Thank you for joining me for this exciting — and emotional — Author Spotlight!
First, a bit about Ruth.
I grew up in Northern Michigan an introverted child who observed more than participated. I was the type of kid who if a sign read wet paint, I had to touch it to see if it was wet.
I spent many school hours daydreaming, mostly about horses. Coaxed by my teacher to submit a short story to the Young Authors Writing Contest, I wrote, A Dream to Remember, about a girl who daydreamed about wild horses.
That contest opened my eyes to daydream with a purpose. After that, my endless imagination was limited only by how fast I could write, and sometimes I stayed up late at night writing by flashlight to finish a story.
Although the desire to write had been planted years ago, it lay dormant while I gained life experiences.
I attended Ferris State University School of Pharmacy, in Big Rapids, Michigan where I met my husband, Dan, who was a native Floridian. We married, moved to a small town in Florida, and had three children. (Lexie, Danny, and Sarah).
Writing became a source of peace.
When my son, Danny, was born, life took an unexpected twist. This wasn’t a mere bend or bump in the road—he was born in liver failure. I’ll never forget the day I paced my kitchen floor. I hadn’t ever experienced anxiety—didn’t even recognize the classic symptoms. I was sweating, out of breath, couldn’t focus—couldn’t pray.
The only prayers that came to mind were the generic ones said before eating or at bedtime.
Drained of my own strength, I lifted my hands in the air and asked God to forgive me for not knowing how to pray for my son. At that moment, I experienced God’s peace, which surpasses all comprehension as described in Philippians 4:6-7.
As part of renewing my mind while I waited for Danny to receive a liver transplant, I studied the Bible and wrote devotionals.
During the nine months Danny waited on the National Organ Transplant list for a suitable donor, my faith was tested. However, through it all, God’s peace never failed. I believe because I was determined to have unbendable faith, God showed me miracles. I’ve seen things that as a health professional, I shake my head, but as a believer, I raise my hand and shout “Amen!”
My first attempt at writing a novel
After finishing my first 100,000 word manuscript, I bought the book, The 38 Most Common Fiction Mistakes (and how to avoid them) by Jack Bickham. My book had 36 of the mistakes listed. At least, I knew enough not to pursue an agent with it—or—hold on to it so tight that I would spend years trying to fix it. A clean page was the answer. I tossed that book in the closet and started something different.
(One day, I’ll pull it out and add a synopsis where the main character dies in a car chase for no apparent reason, and call it a complete failure since it will have all the elements of an unsuccessful novel.)
The next book came after several bawling sessions with God over computer problems. When I finally dried my eyes, I sat down and wrote a book in eight weeks. That one I liked, and it was clean of the 38 common fiction errors, so I started my search for an agent.
I found Mary Sue Seymour in a Writer’s Digest article. She was one of the agents listed who accepted new authors. My husband told me I was wasting money on the magazine, assuming she wouldn’t accept my unsolicited manuscript. He was wrong. That was the best $5.99 I had ever spent.
Not long after signing with the Seymour Agency, I sold my first book, A Promise of an Angel to Thomas Nelson.
My interest with Amish
The simplicity of the Amish lifestyle has intrigued me for years. While attending college at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, I lived with retired dairy farmers and had the opportunity to meet many of the Amish in the area. I’ll never forget skipping classes one day to watch a barn raising. I was amazed at the craftsmanship without use of power tools. I’m still intrigued today. I love learning about their firm devotion to God and to each other. I’m blessed for the friendships formed in the process of writing my books.
Things you might not know about me.
• My first purchase upon graduation from pharmacy school was a dog. I named him Zoloft, in memory of the answer to the last question on the last test in pharmacy school.
• While my brother was living in Colorado, I sold his car for $15. (after asking the buyer if he required a title.) I broke the news to Paul over the phone as, “Oh, by the way…”
• When I worked for an ambulance service, I was often teased that my run reports were as long and detailed as a novel.
Want to know why Ruth Reid writes Amish fiction? – Tweet this!
Ruth’s NEWEST RELEASES:
Woodland Miracle – Book 2 in the Amish Wonders series.
For a disadvantaged young woman and a displaced young man, a lasting love is going to take more than chance — it’s going to take a miracle.
Muscle weakness has left Grace Wagler with a broken body — and her childhood best friend has left her with a broken heart. She can hold her own in the timber camp (and do everything else the other women in Badger Creek can do), but in an Amish district where women outnumber men three to one, marriage is an unlikely prospect for a girl with bad legs.
Ben Eicher just arrived in Michigan from Pinecraft, Florida. When his most recent shenanigans proved too much for his daed’s patience, Ben was sent to the Upper Peninsula to work in the lumber camp — and he’s neither proud of his behavior nor thrilled about his new home.
But when Ben meets Grace, the struggling young woman quickly piques his curiosity. Of course, the last thing Grace wants is another friendship with a man who pities her. Tired of physical pain and romantic dead ends, Grace is ready to leave Badger Creek for the muscle specialist in Ohio, even if it contradicts her father’s wishes… and Ben’s.
Meanwhile, two dangerous men have found their way into the district. It isn’t long before their unsavory plans ensnare Grace and Ben in a chase that will not only endanger their lives… but test their love.
Released January 2015!
Her Christmas Pen Pal – A novella in the collaboration An Amish Second Christmas
Joy was expecting a wedding proposal from Henry; what she got instead was news of another woman.
But when her heartfelt letter to a cousin ends up in the hands of a young cabinetmaker, an unexpected correspondence between two strangers gets interesting fast…
When Joy Stolzfus’ boyfriend tells her he wants to court other women, she’s shocked. She pours her heart out in a letter, but it mistakenly reaches Noah Esh.
