Thursday, 9 January 2014

Sitting Round My Pool - Jan Ruth

I am delighted to have top selling author, Jan Ruth sitting round my pool eating nibbles and drinking bubbly, in between Jan is talking about her fabulous books and what inspires her to write these page turning novels.

Q: Jan you live in North Wales and although this is not where you were brought up, it does play an important part in your writing. Tell us a little about your Wales and does it create ideas for your books?

Seventeen years ago we moved from Cheshire to North Wales. Although Cheshire has its history and pretty rural surroundings aplenty, Wales is far more extreme in both aspects. The castles and the rugged hillsides scattered with stone settlements, druid’s circles and Roman roads bring out the historical muse in me. To think that I am treading the same path as someone who lived in the Iron Age, is both fascinating and humbling. Snowdonia kick-started my stalled obsession with writing in a very positive way. 

All this whimsical talk of the past makes me sound as if I write historical based fiction. Far from it. Much as I admire many other genres I tend to be very much rooted in current times and my work reflects a lot of my own life experiences. But this is where I find the two ideas merge a little because I am most certainly inspired by this Ice Age landscape and the idea that what has gone before, shapes what we see today, but does it shape what we feel, too?

The location re White Horizon is certainly both romantic, and dramatic. Crafnant, is far more accessible than it looks in the pictures. I say accessible, but to be fair the single track road is not built for the modern car, and if someone needs to pass, don’t look down. It’s a popular location for a Sunday stroll, a family walk on mostly level paths and the whole circuit only takes 40-60 minutes depending on your pace. There’s a tea shop selling Welsh ice cream on the left bank and in bad weather the mountain ponies come down to graze, often with young at foot. On one such amble, I said to husband, wouldn’t this make a great location for a hotel? Maybe with a huge decked area jutting over the head of the lake. What a wonderful vista to have a restaurant overlooking the water, imagine the sunsets! Oh, the romance of it all. 

‘Why don’t you use it for a book location? Then you can build a hotel in your head,’ he said. Our imagination ran riot, well, mostly mine, although we soon became bored with just the hotel and began to spice it up, adding a character hell-bent on destruction, manslaughter, domestic violence and eventually, running out of sensible plans, we set it all on fire! What a story… we turned a pleasant picnic area into a scene of death and devastation! (I’ll have to keep my eye on that idea of his though, the one about building things in my imagination. I can see how it might become used and abused beyond its original motive).

Q: Can we expect a new book out soon and are you able to give us a sneak peek into what it will be about and when it will be available?

I’m currently writing three long short stories, or are they short longs, I’m never too sure! These will go out free with a couple of sample chapters from my latest novel, Silver Rain. After that, I will be concentrating on a sequel to WILD WATER.

Q: When you are not writing what can we find you doing?

Reading, hillwalking & horseriding are my top three. 

A few quickies to help us know you more…

Q: What is your favourite drink?
Real coffee & good wine.

Q: Your dream car?
A dirty, indestructible old Land Rover

Q: Do you snuggle down to watch TV or read a book?
Books are always a high priority for snuggling. Some TV.

Q: Beach holidays or activity holidays?
Activity, always. Preferably something involving riding boots or walking boots. Cannot bear lounging on beaches, although your poolside here is very pleasant! 

Q: Cat or dog owner
Dog!!! I adore dogs (and horses)

Q: Favourite colour?

Q: Food you would never eat?
Anything served up on I’m a Celebrity.

Q: Your star sign?
Sagittarius, half horse of course. And I’m very typical of my sign too.

Thanks so much Ruth for taking time out to talk to me, I love your books and look forward to your sequel to Wild Water.

Jan's web site


Gilli Allan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gilli Allan said...

Fascinating to read how the landscape inspires you, Jan. Though we've never met, I always think about how our writing lives touched back in the 80s. I'm sure we'll meet one day - I need to steal some of your 'best-selling' magic!
(I made a mess of my first comment. Note to self, always use the preview pane!)

Unknown said...

Oh I've just found your lovely comment Gilli, thank you.

And now I must I'm not a robot...