Today, I’m interviewing Ruth Meyer on her latest release, Faith Alone.
1. When did you start writing with the hope of becoming an author?
It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I even considered becoming an author. I majored in music in college and didn’t have to take a single English class the entire time! About six years ago, a class project for my son inspired my first book, Our Faith From A to Z. That was a perfect place for me to start, because it’s an alphabet book, and I had very specific guidelines to follow: one term for each letter of the alphabet, written in the form of a poem with a specific meter and cadence, and a brief explanation of each term at the bottom of the page. Fiction is a whole new ball game, but once I started writing it, I couldn’t stop. One might say it’s more of an addiction for me.
2. What is Faith Alone about?
Faith Alone continues the story begun in my first novel, Grace Alone. It follows the lives of the Neunaber family as they’re adjusting to a new member of the household after their mother gets remarried. Of course there are tensions as everyone adjusts, but these tensions pale in comparison to the decision the oldest daughter, Faith, is forced to make.
3. What inspired Faith Alone?
After I finished writing Grace Alone I was sad—almost depressed—to be done with their story. I moped around for about a week, complaining to my family about it until my oldest son said, “Why not just write a sequel?” A day or two later, the idea for the central conflict of the book came to me while I was on a walk, and I stopped right there in the road as I considered it. Then I raced back home to start writing.
4. Who is the book for?
I like to say it’s for anyone who’s ever been faced with a seemingly impossible decision. Let’s face it—life is messy, and the lives of my characters are messy as well. I strive to paint as realistic a picture as possible so people can relate to the characters. Yes, most of my characters are Christian, but Christians make mistakes too, and my characters are no exception. Because of the subject matter, however, I wouldn’t recommend it for readers under the age of 12. As my blog tour host says, “This squeaky-clean novel deals with a few tough themes in an honest but godly and undetailed way.” I don’t write anything I wouldn’t want my teenage kids to read.
5. What do you want readers to gain from your book?
Above all, I hope readers hear the message of forgiveness and hope through Jesus. I once had a lady tell me she identified with my character Grace so much that she felt like she was reading her own life story in Grace Alone, and that she was reassured of God’s love for her. That’s the reason I write. If God can use my writing to reach even one person with that message, it’s completely worth it.
6. Have you written any other books and where can we get them?
Both my children’s book, Our Faith From A to Z, and the first novel of this series, Grace Alone, are published by Concordia Publishing House and are available on their website, cph.org. They are also available on Amazon. There are more books to follow in this series—eight total—so readers can follow my author page on Amazon, follow my blog, or sign up for my newsletter to stay up-to-date on that information.
7. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
Just about anything except hard-core romance. I especially love mysteries, a genre I have no interest in venturing into for my own writing. I also like historical fiction, Christian fiction, young adult novels, real-life stories, autobiographies, and the occasional dystopian novel.
8. What Christian contemporary books would you recommend to new contemporary writers?
I’m a big fan of Terri Blackstock’s writing, especially her Restoration series, which delves into the scenario of a worldwide blackout, and also her Intervention series, which deals with addiction.
9. Where can we connect with you?
My website is ruthmeyerbooks.com, and I blog at TruthNotes.net. I’m also on Facebook under Ruth E. Meyer, Author, and I have author pages on Amazon, Goodreads, and BookBub. There are links on my website to each of those, plus a link to sign up for my monthly newsletter.
10. What tips you have for young aspiring writers?
First, read, read, read! I’ve heard it said that you can learn something from every book, even if it’s how not to write a book! Readers tend to make the best writers, because they know what makes a compelling story and what doesn’t. They also naturally pick up on grammatical rules like punctuation because they see it so often.
Next, practice, practice, practice! As with anything, you have to spend time working at it in order to get better. My first attempts at playing hymns in public were pretty slow and laborious, but I improved over time and with practice. So it is with writing. My first drafts of fiction were pretty painful, but I’ve improved with practice and experience.
Lastly, welcome constructive criticism. It can be painful, yes, but this is a crucial step. Many other areas of life require a teacher or coach, so why should writing be any different? I couldn’t have learned to play the organ well without taking lessons for years. Young writers should find a writing coach—an English teacher, a more experienced writer, peer writing groups, and eventually an editor. It was only through the help of a very kind and patient editor that I was able to publish a decent novel in the first place. I’m still learning things, and I would encourage aspiring writers to keep an open mind about constructive criticism. Editing is not meant to discourage, but to offer suggestions on how to improve your writing; an editor is your own personal teacher. It’s easy to get defensive about their suggestions, but the vast majority of those suggestions really will help you improve your writing skills.
Thank you so much Ruth! If you want to learn more about the book and Ruth, then read on 😊
Grace Neunaber has finally found happiness. After struggling for years as a single mother of four, she’s thrilled about her newfound faith and her marriage to a strong Christian man. But as David is added to their family of five, her enthusiasm is quickly dampened by her older children’s open hostility and resentment toward their new father.
For Grace’s daughter, Faith, having a principal for a step-dad is only one of the downsides. Her parents are nosy, restrictive, and most of all embarrassing. But Faith’s issues with her parents are quickly shoved aside when she’s faced with a decision that will change the course of her future.
Each member of the Neunaber family will have to rely on their faith in God if their strained relationships are going to knit them closer together instead of tear their family apart.
Ruth Meyer graduated from Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with a degree in church music and no plans whatsoever to become an author. But a student of the week project for her son inspired Our Faith from A to Z, a children’s picture book. After that, it was only a matter of time before she tried her hand at fiction. As both the daughter of and the wife of a pastor, Ruth has moved around a lot, and her experiences provide many ideas for her writing. Currently, she resides in rural Texas with her husband, their five children, and two dogs. It is her hope that through her writing, readers are assured of God’s grace through His Son, Jesus.
I hope you guys check out the rest of the blog tour!