Interview with Ruth McLeod-Kearns

When did you first start writing?
I have written since I was a child. I never saw myself doing anything else. But life does crazy things, and I fell into nursing. What followed was 25 years of a Trauma Nurse. I have seen things that people see only in wars. I have put babies in body bags, held people up who are looking down at a child gone forever. These things burn into you and change the way the world looks. After an injury that took my career, I turned to what I always knew I needed to do. With age, experiences, and a battered soul, I got into UCLA Extension Writer's Certificate Program and began to write as my life depended on it. I guess it did to a certain extent.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Blog of a Lesbian Mom is the story of a married couple (two women) who both have a child. They have every challenge, joy, and challenges any 'regular' family have. That is the central theme. Families, mothers, and love know no boundaries. It doesn't see color, sex, or flaws. I myself have been in a same sex marriage for 13 years, though just recently legally wed. We have raised three boys who are now good men. We had challenges, but we had many wonderful times. "Blog" is a compilation of our lives, high and low times, but is not an autobiography.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I sold a novella in my 20's. It came so easily and some of the manuscript was even hand written. When they said I needed to change it to first person, I took my letter that validated that I could write (in my mind anyway) and said "next time." Why would I be so stupid, so you ask? Because I had zero idea what first person meant. And I believed that I had nothing but time. So when I realized how far I was from my dreams, E-Books hit the scene. I'm a root-for-the-little-guy person. I believe it evens the field. How many great stories have we been deprived of because they didn't have the right connections?
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has provided an easy means to bring my stories to multiple retailers around the world. It is an incredibly intuitive site for authors and I have already seen the benefits from day one. I would recommend this site to any writer.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It is my therapy. My middle son is my editor, agent, computer expert... The guy gets out of nursing school at 11pm, and we start working at midnight five or six days a week. I know there will be a time down the road when I think of these nights in the garage, and my heart will break that they are over. We will always work together, but these beginning nights can never be replicated. To create with a person whom I love with every cell of my body, is an unbelievable joy!
What do your fans mean to you?
I have the greatest group of people who are very loyal to my work. I get encouragement. They don't hesitate to say they don't understand what the hell I was saying, as well as tell me when something really touched them. I have always seen my career developing with a smaller eclectic group of well-read, really chill people. When I was young, I wanted a Grisham story. Now, I wouldn't turn down Grisham money, but that comes with a steep price. I have the greatest people following my career. They keep us going while we watch the sun come up most mornings.
What are you working on next?
We have a series we call the "Thirty Minutes or Less." These are novelettes that can be read in that amount of time, fortunately, because I usually write with a very intense voice. My mom showed me as a kid to write short. It is all I have known how to write. So the next story doesn't have a title yet, but I will be done by next week. Released hopefully in about three weeks. I will be in Europe, so this will be the first time Lex and I have worked from different continents. So we may hit some snags.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many people I love to read. I am a huge James Patterson fan. I love how many writers he has launched. I read Harlen Coben. But for serious work, nobody tops Hemmingway. I read Anita Shreve, and I think Wally Lamb is a genius!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I have appointments. I usually don't move well till about 5pm. But I will get into the pool in the summer and read, nap, read, nap... You get the picture.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to garden, which I do for breaks at night. My wife and I travel. I love to take trips alone with my sons. I love going to Los Angeles, where my in-laws live. And I love baseball. I read, but not like I used to because I am busier now.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
There are some real talents out there. Sure, some are a little less polished than others. But isn't that the way it is in print also?
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I had a bet with a friend in 8th grade on who could get published first. So I asked my mom if newspapers were considered being published. She said yes. I made up the most tragic story, sent it to Dear Ann, and three months later, a heavily edited version came out. I spent every cent of the five dollars on bubble gum.
What is your writing process?
Because I write shorts, we talk story lines constantly. Once we decide that we have worked it out, I write. Then my wife does the first round of editing, then Lex edits it. Then we sit down with two computers. I read it out loud, and we edit together. So about three rewrites in every story.
Published 2013-08-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Enough
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,570. Language: English. Published: February 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » General
What does it feel like to die? Follow the last ten minutes of Claire's life as she fights for and ponders the memories of the life she had with her true love. She would fight, that is, until it was enough.
Perfect
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,460. Language: English. Published: November 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » General
James has a great life: a successful career, a loving husband and two beautiful daughters. However, everything changes when he gets a phone call from a hospital informing him that his mother has weeks to live. After decades of anger and silence, James decides to travel back to his childhood home to help the woman he has yet to forgive.
Blood Mother
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,820. Language: English. Published: October 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » Anthologies
When Jasmine's husband died in a car accident, he left behind a wife and adopted daughter, Rosie, in a world of destruction and grief. The once financially stable world Jasmine grew accustomed to had been unwelcomely exchanged for a life containing 3 jobs and frightening loneliness. Knowing they need to get away, Jasmine takes Rosie on a trip that unexpectedly bonds them in ways they could never
Weeds
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,640. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Where does one go when they're truly unwanted? For Becky, it was anywhere but home. 'Weeds' is the heart-breaking story of a woman's struggle to find where she belongs, and the people she touches along the way.
Love, Loss, Trauma
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,850. Language: English. Published: October 4, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Anthologies » General
How can I sum up 20 years of trauma nursing? I've simply experienced it all: from the adrenaline of hearing the code bells ring to the heart-wrenching sadness of closing a child-sized body-bag. I've worked in some of the largest, meanest trauma facilities across the nation - and these are my stories.
Carnations Never Wilt
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,850. Language: English. Published: September 21, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » General, Fiction » Inspirational
When a woman’s life begins to revolve around the gravesite of her sister, with the help of a stranger, she fights to gain back the things that suicide threatened to take away.
Blog of a Lesbian Mom
Price: Free! Words: 5,470. Language: English. Published: August 25, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » General, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
For Casey and Susan, things didn't come easily. Their romance took some getting used to, living in Los Angeles was hectic and raising 2 boys was down-right insane. After being told by her therapist to vent through her blog, Cassie begins to realize that some of her biggest stressors were life's most precious gifts. 'Blog of a Lesbian Mom' is a soft-hearted reminder of just how important family is.