Missy here. I really enjoyed meeting Ruth Axtell Morren at a conference this past year, and am so pleased to introduce you to her today! Of course, many of us are fans already (Melanie!) :) and know her work, but maybe we'll learn something new about her. Also, Ruth will be giving away a copy of her new Love Inspired Historical release, To Be a Mother, so be sure to read the details at the end of the post to enter!
Next month Ruth Axtell Morren will see the publication of her eleventh historical romance, A Family of Her Own. This is her shortest work, a novella, in a 2-in-1 anthology with fellow Love Inspired author Cheryl St. John. The anthology is entitled To Be a Mother, and features a Mother’s Day theme in time for that holiday.
The interesting thing about this novella is that it was only the second inspirational piece of fiction Ruth ever wrote—and the first thing that she considered “publishable.” But it was a long road before it ever came to print—more than ten years!
She always knew she wanted to be a fiction writer, ever since she wrote her first story—a spy thriller—at the age of twelve. She studied comparative literature at Smith College, taught English and worked as an au pair in the Canary Islands, worked in international development in Miami, Florida, before moving to the Netherlands, where for the next several years, she juggled both writing and raising her children. In 1994, her second-ever manuscript was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart competition.
It didn’t find a publisher until last year! It will be published sometime this year by a Dutch publisher, Mozaiek, who is first translating into Dutch. One of the reasons it caught the eye of this publisher is that the story takes place in the golden era of Holland’s history, the age of Rembrandt and the Dutch explorers who sailed around the world bringing back riches to this tiny nation.
Ruth currently lives on the down east coast of Maine with three kids and three cats.
And now from Ruth...
Meeting a deadline when that manuscript is just not inspiring!
What do multi-published authors do when the story idea they had has lost its spark or momentum…When the plot seems to fizzle and you can’t think of any good twists to keep your reader reading? When every romance device seems clichéd and used ad nauseam: Marriage of convenience, secret baby, regency rogue, female disguised as male, doctors, ministers, dukes & duchesses…Jane Austen has been done to death, oh, woe!
I found myself in this predicament recently on my current Love Inspired Historical. Well, first thing was to continue thinking about the story and research the time period and the characters’ professions or situations in life. The deeper you delve into your story, the more you begin to forget about other things (what did your editor say; what will readers say; what is the latest romance you’ve read about) and the more you begin to recapture the magic of the story, who this hero is, who the heroine is and why it matters. The clamors of their hearts begin to resonate in you and you begin to feel their yearnings. Before you know it, you get an idea(!) It might be a small plotting idea, but it helps move the story forward. Or, it might be an unveiling of some internal conflict that one of them is suffering. You get new insight into why they’re behaving as they are; why they can’t just fall in love and declare their love. Then, you begin to write again, maybe a few pages, but when you leave your manuscript for the day, you find yourself thinking about your hero and heroine, and once more, you get another idea(!) about them and their story. You mull on it, and it builds and suddenly you know where you need to take them the next day…
Before you know it, you have added a whole new chapter to your manuscript, then you reach the quarter point or the halfway point….
Who knows what’s around the corner? All you know is that you are leading the hero and heroine to that magical day when they can declare their love to each other, when all barriers are smoothed away and you can leave them, confident that they will ‘live happily ever after...’
Missy again. Ruth, thanks so much for sharing with us! Readers, please be sure to leave a comment with your contact email address to be entered in a drawing to win a copy of To Be a Mother! If you don't leave an email addy, I won't know to enter you! And here's a blurb for Ruth's story:
A Family of Her Own by Ruth Axtell Morren
In To Be a Mother, Love Inspired Historical 2-in-1 anthology, April 2010
War and tragedy destroyed Rianna Bruce’s chance at happily ever after…or did it? Reuniting with her first love, Noah Samuels, proves that her feelings haven’t gone away. In helping his young daughter, can Rianna show the disillusioned Noah the blessing of a second chance?