We’re Doing It Again! The Fantastic Blog Hop Returns But Different.

fantastic blog hop busJoin us today at 9 p.m. EST (US) for the Fantastic Blog Hop Facebook Event.  Yes, we’re doing it again, and bigger than ever!  Join authors; Karen Vaughan, Dellani Oakes, Marta Moran Bishop, Joan Hazel, Ruth Davis Hays, Dominica Malcom, Joan P. Lane and Juli Morgan for fun, games and possibly Fabio?  🙂

The event will last from Thursday 9 p.m. until Friday 11:55 p.m. so come on over, and have fun.  I plan on giving away a copy of my novel Hag as well as post a few teasers for my next book, “Eternal Bond.”

Meet The Amazing Ruth Davis Hays

fantastic blog hop bus

Today on our tour, we meet Ruth Davis Hays an author whom I’ve actually become a fan of.  If you want to check out some of her work you can here.  Her books The Convergence and The Dawnstone Tales are from the Jorthus Series and can be found on Amazon and at her website.

Convergence The Jorthus Tales by Ruth Davis Hays1. Are you a fan of the genre that you write in? I do enjoy fantasy/sci-fi movies and books. They can be either brain candy or poignant allegory.

2. Are you a pen and paper author or do you use a computer to write? I use both. It depends on where I am when the idea strikes. Occasionally, I end up scribbling on napkins.

3. If you couldn’t write, what would you be doing instead? I also enjoy designing costumes, especially historical ones.

4. What about this business surprised you the most? How difficult it is to summarize my stories.

5. Do you blog? Not on a regular basis, although I know that I should.

6. Are you on social media? Do you enjoy it? I enjoy Facebook, but Twitter eludes me.

7. The house is on fire, which do you save, your laptop or your book collection? I would probably grab my laptop because my book collection can be replaced.

8. The publishing industry is changing, do you think this is a good or bad time for authors? While it is easier to get ideas out to the public through self publishing, it is harder to be taken seriously if you do utilize this path. It seems that the need for brick and mortar stores is shrinking, as is the demand for physical books. Ebooks can be handy, but it is hard to replace the thrill of seeing or smelling a printed page with your words on it.

9. How do you promote your books? I have a difficult time with self promotion, but blog interviews, such as this, help.

10. Your editor says you have to kill a character, which one would get the ax? All of them! (maniacal laughter) Is that over the top? To answer that with more seriousness, I would say that it would depend on if I needed the character for the storyline’s advancement. If I can transfer their job to another character, then almost any of them would be ax fodder.

Excerpt from Translations from Jorthus:  The Excursion – by Ruth Davis Hays

 

Excursion The Jorthus Tales By Ruth Davis HaysDharromar laid back, staring at the ceiling, feeling Lylith’s warm, smooth body next to him and cursed himself. He had surrendered to her every whim and curiosity. And, in doing so, had lost himself in the passion. At one point, he almost told her the truth of why he was here with her. That would have been a costly mistake.

The woman had taken him by surprise with her intensity and her unselfish, unconditional acceptance. He had never in his life felt as he had with her. She made his heart tremble.

Their lovemaking had been so intense that tears stung him and he was left feeling shocked, empty. But, it was a pleasurable emptiness, not the coldness that he was used to feeling.

He stretched out his long body, hearing a few snaps and pops. The trust he saw in her eyes told him what he needed to know. If he kept her as contented as a fat cat, she would follow him anywhere.

This job might prove easier than I had originally thought. Definitely more pleasurable.

Putting on his most tender smile, he rolled to face Lylith. The blanket draped teasingly over her curvaceous figure. He could not rip his eyes from her. Her face rested in gentle happiness, a slight smile on her lips. Reaching over, he touched the wild flame of her hair as the morning sun made it dance with life. Her eyes opened slowly, revealing the lavender orbs beneath dark lashes. Her smile warmed him.

“You didn’t tell me you were virgin.” He scolded in a gentle tone. “I would have been gentler with you had I known.”

“I didn’t think it important.” Lylith purred. “I’m happy with the result, aren’t you?”

“Very happy, love.” He ran his hand softly down her pale arm. His eye followed the movement, noting the absurd contrast of his dark gray nails against her creamy skin.

“What is that on your arm?” she asked with all the innocence of a child.

Ruth Davis Hays Convergence
By Khanada Taylor

He glanced at the light blue-green markings on his right forearm. “It’s a tattoo. Have you never seen one before?”

“No.” She watched it with sleepy fascination. “I’d never even seen a man’s body before either. Do most men have tattoos?”

