AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: RUTH J. HARTMAN
Ruth J. Hartman has stopped by to let us pester her with questions….
Tell us a little about Rescued by a Duke, what inspired you to write “Rescued by a Duke”?
I’d already tried my hand at a Regency Romance, “Time for a Duke” and had so much fun, I wanted to do another.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
The characters decide. If they waited for me, their story would never get written!
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I morphed into Regencies. I started out first with a memoir, then several contemporary humorous romances.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
I really liked Kitty from a contemporary romance, Purrfect Voyage. She was silly and clumsy, but she loved her cat more than anything, which is a lot like me.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
In Grin and Barrett about two dentists, the hero, Victor, was different than any of my others. He wasn’t easy to like at first, but as the story goes along, things change. He changes when he meets the heroine and you like him.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Flossophy of Grace was about a dental hygienist who falls in love with her patient. I got the idea from a friend who was a dental assistant. That’s how she met her husband.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Inspiration. I can’t tell you how often I sit down to write and there’s none there. No idea. My brain doesn’t seem in the mood to be creative.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I’m very uncoordinated, yet won a dance contest the night I met my husband. Maybe the judges had had too many beers? Not sure.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I work two days a week outside the home. When I get home at night, my sweet husband has a homemade milkshake waiting for me J
What TV Show are you addicted to?
Bomb Girls. Love it!
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
Hmm. Let’s see. It has to be quiet. I can’t concentrate with lots of noise. And at least one cat needs to be close. On my lap. In my in-box, wherever.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
For Rescued by a Duke from the show Bomb Girls, I think Jodi Balfour and Antonio Cupo as Sasha and Garrett would be great!
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I had an email from the publisher. I ran down the stairs and hugged my husband. He had to calm me down before I could tell him what happened.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
I don’t know. Maybe 12 or 13. I think I got a hold of one of my older sister’s books. When my mom found it in my room, she took it away.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books? I always look forward to anything from John Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark, and others. There are so many!
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I’m a dental hygienist. While I’m cleaning teeth, I’m often thinking of whatever my WIP happens to be.
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all time favorite?
I love While You Were Sleeping. Hmm. I haven’t watched it for a while. May have to drag it out again!
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I’m working on a third Regency Romance. An idea for a fourth hit me over the head just last week, so I’ll start on that one when this one is finished.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
I’m not sure I could pick just one. But if I could do something with Kim Bowman and Rachel Van Dyken, I’d love it!!
How do you pick your characters names?
Some are names I’ve always liked. Others are names I’ll hear and think, yeah, that would work well for this or that character. And… three of my characters are named after my cats!
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
I’ve done both. I can’t say which I like better. I think they both can work.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
It used to bother me, until I realized that sometimes, it’s out of jealousy, because maybe they want to write a book, or they just don’t read that genre. Now, I usually just laugh and shrug my shoulders.
Where can readers find you?
And for the silly side –
What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Plain Hersey’s Milk Chocolate – the big bar!