Ambrosia: Your entire life has really seemed like something out of a novel. One adventure after the other! You were a rock star for a while, a model, you make some beautiful jewelry, you’re an incredible photographer and you’ve published over forty plus books. What else has been memorable for you with things that you’ve done in life?
Rue: Oh man. When you mention all of that I feel like I should take a nap. Lol Well, I think the most memorable things in my life have to be the quiet moments I had with my Mom when I was growing up. Curling up behind her legs and napping mid-day. The day I knew in my heart that my husband was my true love and when I realized that I could and not just dream that I could do what I wanted in life. I honestly take it one day to the next and each challenge as it comes. I am never overwhelmed by anything, in fact I welcome change and new things as often as possible. I think this is why I teach myself to do so many things, I love being able to stand back and say “yes, I totally pulled that off.”. Now, if you need surgery, don’t call me. I have no idea about that.
Ambrosia: What is your roll with Vamptasy Publishing? Now that Vamptasy has united with Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly publishing what will your roll be?
Rue: My roll always was first and foremost an author on Vamptasy. I stepped into head of promotions a few months ago and all the while I have been close friends with SJ.Davis (owner of CHBB/Hot Ink Press). In fact I had books on both her pubs before the merger. Now, I write and still do promotions but the family is larger and I can focus more on my books, marketing and side projects like my jewelry company, Vivid Book Designs and my online magazine. As you might imagine my time was spread thin anyway so the merger has made it a bit easier on me. Now I had been and will continue to make covers for Hot Ink and Crushing Hearts whenever SJ Davis reaches out and needs them done for her.
Ambrosia: What’s your favorite thing to do out of all of your ongoing projects? Writing, jewelry, photography for example…
Rue: That is tough to answer. Well, it’s a tie really between photography and writing. Both allow me to express my art. I don’t approach writing as someone trying to work out the technical this and that bullshit. I go into it as a storyteller and remain that way from start to finish. I also do that in my photography. Every shot tells a story, every edit I do enhances the story until I see the vision of it that I saw when I first took the shot. I guess I am just strange in that way. Everything speaks to me, a shot, a story and piece of jewelry. I just try to do my very best at all of it and hopefully it shows.
Ambrosia: Writing is obviously a great passion of yours. What lead you to become an author? Have you been writing all your life, or was this a sudden thing at the time?
Rue: I told stories to my sisters when they were little. As in I made puppets and made up elaborate fantasy filled stories mainly starring two black rabbits by the names of Oogie and Ogabond. I actually included them in a short prelude to the Blood & Light series called “Birth of a Vampire” but anyway, that was all the storytelling I did as I grew up and so it kind of makes sense to me that I still tell stories in that way. I am all about characters and plots, wrapped in fantasy. I write like I am sitting at a campfire and telling you the story, well more accurately, my characters tell you the story. Not me. I never over explain, over describe or over anything, I let you get immersed in the story by caring and feeling like you are there and the characters are real. I love to have sci-fi elements, paranormal elements and damaged characters who could be you on so many different levels. Now, my writing has one beginning. I turned 40. I went out, I was aggravated and drank too much and then I came home and hand scribbled the first few pages on book one in the Blood & Light series and hand to Goddess, I still to this day have no idea why other than the fact that I placed my Father in the story( William). You see he left when I was 7 years old and that impacted me in a very heavy way. I missed him, I felt rejected and I watched my Mother struggle as a single Mom and the hurt she felt as he left us. Well, come to find out, I received a call 13 days later from my Mom telling me that he was dead. He had been on vacation, had a heart attack at home and no one knew until he did not return to work 13 days later. His death certificate is dated the day I started to write and that is the truth of where I started in February of 2010. I had no dream of being a writer, I was working in retail as a Store Manager and suddenly I was obsessed with the story and had to write it. So, 2 years later and 6 novels/2800 pages, The Blood & Light series is available to the world and I am grateful. I grew so much while writing it seeing I was not a writer when I started but I came out the other side an author and for that, I am forever in debt to the powers that be. Just on a side note, I did take breaks from writing that series and wrote another novel called “Stuff and Things and what boredom brings” for my Mom and quite a few shorts. Strange but true in the land of Rue.
Ambrosia: Of all of your books, do you have an all-time favorite and what makes that book more special than the rest? What’s your favorite quote from that book?
Rue: Oh my God. Well. I have 28 books out and to me they are all my children as any author will tell you. I guess I will do my best to pick one line although I could never snub any of them and call out one book as my favorite. I would share lines from my erotic’s but I would fear the server fry. Hahahaha So, I will pick Stuff and Things and what boredom brings, chapter 4 a section of a conversation as I normally do not have “favorite” lines, but sections “The Logistics of Sex” when Alexi is reluctantly having the “talk” with her Dad about sex and he says…
“Are you looking at porn?”
“No! Oh my god…no.” I said as I crossed my arms on my chest.
“Oh… okay good. That stuff is not realistic anyway, I mean some of the stuff they do… holy crap! I mean how you get legs up that high…”
“Dad! I am not looking at porn, nor will I.” I said as I shook my head.
“Oh… okay.” He said as he looked back at my fries and popped one into his mouth.
“Well, do you understand the logistics of what happens when you have sex?”
“Oh god.” I said.
“Well, the first time for a girl hurts, from what I hear…”
“Good to know.” I said as I slapped my hands on my legs.
“I would assume so, I mean your Mother was really…”
“Stop… stop… stop it.” I said.
“Oh… okay, yeah, you don’t want to hear about that.”
“Not really.” I said as I crossed my arms back on my chest and shook my head.
“Well… it gets really hard.” he said as he waved his hands at his crotch.
“Don’t… don’t do that, the waving thing at your crotch.”
He looked up at me and grinned as he shook his head.
Ambrosia: Outside of your own books, do you have a favorite book or a favorite author?
Rue: Well I love many, all of which are Indie’s. You can count every single brother and sister I have on Vamptasy Publishing and CHBB and Hot Ink in there. I also love Cassandra Clare and Anne Rice. But honestly I also love the writers of my favorite shows like Supernatural, The Walking Dead, Justified, Firefly just to name a few. I am also a huge fan of Quintin Tarantino and David Lynch as well as Joss Whedon. I mean what amazing storytelling and as I have always said, I am a lover of the character and plot and all of those shows and artists showcase just that.
Ambrosia: Does a lot of your jewelry stem from inspiration from your books, or is it sometimes the other way around?
Rue: I never really mixed the two honestly. I mean I mention clothing in my books but seldom any jewelry and that part of my art comes from things I see as in a charm here or a print I edited there and then I create something. I love Steampunk, so keys, compasses and time pieces always pop up with me as well as fairy tale themes and whimsical stuff. I just make what I like to wear mostly. I try to keep it simple for the most part. It changes from day to day. I may make earrings one day and the next I am making broaches. Then a necklace and then I make a head piece or choker. It all depends on how I feel just like when I write a story.
Ambrosia: I know you have a very supportive family, which is a wonderful blessing. Your mother was also a great mentor and friend for you also. If it’s not too personal, have you ever written anything for her or specifically for anyone else in your family?
Rue: I wrote “Stuff and Things and what boredom brings, a witches tale” for her. It was a way for me to deal with knowing I was losing her to Cancer and she passed in March of 2012. Her loss in my life is something I will never get over but it gets a bit easier to deal with daily as I guess anyone who has lost someone close to them will tell you. In that book, “Alexi” has lost her Mother and in the first book she spends time transitioning to a life without her. I am currently writing book two and now she is accepting which is step two in the process. I have a tendency to write what is going on with me personally in my novels as I work through stuff. Now with that being said that series is some of the funniest stuff I will ever write as my Mom had the best humor in the entire world and I wanted that to be the books for her, it is what she would have wanted and I just wish she had been able to read them. One thing I will say is no matter what you have going on always make time for those you love whether it is a coffee date or a simple stop in and Hi. You never know with life how long we have and to miss those moments is a tragedy and something you never want to wish back.
