Ruth Cardello is an amazing woman. The former teacher has used her life experiences and combined them with her wild imagination to write books….and not just any books. Romance stories with powerful Alpha men, sassy and wily leading ladies and plots that have you drawn in from the very beginning.
I picked up Ruth’s first book, Maid for the Billionaire, when it was recommended to me from iTunes. It was a free read so it was worth giving it a go. I wasn’t disappointed. This story of a successful and hard-arsed businessman who meets a sweet and caring woman just at the right time in his life, had me turning pages as quickly as I could. I enjoyed every minute of it and even got to have a good giggle through it.
With the release of Alethea’s Redemption, Ruth now has six books in the Legacy Collection plus a short novella that was written for the Hot, Sexy & Bad box set that was released late in 2013. In September last year, Ruth began a new series called Texan Nights, and the first book, Gentling the Cowboy was very well received. It still continues to get amazing reviews!
Ruth answered a few questions for me….take a read!
EF – What or who was your inspiration to start writing?
RC – I have always written for the pleasure. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t dreaming about characters and the lives they would live. When I read, I prefer romance and escapism—so writing in this genre was a natural fit for me.
Maid for the Billionaire, however, was born on a dare. I was waist deep in a sci-fi romance whose plot was melting my brain when a friend of mine asked me if that was the type of romance I preferred to read. I told her that I’m much more cheese-tastic than that. Give me a rich, hot man in an exotic place any day. She dared me to write three chapters of my dream alpha man and Dominic was born.
EF – Can you describe how you felt when you published your first book? Did you have doubts or regrets?
RC – I’d just about given up on getting my Maid for the Billionaire published in 2011. I had submitted it to several publishing houses and each said about the same thing. “Good writing, just not what we’re looking for right now. Do you have anything else?”
New job. New baby. Maid for the Billionaire sat on my desktop for six months.
Then one day my brother came over and told me about an author he’d heard speak about e-publishing. I thought, “Why not?” Maid for the Billionaire was finished and self-publishing would allow the readers to decide for themselves if my story was good.
I put the book up for FREE and waited for the first reviews. Two hundred thousand people downloaded it within the first month or so. The reviews were good and I started quickly on book 2: For Love or Legacy.
How did I feel? I was terrified, excited, and determined. Nothing has changed there. Each time I put out a new book I feel the same. Maybe it’s that mix that keeps me working hard at improving my craft and promoting my books. I don’t take a single part of this incredible journey for granted.
EF – A you a planner or a pantser?
RC – I’m a bit of both. I brainstorm, plot, outline, sticky note my walls…whatever it takes to make sure that the details of the story are correct. It’s very important to me, that I come up with characters I will enjoy spending time with. I write their histories, their secret dreams, their fears.
Then I invite them to the party. When my writing is flowing, I’ve created a framework for the story to happen in, but I’m recording what the characters are saying and doing as if I’m watching a movie in my head. It doesn’t happen in a day, but when the story gels for me, the characters are alive to me and I’ll change my outline to suit the reality of who they have become.
I originally thought my Legacy Collection would have three books, but as I fell in love with the characters it grew. After expanding to six, Alethea’s Redemption: Breaching the Billionaire was supposed to be the last book, but I am leaving the door open for more if I decide to revisit them. I have a couple of story lines in the series that I’d love to explore.
EF – Do you have any particular rituals that you do before/during/after writing a book?
RC – Writing used to be a solitary hobby for me. Over time, I have collected beta readers and editors who understand what I need during each phase of writing. I write my first draft joyfully. I can’t think about what could be phrased better or if the name of the place they went to is corny. I’m working on the big picture. My first wave of beta readers get that and don’t worry about repetitive language or if I put the same dress on a character two scenes in a row. After that, I give my finished first draft to a second group of beta readers who pull it apart for those things. They highlight what was awkward, what wasn’t funny, or what didn’t make sense. The details of the story are debated. It’s sometimes a painful process when someone says, “That’s not sexy.” Or “Would a man really say that?” BUT I value the honesty of my beta readers. I don’t make changes based on one opinion, but I watch for trends. In my first draft of Bedding the Billionaire, I killed off Jeremy. Every one of my beta readers instantly called me or sent me a concerned email. In retrospect they were right. I learned not to write the end of a book while PMSing.
