Thursday, 9 May 2013

Jan Ruth Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest...

Name's Sin.  Just an ordinary guy in an extraordinary world, that's me.  Say, come inside and meet the missus, as a worm once said.
Granted, that's not so straight forward in the land of the strait jacket, but still, make yourself  at home - or at least comfortable.  I have a visitor.  We don't get many in here.  Most of the residents are either forgotten or want-to-be-forgotten.
What’s your name?
Jan Ruth
Hi Jan, it's good to meet you, even in here.  Especially in here.  Where are you from?
Cheshire, UK. I live in Snowdonia, North Wales.
Do you like living there?  If not, where would your favourite place to live be?  Is yes, where would you least like to live?
I love living here, yes. Oh, I wouldn’t like to be far from the hills... an old Welsh legend has it that if you manage to survive a night on Cadar Idris (that’s a mountain, not a bloke) you will emerge a madman, or a poet.
Still not worked out which one I am, a little of both?
A poetic madman, perhaps?  It sounds idyllic.  As you’re a writer, is this your ‘day job’?
I’m lucky in that yes, answering wacky questions and writing stuff down is my day job. I’m now at that time of life (old but still breathing) when the kids have gone, life has slowed down and I have the time to make up stories. I also contribute to North Wales Yes Magazine
(Not that we didn’t/don’t enjoy our grown children. In fact, we’ve had a rather good return on them already this year with trips abroad and free technical expertise.)
Ah, so children are an investment for your retirement?  I'll have to remember that.  As for writing, it must be wonderful to be able to spend your time writing, particularly in such delightful surroundings.  Tell me about your latest project.
Would you believe it’s a novel set in Snowdonia? I also have lots of material from a recent trip to New Zealand, Australia and Singapore. I was going to write a funny travel blog but I've found myself building stories around some our experiences instead. I’m thinking of writing maybe three novellas and packaging these together as a contrast to the Welsh settings on the other titles.
I can empathise.  I was in Egypt once, and it inspires me still.  So, how do you feel about bacon?  A crazy person once said it was the food of the gods.  OK, I admit that person was myself...
Bacon? It makes me feel proud to be British. I must say how good it is here in the UK (the bacon, that is). In New Zealand, pigs are something of a rarity over there. The bacon was more streak than meat.
Hmmm...  Yum.  You can't beat a good bacon butty.  And, what is your favourite film?
Pass. Not a film lover at all. I can’t sit still long enough and I can’t bear popcorn. If I was pushed, maybe I’d say Babe... Oh, that was the previous question, sorry.
Not a film lover?  Oh I love films - and I'm not overly a popcorn lover either.  But I do enjoy escaping into a visual feast.  Have you always wanted to be a writer, or is it something you found yourself doing one day?
I’ve always dabbled, even as a child. I don’t think it’s something you suddenly decide to do.
I agree, actually.  Writing tends to be 'in you' rather something you cna simply turn on and off.  Do you have so many ideas they dribble out of your nose if you don’t get them down, or do you have to hunt around the floor and the back of your sofa to find where your Muse is hiding?
I find dribbles come at the most inconvenient time, like in the middle of the night or sometimes in the bathroom. If I am fully prepared for them, laptop open or pen at the ready, then they can play very cruel tricks and dry up completely. Always carry a pad or something to mop up.
That's something a certain person I know (the owner of this blog I've hijacked) could sdo with following suit on.  He's always moaning that he woke up with a great idea or plotline and then it had gone by the time he'd been able to write it down.  Probably why it took ten years to write my story! If you were in an asylum, what would your particular delusion or psychosis be?
The voices in my head. Talking to fictitious people is considered normal amongst writers but I can imagine it getting wildly out of control when I get decrepit.
You'll be in good company then!  I'll have to introduce you to Philip.  He often seem to be talking to so many voices at once, he's having a dozen conversations at the same time!  What genre(s) do you write?
Romantic drama with some flashes of black humour.
Interesting.  What genres(s) do you read?
I can read a fairly broad span in fiction but I’m not drawn to science fiction, erotica, fantasy or autobiographical type books. Having said all of that, I enjoyed The Lord of The Rings both in film and fiction, so if it’s outstanding of its type, I can read it.
I've only read one autobiography, but I enjoyed it.  I do like science fiction and fantasy, however.  And, bacon – just cooked or crispy?
If it’s from the UK crispy; rest of the world, almost burnt is the only way to go. Nice with brie.
My type of girl!  Now you’re in the asylum with me, how do you aim to get out?  Do you have an escape plan?
I don’t aim to get out. I like it here, don’t you?
I don't know if 'like' is the word I'd use, but I am, technically, here voluntarily.  Anywho, looks like our time's up.  Visiting time is never long enough.  Thanks very much for dropping by, it's been great to meet you.
Erm...  I'd ask them to bring your jacket, but it looks like they already are.  I don't remember yours having so many straps...?
Jan Ruth writes contemporary fiction. Love stories with strong, identifiable characters, about family life and relationships.
'I like to think my books convey some serious threads with a good blend of humour, a balance of light and dark. Different, I feel from the majority in that I often write from the male perspective.'
Jan has been writing for more than 30 years and despite various dalliances with the more traditional publishing routes, she is now pleased to be an independent author.
Jan was born in Bowden, Cheshire, and moved to North Wales in 1998, although she has always maintained a strong connection with the area from a much earlier age. Her feel for the Welsh landscape is evident in all of her books.
Jan started writing at primary school, winning prizes for poetry and short stories. Her first novel attracted a London agent, but failed to find the right niche with a publisher because it didn’t fall into a specific category- not quite light enough for romance but not literary fiction either, sitting somewhere between these two genres. Her second novel, again snapped up by a London agent; suffered the same fate. Undeterred, Jan has continued to write, believing her market is out there.
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