Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Interview With Ruth A. Casie, Author of Mistletoe and Magick

Book Title: Timeless Keepsakes
A Collection of Christmas Stories
Short Story Title:
Mistletoe and Magick
ISBN: 978-0-9910520-0-4
Publisher: Timeless Scribes Publishing
Release Date: November 11, 2013
Genre: historical fantasy
Buy Links:

Web site:
Blog: www.ruthacasie
Twitter: @RuthACasie

  1. How did you come up with the idea for Mistletoe and Magick?
The story is a prequel to Knight of Runes. It is the story of Rebeka’s parents, how they met and fell in love.
  1. How long did it take you to write Mistletoe and Magick?
This is a short story which is very different than a full length novel. My anthology partners and I studied short story writing. After that it took me about 8 weeks to write the story.

  1. What was the most difficult aspect of writing Mistletoe and Magick?
Short stories are about 15,000 words. With that limited word count, you have space to write the main story. There is no room for secondary characters or subplots. My full length novels are rich with secondary characters and subplots making short story writing a challenge for me.

  1. How much research did you conduct for Mistletoe and Magick?
I really enjoy research. I always find something to add to my stories to add some realism. I spend about twenty-five percent of my time researching. In this story I researched the folklore around mistletoe and druid ceremonies.
  1. Why did you decide to write historical fantasy?
I’ve always been drawn to the past. I find it intriguing, enlightening, and oh so romantic. The brutality of the ancients’ raiding villages to capture wives, the sub servant treatment of women, and the custom of arranged marriages for property, monetary and political alliances are all historically noted. Put that against the code of chivalry and you get a great conflict.
Today’s courting rituals are rooted in medieval chivalry and it was the medieval area that saw the rise of romance in literature and stage productions. Even people who lived in the Middle Ages had their fantasies. I choose to build my stories on their interpretations.
  1. What is your process for writing a book? For example, are you a plotter or a pantzer? Do you start at page 1 and write your book sequentially or do you skip around? Do you start with your characters or the plot?
I proudly say, I am a linear plotzer! I start with page one and write sequentially. If a scene pops into my head I have learned to jot it down and tuck it away for later. I used to think I’d remember them but quickly learned I forgot more than I remembered.
I start with a story idea and then my characters. I do write out their goals, motivations and conflicts. I do a rough outline of the story to make certain I know where key points should go, more of a direction rather than a hard and fast roadmap. Sometimes the side trips I take are really worth it. Sometimes my characters actually amaze me with how they develop the story.
  1. Do you use any techniques, tools, or aids to help you write?
While I research I pull out pictures of areas, things, and people, just about anything that can give me some inspiration. I also develop a playlist on my iPod as I go along. Sometimes I play the music for inspiration or help with a difficult section. I find it most difficult when I’m not in sync with my characters. If I’m not in their head, I can’t move the story forward. Getting into their music helps me along.
I know Jennifer Cruise uses collages. I’ve been tempted but haven’t tried that yet.
  1. Have you had any "ah ha" moments as a writer?
When I started to review my writing and could see the POV changes. I let out a loud whoop that brought my husband running. Head hopping? I can see it! He had no idea what I was talking about. He just shook his head and went back to his office.
The point is I got it. I realized that I see the story as a movie. There a multiple points of view in a movie. Once I really understood POV I found it a challenge to figure out ways to make the point of view work and I enjoyed writing more.
I also found that I can’t worry about POV when I write the first draft. I needed to get the story all down first. Once it’s written I go over the story for plot and pacing. Then I read it for POV. I love it when a plan comes together!
  1. What advice do you have for other writers?
  • First and foremost, keep writing. It’s like anything else, practice, practice, practice.
  • Read your genre and others for inspiration, understanding craft, and just the joy of a good story.
  • Learn all you can about your craft from multiple sources. No one person has the ‘the way’ for POV, showing vs telling, or any other craft issue. What works for one writer doesn’t always work for another.
  • Join a writing group. I belong to several RWA chapters. Some are geographical and others are special interest. When called upon, the members are eager to help. I’ve made deep friendships with all levels of authors around the world. Even when I’ve been heads down with edits or writing I’ve been able to stay connected.
  • Get a critique partner and help each other. Truthfully, I love to brainstorm an idea or scene. It really makes my creative juices flow.
  • Don’t take rejections too seriously. You’ll be among some of the greatest authors, Margaret Mitchell (Gone With the Wind), J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter), and James Joyce (Ulysses) to name just a few. Rejects (actually I call them passes) are only one person’s opinion. Many times it’s not the story but rather they have no place in their lineup.
Mistletoe and Magick

After a year of searching, Maximilian, the druid Grand Master, finds the sacred mistletoe destined for his soul mate shriveled and dead. He must journey to the Otherworld and tell the Ancestors of his failure.

Ellyn of Brodgar is an exceptional healer. But each healing kiss depletes her energy and brings her closer to death. Ellyn needs to find her own healing power before it’s too late.

Max and Ellyn are tossed into the Otherworld and have until the third sunset to appeal to the Ancestors or be lost forever. Together they find love, and as the last rays of the third sunset slip away, both are willing to sacrifice their hopes, dreams, and lives for the other. Do they have what it takes to escape the Otherworld and begin their life together?

Author Bio

Ruth A. Casie is a seasoned professional with over twenty-five years of writing experience but not necessarily writing romances. No, she’s been writing communication and marketing documents for a large corporation. Over the past years, encouraged by her friends and family, she gave way to her inner muse, let her creative juices flow, and began writing a series of historical fantasies. She lives in Teaneck, New Jersey, with her husband. They have three grown children and two grand-children.

Discover strong men and empowered women as they face unexpected challenges. Watch their stories unfold as they encounter magic, danger, and passion. Join them as they race across the pages to places where love and time know no bounds. Ruth hopes they become your favorite adventures.

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