Friday, January 17, 2014

Hunted by Ruby Fielding

Interview with Ruby Fielding

Ruby Fielding is a widely-published author in multiple genres. She has worked with multinational publishers and indies, big movie companies and art-house independents, and regularly writes for national newspapers. Her most recent paranormal romance is Hunted, part of the Shifters’ World series (available at the introductory price of 99 cents at Amazon for a few days only).

Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
Everywhere: on the news, on TV, in books and magazines, but mainly in the world around me. I’m an inveterate people-watcher, sitting in my corner of a coffee shop and watching the world go by. I love those half-heard insights into other people’s lives, and I find other people endlessly fascinating (it’s only stalking if you follow them home).

When you're developing a story, what usually comes first: plot or characters?
Usually it’s a fragment, maybe an image of someone in a specific situation or a “what if?” From these, if an idea really has that spark, things progress quickly and I’m scribbling notes on my phone, a notepad or whatever else comes to hand. If the snippet is an encounter between two characters, my mind immediately starts to explore the characters, and I wonder how they got into this situation and where it will lead. With Hunted, the first spark was the image of a woman heading through the forest to fetch water. She was clearly living rough, a survivor... but a survivor of what? From there my mind made the, erm, obvious leap to this being a post-apocalypse world where viruses have changed people into shifters, save for a few brave survivors.

When you're writing, who is more in control, you or your characters?

I like to think of it as a collaboration! I definitely start off in control, although even as I give this answer I’m wondering if even that is true. As I said above, my stories come from fragments, and often these fragments feature a well-developed character, so it’s more a process of discovery than creation.

 So how do you get to know your characters, then?
As that initial spark grows into a ramshackle set of story notes, the key thing is the fleshing out of my lead characters. Part of that is a conscious process: I’m deliberately asking myself questions about these people I’ve just met in my head. What do they do for a living? Are they in a relationship? How do they interact with people? But a large part of it is subconscious: when I’m away doing other things suddenly my mind will be back in the thick of the developing story and I’ll have a new insight into the plot and characters.

The key thing is when I sit down to write, though. That’s when you realize you can never really know your characters until you meet them in person. It’s like online dating, or the difference between reading someone’s résumé and interviewing them for a job.

What do your friends and family think of your writing?
Mostly they’re very proud. They know how tough it can be to actually support yourself as a writer. They’re also intrigued. I write all kinds of things, under a variety of pen-names and much of my work involves ghost-writing books for mostly minor celebrities, all covered by non-disclosure agreements. It pays the bills and it sure does give me lots of material. But I do stick by those non-disclosure agreements so my friends and family don’t know what I spend most of my time actually writing. They probably think I write that Fifty Shades stuff or something...

Tell us about your latest release.
Hunted: a Shifters' World novella is my new book. It started off as a short story (published as Lone Wolf). The setting and the characters took a powerful hold on my imagination and pretty soon I’d written three more stories in the series. Rather than just collect the four stories together, I rewrote them into a single narrative, Hunted. It was important for me to do this extra work, as it gave me the opportunity to tighten the writing and expand on some parts, and to remove the inevitable repetition you need as each separate story reintroduces the world and characters.

Here’s the cover description:

Should she struggle to survive alone or give in to desire and risk the - perhaps deadly - company of others?

In a world where plague has swept civilization away like leaves in a storm, where viruses that cause people to shift and change have altered what it is, for most, to be human, a few survivors hold out in a desperate attempt to save the human race. Selene lives alone in the forest, protecting herself from human and shifter alike until one day a stranger turns up: a young man called Skinner, out on a quest to hunt down and destroy any shifter he can find. Torn between desire and fear, Selene must confront her true nature and make some impossible choices if she is to survive this harsh, post-apocalyptic future.

Hunted: a Shifters' World novella - a shapeshifter erotic romance of survival and desire in a deadly future from the co-author of Seduced by Moonlight and The Touch.

Pick a short quote from Hunted to share.
“He put a hand to her face then, his knuckles brushing along her jaw and then he buried his fingers in her hair, tipping her head back. His mouth came down on her neck: hard lips and then the wet heat of his tongue and the delicious pain of raking teeth, dragging across her skin to that point where too hard is exactly hard enough.”

What’s sexy about shapeshifters?
There’s a long tradition of shifters as objects of desire – all those old vampire stories are just dripping with lust: stories of possession and penetration.

For me, it’s an animal thing. It’s about those raw, intense passions and needs. You don’t get much more alpha-male than a shifter hero, a man who can just sweep you off your feet and possess you. As a writer it lets me explore intense attraction and giving yourself up to desire. It’s fascinating, and damn me, but it’s hot.

What makes great romance heroes and heroines?
Characters I care about. Vulnerability balanced with drive and strength. Someone who comes through in a crisis. Great abs. Confidence, but also the strength to recognize your own weakness and uncertainty. Eyes that entrance and captivate. That uncanny ability to spot the moment: understanding when to reassure and build confidence and when to sweep someone off their feet. A nice tight butt. Character traits and history that are only gradually revealed, deepening and intensifying your understanding of them. Did I mention a nice tight butt?
 And yes, you might have spotted that I haven’t distinguished between heroes and heroines. The traits I find attractive and like to read about are people’s traits, not heroes’ or heroines’. Your mileage may vary ;)

Ruby Fielding is a British author, currently living in the heart of a New England forest. She travels widely, and has lived in England, Scotland, the US, France, India and Australia. Wherever she happens to be living, you're likely to find her at the nearest wifi hot spot with her laptop and a large mug of coffee.

She writes mainly paranormal erotica and romance, sometimes in collaboration with her old friend Polly J Adams; their joint stories are published separately and collected together into the single volume, Seduced by Moonlight.

All the latest news on Ruby's writing and publishing can be found on her website and on her Amazon author page; also, why not join her mailing list, or hook up with her on Facebook?

Hunted: a Shifters' World novella is currently available from:
 Thanks for the interview ! Lisa Jung 

The Old Fashioned Alpha