#IndieFallFest: Rue

Today's Indie Fall Fest post is all about Rue! Enjoy!
Don't forget to drop by the kick-off post to enter our huge giveaway!

On Kira Adams' blog, she's hosting Katherine Over today!

by Zané Sachs (with suggestions from Sadie the Sadist)
Hi, Rue. You seem to have no last name, so I assume you’re hiding for some reason … Have you committed a felony, are you being stalked, or are you just shy?
If I sold a book every time someone asked me that question… The totally boring answer is that “Rue” is my full, legal name.

You majored in journalism, but now you write fiction. What made you switch? I find it easier to tell the truth when I write fiction … is that your experience?
I chose Journalism because I like researching and writing. I switched because I finally came to a place in my life where I could use those skills to write my own stories, rather than just complete assignments or projects. I like fiction that begins with a seed of truth. I love placing my characters in real geographical locations and letting their stories grow.

I noticed you moved seventeen times before you finished high school. How did that affect your life and your writing?
Moving so much definitely had pros and cons. The upside was getting to see so much of the country, but the downside was the lack of long-term friendships. My writing reflects my love of travel and new experiences. My life reflects my sincere appreciation for true friends.

Growing up, you spent a lot of time in church, and you write about life after religion. What gifts did you receive from your upbringing, and how was it a curse?
The biggest gift I received was the time to observe people. I collected so many tiny bits of data for future use in my writing. To this day I love people watching almost as much as chocolate!

Fiction writers are told to use our five senses. What sense do you find easiest to use, and which sense is most difficult to bring into a story?
I find visuals to be the easiest for me. I can describe a place or person with visual language that will make you feel like you’ve been there or met the person. The most difficult sense to work into story, for me, is smell. I notice smell, and certain scents can definitely trigger memories, but it is not my go-to descriptor.

If you could live at any other time, past or future, when would it be—and why?
As a woman, I can honestly say I would never want to live in the past. It seems like a romantic idea, at first, but then I think about the complete lack of freedom and independence—no thanks! So, I guess I would pick the future, by default. I want to believe that things will continue to get better.

How much of your novel, It’s Not My Favorite, is based on your own life? Do you have a sister? If so, how does she feel about the story? How about your parents?
I would have to go back to the “seeds of truth” statement for this answer. “It’s Not My Favorite” is not based on my life, but I did take experiences I had, and stories I heard, and put those seeds into the characters. I have three siblings and they all enjoyed the book.

It’s Not My Favorite is book one of a series. Can you tell us about the next book?
In Book two of the Lake Effect Series, the Hutchinson sisters are out of the frying pan and into the fire—just like their mother always threatened!
Gwenn is floating in the dreamy, fragile glow of her new relationship with wealthy artist, Daniel Gregory, when a blast from her past makes a triumphant return. Sure he ran out on her over a decade ago, but can she turn her back on a war hero?
Rachel is on the brink of having everything she ever dreamed of, but that’s not how things work out for Hutchinson girls. Her rock-star girlfriend is leaving for a lengthy tour and something is afoot at the bakery. The righteous hand of her mother, Shirley, can orchestrate tribulations from halfway across town.
The sisters think they can run away from their troubles, on a quick trip to the heart of Mexico, when an unexpected phone call shatters that illusion.
Filled with intriguing characters, plenty of steamy romance and a few plots twists, “My Favorite Second Chance,” will have you flushed with anticipation, blinking back a few tears, and laughing out loud.

Ever Feel Like You Are One Dumbass Away From Completely Losing It?
by Rue
That moment when you finish writing a book is transcendent. It only lasts a split second, but for that second all is right with the world. A tsunami of self-doubt and an avalanche of second-guessing immediately follow this feeling of perfection.

If you can project yourself into that frame of mind, you might also be able to imagine that it would be a bad time to encounter incompetence. In that fragile state of mind I am sure you would prefer interacting with people who take pride in their job, people who go the extra mile—people who know their ass from a hole in the ground.

I was not so fortunate.

After finishing the manuscript for “My Favorite Second Chance,” Book 2 in The Lake Effect Series, I had the terrible misfortune of encountering a few people who fell a good distance below the “A” for effort bar.

