Author Interview with Ruby Merritt

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Ruby Merritt writes historical western romance. Her passion for imagining life and love on the High Plains has its roots in reading and rereading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books as a child. 

Although Ruby doesn’t call the High Plains her home, she resides in an equally beautiful and rustic locale, The Gateway to the Texas Hill Country. 

When Ruby’s not reading or writing, she can be found riding her horse or homeschooling her children who are avid horsewomen and readers as well.”




~ How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for about ten years, first at for CSI:NY and now as self-published author of western historical romance.

~ What do you like to do in your spare time?

I have a new rescue dog, Saga, who’s not even two years old so I take lots of walks which is not only good for my health, but my muse. I also ride my horse, Heidi, in the sport of 3 Day Eventing. And somewhere in there I homeschool my two daughters and work as an editor.

~ If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

I’d be a bird so I could fly anywhere and see anything I wanted.

~ When you’re writing, what keeps you focused?

Turning off the internet keeps me focused. LOL! And believe it or not reading engaging, well written stories because they inspire me to write.

~ What genre are your books and how did you come up with the ideas them?

My series Spirited Hearts is western historical romance. I love history and research. And well, romance. The idea for a book always starts with a question. In my first book, Ella’s Choice, I asked myself, “What if a white woman who’d live with the Lakota Indians for the last ten years suddenly returned to the white man’s world?” In the second book, Lena’s Courage, the question I asked myself was, “What if a woman returned to her hometown, thinking her attacker from years before had left only to find he hadn’t?” 

~ What books do you currently have published and what are you currently working on?

Ella’s Choice and Lena’s Courage, books 1 and 2 of my Spirited Heart Series, are currently out. Both are standalone reads however they all deal with characters in the town of Cheyenne, Wyoming in the late 1800’s. The story I’m currently working on is Grace’s Purpose which is the third book in the series. The question for this book is “What if a woman realizes her purpose isn’t typical or acceptable for the times?”

~ Do you have any upcoming releases?

Grace’s Purpose will hopefully release in 2016, but better laid plans have gone astray. LOL!

~ Out of your books, which one would be your favorite?

Hmmm….that definitely would be a tough question. I think all my books are my favorites for different reasons. In each I accomplished (to the best of my ability at the time) something that I wanted to address. In Ella’s Choice I really wanted to explore how a white woman raised by the Lakota for ten years would feel and react when she returned to the white man’s world. In Lena’s Courage, I wanted to explore how a woman would find the courage to face the man who stole her innocence years before.

~ What are your plans for the future you and your books? Any goals?

After Grace’s Purpose, I have two more books planned in the series. My immediate goals are to get those three books finished and published.

~ Do you think you’ll continue to write the same genre or will you test the waters with something new?

I’m not sure what the muse has planned for me, but I’d love to write some contemporary women’s fiction. Just saying, muse!

~ Do you write yourself or other people you know/come into contact with into your books?

I always draw ideas from people I’ve met and interacted with. How else would anyone know how to write characters? Do I write a specific person into book? No, I just use them for ideas in forming my characters.

~ If you could be a character(s) from your books do you think you’re more like and why?

Hmmm…another deep question. I’d be a combination of Ella and Lena. I have Ella’s determination not to lose herself in what everyone else thinks she should be. Like Lena, I’m a little bit scared of life, but when someone threatens my family then I become much braver than I ever thought I could be.

~ What books/authors got you interested in writing?

For historical romance, I adore Stacey Kayne’s Mountain Wild Series and everything by Denise Domning’. For contemporary romance, I’m continually inspired by Jeannie Watt and Megan Hart.

~ Do you read any other types of genre’s?  If so, who/what is your favorite?

I love a good romance, both historical and contemporary, but most of all I love a good story, so authors who have good stories along with the romance are my favorites, like the previously mentioned authors. But I read more than just romance. I love authors with out of this world writing typically in the gritty western genre like Cormac McCarthy, Gil Adamson, Bruce Machart and Jeannette Walls. My guilty indulgence though is the occasional asylum story set in the late 1800’s.

~ What is your advice for any authors who are planning/struggling to write/finish their book?

Bottom line to finished your story is to sit in your chair and write. The details are in the rewrite. Once you have the rough draft then you can fill plot holes, refine characters, polish dialogue and finesse your prose.




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