Author Interviews

4 Questions with Author Ruth Axtell

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

She’s lived in Europe. What more do I have to say? Automatic awesome in my book. Don’t worry I’m proud to be an American, but what an adventure to spend some time living in another country!! Oh and she’s a fantastic story teller. As I mentioned in the Her Good Name review, I got a bit upset and almost threw the book across the room. Don’t mess with me people.

Through her writing and what she’s shared of her story (check out more here), I am reminded about the truths of second chances, grace and amazing journey that life is. And anyone who quotes Anne Shirley is a friend of mine. This is a writer you want to read!

Ruth knew she wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote her first story—a spy thriller—at the age of twelve. She studied comparative literature at Smith College, spending her junior year at the Sorbonne in Paris. After college, she taught English in the Canary Islands then worked in international development in Miami, Florida, before moving to the Netherlands, where for the next several years, she juggled both writing and raising three children.

In 1994, her second manuscript was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart competition. In 2002, her sixth manuscript took second place in the Laurie Contest of RWA’s Smoky Mountain chapter. The final judge requested her full manuscript and this became her first published book, Winter Is Past, which was spotlighted in Christian Retailing magazine. Since then, Ruth has gone on to publish thirteen historical romances and one novella. Her books have been translated into Dutch, Italian, Polish and Afrikaans . Her second historical, Wild Rose, was chosen by Booklist as a “Top Ten Christian Fiction” selection in 2005.

Ruth lives on the coast of Maine where she enjoys gardening, walking, reading romances and gazing at the ocean plotting her next romance.

You can connect with Ruth at her website and Facebook!

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never have imagined 5 years ago?
“Starting over” in so many ways. It was about five years ago that I was riding the metro in Paris and a group of 3 ladies got on. They happened to be American; two had just arrived from the airport, they had her suitcases, and they spoke in English so I couldn’t help but overhear. The one who had met them lived in Paris and they were heading to her metro stop (where I was going as well). She said something like, “A few years ago I never would have imagined myself 50 (something), divorced, selling my business and moving to Paris from Colorado.”
I thought to myself–novel writer that I am–what a great idea for a story…Well, fast forward five years and I am in a similar place…starting over, new publishers, contemplating self-publishing, experiencing empty-nesting, moving back to the U.S. from Europe, and single.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
Not sign 3-book contracts.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
Holding my newborn children in my arms for the first time.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
When I was in college, I went to hear Anne Morrow Lindbergh, an alumna, speak. Her talk was entitled, “It’s the Journey, not the Arrival.” Well, as a Christian, I’ve learned it’s both. Enjoy each day, each task but keep your eye always on the end goal.