Friday, July 12, 2013

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Ruth A. Casie

Today I’m interviewing Ruth A. Casie. Her book, The Guardian’s Witch is a historic fantasy and was released on July 1.
Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.  
In order to save the man she loves from being executed for treason and prevent being married off to another, Lady Lisbeth Reynolds, must make a crucial decision. Dare she rely on her knight, Lord Alex Stelton, to find a way to save them both or does she trust her magic and risk exposure as a witch?
I also write heroines who use magic and potions for good. Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?  
This book takes place on the English/Scottish border in 1290. It is a historic fantasy. I am undeniably a romantic and find the medieval and Renaissance periods my favorite. I am totally taken with knights and chivalry. My first book, Knight of Runes, was also a historic fantasy with a time travel element.
Time Travel & Scottish historicals are my favorite things to read & write. When did you first consider yourself a writer, and when did you start writing toward publication? 
Author Ruth A. Casie
I didn’t plan to be an author. I wrote my story without any understanding of craft. I just wrote until the end and was surprised that it was 105,000 words. I didn’t know what to do with it once it was done. I searched for a support group and found RWA. I called Texas and told this very nice lady what I had done and she led me to the NJ and NYC chapters. Then I learned how to write a story. I was relieved and excited that in many ways I had intuitively put it together correctly. Technically I had a lot to learn. Head hopping and sliced commas were a challenge.
Sounds like you jump-started your career the correct way. We all need help at one point. It is okay to ask for it! What inspired you to write your first book?
Ah, this is an interesting story. I was watching a program on television, Who Do You Think You Are. It’s about the journey a celebrity takes in finding their ancestry. It really started me thinking. Women today are independent, self-supporting, and accomplished. They run the board room and are good in the bed room. How would they be viewed by their ancestors? So I took a very alpha female who does ordinary things well and dropped her back in time (to the 17th century) and had her find the love of her life. How they deal with each other and grow is what Knight of Runes, my first book, is all about.
I LOVE strong heroines! How did you get into romance writing?
I’m very involved as a volunteer in our county’s women’s shelter for victims of domestic violence.  I’m on the executive board. At an executive meeting, the board secretary, who was a former client, told me she was writing a book. I thought it was about her experience. She laughed and said no one wants to hear about that. No, she was writing a romance novel. I’ve always had stories in my head and offered to beta read or be a critique partner if she’d like. We traded story ideas. The following week at the regular board meeting she said she had been thinking about us both writing stories and possibly putting them together as a set. To make a long story short. We outlined our stories and started writing but she had other pressing issues. While I am a sedentary empty nester, she was training for the New York Marathon and touring colleges with her daughter. She stopped writing and I continued on my own.
Why have you become a published author?  
I really didn’t plan to be a published author. I was a vice president at a large financial institution and doing well. I was in product management and did a lot of work in communication and marketing. When my friend and I started writing though, I found a new creative outlet. Once I wrote the book the next step was to get it published. Then I faced a decision. Was it the challenge of getting published that I wanted? Or, did I want a new career? I found my writing friends sparked my creativity. You can’t get too creative with a wire transfer. And I wasn’t willing to quiet the voices in my head. I loved the creative process and even working with my editor. That was like a private tutor! Once my publisher encouraged another book I ran with it.   
Okay, how about the flip-side? Do you have any rejection stories to share?
I had sent my first book out to this one editor and got a rejection. It wasn’t a form letter but rather a detailed response why it was not accepted. I went to my NJ chapter meeting. We give out Hershey hugs for bad news and Hershey kisses for good new. For the bad news I announced the rejection. For the good news I announced it wasn’t my book. I had gotten someone else’s rejection. The editor later sent me my real rejection letter but that first one still makes me smile.
I am passing along the chocolate idea to my local chapter!What is your writing routine like?
If you asked me before June 1, I would have said I write after dinner and on weekends. But, I retired from my day job on June 1 and now I’m in the process of developing a routine. I’ve spent the last month ramping up for the release of my new book, The Guardian’s Witch, this past July 1. So I am still trying to develop a routine. Please. Let me know if you have any ideas.
I retired to write full-time in 2007...still figuring it all out! Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?   
The most rewarding thing was to see the number of books that I sold and realize neither I (nor my family) had bought them all. Other people were buying and reading my stories! That is still amazing to me.
My family supports each book I publish, but it is the strangers out there that make our careers. What do you see ahead in your writing career?
I’m planning on writing two to three books a year as well as a short story to two. My friend gave me a license plate cover that says, “NY Times Best Selling Author in Training”. I would like make that more than a wish. I’d like to make that a reality.
Me too! Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?
I am a member of several RWA chapters. Each provides a wealth of information and friendship. One of the most exciting things I’ve found about writers is their willingness to help others and, as you do Nancy, pay-it-forward.  
Interviewing authors is my way of helping, and I appreciate your thanks. Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?
Don’t be discouraged. I know rejection can be painful but it a gauntlet we all go through. Never stop honing your craft. Read. Read. Read. And keep your critique partners close.  
Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
    1)Paul and I love to ballroom dance. We’ve done it in every room of the house. 2)Working in international banking, I filled up my passport in two years.

