Interview with K.S. Ruff
Author of Beautifully Broken
I live in Northern Virginia with my football-crazed husband, two beautiful daughters, and two psychotic Shih Tzus. I teach courses in international relations, peacekeeping, and human security for the American Military University. What can I say? I still love school.
I'm addicted to coffee, dark chocolate, reading, and writing; although not necessarily in that order. Reading will always be my first love. Writing appears to be edging out coffee for second place, unless it's morning. In the morning, it's coffee.
I haven't a clue what's going on around me when I'm writing. The house could be burning down, and I wouldn't even notice. I'm counting on my husband to save the children and the dogs.
More than anything, I want my readers to FEEL something. I love it when you growl at my protagonist, when you hold your breath in anticipation, when your heart stumbles against your chest, when you laugh, and when you cry. I've written several romantic suspense novels in The Broken Series under the pen name K.S. Ruff. I've also written an epic fantasy/middle grade novel entitled Saving Tir na nOg under my full name, Kimberly S. Ruff.
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How would you describe Beautifully Broken to a new reader?
- You're in for a steamy and tumultuous ride with Beautifully Broken. Chapter one starts off with a bang. Kristine is confronted by a man with terrorist connections when she steps from the shower. He forces her to Paris, and there's not a darn thing Kadyn can do about it. Why? Because he's on lockdown at the Pentagon. From that point forward, Kadyn is in a race against time. Can he find Kri before Michael steals her heart? You'll be spit'n mad at me for doing this to Kri. Eventually, you will see. Michael is not as unlovable as he seems.
To what extent is Beautifully Broken based on your own experiences?
- I'm going to plead the fifth on this one.
Beautifully Broken is a good example of this genre. Who has inspired you?
- Nora Roberts, Sylvia Day, and most recently Skye Warren
You make good use of locations in the book – there’s a real sense of place. Are these locations significant for you?
- Beautifully Broken is based primarily in Paris. I've had a long-standing love affair with Paris. Between the River Seine, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées, the Musée d'Orsay, and the Notre-Dame de Paris, you cannot help but fall in love with this city.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors? How would you advise a new author about traditional publishing versus self publishing?
- There is no one-size-fits-all cookie cutter approach to writing. We've all got our preferences, our own unique styles, and our quirky work habits. So write what you're comfortable writing and do what works best for you. With respect to the traditional vs. self-publish debate - I went with a traditional publisher for my children's book, but I self-published my romance series and my middle grade fantasy novel. Personally, I prefer to maintain control over my books, the cover, content, pricing, etc., but I am eternally grateful to Nimble Publishing for believing in me and my children's book, which was written to comfort and encourage children with life-threatening medical conditions. There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach, so again, I feel writers should simply choose the approach that works best for them.
What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
- Finding time to write. Like most authors, I juggle multiple jobs. I teach for the American Military University. I also work as a substitute teacher at my daughters' elementary school when my university courseload is light. My daughters, husband, and I volunteer every week at a therapeutic riding center. I love teaching and volunteering, and I cherish every moment I have with my family, so it can be difficult finding time to write. I would love to write full time, but I don't want to give any of those other activities up.
Beautifully Broken is a real page turner. How important was it to you to write with pace and energy?
- Honestly? I didn't have to worry about pace or energy with this one. What I struggled with was typing fast enough to capture all the action and dialogue spinning inside my head.
If Beautifully Broken were to be adapted for TV or film, who would you see in the lead role? Who did you have in your mind’s eye when you wrote him/her?
- That's easy. I've pinned an entire dream cast for The Broken Series on Pinterest. I see Amanda Seyfried as Kristine, Dolvett Quince as Kadyn, and Alfonso Herrera as Michael.
How have readers responded to Beautifully Broken?
- Most enjoy this book. Out of 27 customer reviews, 89% are four and five star reviews. I've heard from several readers that this story made them laugh and cry. They loathed then loved Michael and felt every bit as conflicted as Kri.
Where next? What are you working on now?
- I'm working on a spin-off novel for this series. I'm about 100 pages in at the moment. This book is focused on Shae. Her on-again-off-again relationship with Konstantin has finally come to an end. Unfortunately, the Russian Mafia didn't get the memo. They've threatened to kill her in an effort to force Konstantin to aid them in some criminal activity. She's struggled with trust issues her entire life. Needless to say, this isn't helping. There is someone (not ready to reveal who just yet) who is determined to earn her trust and win her heart regardless. Here's hoping it doesn't cost his life in the end!
How many times can one woman be abducted? That’s the question burning Kristine Stone when she finds herself staring down a dark and dangerous man from her past. When she refuses to leave with him, he forces her hand by threatening to kill the man she loves, along with thousands of others. Kristine fears his terrorist connections will enable him to make good on this threat, so she complies. She thinks she has it all figured out. If she takes the path of least resistance and does everything this man asks, he will eventually tire of her and let her go. Despite this well intentioned plan, Kristine discovers just how seductive this man can be. She is forced to choose between the love of two men and stands to lose everything in the end.