Janice: Hi Ruth. Thanks for agreeing to do this interview with me. I look forward to getting to know you better.
RUTH: Thanks for the opportunity to chat with you and your readers. I appreciate the invitation.
Janice: From my knowledge of you, you’re a very busy woman. Tell us some of the things / people that make up your daily life.
RUTH: My relationship with God is my top priority. Kendall is my “Mr. Fixit” husband (he’s a mechanic) and God has blessed us with five children, Grace (17), Luke (14), Levi (14), Jayson (12) and Dorothy (6). Besides being a wife and mother, I enjoy writing, teaching private piano lessons and Music for Young Children, volunteering in our community (right now we’re working on upgrading playground equipment in the village of Glendon), playing the piano and leading the choir at church, and providing leadership to InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, a writing organization for Canadian Christian writers.
Janice: How do you balance your personal life with your professional responsibilities?
RUTH: This is a constant work in action for me. I try to make decisions based on my priorities – God first, family second, and then other opportunities and obligations.
Janice: With all the busyness in your life, why do you write, not to mention how?
RUTH: I write because it’s enjoyable, challenging, and I’m not content if I don’t write. Sometimes I almost feel driven to express myself through writing. As a Christian, I believe God gifts His children with responsibilities and abilities. Writing is one of my abilities that I try to use to bring honor to God. I also see writing as a ministry. You never know who will read your writing or what affect it will have.
Janice: Is that your writing goal?
RUTH: My goal in writing is to write in obedience to God’s promptings, clearly communicating a story or idea to my readers. If my readers experience emotions or are moved to change something in their lives because of what I wrote, then I will consider myself a successful writer.
Janice: Do you write well in busy surroundings or do you prefer quiet? Do you write with music in the background? A specific place?
RUTH: I prefer to write in a quiet surrounding, but I’m learning to write whenever I get the opportunity, e.g. while my children are watching a movie or exploring books at the library. Sometimes I’ll put on classical music or other music without words while I write. Although I do have a desk and computer where I do some of my writing, I prefer to write on my iPad, because it’s portable and it doesn’t have as many distractions as my computer.
Janice: I’m with you in the “music without words” thing. Tell us about how you write—your process.
RUTH: When I’m brainstorming, I’ll often use pen and paper. For instance, when I’m working on a story I’ll jot down an overview of the plot, and then come up with what happens in each chapter of the story (in point form only).
Once I start the actual writing, I prefer to use the computer or my iPad. (For non-fiction writing like blog posts or articles, I use my computer, but for my fiction projects I’ve found my iPad a better choice.)
During the school year, I usually get up at 5:00 or so to spend some quiet time thinking, reading my Bible and praying. By 6:00 I’m writing so that I get 30 minutes of writing in before breakfast. Usually I can write 500 words in this time frame, which isn’t a lot, but over time it adds up. Many of my blog posts are written in that 30-minute slot before the rest of the family gets up. My other writing is generally done during the day between throwing in loads of laundry, cleaning, etc.
I’ve just started experimenting with Scrivener, which is a wonderful program. My only frustration is that there’s not an iPad app for the program yet. (I’ve heard they’re working on it, though!)
Janice: I love Scrivener. I’m glad you’re enjoying it too. What genres do you write and why?
RUTH: I enjoy a variety of genres. Devotionals are one of my favourite genres because I get to share what I’m learning in my personal walk with God. Articles are enjoyable, especially when I get to share how to do something. I’ve been told I’m a teacher through and through, Lol. For fiction, I enjoy writing historical fiction because I think we can learn a lot from what has happened in the past. I’ve also written contemporary fiction in the romance genre. I think most people (especially women) enjoy a good love story.
Janice: How do you approach research? What’s your favorite source?
RUTH: I’ll usually do some preliminary research when I put my outline or plot together. Sometimes I’ll go to my local library and read through magazine articles or books. However, most of the time Google is my best friend when I’m researching. I’ll often research as I’m writing so that the setting or facts are accurate.
Janice: What do you like most about writing? What’s the most difficult aspect?
RUTH: I enjoy the challenge of using specific words to convey the ideas in my mind. Often I’ll ask myself what the character is experiencing with his five senses – what does he see, smell, taste, touch, hear? Also, what are the physical reactions he has to show his emotions?
For me, the most difficult part is getting that first draft down. Editing is something else I enjoy. It’s not too bad once I have something to work with, to shape and hone and embellish.
Janice: Well said. I’m in the same camp. Do you always write with a specific audience in mind? What’s your favorite audience?
RUTH: I try to write with an audience in mind so that I can use language, descriptions, and topics that are interesting to my audience. One of my favorite audiences is women from 30-50.
Janice: What are some of your social media connections and which do you consider the most efficient/effective?
RUTH: My favourite social media sites are Facebook and Twitter. I appreciate the opportunities to share and interact on Facebook. Twitter provides a great way to meet people with interests common to mine, to gather current information, and to share my own news. Both sites are great places to share my latest favourite photos or quotes.
Janice: What do you like to read? What are you currently reading? Digital or print?
RUTH: I read both fiction and non-fiction. Often I’ll read fiction when I want to escape or relax while non-fiction is to keep myself informed to help me learn something new. Most of my fiction is read digitally on my Kindle app on my iPad. Non-fiction I prefer to read in paperback or hardcover so that I can make notes, circle ideas, highlight, and even turn over the corners of pages I want to come back to at a later date.
- Total Recovery: Solving the Mystery of Chronic Pain and Depression by Dr. Gary Kaplan, D.O.
- Holy is the Day: Living in the Gift of the Present by Carolyn Weber
- 40 Day Devotional Challenge by Kathi Macias
- Am I Messing Up My Kids and Other Questions Every Mom Asks by Lysa TerKeurst
- Launch by Jeff Walker
- Neighbors Series by Tracy Krauss
- Sun’s Parting Ray by Mishael Austin Witty
- In Time of Trouble by N.J. Lindquist
Janice: Do you edit your own manuscripts or do you have input from others?
RUTH: I always go back and edit my own manuscripts several times. However, I also ask for feedback from other writers and I’m working with a professional editor for my full-length novel.
Janice: What advice would you give to beginning writers?
RUTH: Make time to write every day if possible. Learn as much as you can and allow yourself to try new things. Seek God’s guidance in all you do, do what He tells you to do, and trust the results to Him.
Janice: Thanks for joining me today, Ruth. God bless you in your writing career as well as in your personal pursuits.
RUTH: You’re welcome, Janice. I appreciate your support and encouragement.
Ruth L. Snyder was privileged to spend the first 10 years of her life in southern Africa where her parents served as missionaries. From there her family moved to Canada, settling in Three Hills, Alberta. Ruth enjoyed her years as a “staff kid” at Prairie and is grateful for the biblical grounding she received there. She now resides close to Glendon (the pyrogy capital of Alberta, Canada) with her husband and five young children. Ruth enjoys writing articles, devotionals, short stories, and Christian fiction. She is a member of The Word Guild and The Christian PEN. Ruth currently serves as the President of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.
Ruth’s children have taught her many things about living with special needs. She is a strong advocate and spent several years serving on the local public school board.
Ruth loves her job teaching Music for Young Children. She is fascinated by children’s imaginations and enjoys helping young children learn the basics of music through play.
In her spare time, Ruth enjoys reading, crafts, volunteering in her local community, photography, and travel. Several years ago, Ruth and her family traveled through 28 States in 30 days! Find out more about Ruth and her writing at http://ruthlsnyder.wordpress.com
RUTH’S SOCIAL MEDIA ADDRESSES: