 50?
Beth: Yay, Ruthy!!!
What genres do you write?
RLH: Inspirational romance and inspirational women’s fiction… and now mysteries for Guideposts and my own soon-to-come mystery series! I have developed such a fun love for mysteries!!!!
Beth: Personally, I'm a huge fan of your cowboy/ranchers and diverse couples!
What are you working on now? What is your next release?
RHL: Oh, gosh… next release will be Her Cowboy Reunion from Love Inspired in August 2018, then Healing Wishing Bridge in October 2018 and Catch of the Day a Guideposts mystery in September 2018 and an unnamed novella for Love Inspired with my buddy Linda Goodnight (amazing author…) that’s sometime in fall of 2018… November, maybe? We haven’t been given the release date on that, yet… so I’ve been busy writing! #happyauthor!
Beth: No wonder I can't keep up with you!
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
RLH: Nope. I’m strange enough. 😊
Beth: Normal is boring anyway.
What part of the publishing/writing process do you most struggle with? which aspect is most natural for you?
RLH: The writing and storytelling is the most natural. I think I was born a storyteller (in some cultures I would simply be called a big, fat liar!!!) but I prefer the term “storyteller”. 😁
I love working with readers, but I’m not a huge fan of promoting things… but I’ve found that if you WRITE MORE BOOKS, people will find you by default and you can promote less. This is a true thing… so I just keep writing!
And God puts my books in people’s hands. Oh, that God!!!
Beth: He is good! 😊
Why do you think writing Christian Fiction is so important?
RLH: Because it heals… there is a power so absolutely beautiful and infinite in words that soothe the heart and soul and bring the grace of God to people’s doorsteps, their coffee tables, their nightstands… the world is in such need of peace, hope, love and grace that the advent of Christian fiction is a wonderful bonus against a pendulum that went SO FAR the other way!
So I’m crazy grateful for what you gals do to make this connection between author and reader happen!
Beth: We are ALL delighted to play our part and thankful for all the authors and readers who support CFRR!
What are your must-have writing supplies?
RLH: *sing to Me and My Shadow…* “Me and my laptop… strolling down the avenue! Me and my laptop… doing just what we can do!”
That’s it. That’s all I need. Me and my laptop. Although I can be found with coffee or a diet Mountain Dew in my hands!!!
Are you more comfortable working in solitude or among a crowd?
RLH: I love a crowd. And I get a little nervous when introverts are constantly feeling the need to defend themselves… Then my snark side wants to remind them that no one cares… get over yourself… BUT THAT’S NOT NICE SO I DON’T SAY IT… But I probably look at them funny. And when someone is going on and on about their fears or introvertiveness I DO NOT look at other extroverts. Because we are unfeeling jerks and we’ll start laughing.
I’m a crowd person. And I admit it! 😄
Beth: I shamelessly hide from crowds, you can laugh. Extroverts are cool, they fill the awkward silence!
About the author...
A “pull-up-your-big-girl-panties-and-move-on” kind of gal, she is blessed to be married to her high school sweetheart (although it wasn’t as if THEY WERE KNOCKING DOWN THE DOOR to challenge him for her!!!), work with young families who allow her to exploit their sweet children on blogs, and rock babies on a regular basis. An author for Love Inspired Books and Summerside Press, she lives in upstate New York.
Say "hi" to Ruthy in the comments and let's chat about some of the moments we've enjoyed with her and her stories!