Q&A With Ruth A. Casie

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Q&A With Ruth A. Casie

Today’s Q&A is with USA Today Bestselling author of historical romance Ruth A. Casie. Our mutual friend Meara Platt was so kind to connect Ruth and I together. Ruth is the author of many books, many of them are apart of a series or anthology. Some of her series is The Ladies of Sommer by the Sea, Druid Knight series, & The Stelton Legacy. 

Q: Ruth, when did you know that writing was your calling in life? 

A: Discovering my calling to write wasn’t a thunderous proclamation; rather, it began as a subtle whisper that gradually evolved into an irresistible compulsion. During my tenure as a vice president overseeing a product line at a prominent international bank, a period predating webinars and Zoom, face-to-face client meetings required extensive overseas travel. Enduring lengthy flights, romance novels were my companions, nurturing my passion as a reader.

Simultaneously, my involvement with my county’s women’s shelter for victims of domestic violence, where I served on the board and held the role of president, played a pivotal role. During one of our meetings, the secretary of our board told me she was writing a book. Eager to support her, I offered to beta read and provide assistance. In a turn of events, we decided to each write a book and present them as a collaborative duet to potential publishers.

As I delved into crafting my story, my co-author faced unexpected challenges, including college hunting with her daughter and training for the New York City marathon, causing a temporary halt to her writing journey. In contrast, I kept on going.

The more I immersed myself in the process, the more I realized that writing was my true passion. When the time came to bid farewell to my colleagues of 25 years at the bank, I penned a letter expressing that my departure wasn’t a retirement from banking but a transition into a new chapter of life—a devoted pursuit of crafting riveting historical romances with ‘edge-of-your-seat’ suspense, mind-boggling drama, and heart-melting emotions about strong women and the men who deserve them.

 Q: I have started reading historical romance. The authors I have read so far are Delphine Ross & Laura Lee Guhrke and I plan to read more authors in that genre. What is your favorite part about writing historical romance?

A: While I’ve dabbled in both historical and contemporary storytelling, my readers unanimously agree that I possess a distinctive ‘historical’ voice. Perhaps it stems from my belief that I was born in the wrong era. At heart, I am a romantic, captivated by knights in shining armor and maidens in distress, and fascinated by the emotions intricately woven into relationships.

The beginning of my writing journey into historical romance was sparked by Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Outlander.’ Her novel prompted me to ponder the reactions of a modern woman thrust back in time, surrounded by a different world and its people. Gradually, I pieced together my own story. However, I soon realized that constructing a compelling plot was only a fraction of the work. Extensive research became imperative—not only for the sake of storytelling but driven by genuine curiosity.

Unraveling the historical layers not only made my narratives more compelling but also satisfied my inquisitive nature, making the writing process a deeply enriching experience.

Q: What is the research process like for you when writing historical romance? 

A: The first hurdle I encountered when delving into researching for my story was the sheer volume of information that I needed to explore. Recognizing the potential for endless rabbit holes and time-consuming detours, I quickly realized the importance of staying organized. Leveraging my background in product management proved invaluable in maintaining a structured approach and steering clear of unproductive tangents that could derail my writing goals.

Establishing a systematic record-keeping method became important. Fortunately, my network within the historical romance community proved to be an invaluable resource. Fellow authors willingly guided me towards reference materials, fostering a collaborative atmosphere that significantly eased my research journey.

An unexpected conversation with my brother, an art appraiser, added a unique dimension to my research. Examining a letter he had appraised for Christie’s Auction House, which happened to be from none other than Margaret Mitchell, author of “Gone with the Wind,” provided a thrilling connection to literary history. It was then that we discussed provenance— the record of ownership of a document. In a whimsical twist, it inspired a book, “Einstein’s Theorem,” involving a time-traveling art appraiser who could guarantee the authenticity of an artifact, although the book remains tucked away for now.

