Friday, November 11, 2016

Friday Fun With Ruth Logan Herne-Harvest Queen and Author **AMAZING GIVEAWAY**


Photo taken by Mary Vee of
WWII American Soldier memorial near Florence, Italy
We first want to thank all our Veterans for their service and sacrifice. We also want to thank their families and wish all God's blessing on this Veteran's Day.

This past week on the Alley: 
On Tuesday, Ashley Clark wrote about A Caterpillar's Heart. Such a sweet post about appreciating and enjoying the moments we are currently in. If you have a second, scroll down and be inspired. 

Thursday, Amy Leigh Simpson wrote about What if I ... Fail?. Spinning off these two inspiring posts the Alley Cats have shared below where they are in their current WIP and hope you will share in the comment section where you are. NaNo writers, how are you doing? 

All comments for any portion of this post are entered to win one of Ruthy's new books.

Ruth Logan Herne
Today we are bursting to share great news about a friend, harvest queen, tender of children, and award winning author, Ruth Logan Herne, affectionately known as Ruthy.

Ruthy is one of the Seekerville gang, (a sister writing blog), a regular contributor for Yankee Belle Cafe, and an a-mazing author. 

This weekend three commenters will receive one of Ruthy's new released books. Ruthy is giving away one copy of Home on the Range and two copies of Silent Night, Star-lit Night

I had a chance to chat with Ruthy. She is one amazing lady. I laughed, was inspired, and amazed. Here's what we chatted about:

1. How do you juggle the farm, kid care, and writing?

Photo Courtesy
Mary, I get asked this a lot and for a very easy-going person who often appears unorganized or casual, I take work very seriously!!! I get up in the middle of the night… between 3:30 and 4:00 AM and that’s when I write. That way NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS!!!! My 1000 words (plus or minus) is done.

I never have to feel guilty. I rarely feel “behind”. I’m usually way ahead of schedule because I don’t procrastinate when it comes to work. I do pick and choose, which means if I’m writing and needed on the farm, housework can wait. If kids need me and I’m needed on the farm, the farm can wait. I prioritize what means something to me, and then I go for it. To me it’s a natural progression of pick-and-choose, but the fact that everyone talks about it means that NOT EVERYONE IS WILLING TO GET UP AT 4:00 A.M.!!! (laughing!!!!)

Um, yeah, I thought I was a morning person getting up at 5am. Kudos!

 2. You had quite a few books published. Where do you find fresh story ideas?

I have nearly 40 books either published or at least finished and in the pipeline, and I have to pinch myself to make sure it’s real…. And I’m the happiest woman ever! What an honor and a privilege to get to do this job, the job I longed to do for years, and to have a readership now? Who woulda thunk that the poor kid from a slovenly home would end up here? Honestly: Me! It was as if God told me, long ago, that if I just held on… my dream would come true. And I always believed it.

Story ideas come from everywhere. A snatch of conversation. A look between two people that I witness. A bit of scripture or a phrase that catches my ear and I wonder “What if?”…. what if he never came back? What if she never told him about the baby? What if there was one person from the enclave who lived. What would be her story?

So those ideas germinate and take hold and blossom… and sometimes I might have a mental image of a story for years before the right series comes along to make it a perfect fit!

I thought of this after we talked, and maybe you could answer in the comment section, do you keep a card holder or some other record of these budding ideas?

3. What is one secret you've learned about writing?

No secrets at all… the one thing I profess and will shout it from the mountaintops is this: Writers don’t talk about writing. They write.

Write. Write. Write. And then edit and write some more!

4. Using FB as a tool, you have introduced us to The Mighty Finn. Have you thought of spinning his adventures into a children's book?

We actually have three Mighty Finn books out! They’re adorable little tales of Finn written for pre-schoolers, Mary! They’re available on Kindle and while the world hasn’t as yet discovered my amazing GENIUS for kids’ stories (laughing!) they’re stinkin’ cute books! “Finn’s Snowy Surprise”, “The Hunt for Jasper the Kitty” and “Finn’s Special Day”. He’s got a website, too!

He’s so much fun to work with, Mary! When he’s not whining or fussing like any normal kid, LOL!

I love reading daily Mighty Finn entries on FB!

5. Tell us about your newest release.

I’ve had a crazy wonderful fall with three books releasing…. “Home on the Range” which was a 4.5 Star Top Pick for September in Romantic Times Review! It’s the wonderful second book of the Double S Ranch series, and I’ve had the best time working with Shannon Marchese of Waterbrook! Her insights are marvelous and I’m thrilled with how beautifully the books have come out! Team effort, all the way!

And for CHRISTMAS I have two lovely novellas that just released! The contemporary is “Silent Night, Star-lit Night from St. Martin’s Press, a beautiful story of an expectant mother, a widow, heading north to kiss her grandpa goodbye one last time… and the cowboy that refuses to let her make the trip home alone….

And the historical is “A Cowboy for Christmas” from Gilead Publishing’s “Cowboy Homecoming Christmas”! It’s a wonderful collection with Mary Connealy, Julie Lessman and Anna Schmidt… we had so much fun putting those stories together! It was a delightful experience and deepened my love of historicals!