The two begin writing letters back and forth, but a misunderstanding threatens to topple the relationship they’re building.
Released October 2014!
Here is my interview with Ruth:
1) Have you always wanted to write?
Yes, I started writing short stories in grade school, entered my first writing contest (The Young Authors Contest) and wrote various stories throughout school. Although while attending pharmacy school, I took a detour from fiction writing and became more of a technical writer.
2) Do you use an outline for your stories?
Only when I get stuck and have to brainstorm with a writer friend of mine to figure out how to get my characters out of the hole I put them in.
3) Do you attend writer retreats, conferences and the like?
I try to attend at least one a year.
Do you think they’re necessary for your writing?
I always leave feeling as though I’ve learned something, but I tend to go now more to network with other authors.
4) Is there a special reason that you chose to add angels and demons to your Amish series?
I thought doing a series on angels and Amish would make for an interesting combination.
5) Do you know someone who’s had an encounter with an angel?
When my son was in preschool, he came home one day feeling sad. When I asked what was bothering him, his reply broke my heart. None of the other kids wanted to hold his hand during circle time. Danny was born in liver failure and had undergone a liver transplant at the age of nine months. He was immune compromised from the anti-rejection meds he was taking and warts had started taking over his hands, arms and elbows. I had tried everything—even wrestling him down to put duct tape on the warts. I couldn’t get rid of them.
I took him to several doctors, tried some homeopathic ointments, had him prayed for in church, but nothing worked. Every time I would get rid of one, five would show up the next day. So it made sense that the other kids were afraid to hold his hands; his sand-papery palms and gnarly knuckles were enough to frighten anyone.
I told him if he wanted to get rid of the warts, he needed to ask Jesus to heal him.
At the same time he was praying, “Dear Jesus, I don’t want these warts anymore. You can take them away now.” I was praying, “Lord, you know I’ve been praying about this over a year. You know how hard I tried to get rid of them. Oh, please, God don’t let him lose his child-like faith.”
After the prayer ended, I told Danny that he needed to believe, meanwhile guilt gnawed at me for overwhelming unbelief I was battling.
Danny’s response was, “Yah, that’s what Jesus told me, too.”
“He spoke to you?” I asked.
“He sat on my bed next to me and told me to pray and then believe.”
My arms prickled with Goosebumps. But doubting Thomas (me) had to ask my husband if he had ever sat with Danny in his bedroom late at night talking about his warts or did he ever tell him how sad he was about the other kids not holding his hands. My husband hadn’t. He wasn’t even aware Danny was upset. I remember going to bed that night wondering if Danny had been in the presence of Jesus, an angel, or if it were all a dream.
A few days later, I reached for his hand as we were walking across the parking lot. I felt nothing. I stopped abruptly and inspected his hand, turning it over, pushing up his shirt sleeve to search his arm, his elbow.
As I reached for his other hand, he said, “They’re gone too.”
Anyone who has struggled with removing a wart knows how difficult it is and also how they will usually leave a mark on the skin. Danny’s hands, arms, and elbows were perfectly smooth, not a mark on them. When I say he was covered in warts, I had counted over fifty warts — just on one hand — and I couldn’t even count them all because he would never stand still long enough.
I was astounded. All I could say was, “Danny!”
“Yah, now the kids will hold my hand during circle time.”
The Holy Spirit left this impression with me: Danny had child-like faith, he simply prayed and believed. Exactly what we as children of God are expected to do. While I, prayed (more than a year) and worked hard (over a year) to get rid of the warts. My efforts failed. In frustration, I believed my faith failed. All the while, God was waiting for me to let go — and rest in Him.
To this day, I’m convinced Danny had an encounter with Jesus or perhaps an angel, who he thought was an angel. The hairs on my arm are standing on end as I write this.
6) I loved reading about Katie, Seth and Amos in An Angel by Her Side; with an angel’s help, they overcame their troubles. Have you ever felt like a being is whispering good – or bad – thoughts around you?
I think I’m hammered with positive-uplifting thoughts and negative-harmful thoughts all day long. It’s learning who to listen too. Every good gift is from God—all other thoughts should be cast aside. Yes, I know. It’s easier said than done. Sometimes I imagine myself running a race—trying to catch up to Paul’s faith.
7) In A Miracle of Hope, Lindie and Josiah could have been in a real pickle, had they both decided to keep to their original promise. Most readers would have expected their original problems to be the only plot in the story… How do you come up with such interesting subplots?
I ask myself a lot… what if? . . .
8) You’ve recently written a couple of novellas… Do you enjoy writing novellas? Are they more or less work? Do you think they help to bring you new readers?
I find writing novellas as much work as full-lengths. True, they are shorter stories, but they still require the same story-telling elements. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great authors who I truly admire. It’s been a lot of fun interacting with the authors and their fans when the books come out, so I would say yes, being part of a collection does help bring new readers.
9) What are you working on now? Is there another genre you are interested in writing?
Currently, I’m working on a Christmas novella for 2015. Unexpected Joy will be part of the Amish Gift anthology. I’m also working on the third book in the Amish Wonders series, which is currently untitled and due to be released in 2016.
Thanks for having me on your blog, Donna! I really enjoyed talking with you.
Check out Ruth Reid’s Latest releases! – Tweet this!
Thank You Ruth, and God bless you!
THANK YOU for joining me for this very special AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!
Don’t forget to check back or follow my blog to see new reviews — next month will be dedicated to another of my favorite authors! It’s going to be a very full month because she has lots of fantastic books. You won’t want to miss a single post!
Today’s the last day to enter Ruth’s GIVEAWAY contest!
God bless you!
Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.