“I suppose some do. It’s usually a symbol of something that they don’t want to forget.”

“Mmm.” She closed her eyes and smiled. That seemed to satisfy her, and she did not ask anything more of his guild symbol. Her mind drifted onto other topics.

She was quietly musing on something when he suddenly asked her, “Why did you choose me?”

“Hmm?” Lylith roused herself from her thoughts. “Choose you?”

A half smile played across his face. “Yes. Usually when a woman chooses to open herself to a man in such a private fashion for the first time, there is a reason… sometimes a very special reason that she picks him.”

Lylith shrugged and smiled shyly at him. “I liked your eyes.”

That was all she had to offer and he nodded, willing to accept that simple of a reason…

Bio:

601975_4804071394339_927906416_nRuth Davis Hays has been a stay-at-home mom, a writer, a costumer, and a data entry clerk. Not all at the same time, of course.

A Florida native, she was born in Jacksonville and graduated with a BA from Florida State University, School of Theatre. Having a love of fantasy from an early age, she took inspiration from anywhere; staring at a picture, the clouds in the sky, or walking down her grandmother’s driveway. Studying theatre and humanities since high school, she and her friend Khanada would write short stories to entertain each other.

When she moved to Orlando with her husband, Ruth worked in the Costuming Department at Universal Orlando for four years before leaving to work as a data entry operator with Harcourt Publishing. Deciding to stay at home with her new son, she freelanced on a research project for Wizards of the Coast. Later, helping on independent films such as The Last Will and Legend of the Red Reaper, she had the fun of being an extra as well as stretching her artistic wings behind the scenes. She was allowed to design and create individual costumes for some of the lead characters on the upcoming Legend of the Red Reaper (and got to die in it, too!).

During all these adventures, she spent her spare time writing a few more adventures down and produced two fantasy novels based on fictional worlds that had infected her brain in college. The series, Translations from Jorthus, is her chosen place for mental vacations. She tries to visit there as often as she can; bringing back tidbits that may entertain the hearts of others. Her books, The Dawnstone Tale and The Convergence, introduce the readers to an idyllic world of elemental magic and fairytale creatures, then plunges them into bigotry, betrayals, and war. Just an average, relaxing afternoon, right?  The third book in the cycle, The Excursion is in post-production and number four, The Illusion where many loose ends get tied up and gagged, will be done (hopefully) later this year.

Follow her on Facebook and WordPress.

 

Dharromar Weiss: Anti-hero from The Translations of The Jorthus series.

Character Interview:Convergence Cover

What is your biggest fear?

If this is confession time, I will admit to having an intense dread of a certain underground creature known as a Rokworm.

What would you give up everything to have?

Haven’t I already given up everything? Wait, perhaps the answer to that would be – vindication. That would be a worthy last request.

What is the biggest mistake you’ve ever made and are you going to be able to rectify it?

Betraying someone who trusted me. That remains to be seen.

What food would you never eat?

I think I already ate it. One does do strange things in order to survive.

You’ve dressed to impress. What are you wearing?

The garments typical of Culetan, a human city on the western side of the continent Verdaillia.  A loose sleeved tunic, jerkin, and leggings. I prefer riding boots, and my cape is a necessity. Of course, I keep my sword close at hand. One never knows what will happen.

What one thing have you found unattainable thus far in your life?

Validation for being alive.

What is about to change for you?

I may loose my freedom or my life at any moment. Circumstances have ripped me from a well plotted life, and I smell chaos on the wind.

Where do you live?

I reside, for the most part, in a transdimensional manor house with an anchored door on Jorthus, in Byton Grove. It is my area of safety; untouchable by the uninvited.

Who are you? (ie: warrior, demon, doctor, mechanic)

That’s a tricky question. I could say that I am a lord. Or I could say that I am a bastard. Both would be accurate. Some call me daemon. Others call me changeling. I am fae. That is all I will attest to at this time.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? (more than physical description, please)

I see what I was taught to see by “loved ones”:  unworthiness and disappointment.

Who do you hate and why?

Everyone. Not all for the same reasons.

Gods below, this conversation took a turn for the morose, didn’t it? Forgive me. Questions about myself inevitably lead to dark places.

Ruth Davis Hays: Author Interview

Today the Fantastic Blog Hop Tour continues and makes a stop in Florida, where we sit down and chat with Ruth Davis Hays author of the new and upcoming book, THE EXCURSION.

The Excursion by Ruth Davis Hays1.     What is your story about?

