Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Meet Ruth Barrett...

Ruth is the author of the book, Base Spirits, a book I'm looking very forward to reading. Ruth and I met through the "12 Days of Creepfest" blog hop website. And I offered to do an interview, she reciprocated, (read that here) and so here we are. We found through our interview answers and several emails, that we are very much alike. I'm looking forward to getting to know my new friend Ruth, a little better once these crazy holidays are out of the way. But you can get to know something about this amazing lady right here.

1. How long have you been writing?
I've been writing stories since I was a young child. Apparently my Grade 2 teacher called my Mom to ask if she had written a story I handed in because it seemed 'too good'!

2. What's the first thing you had published?
I had a short story 'Family Secrets' published in an anthology "Wordscape 6" back in 2000.

3. Do you write full time or do you have a day job?
My day job is writing descriptive video scripts for TV and film so that visually impaired folks can enjoy a more complete experience of a program. Basically, I fill in the blanks and describe around the existing soundtrack so that they can visualize characters and setting, and understand key action that they'd otherwise miss. So far, fiction doesn't pay enough for me to do that full time. (So far... !)

4. What is your writing routine?
I don't really have a set routine. I tend to noodle ideas for a long time: make notes-- research-- gather bits and pieces. Once I have the ingredients of a project, I let it 'cook' in my mental crock-pot before I start a first real draft. Once I get going full-steam, I can lose whole days writing without feeling the time pass.

5. Have you always been a fan of the Horror genre?
I read a lot of Stephen King, Peter Straub and John Saul from the age of 12. I guess that's what's wrong with me!

6. What scares you? Any silly phobias?
No silly phobias. Heights are scary for a reason: if you fall from a height, it will maim or kill you. I am afraid of major illness. Again, that's not silly: I've had some pretty traumatic life-and-death situations involving hospitalization over the past few years. As for being freaked out by silly things like clowns or mice or spiders, not so much. Although clowns are pretty creepy. I'd rather have spiders in my house than a clown.

7. What other writers do you admire?
I love writers in every genre-- too many to mention. The above are obvious choices for the horror genre, but I adore Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood, Ian Rankin, Sarah Waters and Emma Donoghue among others. Classics like Shakespeare and Dickens and the Bronte sisters... I've read a bit of everything over the years.

8. What is your favorite thing about the indie movement?
The unwavering support and friendliness of other indie folks. It is NOT a competition. We all seem happy to push each other's stuff and help where we can. It's great to feel a part of a community.

9. Best writing advice you've ever been given?
When you write a first draft, don't give into the temptation to go back over and fiddle with it as you go. Just write it through start to finish and don't worry about inconsistencies or tangents. That is a discovery draft, and it's not meant to be seen by anyone but yourself. If you keep going back over it, all you'll do is second guess yourself to death and re-write the first 40 pages 63 times. That way madness lies: you'll never get it done. Write until it's finished, let it rest for a week, then go back over and start to rewrite and fine tune.

10. What advice would you give any newbies out there?
Hone your craft. Join a writers group or take courses. Read a LOT. Use beta readers (not just your Mom). Don't rush to put your work out before a paying audience until it's the best it can be: half-assed writing just cheats everyone. Have it edited, properly formatted and professionally presented. Just because it's an indie book that doesn't mean it can be substandard.

You can stalk, I mean follow, Ruth here: Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/LadyCalverley
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spirited-Words-Book-Co/101014656667433
Blog: http://ruth-barrett-spiritedwords.blogspot.com/

You can find her book, Base Spirits, here: Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Base-Spirits-ebook/dp/B005L38G8E/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1315163319&sr=1-1
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/84640
For a chilling ghostly read with a historical twist, Base Spirits is available as a paperback through Fanfare Books fanfare@cyg.net or Callan Books jcallan@orc.ca Ruth will personally inscribe them upon request before shipping.

Don't forget the contests: To win a copy of Toy Soldiers (when released), please leave a comment on every post between now and December 24th. To win a copy of Demonic Dolls, simply ask for one and promise to review it!

Don't forget to visit the other great blogs in this blog hop and win more prizes!!



Blaze McRob said...

Great interview, Stacey! Ruth looks like a great lady, albeit, she has a look of mischief in her eyes. Hmmn. That is a good thing for a writer of fiction. I love her day job, too. Way to go, Ruth!


Anonymous said...

Ruth is pretty awesome.... and so very wise!!


RL.Treadway said...

that's an interesting job you have Ruth! It's nice getting to know you on Stacey's blog most of the time we're all flying by each other on Twitter or FB. lol. We simply must do this again! Spring Freakfest!
Have a Merry Christmas!

Nora Peevy said...

Hopping for Creepfest. I am participating too, if you haven't' hopped to The Demon Stole My Pencil. I have my contest still running to win a signed copy of my short, A Taste of Murder, in the UK mag, Twisted Tongue. Hope to see creep by!

And Ruth, you have great eyes for photographing. Good presence. :)