Author Interview - Ruth Miranda
I've had the privilege of interviewing a self-published author who currently has eight books on the market! Ruth Miranda took the time to answer a variety of writing-related questions and I'm super excited to share her insights and experiences with you. Check out what she had to say below!
1) Describe your most recently published book and/or your current work in progress.
My most recently published work is a trilogy of novellas that tell the story of a young rock star and his quest to find the truth about his parents and his own past, while he deals with his personal ghosts and issues – self-harming, depression, alcohol and drug abuse. Although the genre is paranormal and dark urban fantasy – therefore, expect witches, vampires and whatnot! – I wanted to address certain issues like the self-harm, bullying, domestic abuse, violence against women. There’s a few triggers for certain types of readers, and the mood of the books is somber, dark. My WIP is a high/epic fantasy series, with all the tropes – yes, there’s a chosen one and he’s moody and grey-ish in his morals!
2) Which do you prefer: self-publishing or traditional publishing? What factors made you choose one over the other?
Self-publishing, I think, as I have absolutely no experience in trad publishing. What made me opt for self-publishing was mainly the fact that I’m Portuguese, residing in Portugal, and Portuguese publishing houses ONLY publish books written in… yeah, you guessed it, Portuguese. I write in English and wanted to attract a wider audience than just that of the Portuguese-speaking market, so, self-publishing was the way to go.
3) Are there any books, movies, music, etc. that influenced your writing?
I think there must have been far too many. Wuthering Heights, for sure, I like my characters to be dark and moody and broody, also George Eliot’s flowy, intense, long sentenced and long paragraphed writing has been a major influence. Dickens, Trollope, on the more contemporary side of the spectrum Anne Rice and Donna Tartt, I think anything that is written with very long sentences and very long paragraphs has hit a mark with me, because that’s how I write. Although Stephen King is my favourite author, and I love his writing, it has not influenced me except in terms I want to tell a good story, one that holds the reader like his stories do.
4) Which is your favorite genre(s) to write in? Which genre have you never written in but would love to try someday?
My favourite genre to write is Paranormal Urban Fantasy with a dark twist – although my idea of dark differs from mainstream. When I say dark I mean addressing certain issues openly and having characters that aren’t really very nice and don’t really change along the story. I know this is considered a no-no in writing; the characters should grow and evolve and become better people as the story unfolds, by I have this thing about not really thinking people do change, like that line from Simon and Garfunkel "After changes upon changes, we’re still more or less the same." I tend to agree with that, and want my characters to also be like that. Their core does not change, and if they were a bit of git to start with, they are still gits at the end. There’s no genre I can remember wanting to write in. I did Sci-Fi when I was a teen, won’t go back to it, also wrote Romance and don’t intend to do it again. Mystery I do hope to get back to. As for Fantasy and the Paranormal, I still play around those genres the most.
5) Do you prefer reading on an e-reader or actual books? Which do you think is better from a publishing point of view?
I like both mediums, but do believe e-readers were really a turning point in allowing so many authors to become published. I’d never have a book out there if it weren’t for e-readers.
6) How has the online writing community affected your writing career?
Huh… that’s a tough one. I think it has affected it A LOT, seeing that most of my readers are also other writers. I would love to be able to reach more readers who are not writers, but if it weren’t for my fellow authors, my sales numbers would be very thin, I think. So, yeah, it has affected it very much, and not just in terms of sales.
7) Describe your typical writing routine.
I normally sit down to write between 9 and 10 am, and break for lunch or to pick up my son from school. During my appointed writing time I take a few breaks and go on social media or clear my head by browsing Pinterest – I have boards for most of my novels, and when I’m stuck, I go to the current WIP board and browse to it, until my mind settles in that particular world and with those particular characters.
8) What is your ultimate goal in terms of writing?
Writing something that touches, moves the reader. Something that affects them.
9) What has been your biggest writing struggle? What is your greatest strength?
My lack of self-confidence is a major struggle. Don’t know about strengths, though eheh.
10) Is there anything about the publishing world that has been very difficult? Has anything been easier than you expected? If you aren’t published yet, what do you anticipate being easy or difficult?
Selling books? Marketing them? I find it very difficult to reach the proper readers, my targeted audience. I know who they are, don’t know where they are, though.
11) What is your favorite way to market your book and yourself as an author?
I don’t market myself as an author, really, and maybe that should change. I have a blog, and it’s not really writing related, it’s a food blog. My social media floats between food and books, and I think it may get very confusing, as I’m not focused on one single thing. But that’s pretty much what and who I am, and those are my creative outlets, writing, cooking, styling, shooting pics of good food.
12) Have you taken any writing classes? If yes, would you recommend them? If no, do you want to?
No, and no.
13) Is writing your full-time job? If yes, what was your last profession? If no, do you want it to be and what do you do now?
It is my full-time job now, before that I was an administrative clerk.
14) What do you think the future will hold for the publishing industry?
Honestly have no idea!
15) What advice would you give to someone who has just started writing?
I’m not very good at dishing out advice, but I’d say to them that first and foremost you should trust your instinct, you should break the rules if the writing rules don’t fit you, you should be wary for not everyone has your best interest in mind, and you should read. A lot. Because reading is the best thing in the world, after writing. And books are lives you can live in your head.
Keep up with all of Ruth's writing and cooking endeavors by following the links below. Thanks for reading!
Check out Ruth's books here:
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Feeling hungry? See what Ruth is cooking up here: