Writing Ruby

woman typing

It’s done. It’s published, it’s scheduled for a signing, and it’s been reviewed by the renowned David Steinberg at the Albuquerque Journal. Here is the link to that review: Raising Ruby.

When I decided in early 2019 to tackle a book about my mother’s life, I had lots of competing thoughts. First, would I really be able to do it. Second, it seemed daunting and scary. My publishing success had rested on four cozy mysteries. Mysteries I knew how to do. This story about my mother? Not so much. For one thing, why would the average reader even be interested in reading a book about my mother? She was amazing, and she had lots of stories lots of friends and relatives. But in reality, most of them were already passed from this world. No sales there. But I kept “hearing” that I needed to write this book.

I began by deciding how to start—the beginning always seems best. But I also realized while typing the very first two sentences that there had to be more to it. My mother’s story would also be about the world she was born into, and some of the major events she saw and/or endured. Now I had a structure.

I spent a lot of time on the computer, searching for historic events which might be appropriate for the story. I made notes and set aside the events to be added to the book at the appropriate time. I was able to see how these events would impact my mother and her family members. 

Early on, I decided to create separate sections of the book to contain the different stages of her life. That kept me focused on those time periods. The different stages of her life always contained new people and new living situations. I found the best way to impart these situations was through conversations between my mother and/or friends and relatives. Naturally, I had no documentation of those conversations, but I knew how to “show them” to the reader. 

I found lots of material in files my father kept, letters my mother received from others, and the stories I had typed up over the years about Mom’s childhood situations. 

The biggest surprise I had was the appreciation I received from relatives and friends who were privy to the book before publication. Because I took a “story” narrative about her life, I think people were better able to understand the various situations.

I hope many of you will be interested in reading this book. You may be surprised at what you find.

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