RUTH DAVIS HAYS
Ruth Davis Hays has been a stay-at-home mom, a writer, a costumer, and a data entry clerk. Not all at the same time, of course.
A Florida native, she was born in Jacksonville and graduated with a BA from Florida State University, School of Theatre. Having a love of fantasy from an early age, she took inspiration from anywhere; staring at a picture, the clouds in the sky, or walking down her grandmother’s driveway. Studying theatre and humanities since high school, she and her friend Khanada would write short stories to entertain each other.
When she moved to Orlando with her husband, Ruth worked in the Costuming Department at Universal Orlando for four years before leaving to work as a data entry operator with Harcourt Publishing. Deciding to stay at home with her new son, she freelanced on a research project for Wizards of the Coast. Later, helping on independent films such as The Last Will and Legend of the Red Reaper, she had the fun of being an extra as well as stretching her artistic wings behind the scenes. She was allowed to design and create individual costumes for some of the lead characters on the upcoming Legend of the Red Reaper (and got to die in it, too!).
During all these adventures, she spent her spare time writing a few more adventures down and produced two fantasy novels based on fictional worlds that had infected her brain in college. The series, Translations from Jorthus, is her chosen place for mental vacations. She tries to visit there as often as she can; bringing back tidbits that may entertain the hearts of others. Her books, The Dawnstone Tale and The Convergence, introduce the readers to an idyllic world of elemental magic and fairytale creatures, then plunges them into bigotry, betrayals, and war. Just an average, relaxing afternoon, right? The third book in the cycle, The Excursion is in post-production and number four, The Illusion where many loose ends get tied up and gagged, will be done (hopefully) later this year.
A little Q & A with WRITE STAR Ruth:
1. What was your favorite chapter to write and why?
Actually, my favorite chapter is in the “work in progress,” book four. It is a scene of simple symbolism and character emotional growth. I call it The Waterfall scene.
2. What old/new author has garnered your attention the most?
I’ve read quite a few new authors that I have appreciated, many from my online writers groups. They all have such unique voices and styles. I’ve enjoyed writings from Dellani Oakes, Kat Marlow and Crimson Kildare, Heather and Christopher Dunbar, and Tracy Angelina Evans. There are so many more that I need to catch up on, though.
3. Which author do you feel your stories are most like?
I’m not sure, but one of my readers described them as Anne Rice meets Margaret Weis.
4. Did you learn anything from writing your book(s) and what was it?
I learned that I need better organizing skills, at least where computers are concerned.
5. What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?
My novels developed over a long period of time, changing from short individual scene concepts to being plotted and molded into a singular timeline. So, it is hard to say if I have an exact writing process. I think the best portions of my work come from quiet imaginings that I draft initially as if I’m taking dictation or transcribing a movie I watched. That way, I can utilize the liberty of free forming ideas, but can edit the inspirations to fit the story where they are needed. Listening to music is an important part of that process.
6. Tell me about your muse?
In reality, my muse (as in what prompts me to keep writing) could be pinpointed as my best friend, Khanada, because I started writing these stories for her to read, and my desire to entertain her is still a motivating factor. But in a theoretical sense (as in something or someone that I wish to write about or “puts words in my pen”), my muse could be considered the characters that populate my fantasy worlds. Their stories and personalities constantly careen around in my head, begging me to spill them onto paper.
7. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
For me, one of the hardest parts was deciding how to structure the events to make a coherent story. Another part was gathering all the little files that I had made over the years, comparing them, and then eliminating the duplicates and picking the best ones. This was tedious, time consuming, and at times seemed endless.
8. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write what you love. Tell the story that you want to read.
9. Are there certain characters you would like to work with again, or a theme/idea you’d love to work with?
Oh, yes. I have a couple of characters that demand I tell more of their stories. Evolution of the self as well as the world around the character is endlessly fascinating to me.
10. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticisms, in my first draft of The Dawnstone Tale, were that my heroine was unbelievably gullible and a couple of scenes were so long and detailed that they brought the story to a halt. Needless to say, I did my best to address these issues in the second draft. I think the best compliment so far was recently from my father. He is not a reader of fantasy novels. In fact, he was averse to diving into mine for fear of not “getting it,” but he called me to tell me how much he was enjoying the stories. He said that while reading The Dawnstone, he had to slow down and read every word, discovering that this helped immerse him in the tale and made it a more intimate experience. He then went back to his old favorite detective novels and read them again, slower. He said my books increased his enjoyment of storytelling all around. That was a great compliment!
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Please VISIT these other blogs today. RUTH has a different interview with each one on the hop. While you’re there take a moment to LIKE their page. They are all WRITE STARS in my book. 🙂 ENJOY
Juli Page Morgan: www.julipagemorgan.com/blog
Ruth Davis Hays: http://jorthusbooks.wordpress.com/
Dellani Oakes: http://writersanctuary.blogspot.com/
Rachel Rueben: http://www.rachelrueben.com
Karina Gioertz: www.friedgatortail.wordpress.com
Kristen Duvall: www.kristenduvall.com/blog
Crimson Kildare and Kat Marlow: www.thrutheglass.net
Check back tomorrow as the FABULOUS BLOG HOP stops here again with another WRITE STAR to be premiered…. Author JULI PAGE MORGAN