– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Trembleath’ blogtour, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tour.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but b
About the Author :
Graduating from Liverpool John Moores University with a degree in Environmental Planning, her passion for the natural environment and love for creatures great and small is evident in her writing. She currently lives on rural moorland on the edge of ancient woodland and shares her home with four cats and a wolf and spends most of her time ‘earthing’. Since an early age, Ruth has been intrigued by the ancient world, folklore, myths and legends and explores the unknown.
As well as writing, Ruth dabbles in Graphic Design and has worked with local charities including South Lancashire Bat Group and Rooley Heritage.
Ruth is also the creative mind behind Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival (first Chocolate Festival in the UK). She organised the event for the first 5 years, winning an award for Best Small Event in Greater Manchester. Capitalising on her passion for the paranormal, Ruth organised the Whitefield Halloween Festival whose specially commissioned beer by Outstanding Beers went on to win awards. Building partnerships with local community groups and businesses for over 20 years, promoting Town Centres and staging large-scale events to boost the local economy and bring communities together.
Amelia Scott is re-building her life in Southern England following a disastrous relationship. It was going to be an adventure, but when she hears news of a young girl found dead and another goes missing, she quickly begins to learn there is more to Creek Bay than she could ever imagine.
A village hiding a dark secret, two families at war, Amelia Scott gets caught up in a murder investigation with dire consequences.
Published in paperback format by Hygge Media on 11th November 2019.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
My background is Environmental Planning where I worked as a Senior Planner for local government over 20 years. During that time my passion for art transcribed into graphic design and so I used this in my every day to produce trail booklets, information boards and exhibitions on the environmental projects I worked on. As an avid project manager my organisational skills were then used to design, develop and solely organise events to bring in large footfall to boost the local economy. I organised the UK’s first ever Chocolate Festival and did so for the first five years until I was made redundant. It was a particularly dark time in both my work and personal life if I am honest and I guess you either use that to your advantage or let it eat you whole. I began writing in 2010 when I had a recurring dream that wouldn’t leave me. It was then that I decided to put pen to paper (or rather fingertips to keyboard) and put it down for therapeutic purposes. It worked, and as I let the words flow, the dreams progressed. In my first sitting I wrote 20,000 words and had no idea I had that in me, every day I would take the steps to the study and immerse myself in their world – it was a welcomed distraction to my current predicament, it was my escape, and my freedom. As I became more focussed it was not before long that I had a fully constructed novel on my desktop and more stories flowed from there.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
My mother had a great bookshelf, as a little girl I would sit with my legs crossed and flick through the pages of the books that I could reach. Ancient Greek and Roman Mythology were the first books I began to take interest in and still are to this day. I was hooked, fascinated and intrigued by the stories, so much so that I couldn’t wait to find out more. She also had books on British history linked to the supernatural, I guess this is where my interest into witchcraft and the natural world stems from. My personal book collections are wide and varied, but I must confess I love a good horror book as well as crime fiction.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I do have a few favourite authors sitting on my shelves, namely Stephen King, James Herbert, Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris, Kelley Armstrong, Lynsay Sands, Tom Cox. Of course I would like to pick all of them for advice, but if I was only given one, then I think it would be Anne Rice. She writes passages as though she has lived that time and it draws you into that world, the characters and believe everything is possible.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Invite for tea, or BECOME tea (haha). I would invite The Vampire Lestat (Anne Rice) and William Henry Malloy (from my novel Trembleath). These two characters (or should I say gentlemen), have a wealth of experience between them, have seen many things over the years and though they have a darkness within them, they are also torn between the light. I would also like to think that they know one another in some form through the years, so hearing about their first thoughts of one another would be interesting and whether they are friends or foes. They both excite me and scare me – the right mix of entertainment for any gathering.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