Before I put my book up, it also sees three editors. Everyone finds something and they each have different strengths. Sometimes something could simply be said better.
EF – Is there anything you do in particular if you get stuck writing a scene?
RC – When I get stumped, I reread the book from beginning to end every night before I go to bed. Often, I will wake up with the reason the scene isn’t working.
EF – If you could team up with any other author and write a book with them, who would it be and what type of story would you like to write with them?
RC – I would love to team up with my niece, Danielle Stewart, and write a funny, very hot erotica. I think the process would be hilarious and we share the same sense of humor.
EF – What are you currently working on?
RC – I am currently working on book 2 of my Texan Nights series featuring Charles and Melanie. I’m also working on the first book in my new Andrade series which will feature four of Stephan’s cousins.
EF – Do you have a particular workspace or can/do you write anywhere & everywhere?
I write at the kitchen table because I don’t have an office yet. It’s not ideal, but you won’t hear me complain. All I really need to write is relative quiet. I tried writing in the library, but sometimes I cry while I write a sad scene and the librarians worried about me.
EF – Who, out of your male heroes, would you like to 1) Get frisky with? & 2) Marry?
RC – This is a tough question because I am in love with each hero as I write him. There is something I love about each of them. Dominic is dangerous, but melts for Abby. Stephan is a family man. Jake is intellectual and hot. Rachid’s sophistication and sense of duty moved me. Jeremy made me laugh and fall more in love with him every time he spoke. Marc is a strong man, with strong passions, but his loyalty is what I loved him for. That, and his ability to truly appreciate strength in a woman.
In my cowboy series, Tony was so broken my heart went out to him—oh, yes, and being gorgeous didn’t hurt at all. When he became the man Sarah needed him to be, I would have married him in a heart beat.
EF – What one piece of advice would you like to have known before and after you first published?
RC – I’m glad I didn’t know too much because I just dove in, but times have changed.
As the market floods with new authors, the competition is stiff. Edit. Edit. Edit. Surround yourself with supportive authors and professionals who will help you grow, grow, grow. No, your first story won’t be your best, but it should be the best you’re able to put out at that time. Keep learning. Keep reaching. Keep writing.
Five quick questions!
EF – What is your favourite snack food to munch on while writing?
RC – I try to keep fruit around while I’m writing.
EF – Your favourite activity to do when you aren’t writing?
RC – I used to say riding my horses before I adopted my youngest. Now most of my free time revolves around her. However, during those rare times when I have time to myself and I’m not writing – being outside with the horses is still one of my favorite places to be.
EF – Name one place you would like to visit but have not as yet?
RC – I’ve always wanted to see Ireland. It looks so beautiful in all the pictures. I’d also like to see the Grand Canyon here in the United States.
EF – Tell us one thing about you that few people would know?
RC – I sold sex toys one summer. I knew nothing about them and had to attend a class to learn what half of them do. My sense of humor made the sales parties fun, but I was awful at selling them. I never could understand what to do with more than one dial. I found some favorites that summer so I suppose it was a worthwhile experience.
EF – What is your favourite quote?
RC – “Be like the bird that, pausing her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing she hath wings.” Victor Hugo
To me that quote has always inspired me to have hope regardless of what is happening in my life. Losing a job I loved led me into the career I have now.
I also believe that sometimes the rockiest roads lead to the most beautiful destinations. I don’t know who said that, but when I’m feeling overwhelmed those quotes remind me to keep my head down and plow forward.
It is a honour to have featured Ruth on my blog! Thank you Ruth!
Alethea’s Redemption is available from January 13th.
If you haven’t started the Legacy Series, Maid for the Billionaire is Free!
Ruth Cardello can be found on