Intriguingly, my quest for authenticity led me to contact CERN labs in Switzerland, which houses the Large Hadron Collider. And yes, the collider played an important part in my story. To my amazement, the lab not only entertained my concept but also helped me to connect with scientists, making the research process a thrilling and collaborative endeavor.

Returning to the original question, my aim is to complete the bulk of research before I begin to write. However, despite meticulous planning, unforeseen details arise mid-scene, making it necessary for on-the-fly lookups. All my research materials, links, and references are meticulously organized in a separate document for each book, with the intention of creating an efficient repository for future use after the book’s completion.

Q: If it’s not too early, would you like to talk about any upcoming releases and new stories you are currently working on?

A: This month I have two releases:

The Duke’s Lost Love, a short story that was published in the Dragonblade Winter anthology, A Duke in Winter. All the stories in this anthology were based on Shakespearean plays. Mine is based on Love’s Labour’s Lost. This story will be available as a standalone and released on December 16th.

In Sommer-by-the-Sea, Lady Nanette de Chappell and the reluctant 5th Duke of Preswick, Morgan Fitzhugh, share a history forged in childhood friendship. Fitzhugh has vowed never to marry, while Nanette endures endless unsuitable suitors.

Their worlds collide when Nanette’s quest for her grand-mère’s treasured heirloom leads her to Fitzhugh’s doorstep. A fierce snowstorm traps them at Dunamara Castle, forcing them to rely on each other to survive.

As they face the perils of nature, they discover an unexpected bond. The Duke’s Lost Love is a tale of passion and self-discovery, where two hearts find solace and the courage to embrace the unexpected. Will they recognize the love that’s been there all along?

The second story, The Lady and the Christmas Brooch is part of the Bluestocking Belles and Friends anthology, Christmastide Kisses that releases on December 26th.

In the historic halls of Westerfield Manor, an entwined tale of mystery, love, and destiny unfolds. Lady Genevieve and Lord Ashford embark on a challenge to uncover the hidden family secrets that span generations—before midnight. Amidst the allure of the past, they find themselves drawn into a web of intrigue fueled by secret letters, a missing treasured brooch, and the whispers of an age-old romance. As midnight draws near, Genevieve and Ashford’s bond deepens, revealing that true love, like the secrets of the past, is illuminated by those willing to look beyond the bounds of a restricted society. In a spellbinding story weaving together destiny and unwavering commitment, the legacy of a family finds itself rewritten by the enduring and profound magic that only love can offer.

I am currently working on two projects: The Lyon’s Gambit, a story for the Dragonblade Connected Series, and The Lyon’s Den, which is due out in May 2024. 

The second project is a new 6-book series, Barrington’s Brigade, to begin releasing in the second half of 2024.

From duty to devotion to their King, their Country,
and the women that they love.

Introducing Barrington’s Brigade, a Regency Historical Romance series by USA Today Bestselling author Ruth A. Casie. Step into the world where the echoes of the Peninsular War linger, and six distinguished officers return home to a world different from the one they left. These gallant men have bonded with their former commander, Lord Barrington, and lightheartedly dub themselves Barrington’s Brigade.

The camaraderie among the veterans extends beyond the battlefield. They are committed to helping one another overcome their war wounds, both the physical ones and those not as easily seen. They’re loyal beyond question and vow to come to each other’s aid.

Barrington gives each a unique gold coin not only as a memento of their time together but also as a unique calling card—a symbol of unity and a pledge to aid one another whenever the need arises.

These are tales of love, redemption, and resilience against the backdrop of society in the midst of change. “Barrington’s Brigade” promises a delightful exploration of passion, honor, and the enduring bonds that surpass the ravages of war. As the officers navigate the challenges of love and society, each story unfolds with a unique blend of romance and historical intrigue, promising readers a captivating journey into the heart of Barrington’s Brigade.

Q: What is your advice to anyone wanting to write in the historical romance genre?

