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Knowledge Base .: Meet The Author .: Fiction .: Meet Ruth Ann Nordin author of North Dakota Romance, Ann’s Groom, Witness to a Murder, Ann’s Quest to be Queen and her most recent tome, An Inconvenient Marriage: The Keeping Of Jake Mitchell.

Meet Ruth Ann Nordin author of North Dakota Romance, Ann’s Groom, Witness to a Murder, Ann’s Quest to be Queen and her most recent tome, An Inconvenient Marriage: The Keeping Of Jake Mitchell.

 

Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest Ruth Ann Nordin author of North Dakota Romance, Ann’s Groom, Witness to a Murder, Ann’s Quest to be Queen and her most recent tome, An Inconvenient Marriage: The Keeping Of Jake Mitchell.

Good day Ruth Ann and thanks for participating in our interview. 

Norm:

When did your passion for writing begin? What keeps you going? 

Ruth Ann:

I began writing when I was twelve.  One day while I was in the library looking through books that didn’t sound interesting, I thought, “Why don’t I just write the book I want to read?”  Writing is one of the few things in my life that I’m passionate about because it brings me personal satisfaction of creating new characters and events that I enjoy reading. 

Norm:

Why have you been drawn to writing Christian romance novels? As a follow up, are there aesthetic advantages and disadvantages peculiar to this genre? Does it have a particular format? 

Ruth Ann:

I did not even consider writing Christian romance novels until last summer when I realized that genre existed.  I used to write fantasy and young adult fiction.  My first preference has always been romance, but I thought if I wrote romance, I would have to use explicit sex scenes, which I didn’t feel comfortable doing.  The greatest advantage to the Christian romance market is that I can write a romance without using an explicit sex scene.  This market also opens up a door where I can incorporate my beliefs into my work.  I rarely use Scripture in my work, but the main characters should live out sound Biblical values. 

There are a couple of disadvantages to writing for the Christian romance audience.  One is that in a great majority of Christian romances I read, there is little, if any, mention of sex.  It almost seems as if Christians think sex is a dirty word.  I believe that sex is one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind and it should be discussed in Christian romances. 

An author doesn’t have to be explicit in describing sex, but I think it’s important to show that a husband and wife can have a fulfilling and exciting sex life.  I mention the fact that the characters had sex but I don’t describe the act.  I am more interested in presenting sex as something that brings two people closer together.   

A second disadvantage to writing a Christian romance is that authors seem to get too serious when a character does something wrong.  One example is a Christian romance that was supposed to be a comedy where the man and woman lied to her mother and pretended to be married to make the old woman happy. 

This could have been hilarious with all the misunderstandings going on but it seemed that every other page I read was racked with guilt the characters felt from lying to the woman.  I got tired of it.  Yes, it’s wrong to lie, but a simple apology at the end would have been enough.   

In An Inconvenient Marriage, Jake Mitchell lied to get Sue’s suitors to leave her alone, but he didn’t dwell on his lies.  He simply apologized at the end and everything went back to normal.  I wish more Christian romances would keep it light and just have fun with it.  We’re all human and we’ll all goof up.  I’d rather be entertained in a book instead of preached at.

The basic format for any book seems to be that there is a problem that the main character must resolve.  In the Christian romance genre, this problem incorporates God into solving those problems. 

Norm:

What do you want your novels to do? Amuse people? Provoke thinking? 

Ruth Ann:

I want my books to amuse people.  I want them to feel uplifted and entertained. 

Norm:

What's the most difficult thing for you about being a writer?

Ruth Ann:

The most difficult thing in writing is keeping my romantic comedies funny.  I usually have to work through several parts of my book three or four times before I get to the point where I actually laugh.  Writing comedy isn’t always easy for me so I watch and read other comedies and when I laugh, I ask myself, “What made that funny?” If I can answer that, then I can use the technique those writers did to bring more humor into my work. 

Norm:

What are the preponderant influences on your writing? 

Ruth Ann:

More than anything else, I am influenced by my inner passions.  I write what I want to read.  I also get inspiration from other people’s ideas.  Once in awhile when I read books or watch TV, I’ll wonder, “What if it happened differently?” 

Norm:

Is there a message in your most recent novel, An Inconvenient Marriage: The Keeping Of Jake Mitchell that you want your readers to grasp? 

Ruth Ann:

The message is that the best love comes out of friendship. 

Norm:

Where did you get your ideas for An Inconvenient Marriage: The Keeping Of Jake Mitchell? 

