Sunday, October 23, 2011

Interview with award winning author Ruth Logan Herne!

I’ve been sooo looking forward to this week! Why, you ask? Because I’m hosting the amazing and, oh so talented, Ruth Logan Herne! I had a chance to chat with Ruthy at the ACFW conference and she is SUCH a sweet lady! I loved meeting her! And I LOVED hosting this interview and I’m sure you’ll love reading it! So with no further ado, I’ll hand it over to our lovely guest today, Ruth Logan Herne!!!

1)What made you want to become a writer? Was there a particular person, event, or novel that particularly inspired you?
Amanda, like you, I was born a writer. I think I was born loving books, story-telling, make-believe. I was born into very rough circumstances. My parents were older, I was the seventh child, and both had become alcoholics. Stories and make-believe became my escape. The library became my home away from home. And the librarians were so nice to me… long before I was supposed to, they would let me bring home a stack of books. Which I would read and then return mid-week to get another stack, LOL! Losing myself in the ‘normal’ lives of people in stories gave me hope that normal exists. LOL! My life now PROVES that normal exists, from the puppy kennel and the litter box to scrubbing bathrooms! J And I wouldn’t change any of it except, maybe the scrubbing bathrooms part. But they do look nice when they’re clean, don’t they??? (Not enough to enjoy doing it, though!)

2) What do you like most about being a writer?
EVERYTHING. I love creating, I love starting projects, I love the satisfaction that comes from finishing projects, I love editing, revising, meeting new people.
Want some chocolate???? I’ve got a huge Symphony bar right here, the kind with almonds and brickle…. So good!

3) What do you like least about being a writer?
That one’s easy-peasy. I still work full-time so I have to mete out writing hours. I’m up at 4:00 AM to write. Then my day job with little children starts around 6:45…. And lasts all day, so I can’t write/edit/create until night-time again. GRRRRR….. But I love me some babies, Amanda, and I’m so blessed by what I do. So eventually the dream is to write full-time and have my daughter help with the daycare. A shared job, so to speak. And that would loosen me up a few hours/day. But that’s in the future, and I’m loving the Here-and-Now.

4) What would you say is the biggest mistake beginning writers make? Did you find yourself making this mistake early in your career?
Well, this is a GREAT question. There are several, but the very stupid one I made stands out in my head. Being new to computers and “loops” I said some things on a public loop wondering OUT LOUD why a certain publisher did things the way they did. I don’t know what I was thinking. That I was in someone’s living room, maybe??? What a dork. But eventually it all worked out because I learned how to be funny in e-mails and online (a timing and formatting trick, for sure, because otherwise you just sound like a jerk… And I don’t want people to think I’m a jerk. Bossy, yes. Intimidating? Sure. Stubborn???? Absotively-lutely. But not a jerk. 

5) Do you have a particular place or setting in which you do your writing? Maybe an area that fuels your creativity?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! No. Right now I’m at the kitchen table ignoring last night’s dishes. Crazy busy weekend, new baby grandson, granddaughter’s baptism, toddler grandsons and granddaughter staying overnight on Saturday…  So I write wherever I’m at. “Bloom where you’re planted”… THAT IS A VERY SMART SAYING. Really. Truly.

6) Is there a particular book on writing that you return to again and again?
I never read writing books. I write. And write. And write. Then I write some more. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect writing books, and the people who write them. Read them. The human mind is so diverse that every author should find his/her own BEST path and work it. Own it. Travel it. (I only said all that to keep myself out of trouble for dissing writing books. I’m a Nike girl: JUST DO IT.)

7) Is there a scripture verse that has inspired you in your writing?
Oh, yes. Even this old snark thinks that God’s pretty smart. Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” LOVE IT. My Aunt Isabelle (a tough old gal, hard working, industrious, frugal and very kind to me) used to say, “And this too shall pass”. Again, a great saying because the good and the bad comes and goes. Trust. Trust in God, in his way, his will, his timing. And trust when it’s especially hard to trust.