6. What is your favorite thanksgiving recipe?

Oh, gosh. I love food. I love cooking and baking, but I’m going to send you to the Yankee Belle Café, a fun blog with six regional inspirational authors and the foods we love to cook… and the things we mess up! 

This is a recipe I developed two years ago, and it’s become a Herne/Blodgett family favorite. “Eggnog Pie” is a custard pudding pie made with eggnog and then topped with homemade whipped cream… it is to die for! And if you want to shave white chocolate on the top, that’s fine, but it really doesn’t need embellishment.It’s amazing just as it is!  Here’s the link:

Here are some awesome ideas for comments. Remember three commenters will win one of Ruthie's books. Winners will be announced in next Friday's gathering here on the Writer's Alley. PLEASE, also leave your email address.

1. Who would you like to honor for Veterans' Day?
2. How far are you in your current WIP or marketing of current release?
3. What is your favorite thanksgiving food? 
4. Does your family have a favorite hand-me-down recipe? Who created the recipe?
5. What questions to you have for Ruth Logan Herne?


Meg Brummer said...

Oh my goodness. Eggnog Pie sounds like it's about to become my most favorite thing ever.

I love what you said about writers--they don't talk about writing, they write. Maybe I should talk about it a little bit more though. People are always surprised when I mention that I'm a writer! They always screw their eyes up a bit and look me up and down like they never imagined me sitting in front of a screen to spill out a story before. Haha.

My question for Ruthy is: what time do you go to bed at night? I'd love to get up that early, but by the time the kids are in bed around 8, it's the only time of the day I get alone with the hubby, so I end up staying up until 10 or 11 and there's no way this not-morning-person can drag herself out of bed after only 5 hours of sleep! At least not in a sustainable life-habit kind of way.

And I'd love to be entered into the drawing! But I already have Home on the Range, so only include me in the draw for the others :)

Amber Schamel said...

Hello Ruthy! Glad to see you here! Thanks for sharing your tips, experiences, and recipe. Looks yummy. :D

Mary Vee Writer said...

Great question, I can't wait to read Ruthie's answer.
The Eggnog Pie definitely needs to be on my list this year. It looks sooooo yummy!
For the writer could get some fake glasses and put them on the end of your nose. LOL So true that people have preconceived ideas of what various career people should look like.
Sure loved chatting with you, Megan! Thanks for joining us.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Great to see you. Thanks for stopping by. Let me know if you get a chance to make Ruthie's recipe.

Heidi Reads... said...

I'm astounded that you get up and write that early Ruthy! I'm in no way a morning person so I am very impressed. Loved the pictures of all your pumpkins this year! Looking forward to all the great Christmas reading this season :)

colorvibrant at gmail dot com

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Mary, you asked if I keep a folder/file for those story ideas.

I don't.

(winces, knowing people will throw old vegetables at her!!!)

I keep them in my head as those "What if's?" and when I'm contemplating a new series, I riffle through those ideas... The third Double S story (Peace in the Valley) actually came to me about ten years ago after reading "Small Town Girl"... and I was listening to a Jimmy Wayne song and knew his story and I could see this book... now "Peace in the Valley"... and in my head it was different from the final book, but the idea and thoughts were the same... What if the most unlikely person in the world became the one to save his father's life?

And Trey Stafford's story stayed on hold until I was writing my proposal for Waterbrook, and I knew his story would be the cornerstone, the story the earlier books point to...

All I can say is this: My brain kind of works this way and how cool is that?????

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Meg, hi!!!!!

Oh, this is so hard with little kids!!! But folks do it!

So bedtime: 9:00. Up at 3:30. I do it seven days a week because if you change for weekends, you mess up the week. At least that's my reality... so it's easier to stay on this schedule. I work 25 hours a week doing before and after school care (and full-time care in summer) so that keeps me immersed in cute young families... and it forces me to be disciplined.

I'm not sure what to tell you because hubby time is important... That's why I get up in the wee smalls. It doesn't interrupt anything and I never feel guilty.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Hello, Amber!!! Waving madly from windy upstate!!!!

And the recipe is so good! If you love eggnog, you'll love this pie. And the family loved it, so right there I was happy!!!!

Judy Sheridan Smith said...

I'm privileged to own and have read both Home On The Range and Silent Night, Star-Lit Night. Each is such a great story in its own way! Please enter me in the contest for the newest Christmas book.
On this Veteran's Day I would like to honor my dad, hubby and our two sons - all served in the Navy from 4 years to 20 years. And I add my grateful thanks to all who have served, are serving and will serve to help insure our freedom in this wonderful United States of America!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh, and Meg!!! Aren't people's reactions so funny? As if you must be crazy thinking you can do this?

But it's so funny because once you're established as an author, folks are so excited for you, and that's such a good feeling!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Heidi, I expect it's the same for night owls. I'm a morning person, I'm a snot at night (sad but true!) and I can't think straight after 8:00 PM. :) (kind of like some toddlers I know!) But when I get up I'm so excited to sit down at that keyboard!!! I love it so much!

And I'm so blessed to be doing this.


Tucking your name in here!!!

Laurie Tomlinson said...