Ruth Ann:

My initial thought for the book came when I was in bed trying to sleep.  I was finishing the book Ann’s Groom at the time, and in that book the characters got along from the beginning.  While I was drifting off to sleep, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be funny if two people who couldn’t stand each other were forced to get married?”  

After a few days of writing Ann’s Groom, the idea of the forced marriage wouldn’t leave, so I sat down at my computer and said, “Here we are with a man and woman who can’t stand each other.  Why would they automatically hate each other?”

I started writing the beginning where Sue Lewis barges into the bank where Jake Mitchell works and demands that he figure out a way for her family to keep their house and farm.  From there the story progressed on its own.  My original plan was to have the characters hate each other until the end, but as it turned out, they actually got along a third of the way through the book.  Therefore, I introduced Sue’s brothers who would try to get them to have sex so that they could keep Jake in the family while Jake and Sue are still determined the annulment will happen.   

When I was writing Chapter 7 and Sue appeared on stage after the play, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be funny if the men suddenly thought she was attractive?  And wouldn’t it be funnier if Jake didn’t like that?” So Sue’s brothers and Sue’s suitors came up during the course of writing the book.  Without them, the book wouldn’t have been a comedy.

Norm: 

Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?

Ruth Ann: 

I occasionally suffer from writer’s block.  Usually, it happens after I finish a major scene in the story and need to figure out how to get the story progressing again.  When I do experience it, I read books, clean the house or mow the lawn.  I find a day or two away from writing gets the wheels turning in my mind again.

Norm: 

Do you have a local writing community or fellow writers that you look to for support and advice? As a follow up, did you have a writing mentor?

Ruth Ann: 

I do not have a group I meet with.  I have a friend who writes but she deals with science fiction and fantasy.  We occasionally discuss the writing process.  For the most part, I look to other romantic comedy books and find several authors I enjoy reading so I can get a feel for different writing styles.  If I enjoy the book, I ask myself what the author did to make the story interesting and use that technique into my work.

Norm: 

What has your experience been like with self -publishing? Do you recommend it over traditional publishers?
 
Ruth Ann:

Writing is a hobby for me, so I haven’t tried to go with a traditional publisher.  My friend has and tells me it’s difficult to get her foot in the door, which she has yet to do after ten years of trying.  I went with self-publishing because I wanted to be able to hold my story in book form instead of reading it on the computer. 

When I compare the traditional publisher to self-publishing, my thought is that self-publishing is better for me because I have full control over what is in my work.

Norm: 

Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? (We would love to hear all about them!)

Ruth Ann: 

I have actually worked on two other stories since publishing An Inconvenient Marriage.  I just finished reviewing the proofs for An Unlikely Place for Love: The Disguises of Kate Tanner. 

This is another Christian romantic comedy that takes place in 1886.  In the spirit of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It (which was an inspiration in writing this), my book is about Kate Tanner who witnesses the murder of her parents.  Since the killers saw her, she has to hide from them.  So she dresses up as a man named Billy and leaves Virginia where she ends up in a small North Dakota town and takes on a job as a farmhand at Chad Walker’s farm.  She is a city girl so she has several mishaps while trying to prove she is a man who can handle the farm work.  Meanwhile, a local woman in town falls in love with “Billy,” and Kate falls in love with Chad who has no idea she’s a woman.  I expect this book to be available from Outskirts Press in June. 

I also finished writing The Cold Wife which I have just submitted to Outskirts Press.  This is another Christian romantic comedy that takes place in Virginia in 1894.  Carrie Allen is told she’s going to marry Justin Monroe when her father goes bankrupt.  She tries to run away on the day of her wedding, but her brother drags her back to the church and before she knows it, she’s Mrs. Monroe.  She is determined to get an annulment so she can be free again but Justin has loved her for years and makes a deal with her: if after one month of being with him, she still wants the annulment, he’ll grant it.  Therefore, she does everything possible to show him that she’s not a suitable wife for him, but he refuses to give her the satisfaction of succeeding, which is what gives the book a comedic edge.

Norm: 

Where can our readers find out more about you and your novels?

Ruth Ann: 

They can go to my website at http://www.ruthannnordin.com.

Norm: 

Is there anything else you wish to say that has not been covered?

Ruth Ann: 

No.  Thank you for the interview.

Thanks once again and good luck with all of your novels including your recent one, An Inconvenient Marriage: The Keeping Of Jake Mitchell.

Click Here To Purchase An Inconvenient Marriage: The Keeping Of Jake Mitchell

Click Here to read Norm's Review of  An Inconvenient Marriage: The Keeping Of Jake Mitchell.

 

 

 

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