Whispering Stories’ Stacey Garrity interviews Ruth Hartley

Ruth HartleyBooks, Interview, Reading, The Love and Wisdom Crimes, The Spiral-Bound Notebooks, When I Was Bad, Writing ProcessLeave a Comment

Interview image from Whispering Stories, used with permission

On 26th September, I was delighted to be interviewed by Stacey Garrity of Whispering Stories. I enjoyed considering and answering her careful questions. They covered things like my favourite authors, daily writing routine, the book publishing process, etc.

Great timing

It was the day before my latest book launch so I was really pleased to have the opportunity to talk about the three books I was launching. They are: The Love and Wisdom Crimes, The Spiral-Bound Notebooks and When I Was Bad. I published all of these in 2019, although, as I explained in the interview, they had been 54 years in the making! (The book launch took place yesterday evening at La Litote, Vic-en-Bigorre, France. It was a great success. I’ll blog about that soon.)

I answered 12 “serious” questions and 6 “fun” questions. It’s a good format because it ends on a light note, even though the fun answers contain some perfectly serious insights!

As I almost immediately received good feedback from people who read her interview report, I asked Stacey whether I could share the interview from my own site. She graciously said yes. In fact, Whispering Stories is a lovely site and the presentation of the interview there is nicely done. So I’ve decided instead simply to refer my readers there.

An excerpt to whet your interest

To whet your interest, here’s an excerpt from the interview:

6) Are you a plotter or a pantser*?

I’m not a pantser, but I’m not a plotter either. I find that stories evolve and a significant part of that process happens almost subconsciously. It is partly even dreamed because when I am working on a story, I become so immersed in it that I’m saturated by it even when I’m asleep. A place or a situation appears from something I’ve experienced or seen or been struck by and the characters grow out of what happens to them and their environment. I do have an idea about the plot but it’s very sketchy at first.

I also develop the plot by drawing up interconnecting thought clouds and brain-storming all by myself on a big sheet of paper, but never in a linear way. To be honest, though, I’m learning and improving the way I work all the time and I hope that I’m getting better. I can abandon plots that don’t work without too much pain but what I don’t sacrifice is the core, the raison d’être, the fundamental idea that drives the story. I may write another book in the meantime. But I will come back to that central theme. …

Ruth Hartley answering Stacey Garrity’s question

* “Plotter” and “pantser” are terms used to describe approaches to writing. A plotter maps everything out beforehand; a pantser flies by the seat of her pants. See some examples here.

Read the full interview

So, to read the full interview, please go to the Whispering Stories blog: The Writing Life of: Ruth Hartley.

I’m sure Stacey would be delighted if you comment there.

And, as always, I’ll definitely respond if you comment here on my blog too.

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