Ruth Smith Meyer, thank you for joining us; please tell us a little bit about yourself.
What or who motivated you to become an author?
From the time my mother and then older sister read stories to me, I was fascinated by the idea of writing. As a teen, I assisted my dad in putting out a newsletter and occasionally did some ghost-writing of his editorials when he was busy. However, my writing was mostly in the form of poems, short stories and letters until I began working at a Day Centre for Seniors. While there I wrote Keenagers Korner, a bi-weekly column for four area weekly papers. Attending the last God Uses Ink conference set things into motion for writing my first novel, Not Easily Broken. That was followed by a sequel Not Far from the Tree.
Do you have a favourite genre to write in, if so what is it and why?
Writing is so much a part of me that I have to write. I like to dabble in a lot of different kinds—devotional (I have regular assignments for REJOICE magazine,) inspirational, fiction, children’s literature and my latest adventure—the writing of my memoir, Out of the Ordinary. I also have been involved in several anthologies—the Hot Apple Cider series and am currently working with five other authors to write Good Grief People due to come out February, 2017.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as an author?
Perhaps the biggest learning curve came when I was ready to have my book published. After much research and advice from experienced authors, I decided to self-publish with a firm who also had a distributing arm. Carving out the time to actually sit down to work on bigger projects is a continuing challenge. The times I have gone somewhere else to write have been the most productive. House-sitting for friends once gave me the opportunity for three weeks of uninterrupted time and that was great. Setting aside regular days is imperative. However, blogs and shorter works are often done late into the evening.
Have you found that challenge to get easier the more you write?
Yes, in my usual life, it did get easier. My second husband died at the beginning of this year. His final illness and the emptying of a house interrupted my schedule, but I am getting back to a more disciplined writing time.
What is your goal with your writing and who do you usually intend to reach with it?
The goal of any of my writing is to inspire readers to discover their own strengths, to face their fears, to find hope and growth in the midst of difficulty and to become all that God intended for them to be. I hope they also find joy and humour in the lighter moments as they read.
What else do you like to do besides writing, what are your other passions in life?
I find great joy in speaking to a variety of audiences with my inspirational talks. I am passionate about helping couples make the most of their marriage and for years was involved in various aspects of Marriage Encounter including presenting. After experiencing the death of two husbands sixteen years apart, I also find satisfaction in helping others who are on the grieving journey. I love nature, photography, painting, and all things creative. I love people and of course, my family. With two marriages I have four children, four step-children, in-laws, eighteen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Each one of them is precious and I make birthday cards for each of them—another joy in life.
What do you think sets your books apart and why should people buy them?
Most people who have tried them say they are easy to read—a down-to-earth tone that makes them enjoyable even as they learn. They also appreciate the candor with which I relate real-life situations, making it natural for them to relate to the story. They find help in dealing with their own life and inspire them to grow.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
Not Easily Broken and Not Far from the Tree are my two novels. Out of the Ordinary is my life story, and Tyson’s Sad Bad Day is my children’s book that helps little ones deal with the death of family members. I also have stories in Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, Taste of Hot Apple Cider and Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon anthologies of Canadian Writers. I also contributed to another anthology, Fifty Shades of Grace.