Ruthie truly enjoys sharing her ‘More Than Skin’ Romances with a large variety of readers. She grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. Attended Clark College as an undergrad, and completed her Masters at the University of Texas in Austin. Both of her degrees are in Economics. After working in the Banking industry, she is now doing what she loves – telling stories.
1) First Ms. Robinson, I want to thank you so much for doing this interview with me! When did you know that writing is something that you were meant to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What is it, if anything, about writing that frustrates you the most?
I’ve always been passionate about writing. Writing gives me the chance to take an idea and bring it to life on paper. I enjoy figuring out how to structure it… getting it to say what I want in a way that’s also engaging and funny. I have all these ideas and things I want to say. Writing stories allows me the unique opportunity to do that. My main goal is to entertain my readers with a creative, sexy and inspiring story. Trying to find a way to get my message across, without sounding preachy is the hardest part.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
All my books can be purchased on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Readers can visit my website to find the most up-to-date information as well as a synopsis of each book.
3) You have very specific niche in terms of what you like to write. Where do you draw your inspiration from for the characters that you create and the stories that you tell? Do you ever infuse your personal experiences in life into your writing or is your writing a total escape from reality where you get to create brand new experiences?
All of my romance novels feature a heroine that is African American and a hero of any ethnicity. I’ve been blessed to be married for 31 years (as of February 20, 2019) to a really great guy. We’ve been through so much together, from having kids to raising them, and I’m lucky to still feel the same way I did about him when we first met. So I wholeheartedly believe in the power of love and finding the right person to spend life with. That’s the reason I write romance…to hopefully impart a little bit of what I’ve learned to the rest of the hopeless romantics in this world.
4) You have over ten novels, which in itself is absolutely amazing! What is your writing process like? Do you have a routine and set schedule that helps you to stay on track? Do you outline your novels or do you just wing it and write the story as you go? How long does it typically take you to complete a novel?
Thank you! I write a complete rough draft of the entire book first, researching as I go, and using that research to shape the story. I then correct and revise as necessary. I send it to my editor for her notes and comments and then correct again. I try to make sure I write every day, and set daily goals depending on where I am in the story. Sometimes I write outlines and sometimes I just write what comes to me! It usually takes me six months to a year to complete a novel. Six months in the beginning, as those usually were just about a boy and a girl, but my recent novels have taken longer, as they are a bit more complex.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally? Did you have a favorite author that you liked to read as a child? Who is your favorite author now? What book are you currently reading?
I don’t really have a favorite author – I like to read a variety of books on a range of topics. I just finished reading The Subtle Art of Not giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, Thick and Other Essays by Tessie McMillian Cotton. Starting Jacksonland by Steve Inskeep, which is more research for a book idea. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover is one of my favorites, probably the first I guess. I felt like I was in the story. Stephen King’s Salem Lot kept me up a night (had me wearing a cross around my neck to read, lol). Such imagery in both.
I’ve read so many books; lots of best sellers off of some list, and especially romance. It’s hard to remember them all. A friend of the family had shelves full of them, that she allowed me to borrow. Mostly now days I read political stuff, self-improvement, or research for book ideas.
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years? What projects are you currently working on?
I received a Kirkus Review of “In the Weeds” that I was particularly proud of. In the next five years, I hope to have written more books. I’m working on finishing “OCAAT Two” and three other books that are related. The Two Groomsmen, Until Death, and Experiences, Inc. I hope to have those done by year-end.
7) What are your thoughts about where the publishing industry stands today in terms of the avenues of traditional and self-publishing? In the writing industry today you can’t really be totally focused on the creative side of it without having to dedicate time and attention to the business side of writing, which I’ll admit, is something I really struggle with because I just want to create and let someone else deal with the other stuff. How do you balance the business side of writing versus the creative side of it?
I really like being able to self-publish. The thought of having to find an agent and do the things necessary to secure a publishing contract makes me cry, lol. I really love to write, and I can lose hours doing so, and not mind it at all. The pressure of all the other things that go into writing or marketing makes the writing part, at least for me, disappear. Writing is what I like and what I’d like to concentrate on, so in that way, self-publishing works better for me.
This year, I came to an executive decision to just write. To try and get more of the stories I wanted to tell out into the world. That’s it. For me, that meant letting go a lot of the marketing, and whatever it takes to get your books out in front of everybody. I set some small business side goals, participate in a couple of book fairs, send books to be reviewed and things like that. My main goal is to spend the largest chunk of my time dedicated to simply writing… so far, so good!
8) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
I don’t know. It depends I guess on what you want. What does success mean to you? You’ll have to define it. For me it means having a body of work at the end of it all, stories that I want to tell in the way I want to tell them up for sale, available to others. That’s it. It’s not tied to a sales goal or making it big. It’s just me, writing stories and sharing them. That’s something I can do. Something I want to do.
I don’t think so. I started writing ten years ago. I was forty-eight and my oldest was leaving for college. I don’t think it was too late. There’s not a set age for success. Use that added wisdom and additional experiences to fuel your writing and make it that much stronger.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work? Do you ever, other than when it’s in the editing phase, just sit down with one of your books and go back and read it? Are you overly critical of your own work?
No, haha! I love reading my work! I write for me, which means I have to love the story, get lost in the story…so yeah I like my work.
10) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
I believe in love. I believe that love is the answer, the key, and the cure. I always have and I always will. It’s the reason I write romance. Writing also helps me work through my issues and thoughts on how the world works and how it should work, so my stories usually have some type of current affair or trending issues mixed in with the romance (not all of them, but most). “In the Weeds” is about race. “Steady” is about gardening and things we can do to be environmentally responsible. “Will Work for Food” is about being homelessness. With all my books, my overriding goal is to tell an engaging story that makes you appreciate and respect life, love and diversity.