I could lay out the synopsis of the entire series, describe each character, or I could sum it up in one word:  redemption. The stories are fantasy adventures about three mismatched companions who struggle against dangers, aggressors, and each other. It all begins when a snarky thief gets entangled with a young woman and her lover. The woman is a spell-user seeking greater mysteries to enhance her art. What starts out as a typical quest for a gemstone propels the characters through wars, horrible secrets, and into the hands of death, as they create allegiances to save their home-world.

But, ultimately, the stories are about each of these characters getting to know themselves and how they relate to their worlds. I say worlds because they travel from one planet to another in some of the books.

2.     Where does your story take place?

My current series takes place in a planetary system of three worlds. The main setting is Jorthus, the largest of these planets. It is ecologically similar to Earth, but there is a powerful spiritual energy that flows through all things. Most of the inhabitants refer to this malleable energy as the Majiks. There are several fairytale races (such as elf, dwarf, and ogre) with variations on other familiar ones.

3.     Is writing a natural talent, or did you take classes to hone your craft?

Both. I gravitated towards many English composition and creative writing classes in college, even though my major was theatre.

4.  Do you have a ritual when you write?  (Special time of day, music etc.)

Not really. I write when I have a moment alone, or when the words pound in my head so incessantly that I have to write them down. Otherwise, I may forget them.

5.     Do you write in multiple genres?

I do have some “in progress” stories of various genres, though there are fantastical elements in most. There was a vampire story with which I was obsessed in college, but it fell to the side when Jorthus bloomed into being.

6.     Do your family and friends read your work?

Yes. I wrote most of the Jorthus stories for my best friend. She lives out of state, so I would send her bits and pieces in email until she finally said, “Just write in all down in order.” Low and behold, it made not one book, but several!

7.     Have you ever had writers block and if so, how did you overcome it?

Oh, yes. Sometimes the only cure for me is to do something completely different. I put myself in a situation where I can’t easily write down anything that may come to mind, and (Murphy’s Law) that’s when ideas just start popping. I will take a walk, try taking a nap, or just do the dishes.

8.     Do you have an illustrator, or co-author, if so, who?

My best friend, who I mentioned before, is an artist, and she shared her vision of the characters and settings by creating illustrations, cover art, and poster art for me. We collaborate well. My husband helps with plot points and we bounce character development ideas back and forth, as well. My sister helps with editing, but when it comes down to writing and organizing it all, I do it.

9.     Do you write according to the trends or from the heart?

I write from the heart, most assuredly. I gave up my vampire story because of trends in movies and books, actually. They just seemed to be everywhere, so I lost interest in my own creation.

10.  Who is your favorite author of all time?

That is a hard one. I love so many different ones. I adore the humor of Douglas Adams, and the detail of Stephen King, but I suppose I would have to say it all started with Shakespeare because of my grandfather. He would quote the Bard endlessly and I always associate him with the plays and sonnets.

11.  What’s best: Pen and paper, or laptop?

If you want to be able to save your work beyond a shadow, then I would say pen and paper. At times I would have been lost without my notes scribbled in notebooks all around the house. Flash drives are essentials as well!

12.  If your house was on fire, what would you save: your computer, or your book collection?

My flash drives, haha!  I don’t save on my laptop anymore and I can replace my books.

13.  What’s the strangest length you ever went to research your book?

I don’t do anything too outlandish for most of it. Researching word origins is fun, but as far as ‘strange’ goes… I would have to say talking extensively to some people about BDSM might be considered out of the ordinary.

14.  Most people want to know, is writing really all that hard?

 

I would say Yes and No. Sometimes the words flow and, at other times, it is like trying to pluck splinters with mittens on. It is not for everyone. But, if you feel that you cannot express yourself any other way, then it is worth the struggle, the pain, and the uncertainty.

15.  What would you like aspiring authors to know about the realities of a writing career?

A career? That there is no guarantee. Just because the words are written, doesn’t mean that someone else will take a chance on them. Big publishers are in the business of making money. It is not a path to immediate riches for everyone who puts pen to paper, but sometimes it can seem worth the wait.

Ruth author picRuth D. Hays is a native Floridian, a graduate from FSU School of Theatre, a wife and mother. She has created costumes for and worked on several independent films, and enjoys drawing faerie art in her spare time. She published her first novel, THE DAWNSTONE TALE, in 2009, followed by the second in the series, THE CONVERGENCE, in 2010. She currently has a short story and recipe in the Second Wind Publishing anthology, SECOND HELPINGS, and will have a fantasy love tale included in an upcoming anthology by Triscelle Publishing. The third book in her fantasy adventure series The Translations from Jorthus, THE EXCURSION, will be available from Amazon soon.