This Week’s Feature Author Interview with
Ruth S. Hamilton
Hi Ruth S. Hamilton, welcome to the Indie Publishing Group website. Introduce yourself to us. Tell everyone who you are, where you’re from, what do you enjoy doing, hobbies and interests.
I moved to South Africa from Wales when I was 4 years old, and although I still consider myself British, Africa has definitely made an impact on me and the way I see the world. I’m an introvert who’s learnt to be an extrovert, so some days I’ll wake up in hermit mode and on other days I’ll be itching to dance on tables and be in a crowd. My greatest love is the written word, be it reading or writing. That’s my happy space. My other passion is the work I do as part of The Pretty Awesome Project, an organization I started a few years ago that raises awareness amongst teenaged girls and young women about healthy self-esteem.
When did you start writing and why?
I have written for as long as I can remember. I was excruciatingly shy as a child, and battled to express all the thoughts flying through my head, so I started keeping a diary in order to help me process them. It’s become a life-long habit. Now I write either to inspire or to make people think. I also write because I just simply love playing with words. I think they are in my DNA. When I’m not writing, I’m reading.
Which is your favorite book you have written and what gave you the idea for it?
‘Beautiful’ is my first book, and came about through my own life challenges. I was incredibly shy as a child, suffered low self-esteem as a young adult, and went through some major crises which forced me to do some serious emotional work. It just seemed like a natural stage of the journey to put the lessons I’d learnt into a book.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
I wanted a simple one-word title that encapsulated everything I’d tried to teach in the book. It is also a reminder to the reader that they are special and worthy. Most people think that to be beautiful means to be pretty, but there’s more to it than that. I believe that every person has beauty in them – they just sometimes need help to find it.
Who helped you with the cover? Or did your design it yourself? What was your inspiration for your cover design?
During my first attempt at writing a book, I designed the cover myself. It was dreadful! This time round, I stumbled upon Canva while searching online for a cover designer and fell in love with it! The design fits right in with what I’m trying to achieve through this book, which is to encourage women to shine!
What are some of the themes of your story?
Healthy self-esteem, resilience, confidence, picking yourself up after you fall down and learning to love yourself.
What’s your process when you sit down and decide to start writing a book? What is your process and do you have a system?
Coffee to the right of me, cookies to the left, and I’m stuck in the middle with … my laptop, a head full of scattered ideas and a blank page. J
I do like to have some idea of how the book is going to be organized, so I usually jot down what I’m going to cover in each chapter. It may not be very elaborate, or very ‘author-y’ but once I have that sorted, I just write. Some days the words come, somedays they don’t. I have a bad habit of self-editing as I go along which often just frustrates me and slows the process down a lot, but it does mean that my first draft often doesn’t need too much extra work.
Who are some of your favorite characters and why?
Edmond Dantès, from The Count of Monte Christo. His tenacity under fire and his ability to plot his revenge so cleverly had me from the first chapter. He showed me what it really means to be patient.
Gollum from LOTR. I feel such empathy for this tortured, complicated soul. You just can’t dislike Gollum, not once you realise it’s actually love (in a weird way) that’s made him who he is. I admire his loyalty.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
For a good rainy-day yarn, I love Maeve Binchy. She sure knew how to tell a good story and I love how her characters appear in different books, as if they are real people. Other authors I enjoy are Adrianna Trigiani, Amy Tan and Santa Montefiore. I cut my teeth on Sidney Sheldon and Frederick Forsyth (pinched from my father’s bookshelf when I was about 10) and still enjoy a good action thriller. I’ve recently been revisiting the work of Lee Childs, Harlan Coben and John Grisham. I’ve been an avid reader all my life, and have too many favourite authors to list them all here. I do however, believe that books choose people, so it doesn’t really matter who wrote it, if the blurb speaks to me, I’ll read it.
Have you got anything you’re working on now?
I’m currently working on the follow up to ‘Beautiful’, a self-esteem handbook especially for teenage girls. I’m also busy mapping out the details for my first novel, although I’ll admit that the mere thought of what lies ahead is overwhelming at times!
If you could have any super powers what would they be?
I’d like the ability to a) be invisible and b) have the ability to transport myself in instant time to anywhere in the world. Imagine being the proverbial ‘fly on the wall’! Oh, the stories I would write…
If you could travel to any location in the world where would you go?
I’m completely in love with Europe and am dying to visit Prague, Provence in France and Florence in Italy. Also on my bucket list are Hawaii and the Bahamas. One day when I’m big!
Where do you hope to be in 5 years’ time?
On a private yacht in the Caribbean, sipping Pina Coladas without a worry in the world, with my writing agent on speed-dial. Like I said, one day when I’m big. J
Thanks so much for taking the time to do an author interview. Take a minute and check Ruth S. Hamilton out on the links below!