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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

If the Story Doesn't Excite You, Don't Write it! Author Interview with Ruth Hartzler

What made you decide to write your first novel?
My non-fiction agent talked me into it and had difficulty, as I had no intention of writing fiction at all. I finally agreed. As I was raised Brethren, I figured an Amish novel would be a good place to start as there are so many similarities between both cultures. That first series was started indie but was eventually published by Harlequin Love Inspired.

You’ve written three different series each in different genres from mystery to romance and suspense. What made you decide to try different series?
I have 1 cozy mystery series, 1 archeological adventure series, and 5 Amish Romance or Amish Romantic Suspense series. 

I wanted to write an archeological adventure series as my background is ancient literature, and Biblical history and archeology. I'm passionate about cozy mysteries and am a long-term Agatha Christie fan. I love to read locked door mysteries. I also love the Aurora Teagarden series and love watching all the Hallmark cozy mysteries.

Do you feel more comfortable in writing in one genre over another? 
I'm moving more into cozy mysteries now. I enjoy crafting mysteries that are also clean and wholesome, and where no animals or children are harmed. I can't bear to watch anything on TV where pets are threatened.

What made you decide to go the indie-publishing route?
My non-fiction was traditionally published under a pen name. When my agent suggested I write fiction, Kindle had just started. I was tired of the long, laborious traditional publishing route, so I decided to try indie with fiction.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? 
The hardest part of writing for me is starting for the day. Once I start, I get into the flow. I dictate, and that puts me into a mindset where everything flows to me. If I type, I get stuck.

What does your editor remind you to do most often?
When I type, to make sure I'm wearing my glasses!

What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?
I'm a twice USA Today Bestselling author, and my (secret) pen name is a several-times USA Today Bestselling author. I was thrilled when my cozy mystery box set, Amish Cupcake Cozy Mystery, hit #7 on the whole Amazon store last year.

What do you know now about writing that you wished you had known sooner?
I wish I had known to trust my instincts. I needed to believe in my ideas, because if I was interested in my stories, I knew there must be others who did too.

What other books do you have in the works?
I have started writing another cozy mystery series, which also has a naughty little cat. I enjoy writing about older sleuths.

What is the best advice you’ve been given about writing or that you’ve learned that you would like to pass along?
The best advice I have been given about writing is to have fun with it. If I'm not enjoying writing a scene, I'm certain that readers will not enjoy reading it. Conversely, if I'm excited to write a scene, I can be certain others will enjoy reading it. The one piece of advice I could give is to write a good story. Genre fiction is all about a good story, whereas literary fiction has other considerations.

Are there any other notes you’d like to add?
OrangeSky Audio has just published True Confections, Previous Confections, and Confection is Good for the Soul, the first three audiobooks in my Amish Cupcake Cozy Mystery series. They are available on all audio retailers.

Thank you for having me on your blog!

That's all for today's interview. If you'd like to learn more about any of Ruth's novels, here are some links to get you started.

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