I am pleased to welcome Ruthie Knox, debut author of Ride With Me, to Delighted Reader!
My first book, Ride with Me, came out with Loveswept four days ago, which makes me officially a Debut Author. Where’s my tiara?
But seriously, Shari asked me to talk a little bit about what it’s like to be a debut author, and I’ve considered the question at some length and decided it’s like being a hamster. Everything is New! and Shiny! and Exciting! I wander around for hours in a state of alert excitement, hamsterish nerves tingling with a sort of alarmed, blissed-out, euphoric terror. My hamster brain is on an endless wheel of blogpost–review–promo copy–Twitter–random stranger kindness–editor e-mail–oh wait what am I supposed to be doing?–blogpost–review… repeat ad infinitum.
And then I need a nap, so I settle down in my woodchips, my little hamster heart pounding at about 300 beats per minute.
It’s exciting, this writerly business. Unnerving if you think about it too hard, so I try not to. It helps that I have a three-year-old son, and he’s completely unimpressed with me. Nora Roberts herself could go on prime-time television and wax eloquent about the merits of my book for half an hour, and my son would still be, like, “Mama, my butthole is itching. Can you look at it?”
Yes, honey. Let’s take a look at your butthole. The glamorous life of a romance writer.
But it is exciting, nonetheless, in an everyday, mundane sort of way. While I zip my kid into his pajamas, chances are that someone, somewhere, is settling down at the end of a long day and reading my book. Maybe it’s making them laugh, helping them relax. Maybe it’s making them a little weepy. Maybe it’s even putting them in the mood to, er, … nevermind. The point is, it’s pretty cool to know that the words I wrote are out there, affecting people I don’t know in ways I can’t comprehend.
It still amazes me how a story becomes a commodity with power. I sat down at my computer and wrote a tale about Tom and Lexie—two people I made up in my head, having adventures I invented with the gray matter between my ears. I sent the story off to an agent, who offered to represent me. She sent it to an editor, who offered to buy it. More editors were enlisted to help shape it, and some hot, shirtless guy was paid to stand with a bike in his hand and look sexy for the cover photo. A designer created the cover. Someone wrote the blurb, and someone else laid out and formatted the text for e-readers. A printer somewhere printed up promo copies. All of them working on behalf of this story I wrote, because they believed in it, and they wanted to launch it into the world with its best foot forward.
And then—then—my editor sent the story out to a bunch of novelists I don’t know, whose books I’ve been reading for years, and they read it. AND SAID NICE THINGS ABOUT IT. Sarah Mayberry, Christie Craig, Christina Skye, Carly Phillips, Samantha Hunter, Sandra Hill, Meg Maguire, Louisa Edwards, Julie James, Jill Shalvis, Leslie Kelly . . . That part still kind of blows my mind. Every day.
[box style="rounded" border="full"]What People Are Saying about Ride with Me…
“This book was fun and sexy. . . . You don’t need to know a thing about cycling to enjoy this contemporary romance!” —FictionVixen.com
“Ride with Me is smart, sexy, and funny, and once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down. Can’t wait for more from Ruthie Knox.” —Sarah Mayberry, Harlequin SuperRomance
“Ruthie Knox writes a devil of a good book! Ride with Me is one wild and fun ride you’ll enjoy from the first page to the last!” —Christie Craig, award-winning author of romances with heart, humor, and suspense
“Debut author Ruthie Knox’s Ride with Me is a great mix of steamy passion and nonstop wit. Get ready to laugh out loud. One HOT read!” —Christina Skye, New York Times best-selling author of A Home by the Sea
“A sweet yet sultry, honest, and heart-tugging ride. Everything a love story should be!” —Carly Phillips, New York Times best-selling author[/box]
And now I’m on this blog tour, and every day I talk with more kind strangers about my book, and everybody is so awesome and generous with their time, so helpful, so excited, so willing to drop everything and talk about romance novels with me.
Basically, being a debut romance novelist is the coolest thing in the whole world. I don’t get to wear a boa—at least, not yet—but I do get to talk to interesting people and make connections every day that I never would have expected, never thought to ask for, never found otherwise.
I think I’m going to keep doing it.
[box style="rounded" border="full"]Ride With Me by Ruthie Knox, Available from Loveswept February 13, 2012
In this fun, scorching-hot eBook original romance by Ruthie Knox, a cross-country bike adventure takes a detour into unexplored passion. As readers will discover, Ride with Me is not about the bike!
When Lexie Marshall places an ad for a cycling companion, she hopes to find someone friendly and fun to cross the TransAmerica Trail with. Instead, she gets Tom Geiger — a lean, sexy loner whose bad attitude threatens to spoil the adventure she’s spent years planning.
Roped into the cycling equivalent of a blind date by his sister, Tom doesn’t want to ride with a chatty, go-by-the-map kind of woman, and he certainly doesn’t want to want her. Too bad the sight of Lexie with a bike between her thighs really turns his crank.
Even Tom’s stubborn determination to keep Lexie at a distance can’t stop a kiss from leading to endless nights of hotter-than-hot sex. But when the wild ride ends, where will they go next?[/box]
Ruthie Knox figured out how to walk and read at the same time in the second grade, and she hasn’t looked up since. She spent her formative years hiding romance novels in her bedroom closet to avoid the merciless teasing of her brothers and imagining scenarios in which someone who looked remarkably like Daniel Day Lewis recognized her well-hidden sex appeal and rescued her from middle-class Midwestern obscurity. After graduating from Grinnell College with an English and history double major, she earned a Ph.D. in modern British history that she’s put to remarkably little use.
These days, she writes contemporary romance in which witty, down-to- earth characters find each other irresistible in their pajamas, though she freely admits this has yet to happen to her. Perhaps she needs more exciting pajamas. Ruthie abhors an epilogue and insists a decent romance requires at least three good sex scenes.
Do you have any questions for Ruthie about what it’s like to be a debut writer? Ask away, and she’ll drop by to answer throughout the day. One lucky commenter will be randomly chosen to win a digital copy of Ride with Me. Winners will pick up their copy through Net Galley. Good luck to all!
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