I had the honor of meeting Ruth Douhitt for this interview. Doing these interviews is one way that I can support other authors, and she took me up on the opportunity that I put out there in a writing group I’m part of. I’m so glad she did. Let’s get to know her together!
Former writing teacher Ruth Douthitt is an award-winning author of many books for middle-grade readers and adults in fiction and non-fiction. She is the winner of the Moonbeam Children’s Books Award-Bronze Medal for Best Book Series and the 2022 Christian Indie Awards First Place for YA. The Doors of Rome is the first book in her Christian-themed women’s inspirational fiction series. She currently works for Grand Canyon University and lives in Phoenix with her husband of 35 years and their little dog. When she isn’t writing, Ruth loves to run, draw, paint, and garden.
Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Ruth with rapid-fire.
CC: Sweet or Salty?
CC: Print, E-book, or Audiobook?
CC: Coffee, Tea, or Other?
Morning Person or Night Owl?
RD: Night Owl
CC: Favorite Holiday?
Is there anything better than curling up to read a good book with a hot drink in front of a lit up Chrsitmas tree? Sigh. We’re getting closer!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
RD: When my family said I was a good story teller. That was when I was in college.
CC: Familes can have such an impact on how we grow and what we pursue. I’m so glad they told you that you were a good story teller.
What has been the biggest challenge for you on your writing journey?
RD: Being Indie published is difficult because of the marketing and publicity. I find it a challenge, but I am learning. I love learning new things, so it’s helped me grow as a person and writer.
CC: There really are so many aspects of being an author that stretch well beyond just writing the book.
How have you seen God work through your writing journey?
RD: I never intended to be a writer. I am an artist first, but I can clearly see how He guided me toward some story ideas and away from others. Just when I want to give up and quit, He’ll show me that this is the path He wants me on by my winning an award or receiving an excellent review. It’s that pat-on-the-back I need to keep going.
CC: It really is such a hard job. Praise the Lord that He is kind enough to carry us through and encourage us on that journey.
Do you have any advice for those who want to write their own stories?
RD: Read a lot and write something every day, even if it’s just 200 words. Writing is a skill that we lose if we don’t practice. So is reading! I recommend reading a lot to see what others are doing and what publishers are interested in.
Before we dive into questions about your newest release, let’s find out what it’s about.
Salt-of-the-earth housewife, Millie Devonshire enjoys making a home for her husband and going on “therapy” jogs with her best friend, yet Millie feels adventure is missing from her life. Middle-aged, childless, and married to all-too-practical Walter, Millie is consistently told to wait until retirement for their adventurous life to begin. One day, she enters a photography contest and wins first prize—an all expense paid trip to Rome for two. Certainly Walter will agree to go on this free adventure with her, right?
When Walter declines because he’s up for a promotion at work, Millie decides to make her own dreams of adventure come true. She heads to Rome with her best friend and running partner, Edith instead. Yet Edith has her own demands: She’ll go only if Millie runs the Rome Marathon with her. When Millie and Edith arrive in Rome, they have no idea how their lives are about to be turned upside down and how many other lives will be transformed forever. Always kind, always cheery, and always hopeful, the indomitable Millie takes Rome by storm and learns some of life’s greatest lessons along the way: If you don’t invest in love, you’ll lose it and sometimes you have to leave someone behind to get their attention.
Purchase your copy at Amazon
CC: Where did you get the idea for The Doors of Rome?
RD: From our trip to Rome in 2018. I ran the Rome Marathon and almost had to quit. At the finish line, I told my husband about what happened and felt there was a plot for a book in there somewhere!
CC: Life does bring some of the greatest inspiration for books, doesn’t it?
RD: I wanted to tell a story to encourage and inspire women in their 50s or above. I ran that marathon at age 51. I’m big into inspiration and using my stories to encourage and motivate people to personal growth. So, this story has special meaning in that it follows two ladies in their 50s on an adventure. Life doesn’t end when we get older! We can still reinvent ourselves.
CC: Adventure fiction sounds like a good draw to me!
Who was the most challenging character to create?
RD: Judith. She’s the “villain” or main antagonist who irks and challenges the protagonist, Millie. She was difficult to write because I didn’t like her and I knew readers wouldn’t like her. She has everything yet complains. Her heart is filled with resentment, so she cannot see the beauty around her. That saddens me.
Which character was the most fun to create?
RD: Edith! She was so fun to write because I know many women like her. She’s blunt but kind. She’s interesting because she’s had a fascinating life. She has a sharp wit that I wish I had! Many readers told me they love Edith. She’ll appear in the other books.
CC: Yay! It’s always fun to see repeat characters.
RD: Researching the famous Boboli Gardens in Florence. That was a delight! I had to research some of the Vatican because I had forgotten. That was fun. But it was the FOOD that I enjoyed researching about the most. I have a family friend who is a sous chef from Sicily, so he helped me with the food, wine selections, and some of the language used.
How did this story affect you as you wrote it?
CC: Such an important lesson to be sure!
CC: It sounds like readers have a lot to look forward to. Before we wrap up this interview, I have one last question for you:
Reader, have you ever traveled internationally? Where did you go?
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