Monday, April 8, 2013

Author Interview with Ruth Hunt

    Welcome everyone to this faaaantastic Monday. And by the way I'm not just saying that, no, not at all. It's a great day because of the author we're going to listen to. She has overcome various personal challenges and her her determination to push forward is inspiring. So without further ado lets jump right into it. We'll start with the basics...Please introduce yourself.
Hi everyone, my name is Ruth Hunt.
      And do you also write with other pen names?
Not at present, but I’ve got an idea for a book for the young adult/teenager market, so may use a pen name then.
    Oh good to hear that you're not done with writing. So tell us about your childhood, you know what was it like growing up?
WeI had a great childhood.  Books always played a big part in my life.  When I was four nearly five I wrote a book and created characters called ‘The Doo’s’  I think the story involved a trip on a train.  I did the drawings and my parents made it into a ‘book’ which they then sent to the publishers of the ‘Mr Men’ books.  I can remember the excitement of getting a letter addressed to me. They said they couldn't publish it, but had enjoyed reading it and looking at the pictures!

    Wow! I'm sure you're grateful to your parents for the encouragement at such an early age. So did you always know you’d be a writer? If not when did you know that you had it in you?
I’ve always loved writing and when I was doing my exams at school I had a really good English teacher, he encouraged me to keep a journal and to experiment with short stories and poems.  My aim was to be a journalist, but I suffered serious injuries in an accident when I was 18 which meant my life took a different course.  When I recently had to give up work, writing came back into my life and I’ve not stopped since that.

So sorry to hear about that Ruth. I can only imagine how tough the adjustment must have been. But here you are still writing right?   So like how long have you been doing this – writing?
In terms of novel writing, this has only been in the past five or six years.  Though I’ve been writing all my life it mainly has been ‘just for me’.  It is only recently that I’ve considered doing it full-time and put my work, ‘out there’….
    And how many books have you written so far?
I had an idea for a book five or six years ago, but launched straight into it, without really developing the idea or planning it out.  I floundered once it was ¾ finished.  Although it’s a good idea, the book was really my practice for what came next, which is ‘The Single Feather’ this is completed and currently is edited. I may go back to the first book, and try to develop it a bit more to make it more interesting.
    Great! Now, in your writing your characters are mainly elderly and disabled, why did you choose to go that way instead of the traditional youthful and fit characters that most writers use?
As I am disabled I’ve been very aware that disabled characters and certainly disabled protagonists are hard to find.  So I’ve made my lead character Rachel have paraplegia.  She joins an art group, most of whom are older, desperate to fit in……
As I know about disability from a personal as well as professional perspective I thought it would be good to use this.  Publishers say that they want fresh, unique voices in fiction, which is what I hope ‘The Single Feather’ provides.
    Let’s talk a little bit about your occupation. You’re a Trustee and Non Executive Director of a national mental health charity right? Tell us a bit about your work.
        Yes I’ve been with the charity for six years now as a non-executive director and Trustee.  I work with a great bunch of people and enjoy the work and meeting our staff and service users.  Volunteering is a great way to contribute in a positive way to society.
     True, very true! So did your work influence you to write this book?
      Only in the way that I knew these groups are generally on the outside or marginalized.  This is true in terms of fiction, so I wanted to address this in  my book. 
  I understand that you’re working with a filmmaker? Is the film you’re working on based on your book or is it a different project?
This is a project for the charity I work for.  It isn't connected to my writing but has been interesting in terms of finding out about filming, with a view to a video trailer for my book and how it could be turned into a film/T.V. drama.
  How will you publish self-publish or with a traditional publisher?
I’m trying the traditional route first.  If I’m not successful I will look to self publish.  I think as time goes by , the self-publishing route is going to be the future, so I don’t see it as any less ‘worthy’ than the traditional route.
    And still on the film subject is there any advice you can give to fiction writers who wish to see their work turned into movies? Are there steps they can take to improve the chances of the books being adapted into film?
I think first of all, when you are writing, try to use language that enables a picture to form in your mind/in a readers mind.  If a scene can’t be pictured in your mind, it needs changing so it does.  If your book is going to be made into a film, it first will be read by producers so they need to visualize it.
Another piece of advice, is to consider doing a short video trailer for your book.  This allows you to see how it would work as a film and also you never know who else might be watching.  Use social media to create a ‘buzz’ around your video and hopefully then around your novel.
       So what next Ruth, will you be writing another book? If so will it be in the same fashion as your upcoming one?
     I’ve got a lot of ideas, all of which have the potential to be novels.  However, for my next book I’m not going to have a disabled protagonist.  ‘Rachel’ has been a great character but I’ve lived inside ‘her’ world for 18 months or more so feel in need of a change!
Okay, what are some of the challenges you've faced so far concerning your writing?
My biggest challenge was getting into an established routine.  As I have noisy neighbors I have to use the time when they are not around which means a very early start.  Now that this is well established, I relish my time writing each day.
According to you Ruth, what makes a writer successful, as in being a bestseller, selling his/her books movie rights or what?
Writing is like playing an instrument, practice, practice and more practice.  Even if it’s only in a journal – you are practicing.  Even great writers do this each and every day.
The second thing is taking it seriously, believing in yourself and to treat rejection as something to learn from and move on from.  You need to develop a hard skin.  Even the most well known writers will have had rejection letters to deal with.  Don’t let it crush you!
Please tell us how do you spend your free time, what do you do for fun?
I love painting, I do mainly watercolors with ink and find that this really helps me to relax/  I also love my time with family and friends.  I like good films and Italian food!

On the left one of Ruth Hunt's paintings .

Who’s the author you’d like to emulate?
Marianne Wheelaghan who wrote ‘The Blue Suitcase’ and ‘The Food of Ghosts’ is definitely someone I’d like to emulate, she is not just an author but co-founder of which offers courses in novel writing and short story/poetry.  All courses are very reasonably priced.  She also has a blog on I’ve done a guest post on Marianne’s blog about fiction and disability.
How do you think authors can make the best use of social media?
Social media is a good way of promoting your work and showing your writing skills.  However, as a writer you are your own business so be professional at all times.  You may be responsible for marketing and selling your book so social media can work for you, as long as you use it professionally, like a business would.

Where can people find you and your books online (the links)
 ‘The single Feather’ will be out early 2014. Follow me on Twitter ‘@prozactaker’
Ruth, it has been a great talking to you and we certainly look forward to reading your book when it comes next year.
Thank you Felix, it’s been a pleasure.


  1. Great interview and lovely pic of painting too – and big thanks for mention, Ruth :)

  2. Thanks Marianne for the nice comment...I was glad to do the interview and I'm sure it will inspire many people especially aspiring writers!

  3. bringing in the aspect of disability into writing is a noble thing I know that once people get farmiliar with such more writers of her caliber will emerge . thanks Fel.

  4. Thanks Marianne, Anon and Felix, for all your comments. Much appreciated! Ruth

  5. Felix Timothy thank you for this inspiring story of Ruth Hunt. I wish that you would contact me by twitter or e-mail to understand my inspiring story and how the up and coming play from my publication will have a portion to go to several charities--Charlene Hampton Holloway,(retired R.N.) Louisville, KY

  6. Well you can email me at or conect with me via twitter on your right(ON THIS BLOG)