    3)One of my favorite places is a bench by the lighthouse at Pemaquid Point, ME
    As a former New Englander, mine is on the rocks by the ubble Lighthouse in York, Maine. What’s next for you?For the immediate future I’ve also started a project with my critique partners. We’re writing a short story Christmas anthology that we will self-publish. I’m also working on follow up books to both Knight of Runes andThe Guardian’s Witch.  
     England, 1290
Lord Alex Stelton can't resist a challenge, especially one with a prize like this: protect a castle on the Scottish border for a year, and it's his. Desperate for land of his own, he'll do anything to win the estate—even enter a proxy marriage to Lady Lisbeth Reynolds, the rumored witch who lives there.

Feared and scorned for her second sight, Lisbeth swore she'd never marry, but she is drawn to the handsome, confident Alex. She sees great love with him but fears what he would think of her gift and her visions of a traitor in their midst.

Despite his own vow never to fall in love, Alex can't get the alluring Lisbeth out of his mind and is driven to protect her when attacks begin on the border. But as her visions of danger intensify, Lisbeth knows it is she who must protect him. Realizing they'll secure their future only by facing the threat together, she must choose between keeping her magic a secret and losing the man she loves.
Excerpt from The Guardian's Witch
His soft breath heated something deep inside her when he brought his face closer to hers. Her heart thundered with anticipation. His firm lips kissed her eyelids and advanced to her ear. Mine, he whispered. A delicious shudder pulsed through her body. He marched on to her lips and coaxed them open. His spicy scent swept over her. He captured his prize and swept in with his tongue in victory. Forever echoed in her head.

She blinked and the haze vanished. A jumble of confused thoughts and feelings assaulted her. Once again she stared into his magnetic eyes. Her lips throbbed with hunger for his. She dropped her lashes to hide her confusion. A dream? A wish? She’d never had such visions. She gave herself a shake to rid herself of the final images.

A little bit about the author
Ruth A. Casie is a seasoned professional with more than 25 years of writing experience, but not necessarily writing romances. No, she’s been writing communication and marketing documents for a large corporation. Not too long ago, encouraged by her friends and family, she gave way to her inner muse, let her creative juices flow, and began writing a series of historical time-travel and historical fantasy romance novels. Her first release, KNIGHT OF RUNES finaled in NJRW’s Golden Heart for Best First Book. Her latest story, THE GUARDIAN’S WITCH, released July 1. Both books were published by Carina Press. When not writing you can find her home in Teaneck, New Jersey, reading, cooking, doing Sudoku and counted cross stitch.  Together with her husband Paul, they enjoy ballroom dancing and going to the theater.  Ruth and Paul have three grown children and two grandchildren.  They all thrive on spending time together.  It’s certainly a lively dinner table and they wouldn’t change it for the world. Ruth is President of the Board of Trustees of Shelter Our Sister (SOS), Bergen County’s shelter for victims of domestic violence.
How can my readers buy your book?  
Readers can find Ruth’s books at:
Carina Press HERE    
Amazon     Barnes and Noble       

You can find more information about me,
Ruth A. Casie, and my book,
The Guardian’s Witch at:
WEBSITE            BLOG           Facebook

Twitter         Goodreads    Amazon Author Page   
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