An Interview with Ruby Merritt

getPartWhat is your favorite part of writing?

Actually I have two favorites of writing. The first is the dreaming up the story. This happens most often when I’m lying in bed during those moments of drifting off to sleep or waking up, and while I’m doing normal everyday things like driving or washing dishes. The second favorite part is when the story starts coming together as I write and the words just pour out like I’m a demon possessed.?

What is your next project and when will it be released?

My next project is the third in my Spirited Heart Series which is Grace’s story. I don’t have a title yet, but the bones of the story are in my head. Most likely I’ll release in September 2016, although I would love it if I could manage to release earlier, but I’m not holding my breath.

What is your typical day like?

Ha! Well my typical day involves a lot of different jobs because I don’t have just one. After I walk the dog and feed the cats then I homeschool my thirteen-year-old daughter and her friend while my sixteen-year-old daughter attends community college. Sometimes I can slip in some writing or editing while the girls are working. In the afternoon I write or edit while my daughters go to the barn to ride their horses. They are competitive eventers. Two afternoons a week I’ll go with them and ride too. Of course the evening is filled with all the things I didn’t have time to do during the day.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?

I’ve had an excellent experience self-publishing. Being in control of which stories I write and when, which editors and designers I work with, and meeting all the fabulous readers, bloggers and fellow authors is so liberating and fulfilling for me.  And for what little amount of promo I do, I’ve been very pleased with how well my stories have been received.

Where do you get the ideas for your stories?

My stories come to me as “what if” scenarios. What if a young white girl spent ten years living among the Lakota Indians then returned to the white man’s world? That question is the basis for my first book in my Spirited Hearts Series, Ella’s Choice. What if a woman returns to her hometown only to find the man who’d stole her innocence has returned as well? That is the premise for my second book, Lena’s Courage. Once I begin answering these questions, they lead to other questions and so on until a story develops.

What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?

Besides reading and writing and writing and reading, be open to feedback. Do not skimp on content and copy editors, cover designers, or proofreaders. Create a book that is as polished and presentable as a trade published book.

Do you have critique partners?

Yes, I do, and I value their input immensely. I bounce ideas off of them when plotting my story and developing my characters. They read my work and give me valuable feedback. They help me work out kinks and battle creative blocks. However they don’t take the place of my content and copy editors. Those people are like the final trial and they put the polish on my stories.

What is your favorite dessert/food?

My favorite food is Mexican. And I love wine. There is nothing better at the end of the day than a glass of Merlot or Cabernet.

What genres are you drawn to as a reader?

I love historical romance especially when it gives the flavor of the time period in which it is set. I’m most disappointed when I read a book labeled as historical romance, which reads as if it is set in the present.

Do you prefer to read in the same genres you write in or do you avoid reading that genre? Why?

I love historical romance because I love history, but I’m hard to satisfy in that genre because I write in it. So, I’ve guess I’ve spoiled it for myself. LOL! But I enjoy reading other romance genres, too—YA, contemporary, western. I read other genres too like mystery, thriller, biography, historical, true-life etc., just about anything if the story captures my attention.

Has your muse always known what genre you would write and be published in?

Always romance but not specifically which genre of romance. For me, it’s about the story. So if the story resonates in present day, I’ll write in present day and vice versa.


At a rather large step up, Jonah shrugged off her hold and shifted the bag in his arms so he could gauge the height of the step.

She resisted the urge to help him as he planted a foot on the rise then swayed as he scaled it. When she returned her attention to the walk ahead of them, she froze. She couldn’t believe her eyes. No, it can’t be. Ilse had written that he’d moved away months ago, to San Francisco.

Frank Pierce stood, only yards away, talking to another man.

She clutched Jonah to her skirts.

“Mama, you’re squashing me.”

The monster from that awful night turned and walked in their direction.

Terror at what he might do if he saw her again, if he saw Jonah, stole her breath. She pushed her son toward a door and grappled with its knob. Ignoring his questions, she thrust him inside, then followed and slammed the door closed behind her.

Jonah stumbled then fell in a heap at her feet.

A man sitting behind a desk looked up. “Can I help you, ma’am?”

Lena remained plastered against the door as she stared at the well-dressed businessman with a questioning look upon his face. No doubt he was wondering why they’d burst into his office.

Jonah scrambled to his feet, leaving the carpetbag where it laid, his eyes shining. “Are we here, Mama? Is this the Bäckerei?” When she didn’t answer, Jonah turned to the man who now stood. “Are you my Onkel Erik?”

A strange look crossed the man’s face as he glanced at Jonah then moved from behind the desk toward them. He appeared to be no more than thirty, with dark blond hair similar to Erik’s, but he was taller and trimmer, while the line of his clean-shaven jaw was stronger and leaner than her brother’s.

“Mama?” Jonah asked.

The man’s warm hazel eyes shifted back to hers.

“No, this is not Onkel Erik.” Lena didn’t know how she managed the words, given how she was still gasping for breath over the shock of seeing Frank Pierce. She peeled herself from the door and moved to the adjacent window and her heart hammered in her chest. Hand trembling, she pushed aside the curtain and peered out. She didn’t see any sign of Frank. But he was here. He was not supposed to be here in Cheyenne. But he was. What am I to do now? The thought of him finding out about Jonah and Jonah finding out about him… Suddenly, she felt lightheaded and her vision tunneled.

102113 139BIO

Ruby Merritt writes historical western romance. Her passion for imagining life and love on the High Plains has its roots in reading and rereading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books as a child.

Although Ruby doesn’t call the High Plains her home, she resides in an equally beautiful and rustic locale, The Gateway to the Texas Hill Country.

When Ruby’s not reading or writing, she can be found riding her horse or homeschooling her children who are avid horsewomen and readers as well.

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