8) What three tips do you have for beginning writers?
I quote Winston Churchill, even though some say the quote is too cryptic and not exact. It works. “Nevah, nevah, nevah give up.” Write. Write. Write.

9) Share with us a little about your writing journey. How long did it take you to get published? Also, tell us about Seekerville and how that got started.
I started intently writing for publication about ten years ago. So that makes it about eight years and a lot of simple mistakes. But I learned from them. When we formed the Seekers

( we were fifteen unpublished writers determined to pray one another into publication. And we did that just this past spring when Pam Hillman got picked up by Tyndale Publishing. SUH-WEEET! But a few years ago we decided to start a communal blog to HELP OTHER WRITERS. We’d all made so many of the same mistakes and we thought if we just get out there (even though half of us were still unpublished) and help others avoid those pitfalls, then we’ve begun paying back God’s grace to us. Sharing it. What’s the first thing we teach little kids, those pesky one-year-olds that grab, grab, grab??? To share. So that’s what Seekerville is all about. Sharing. Helping. Laughing. Eating. And we don’t mind selling a few books now and again, I’ll be honest, because that keeps the publishers happy. We LOVE happy publishers. But I’m a firm believer in the give-back theory. Always, always, always.

Author of the successful "North Country" series (Steeple Hill, 2010), Ruthy is delighted to be releasing her 2011 series with the great crew of Love Inspired. Married for thirty-six years to a very patient man, she's taken the characters living in her head and given them homes on paper, much to everyone's relief! Using her strong belief in God's redeeming love, she's unafraid to tackle tough subjects with humor, pathos, grace and remorse. And chocolate, of course.

I am ever so excited to be able to give away ALL SIX of Ruth’s books to six of you blessed readers. Please leave a comment with your email and we will draw six winners and give away the books at random. These would make great gifts or a treat for yourself. So leave your comments and you will win
one of the following titles:
1-"Mended Hearts"
2- "Small Town Hearts"
3- "Reunited Hearts"
4- "Made to Order Family"
5- "Waiting out the Storm"
6- "Winter's End"

Look for Ruth’s newest book Yuletide Hearts – releasing November!!! We will be giving this away as part of our Countdown to Christmas Giveaway.


Thanks for coming and visting us this week Ruthy and may God continue to bless you on your writing journey!!

Readers, we are going to be doing a COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS BOOK GIVEAWAY!

In the following weeks we will be giving away a book a week leading up to Christmas.
Among the titles you could win are:
1)House of Secrets – Tracie Peterson’s newest book- released October 2011
2) A Sound Among the Trees – by Susan Meissner- Advanced Readers Copy- released October 2011
3) Smitten –by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, & Denise Hunter- Advanced Readers Copy – book releases in December 2011
4) Yuletide Hearts – by Ruth Logan Herne – releases November 2011
5) Where the Lilacs Still Bloom- by Jane Kirkpatrick – Advanced Readers Copy – releases April 2012

Plus several more titles! So check back weekly for more great blogs, pre- Christmas giveaways, and another great interview all coming in the weeks ahead!

Happy Writing-


Joanne Sher said...

Oooh - love Ruthie - too fun. Please enter me


ps - I already own Made to Order Family :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh, Amanda, I was so happy to meet you and your mom. What a blessed and wonderful thing, to see someone follow their dream!

Love it!

Thank you so much for having me over and I'll keep popping in just in case anyone has questions...

Or needs to be scolded. ;)

Holly said...

Amanda, I love your blog! Ruth's interview was entertaining and inspirational. Now I just need to 'DO IT' and get to my own writing! Thanks for the encouragement.

Cara Lynn James said...

Hey, Ruthy! You have such a busy life. I don't know how you manage to do it all, but I'm glad you do!

Amandy, it's great you're starting your writing career early. I wish I'd begun while I was young--and I bet you do too, Ruthy--not that you aren't young.

Mary Connealy said...

Ruthy, You only gave two tips, brat.

Mary Connealy said...

Hi, Amanda. You need to be more strict with Ruthy or she'll short you a tip everytime she gets a chance.

I have learned this the hard way.

