The bus stops here - Orlando, Florida. We've visited Ruth Davis Hays before, but let's see what she's up to now!
What genre do you write? Would you consider writing anything else?
I write fantasy at the moment, but I sometimes write romance or horror, when the mood strikes. I would like to write a story based on my grandmother’s life, eventually.
Do you outline and plan or do you let the plot unfold?
I would say, a little of both.
What do you like most about writing?
I like the creation process; the thrill of discovery when a new idea pops up.
What do you find most difficult?
The editing and cutting process is the most difficult for me.
What makes a good plot?
Anything that gets you from point A to point B with lots of laughs or twists along the way. As long as it doesn’t bore the reader or the writer. If you get bored writing it, then I would suggest you stop.
What is a question you'd like to be asked and never are?
Is that chair comfortable? The answer is no, it is not.
What experiences have inspired you?
Lots of little things, really. I get inspired by different faiths, philosophies, and historical events. But, I also find myself mentally notating things that happen to me, such as riding a horse, giving birth by C-section, or getting knocked on my butt by two rampaging canines.
How did you first become interested in writing?
I used to draw little stories out, almost comic book style, before I could write. I remember drawing out a story about a princess that runs away on a black horse, while I was lying on my grandmother’s living room rug in front of a cold fireplace and listening to the music of cicadas outside the open windows. I couldn’t have been more than six.
What are your current projects?
Currently, I am writing several plots out for the fantasy series based on my world of Jorthus. Some are finishing up the story arc that I started in The Dawnstone Tale, and some are for future adventures.
How important is dialogue and how do you use it?
I think dialogue helps move the story along by providing ways (either serious or with humor) to impart information or important developments
within character relationships.
Ruth 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.
Excerpt from Translations from Jorthus: The Dawnstone Tale –
By Ruth Davis Hays
Dharromar’s words trailed off and Lylith felt certain that he would not tell more. The recollections were too strong. She saw a darkness passing behind his eyes, but a burning inside her mind demanded to know all. She knew in her heart that no matter what secret he had locked in his past, she would only love him more for it.
“What happened to her?” She asked gently.
He shrugged, shaking his head without looking her in the eye. His gaze fell to the tablecloth and stayed there as his gray-nailed fingers toyed with the stem of his wooden goblet.
“I don’t know many of the fine points.” He began again. “Some say that she was raped. Some say that majiks were involved. Either way, when her betrothed was asked about his part in her deflowering, he denied he had ever lain with her. She was devastated and took to her room. When I came out of her belly -- looking the way I do -- it was obvious that no faerlin had fathered me. Only her midwife knew at first. Later, I found out that she had told everyone her infant was scarred by a sickness. That was how she tried to explain my abnormal appearance. They looked the other way and allowed her to keep me. Until, as I mentioned, they could no longer keep me from prying eyes. Then they banished us both. Mother and babe were sent out into the cold.”
Lylith watched his struggle as he told the story and realized that he most likely had never spoken of this to anyone before. She was touched that he would entrust her with it. “And, you still don’t know what race your father was?”
As if sensing that the mood was too heavy, he sighed and gave her a sideways smile. He shook off the somberness and cleared his throat. “What does it matter now? Some say a human. Others say an elf. Some even said daemon. All arguments are in ignorance, as it cannot be proved. She was deceived and raped, that’s all.”
“No one knows? How can there not be any other fae that look like you? Is there no record of this kind of thing elsewhere?” She felt eager to solve this conundrum -- to give him something to fill the holes in his heart that his upbringing had created.
He shook his head nonchalantly. “I have not come across any with the same features as -- wait; did you just call me a thing?” He half joked with her.
Lylith was about to apologize for the slight, when a voice from behind her broke in on their conversation.
“If you say that no record exists of creatures like you, then you are as ignorant of fae history as you claim others to be.”
Turning, Lylith saw the young faerlin that she had spoken with in the bar before. His green eyes fixed on Dharromar; his mouth was twisted up firmly.
“Excuse me... friend?” Dharromar fell rigid as he spoke, and Lylith sensed that he did not appreciate the intrusion on their private talk.
“I know what you are,” Keinigan blurted.