Thanks for visiting The Writer's Alley, Ruthy! Please come back soon! <3

Mary Vee Writer said...

I'm also most looking forward to the Christmas stories. They add to our festive time, don't you think? Ruth really knows how to craft fabulous stories!
Once again we have the morning vs the night person. I think Ruthy has a bit of both in her. :)
Love chatting with you!! Thanks for stopping by.

Meg Brummer said...

Ruthy, Yes! People's reactions are hilarious. And I always dread the, "So what do you have published?" that comes next.... I just smile and say I'm working on it. Haha.

I think if I could even get up by 5 regularly it would make a huge difference. That's doable! Yay. New goal!

And Mary, I LOVE the glasses on the tip of the nose thing. And now I'm wracking my brain to think of what might be common writer stereotypes these days. It could also make for interesting characters in the future ;)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Ruthy, you have an amazing mind to keep those ideas nestled in your head. Good grief, if I don't write an idea down in seconds it poofs away like cotton candy.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I love your thinking. I foresee many new amazing characters in your works. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thank you so much for stopping by. What wonderful news to hear you have these two books and enjoyed them. We're so glad to have this moment to chat with you.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Laurie, I was so delighted when Mary contacted me because the Alley ROCKS the big kahuna. :)

And it's a perfect place to come and talk stories... romance... writing.... faith... fiction... cowboys.... :)

I love this!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Okay, here are thoughts for today's stereotypical author:

Alone at a Starbucks table.

Eyes down.

Typing vigorously alternating with staring off into space, scaring people.


Glasses 75% of the time.

Coffee to the right if they're right-handed.

Think nerd.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Mary, I think the thoughts in my head is a gift. I know most of my friends don't do this, they're filing in folders on tablets and making notes... but my mind has always been like this, so it's something natural and I just run with it.

But if it didn't work for me, I'd keep files. But then I'd have to find them, Mary!!! EEEEEK!!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

JUDY!!!! I'm so glad you came over here! Welcome, my friend!

And thank you for your kind words. Your enthusiasm is so delightful! I'm so glad you love my work and I can hardly even call it work because I love doing it... even through the revisions (we all know those are part of the job!!!) and the edits and the fixing!

And then to have happy readers makes my day! Happy dancing and thanking those wonderful editors who've given me these chances. God bless them all, I would hate to ever let them down.

Meg Brummer said...

Ruthy! You have me laughing so hard! I'm perfectly comfortable with the title "nerd." I mean, I do write spec fic after all ;)

And I'm a coffee addict.
And I might stare off into space occasionally.
Which might scare--ahem, intimidate--some people. Unnecessarily of course!

But I don't scowl! LOL :)

Pepper said...

I love love love seeing you on the Alley- and though I would love to be like you, getting up at 4 AM is not on my list of imitations – of – Ruthy!

But priorities I got- especially when it means giving up housework :-)

Your journey is so inspirational and your personality is hysterical. I'm so glad I've had the chance to know you!!

Pepper said...

Btw, I'm not doing NANO but I am 45k into a novel with a fast-approaching deadline. I'm also proud to say that both of my grandfathers were servicemen, one as an actual sniper who helped free a concentration camp.

Pepper said...

You do know that the Alley is kind of a daughter blog of Seekerville, right? I'm an eye witness to the creation of it :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

For sure, Ruthy. Pepper told all of us from the get go that we were the daughter blog of Seekerville. Although I feel like the spry tagalong younger sister having fun following in Seekerville's footsteps. :)

Jocelyn said...

I would love to read any of these books. I have several WIP. I get an idea in my head and start out with full steam. But then things slow to a crawl. How do you keep your characters fresh and interesting.

Loraine Nunley said...

4am? Wow. I may need to try that myself. I think it is wonderful that you have been able to prioritize your writing like that. Thanks for the giveaway! momrain(AT)aol(DOT)com

Mary Vee Writer said...

That is a great question that Ruthy will weigh in on, I'm sure. But in the meantime I'd like to share this: I've been taking a course from Ted Dekker, a famous Christian fiction author you probably know. He points out the crucial need to let your main character walk a journey for one specific issue.
My translation:
So if your character struggles with feeling alone, plunge in initially into the pit of loneliness. The story is her journey out of that pit. If she only crawls halfway out...she is still in that pit. Choose the WIP you are the most passionate about. Reread the story and see where you can heighten the misery of the matter what that misery is. Show the problem in 3D words. Show how she tries this way and that to get out of the situation. Perhaps the way is revealed by God or a godly friend or a godly man. Her journey out of the pit is the story. Once she steps on the surface...the story is mostly over except her joyful response. Huh. This sounds like a future post.

Thanks soon much for coming to our chat today! We loved talking with you!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Lorraine, If you get up at 4am, you get coffee duty!! I'll bring pastries.

Meredith said...

My favorite Thanksgiving dishes are the mashed potatoes and stuffing! I don't make them too often outside of the holidays.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Life gets pretty busy, right Meredith? Although the novelty, the aromas, the people make it all worth it on holidays. Sure hope your coming holidays have the sweet aroma of fun, food, and family. Great chatting with you today.