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Amanda,
Thanks for interviewing Ruthy! She's wonderful. Her stories are so touching and heartwarming. Nothing better than a Ruth Logan Herne read on a chilly, fall day!

Loved seeing you at ACFW, Amanda! Good luck with your writing. I know you've done so much already. Good for you! Keep it up!

JoyAveryMelville said...

I read my first Ruth Logan Herne book this summer - that woman is one tremendous person - and - writer!
This interview is so like her I was wishing we were back at the conference so I could give her a huge hug!
What a sweetie she is and you've done a great job AS USUAL with the interview!
Looking forward to seeing you Nov 19th at the ACFW GLC Fall Conference!
Journeys To Joy

Pam Hillman said...

Great interview. My mantra is

"Nevah, nevah, nevah give up!"

Got it!

I can never say/type "got it!" these days without thinking of that cell phone commercial where the guy starts dancing too early because he didn't get the text message in time.

Three beats into the jingle, I know exactly which commercial it is! lol

Janet Dean said...

Hey, Ruthy, I admire you, your work ethic and your wonderful books! Thanks, Amanda, for having Ruthy on your blog today.


Patricia said...

Thank you Ruth for your down to earth responses. It is wonderful to feel the sincerity and energy in your heart. I would love to read another of your books, so enter me in the drawing. FYI, I too have Made to Order Family.

Amanda it was good to see you at the annual conference. I hope to see you in November in Jackson.

Missy Tippens said...

What a fun interview, Amanda! And Ruthy, it's always nice to learn new things about you. :)

Amanda, don't enter me. I already have these wonderful books! I just wanted to drop by and say howdy. You do say howdy, don't you, Ruthy? Or do youse just say hello up there in NY? :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

HA!!!! Cara... you're so funny for a transplanted Yank...

I know, I know, don't you just wish you'd taken the bull by the horns...

So to speak...

And jumped in the waters like three decades ago? Wait. Four....

No, make that....

Okay, kidding. But yes, I'm so proud of these girls. Amanda... Casey Herringshaw... Amber... Andrea Strong... Oh, I'm forgetting some, but it's early and coffee hasn't kicked in! Holly....

Yes, do it. Just have fun with it. Let it take you places. I love that we have a host of young writers and readers that come to Seekerville because you are the future. And right now the future's looking GOOD!!! ;)

Connealy... You counted the tips??? Are ya' kiddin' me? The whole post was CHOCK FULL of tips, Connealy. CHOCK FULL... Like: write. Write. Write.

That's three tips right there. ;)

Joy, I just wanna hug you right now. Totally! And what's this conference you guys are going to? Tell me about that. I love regional conferences because they're not overwhelming. More time to chat... We all know I love to chat. Non-stop. It's becoming a problem. Really.

Deb, Janet, hey! Isn't this girl amazing? FOUR completed historicals. I feel like I've been transplanted to old English countryside and I'm chatting it up with a modern age Jane Austen.... Or pick-a-Bronte....

Patricia, what a lovely thing to say! Bless you, woman! And I'm hoping Tulsa OK is still standing now that Mary, Tina and I have left... What an incredible weekend, a total "girlfriend" experience with GREAT FOOD!!! Someone tell me the secrets behind Goldie's Hamburgers.


And why, "The Belle" has stopped over, leavin' her post at the Yankee-Belle Cafe! Honey-chile, 'coursin we do say "howdy" up here...

Well. Maybe not. But we do say, "Hey." "Hi." "Good morning."

But I'm going to say "Howdy" to people today and gauge their reactions. In other words, time how fast they run, LOL!

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Ruthy. I'm imagining you saying, "Howdy, y'all come on in and set a spell." And your neighbors thinking you've lost your mind. :)

Julie Lessman said...

RUTHY AND AMANDA -- GREAT interview!!! I love learning more about Ruthy ... you know, for blackmail purposes?? Like her biggest mistake of saying something she shouldn't have on a public writer's loop??? Thank God I would never do anything like that ... :)

JUST finished Reunited Hearts and absolutely LOVED it, no surprise!! Still a little shallow-breathed over Trent Michaels, but that will settle down when I read the next Ruthy book, I'm sure!


Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda said...

Thank you so much everyone for stopping by!!! So great to see you all!!

I’ll be sure to enter you in the drawing Joanne! Isn’t Ruthy fabulous?

LOL. Scolded? :) Don’t we need the Seekerville sheriff for that job, Ruthy?

Holly, thank you so much for stopping by and for becoming a follower! Glad the interview was encouraging! I know I’m encouraged every time I read it!

Cara! Thank you soo much for stopping by! Both you and Ruthy are such wonderful, special ladies and write such fabulous novels!!

Ruthy’s interview is full of tips, Mary!! But I’ll be sure to count them next time! :) LOL.

Debby, Ruthy’s books are great to read on a chilly fall day. Maybe even with a cup of coffee or my favorite hot cocoa! Thank you so much for stopping by!

Joy!! Sending greetings your way! And can’t wait to see you too :) Thanks for stopping by. And I’ll be sure to enter you in the drawing!

Pam! Winston Churchill certainly knew what he was talking about. That’s my mantra too!! Thanks for visiting!!

Janet! So nice to see you! And having Ruthy on my blog was soo fun!!!

Patricia, you’ve said it so well. Ruthy is so sincere and down to earth! That’s one of her many great qualities! And looking forward to seeing you in Jackson!

Howdy to you too Missy! Thanks for stopping by! They are pretty elite in NY so maybe they still say “how do you do.” LOL.

Ruthy! You’ve made my day! Jane Austen or one of the Bronte sisters! Me? Well, I’d so love to visit England….

JULIE! So wonderful to see you here! I so agree about Ruthy’s characters! So well written! Thank you so much for visiting!

Blessings to you all!

Ruth Logan Herne said...


HAHAHAHAHA! I'm elite. You're not.

But we knew that.

:) (laughing here!)

Amanda, definitely England! I can so totally see that for you, and I think your mom and I chatted about that in St. Louis. It would be a wonderful opportunity.

Jules, I'm so glad you liked Reunited Hearts! I loved Trent (there's a no brainer for you!) and telling Alyssa's story was like unfolding layers of delicate tissue paper, not wanting to cause further damage to the gentle heart within.

And Cory Sue??? It would take an absolute Grinch to not love, love, love that little girl! Oh my stars....

"Fank you."

"Mr. Man! Mr. Man!"

"It's a bwanket that I take ni-ni so it's my 'ni-ni', but this one is my berry special ni-ni."

I'm quoting myself. I am obviously a sick individual in need of possible institutional help.


by Pegg Thomas said...

Love the Churchill quote! A good one to remember for sure.

Thanks for entering me in the drawing.

twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

Audra Harders said...

OMG, this interview was so Ruthy! Amanda, you did a great job of capturing the true lady behind her words.

It was such a pleasure meeting you and your mom at conference. And what an inspiration you are! You're off to a great start and I know the good Lord has great plans for you!

And Ruthy? You? Say something you shouldn't have on a public writers' loop? Never! LOL!

Andrea Strong said...


I missed conference this year, but I got to meet Ruthy last weekend in Tulsa. She really is amazing and encouraging...I could go on, but I don't want her head to swell ;)

Proud? Of me? Wow! You are truly an inspiration to me, so that means a lot. Now I need to go do something for you to be proud of. :)

I'd love to win one of Ruthy's books. Thanks for doing the giveaway.

Amanda said...

Ruthy! I too loved all the characters in “Reunited Hearts”!! Love your tissue paper analogy! And I often quote my characters too. LOL.

Thanks so much for stopping by Peg! I love that quote too, as well as many other Churchill quotes! I’ll be sure to enter you in the drawing!

Audra! You are so sweet to say those kind things about me! I loved meeting you in St Louis as well! Thank you so much for dropping by!

Andrea! So nice to see you here! Ruthy is so amazing and encouraging isn’t she. I could talk with her for hours! And I’ll be sure to enter you in the giveaway!

n2bluegrass said...

What an awesome interview. I so excited to locate some books and start reading!

Please enter me!