Thursday, September 1, 2016

Author Interview: Leah Ruth Hart

For my very first author interview, I'm chatting with the talented and hardworking Leah Ruth Hart!

Leah Ruth Hart is a wife and mother from Hampton, Virginia. When she was young, she dreamed of being an actor. Meanwhile, she was writing short (and not so short) stories about herself and her friends. The Truth About Humans, her first book, is about an alien girl coming to Earth, but deep down it's about the acceptance that we're all the same beneath the skin. Mistress of Magic is about a young woman with awakening magic and beauty, and the discovery that friendship is her greatest gift. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr!

Tell us about yourself. What made you want to start writing novels?

Writing has always been a way for me to live out my desires. My main characters are often beautiful and strong. I put them in situations that I'd love to experience, make them irresistible to handsome men (sometimes more than one), and give them power that's impossible in reality. In books I can be and do whatever I want! It's wonderfully gratifying.

Do your characters and plots draw any inspiration from your own life?

Yes! The personalities of my family and friends color character personalities in all of my stories. My husband, for example, loves to tease, and many of the handsome males in my stories also love to tease. The loss of family members is common in my writing, and it reflects my own loss. I would say that much of my life peeks out of my books.

Did you read a lot of science fiction and fantasy growing up? What are some of your favorite stories?

Honestly, the books that got me reading in elementary school were from the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stein. You know them. I climbed the ladder from Goosebumps to Fear Street to Christopher Pike novels and through a shelf of Stephen King books. When I started reading The Stand in ninth grade, I was obsessed. I read it during meals. Didn't sleep. Horror was my favorite genre for a long time.

Fantasy never clicked with me until my uncle lent me Split Infinity, by Piers Anthony. I got so excited by that book. It had not occurred to me that sci-fi and fantasy could go hand in hand like that. I read more of Anthony's books and searched for other fantasy authors. Diana Wynne Jones is probably my favorite author. I love her Howl's Moving Castle trilogy and Chronicles of Chrestomanci books. Her work makes you feel like you actually understand magic. She had a way of making you believe it was right there: right around the next corner.

Who designed the cover for your latest work, Mistress of Magic? It's wonderfully bright and attention-getting. Why did you go with such a modern, abstract design?

I made the covers for both of my books on I don't have the cash to pay someone, and I agonized over that for a while. Then somebody turned me on to Canva. It took me a while, but I made about ten versions of the Mistress of Magic cover. Then some friends on Facebook narrowed it down for me.

Since Mistress of Magic is a young adult novel, I wanted the cover to attract youthful eyes. Hopefully, the brightness will lead viewers to understand "Mistress" as the female version of "master", as is meant, and not as the participant in an affair. I also wanted the figure on the cover to shout magic, but leave the actual character vague. Who is the mistress of magic: the trained sorceress, or her young pupil?

What are you working on next? Are you planning any sequels to your current books?

There are about ten projects in my writing folder. When I get tired of working on one, I jump to another. It keeps things fresh and makes writer's block less of a problem. I have sequels to both of my books in the works. The sequel to The Truth About Humans could be done by the end of the year. The closest work to completion is called Witches, We. It's a paranormal romance with love spells and erased memories. It's definitely for adults and I've posted a lot of it on

What do you do besides writing?

I homeschool my eight-year-old daughter, so that holds a good chunk of my weekdays. Writing and playing music gets a big slice of my free time. There's something thrilling about singing and playing that can't be rivaled. A few of my music videos are on YouTube. I also have some singing gigs up on I've had some success there and have gotten to work on some amazing songs for people all over the world!

How do you make or find time to write?

I can usually squeeze in some scribbling while my daughter works on her lessons, but most of my writing is done at night. I need quiet to concentrate because I'm easily distracted by noises. That need often keeps me up late while my daughter and husband sleep, but as long as the words are flowing, it's worth it.

Any advice you'd like to give other authors?

Carry notebooks around. Have one beside your bed. Keep a notepad in your purse. You never know when great ideas will strike. You might be taking a walk when you think of your ending. A dream might become the foundation for your next novel. You could be at the deli counter when your writer's block breaks. Don't lose those nuggets of inspiration. They are priceless.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Great interview! Such a diversely talented individual. Obviously very driven and inspired.