Welcome to Creekside Café, Ruby, it’s great to have you here. You said you came up with your penname using your birthstone and first pet. We share a birthstone. I wonder if we also share a birthdate. Mine is July 24th.
Ruby: Holy cow, what are the odds of that?! I was literally born the next day on July 25th!
Sherri: Oh that’s just too cool! We’ll have to celebrate together this year!
You mention your favorite trope is Enemies to Lovers, it’s one of my favorites as well. What are some of your other favorites? What trope haven’t you used but would like to?
Ruby: Oh, goodness. Well, I hate to keep talking about Katee Robert but com on. Tink and Hook in “A Worthy Opponent” from her wicked villains series? What’s not to love.
Sherri: The Lost Maidens is your first published novel, what made you decide to use Tea with Coffee Media for your publishing?
Ruby: I have the incredible pleasure of being friends with a few of the individuals on the board, and they are fiercely supportive. They don’t give my imposter syndrome the opportunity to set in because they leap at a chance to read what I work on. So when they said “We want The Lost Maidens” how could Destiny and I say no.
Sherri: How was it writing with a co-author? How did it differ from writing your other stories?
Ruby: Destiny is my first official collab partner and it was so much fun, especially since we actually got to be in the same room as one another for part of the writing process. I visited her during NaNoWriMo when we started working on The Lost Maidens. The energy in that room was absolutely electric.
Sherri: What do you hope readers will feel or think after reading your novel?
Ruby: Well, I may be biased cause I helped write the damn thing, but I hope it touches the hearts of all who read it. Cause I certainly cried in a few places. We just really wanted to tell this beautiful love story between two badasses.
Sherri: You got your start writing fan fiction, what benefits and/or disadvantages do you believe this experience gave you?
Ruby: I don’t think there were really any disadvantages to the experience. The worst thing that could come of it is some people might find the fanfics I posted online and then I’ll have to do the writer’s walk of shame. But I don’t understand why people look down on fanfiction so much because I personally think it’s a wonderful writing exercise. You’re working within the constructs of a world that you didn’t create–even if you do AU fanfiction, that still applies. You have to tell a compelling story in someone else’s sandbox. And not everyone can do that. Plus, fanfic also gives you an opportunity to improve as a storyteller. Nothing will make you work on your grammar like fifty people in the comment sections listed everything you did wrong grammatically. You can use up those self-indulgent bad ideas and learn WHY they might be self-indulgent bad ideas. Anything that improves the craft isn’t bad.
Sherri: I think writing fanfiction is a great way to get your creative mind in gear, and like you said, a great exercise. I am the chairperson for the Pamlico Writers’ Group and people often ask me how to get started. Fanfiction, creative workshops, writing prompts, anything that starts that journey isn’t anything to be ashamed of. I have several accomplished author friends who got their start with fanfic. No shame in your game, sis.
Your short stories blend history and erotica. Why historicals? Why eroticas?
Ruby: I have often been told that I’m and old soul and was born in the wrong time period. I don’t know, there is just something so romantic about history (biggoted backwards laws and social decorum not-withstanding). And eroticas I think I was drawn to because I did grow up in the household that preaches sex was meant to come after marriage. And of course, no one really talks about women’s enjoyment when discussing such subjects. But when I learned I wasn’t really conventional in that way, I longed for something to prove that there were others with my tastes and desires. I found that in erotica.
Sherri: Does The Lost Maidens have elements of your other stories or is this something completely different?
Ruby: I mean it does have an enemies-to-lovers trope, but this is the first sapphic love story I’ve ever wanted to write and I love that. Frankly, there needs to be more historic lesbian romance novels.
Sherri: I’m seeing a greater acceptance and even main-stream popularity of sapphic romance. A friend writes a wonderful vampire series and there are a couple other historicals I’m interested in reading. I love historical romances.
How did you and Destiny meet? How did the two of you start writing together?
Ruby: Destiny and I met online during the early stages of the Covid 19 pandemic. We were a part of the same writing community and everyone was desperate to find anything to kill the boredom. I had just finished re-writing another book and was looking for a critique partner. Destiny had also finished a book recently so she volunteered to swap books with me. We worked on each other’s books for a while, but real life stress and drama kinda led to everything falling by the wayside and we didn’t speak for a while.
Then, she reached out to me in September to apologize for not finishing her critiques. I did the same and we each thought we were mad at the other this entire time which is why we were both so quite. We rebonded quickly, finding more things in common and within about a month, Destiny said “We should write a book together”. The rest is history.
Sherri: Will The Lost Maidens be part of a series?
Ruby: That was not the original intent, however per the advice from our editor, there MIGHT be a prequel that looks at Alva’s life before Kaitlyn.
Sherri: You are also working on a solo series, what are your plans for this new series?
Ruby: So “The Dark Ages” series is a modern Mafia retelling of the myths of King Arthur. So the first book looks at the affair between Lancelot and Gunivere. The second book is a sapphic Enemies-To-Lovers for the Lady of the Lake and Morgan Le Fay. And finally, the last book is a thruple love story between Gawain, a Knight of the round Table, Lady Ragnelle, a mysterious wise woman, and the Green Knight, a man who was one of Arthur’s critics and a bit of a trickster himself.
Sherri: You’re not exactly a novice but I’m sure you must still be excited about the release of your upcoming novel. What are you most excited about and what are you dreading?
Ruby: Oh, goodness. I’m just excited for it to be out in the world. People have already started to show an interest in the book and have been asking where they can find it and when they can get it. What am I dreading? It’s not really dread, but let’s face it, marketing is hard unless you went to college for it, and I am absolutely clueless about it. So marketing is definitely the hardest part for me.
Sherri: If you enjoyed this interview with Ruby Marley stay tuned for her co-author, Destiny Swallows. Check out The Lost Maiden, which launches July 19th, 2022.
If you are interested in learning more about Ruby’s other stories, you can follow her social media and check out her website.
The Lost Maidens:
Alva and her wife Lise are on a mission to lead the sassy Princess Kaitlyn to a new land to combine her clan and a new clan by way of marriage to their chief’s son. Standoffish, the two quickly draw a disdain for one another unmatched by Thor and Loki’s. However, when a storm rocks their world and capsizes their boat, Alva and Kaitlyn are tasked with exploring not only a new world, but also their newfound desires for one another.
When the pair comes across a village hidden in the cold Canadian arctic, they embark upon creating a new life with these native people. As they become one with the Inuit, how will these shield maidens prepare for their biggest threat yet?
Will Alva be able to find Lise in their new village? Or will she seek comfort in the arms of Kaitlyn? Will the shield maidens be enough to protect the village from frost giants? Find out in The Lost Maidens!
Website Link: https://www.rubymarley.com/
Book Links: Ebook: https://books.apple.com/book/id6442993294