I am admittedly old-school when it comes to galleys for my beta readers. I must have hard copies. I do. Yes, it is archaic, but it is a fact. I like paper and red pens. This disorder requires me to utilize a copy center to duplicate and bind the manuscripts for delivery.

Gone are the days of pride in workmanship. If you were hired simply because you were the only one that passed the drug test—that does not inspire great confidence.

I walk in with my original manuscript. I am anxious, sweaty and suspicious. It is more stressful than leaving my firstborn at daycare for the first time. (Mommy loves you sweetie, I’m just saying it is difficult.)

Problem Number 1: Long line. The person at the front of the line is someone I don’t want to talk to right now. I have to busy myself with other items to avoid detection.

Problem Number 2: The copy clerk cannot perform mathematical calculations. I have 303 single-sided originals that I want copied to double-sided and spiral bound. (I know, but I like it!)

“My largest binding only takes 200 pages.”

“Yes. There are 303 copied to roughly 152. It will fit.”

Long pause. “It will be tight.”

“But it will fit.”

Problem Number 3: I purchased red pens and 10x13 envelopes, for the reader packets. The problem occurred at checkout. Please keep in mind I am purchasing two items, I am anxious and I do not want to make a new friend.

“Did you find everything OK?”

I would like to reply that if I did not find everything “OK” I would be asking how to locate the missing item, NOT checking out. I persevere toward courtesy. “Yes, thank you.”

Helpful checkout clerk, with strange hair ties, looks out the front window of the store. “Oh pick that up. Did you see that? His dog did his business right there and he didn’t clean it up.”

Alert the media. I definitely want to see fresh dog poop right now. I hold my tongue and ready my debit card for swiping.

“Not yet, I have to get all this in there first.”

All TWO of my items? How will you manage? I remain silent.

The machine displays the phrase, “Slide Card.”

“You can slide your card now.”

Now? Are you sure? If only I could read. Still keeping it all in my head.

Somehow I exit without murdering a single soul.

I return at the appointed time to collect my copy order.

Problem Number 4: The project is not ready. Let’s review the process. Lay pages in tray, press single-sided to double-sided picture, enter number of copies and press “Start.” Walk away. Apparently there was some grave error in the copying process and the middle section did not get copied double-sided and now the pages will not fit in the binding.

“She told you it would be tight, right?”

“Yes.” Seething venom boils in my veins.

“Can you come back in an hour, right before closing?”

“Of course. I do need them today.”

Now I am imagining an entire black market manuscript duplication ring. They are purposely delaying the project so they can make extra copies to send to their Book Dealer. I am physically sick to my stomach.

I return home and avoid sharp objects.

The alarm beeps and I race to the car to return to the scene of my torment.

“Oh, thanks for coming back.”

Did he somehow imagine, after our previous conversation, I would NOT come back?

“We have those books ready for you right here.”

He retrieves what can only be described as a large Happy Meal box, and deposits it on the counter.

I have to ask, “What happened to the pages that were copied incorrectly, the one-sided pages?”

“Oh we shredded those. It was easier to re-copy them.”

Doubt tugs at my heart. I wonder if the Book Dealer is watching me. “Oh good.”

The clerk extracts one book. “There, all double-sided. And it fit much better, too.”


He rings up my order, does not tell me to slide my card and I figure out how to pay—all by myself.

I open the Happy Meal box and I do not see my original manuscript. Panic seizes my brain. “Where is the original?”

“I think we were binding the original.”

“No. The original was one-sided, so that doesn’t make any SENSE.”

He searches the counters while I mentally restrain myself from leaping over the barrier and up-ending every trashcan in the copy center.

“Oh, here it is. She left it by the copy machine.”

Again, shocking.

I think I was only one quarter of a dumbass away from completely losing it—on this day.

Rue graduated from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, with a degree in Journalism. Her intimate knowledge of the Midwestern United States, the inordinate amount of time she spent in its churches' pews and her unique parentage make her an expert on life after religion. Having moved 17 times by the time she graduated from high school Rue has seen more than her share of the Great Plains. She never stayed in one place long enough to make lasting human friends. Her best friends were all characters from her beloved books; and the love of reading led to a lifelong passion for writing.


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