Interview with Ruth de Jauregui

Published 2020-09-02.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Lord of the Rings, The Beast Master, Moon Called, Midnight Riot, The Pride of Chanur and Forests of the Night. I know, that's six and I could probably add more. Why are they my favs? The writing, the characters, the plot sings. As soon as I sit down and pick up one of these books (and their sequels), the movie in my head rolls and I'm in a different world.
What do you read for pleasure?
Urban fantasy, fantasy, space opera, steamfunk, science fiction and a smattering of mysteries.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle, but I prefer hard copy.
Describe your desk
Oooh, messy, messy, messy...
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I'm a Cali girl, born and raised. The West Coast mix of liberals, hippies, tree huggers and conservatives have definitely helped me see a variety of people and their attitudes toward the environment, politics and other peoples.
When did you first start writing?
I've been writing non-fiction for a long, long time. My first book was published in 1988. It took me nearly 10 years to recover and do it again. Now I'm dipping into fiction too.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Bitter was inspired by a conversation with author Neal Litherland (who writes wonderful fiction and nonfiction articles for Vocal Media). We were talking about the bitterness of the author's life and boom! Bitter coalesced into a full character -- middle aged, BIPOC, woman detective living in Sacramento, California. She pushed all my other projects aside and demanded that her stories be written.

My last nonfiction, 50 Fabulous Tomatoes for Your Garden, was inspired by my Mother, who was fascinated by the black tomatoes (Indigo Rose) I was growing in a pot. She jumped out of her truck to go look at them. She was so interested that I thought that other people would also be interested in delicious and easy-to-grow tomato varieties.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
LOL, I'm a control freak when it comes to my books. I was a book designer for 10 years and have been writing nonfiction informational and how-to articles for years. I still write for and I'm pretty independent and being an indie author suits me.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords gives me the opportunity to publish and distribute my books among a variety of ebook vendors.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on 50 Hummingbird Magnets for Your Garden and the second Bitter nove -- crime meets urban fantasy in Las Vegas -- Bitter Sins. And yes, LOL, the covers are done already. You can get a sneak peek at my writing projects at
How do you approach cover design?
I have an idea and then I start working on it. I might do 10 or more revisions to get it just the way I want it. Remember, I was a book designer at AGS in San Francisco for Bill Yenne for 10 years. So doing the cover while I'm still working on the book comes naturally to me.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I don't have any choice about getting up -- I have little dogs. If the light is peeking around the blackout curtains and I so much as roll over, they start dancing on the bed until I get up and take them outside. If I'm lucky, they let me go back to bed. Sometimes I even get to sleep a little longer. Otherwise, the coffee pot is ready to flip the switch and start the day.
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Books by This Author

Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 97,430. Language: English. Published: August 16, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
Shadows slink through the night in Alkali Flat as detective Juanita Bitter investigates murders most foul. But when a Dispatcher's body is found in the stairwell of the police department, Bitter is forced into a case where everyone is a suspect. When the sun goes down, the strange, exotic, and magical emerges in Bitter's Sacramento. And if something hisses in a dark alley, it may not be a cat.
50 Fabulous Tomatoes for Your Garden
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 11,180. Language: English. Published: March 9, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Home & Garden » Gardening, Nonfiction » Home & Garden » Gardening
From the descriptions of the 50 favorites selected for the book to a full how-to-grow section, 50 Favorite Tomatoes for Your Garden provides a complete overview for the novice and experienced gardener. Full color images illustrate each tomato while seed sources are listed with each variety. Whether you prefer cherry, beefsteak, or novelty tomatoes, there's a tomato to suit your taste.
The Soul of California - Cooking for the Holidays
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 8,540. Language: English. Published: January 6, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » American / California Style, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Holiday
This collection of soulful California cuisine recipes incorporates the casual lifestyle of the West Coast with the deep roots of the South, nearby Mexican traditions and delicious Asian influences. Organized by menus, the cook can mix and match the recipes to impress his or her family and friends.