A: If you’re an aspiring historical romance writer, my advice is to choose a genre that resonates with your personal preferences and comfort zone. Immerse yourself in the historical backdrop of the era you’ve selected, acquiring a solid understanding of its history and language to navigate where poetic license can be taken. Equally crucial is honing your storytelling skills, emphasizing the importance of structure and committing to the writing process with dedication—simply put, write, write, write.

Looking back on my own journey, I sought guidance on marketing my first book from the acquiring editor at Carina Press. Her sage advice was refreshingly straightforward: write the next one. This insight underscores the continuous growth and improvement inherent in the craft.

Additionally, focus on mastering the art of conveying emotion and subtext. Recognize that these elements are just as pivotal as dialogue, enticing your readers to eagerly turn each page. In historical romance, the ability to evoke feelings and subtle nuances adds a layer of depth that resonates profoundly with your audience.

Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to your work? I would love to see original content in the entertainment industry again. Whether they do or not, who would be your dream cast to play all of your characters? 

A: While I won’t bore you with the expansive spreadsheet detailing the myriad characters from my ten-book series, “Ladies of Sommer-by-the-Sea,” I can certainly paint a picture of my vision for the cast. In crafting my heroines, I envision strong women, inherently confident in their abilities and unwavering in their understanding of self-worth. The heroes in my tales mirror this strength and confidence, seeking partnership rather than dominance. Both protagonists defy societal constraints, pushing boundaries for their personal fulfillment.

As for the prospect of Hollywood adapting my work, that remains a fascinating journey on the horizon. The allure of seeing original content breathe life into my stories in the entertainment industry is an exciting prospect. If casting were to become a reality, my dream ensemble would embody the resilience, independence, and dynamic relationships that define my characters.

Q: What’s it like to have your books listed on the USA Today Bestsellers list? It sounds like a dream come true. 

A: Being listed on the USA Today Bestsellers list is undeniably a fulfilling and personally gratifying experience—it’s a significant nod of validation from within the industry. However, it’s crucial to recognize that while this achievement holds weight in professional circles, the driving force for most readers often stems from other factors. A recent survey polling 4,000 readers shed light on their motivations for purchasing books. Notably, 68% indicated that they were drawn to authors who were already familiar to them, emphasizing the power of an established author’s name. Additionally, 53% admitted to making purchasing decisions based on the appeal of the book cover, revealing the visual impact as another influential factor in the reader’s choice.

Q: If you were to write in another genre that wasn’t historical romance, which genres would you explore and why?

A: While I’ve ventured into the contemporary space with my six-book series, Havenport Romance, the resounding feedback from my readers leans toward a preference for my historical narratives. The allure of historical storytelling lies in the intricate world-building it demands, offering readers vivid landscapes to explore through the imagery I craft. Acknowledging the distinct appeal, I connect with the delight my readers experience in these historical adventures, and I’m more inclined to embrace their preferences than engage in a debate.

Q: What is helpful advice you would give to a new and aspiring author on how to deal with negative criticism, whether it’s from reviews, online trolls, or family and friends who aren’t supportive of their writing goals?

A: My suggestion is to steer clear of reading reviews, especially when faced with anonymous trolls who enjoy disparaging others they do not know. If you encounter criticism for elements that simply don’t apply to your story, like complaints about a non-existent car in my Regency tale, it’s essential that you do not respond.

Regarding unsupportive family and friends, I’ve learned the value of education. Politely absorbing their snide remarks about certain story genres, I’ve taken the opportunity to enlighten them. During a casual backyard barbecue, I took a moment to provide my brother-in-law and cousin, both successful men, with a brief lesson on the significance of romance books. Citing Maya Rodale’s insights on how romance stories played a crucial role in the early women’s movement, along with compelling statistics—such as romance novels being the most profitable genre in publishing with 39 million sold in 2023, marking a 52% increase—I emphasized that romance is a literature of hope and love, drawing readers with the promise of happy endings.

Bianca, thank you so much for this opportunity to share my thoughts. I hope that my comments are helpful. For those who want to learn more about me, here is where you can find me:




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