My writing rituals have always been based around force dreaming. So I will lay completely still, take deep breaths and run through the scene in my mind, its at that point they take over and I’m merely there to record what is happening. I would literally be lost if it wasn’t for the notes app on my phone, the second I hear a conversation I have to write it down. The concern is that I have so many notes I have to make sense of before the traction is lost. Armed with a large pot of black coffee or peppermint tea I sit in my office and let the words flow. I do however get distracted with research so I can often sit for days contemplating differing scenarios or just end up reading about forensics and think wow, that isn’t relevant for this story, but I will park that info for another time.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I think the people in my life ARE worried (haha). Those that know me know of my love for the natural world and my affinity with animals. I harness this in my writing and let the environment speak to me. I am a huge fan of Earthing – walking barefoot and let the earth’s energies filter through you. I live in a remote hamlet on the moors surrounded by farm and woodland, I find inspiration in everything around me, from listening to the birds, the deer or just the wind through the trees. If there is one gift I have, it is listening and observing – so when I am around people I simply watch, take in their mannerisms and their body language, their interactions with one another and their reactions, people watching is a great past time.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m actually a little of both. What I have found when I am writing a series, the first novel simply flows, and although I know how the series ends, the subsequent novels in that series tend to have a more plotting structure to them. This is because I need to ensure questions are answered, and information is revealed. I lay breadcrumbs for the reader, some may be very subtle while others are literally screaming at you, and I enjoy seeing whether the reader picks up on the hints along the way.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Thank you for asking. I would say just go for it. Writing is amazing therapy. Write, write, and write some more. The more you hone your craft, the better you will become. Writing short stories and flash fiction is a great way to get your creativity flowing. My one piece of advice on the don’t – is don’t overthink it, let the story come to you, never force anything.
What are your future plans as an author?
I have three books in the Trembleath series, so I am working on completing those at the moment. Trembleath has been shortlisted for the Cornish Book Awards and currently in discussions with literary festivals, I was also due to be in Cornwall 20 April – 1 May with talks and promotion of Trembleath, however, due to Covid-19 the scheduling for 2020 has been put on hold, so who knows what the future holds. With other completed series I am looking to revisit those and see if there is any representation, but for now I am focussing on getting through my 9-5 job, my writing, and staying motivated during these difficult times.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
A teaser… Mmm.
Creek Bay is not your average quaint Cornish seaside village. It holds a dark secret steeped in Pagan history ruled by a powerful family. As Amelia mourns the loss of her previous life, a new one is thrust upon her without fully understanding the consequences. The deaths of two young women will soon reveal the horror she faces, but just when you may think you have secrets to the mystery all wrapped up, an old foe rolls into town.
As she ran down the cobbled street into misty darkness, clouds consumed light cast out from the waning moon into the night sky. Her ragged breathing filled the air, her heartbeat pounded in her ears and her panic filled their nostrils; they were hungry for the kill. The slapping of their large feet against the cold wet stone echoed around her. She tried to ignore the sound and focused on making it to the village, where she knew she’d be safe. The pounding continued from her pursuers bringing new life to her tired legs, humming from the pain now fuelled with adrenaline. She could make out a light in the distance, and another, and another; the village she grew up in, people she called friends, family, loved ones were just within reach. The thought of being in the warm embrace of her parent’s arms spurred her on.
She didn’t see the pothole beneath her feet, she sprawled forwards tumbling hard onto the cobbles, her kneecap shattered on impact sending waves of agony down her leg. The girl howled, as pain coursed through her body, muscles convulsing tightening her limbs; she rolled on the ground in fetal position panting out the pain. Tears ran down her cheeks. The rain hadn’t registered until she saw the ripples in the puddle beside her. With a sigh she raised her head skywards watching the drops descend. She knew she had to keep moving, had to get away, put some distance between her and…
Silence, deathly silence. Like someone had clicked the mute button on life. And then she felt it. The hairs all over her body stood to attention; a tingling sensation ran up her spine, rising up the back of her neck; she shuddered as a breath of cold air passed over her, she could smell the stench of death in its wake.
Death was coming for her and there was nothing she could do about it. She thought of her mum and dad at home with her little sister, waiting for her bedtime story. But there would be no story. Not tonight. Not any night. She knew she would not survive. She hung her head low in submission and waited for death’s grip, a prayer forming on her lips,
“Bless me father for I have sinned…”
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Ruth Shedwick.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!