Ambrosia: You’re such a busy person. Are you looking to try anything new soon?
Rue: World domination in 2013. I mean I think I can handle it now. lol
Ambrosia: I loved your story of how this first started for you. Will you share with everyone how you became published and picked up by your first publishing house?
Rue: Oh well, I wrote and released Blood & Light book one with authorhouse and I had no clue what I was doing at all. I had no fanpage, website, blog, betas…nothing. I just released that book with a crappy cover and then kept writing. Then I said…”Ummm, why am I not selling any books?” and it hit me. Writing the book was just the tip of the iceberg and I could have slapped myself for that one. So, I joined Facebook, set up a page started networking and ran into some not so nice people at first. People who were snooty and did not want anything to do with networking at all in fact I had some authors tell me to basically go away so I did and I started my own pages of which I have many now with awesome people who like to network and understand it is a group effort . Anyway, I was approached to do a short in an anthology for Vamptasy Publishing called “Red Wine” and I jumped at it, I mean wow, it was on an Indie pub and I was so excited. So I wrote “Birth of a Vampire” which was a back story on one of the rogue vampires in the Blood and Light series and Nicola Ormerod contacted me and we started to talk, from that we skyped and then a contract popped up and I was signed 6 months after I self pubbed my first novel. I was so grateful and so very lucky and I am telling you now, Nicola is one of the most honest and hardworking women in this industry and I will always be her friend. She gave me my start when no one else would even look at me and now she has merged with SJ Davis (who was my pub sister on Vamptasy when I first got signed) and being back with Sarah and having Nicola by my side as an author and a business partner in Vivid Book Designs is a dream come true for me. Best publishing people in the business hands down.
Ambrosia: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers or fans? Or perhaps other authors and aspiring writers?
Rue: To fans I will say thank you for driving the train this year. You have taken me from selling a few books to being a bestselling author and linked, shared, gotten my books into libraries, reviewed, entered me in contests and won, as well as sent me messages, gifts and helped me keep my chin up even the day my Mother passed away. It is an amazing thing to have people connect with you on this level and support you so loyally. I love my fans, best people in the world.
To aspiring authors here is the thing. Know this, writing the book is just the smallest part of it. I know that sounds crazy but you have to promote it. Market yourself, have a website and or blog, fanpage, beta’s, get involved with as many groups on FB as you can to help support you. Link and share your news every day, do giveaways, share other peoples posts and support them too. Be on twitter, and as many social networking hotspots as possible. Think globally and not locally. Create digital posters, use them when promoting yourself and always keep it fun. Do not let crappy reviews get you down and block people who try, you don’t need them, even if you thought they were a “friend”. If you are serious, put everything you have into it and dedicate yourself to it. Do not expect huge results at first and watch as what you put in helps you grow. It will take time, anything worth it does and ALWAYS reach out to those who can help you out. You have too. It is not just you, it is a whole family in the Indie world and the more you dig in the better it will be.
On to the goofy and fun…
Ambrosia: Have you ever gone out in public with your shirt on backwards or your slippers on, and then when you realized it just said screw it? Or have you ever done this on purpose?
Rue: I have left my house in the most ridiculous clothing on purpose because to me it is Halloween every damn day.
Ambrosia: Toe socks? Fuzzy or cotton?
Rue: Leg warmers, gray:)
Ambrosia: Can you tell the difference in Coke and Pepsi?
Rue: I don’t drink anything but Cream soda in a glass bottle on occasion. But I would think the difference is a C and P.
Ambrosia: Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point if no one else is going to see it?
Rue: I never make my bed, in fact my Husband is the clean one, I just get up and leave a trail of shit in my wake. Lights on, clothing on the floor, I am horrible and I have no idea why he loves me. hahahaha
Ambrosia: Do you go out of your way to kill bugs / run from bugs / or save them?
Rue: I lock bugs in rooms like they can’t follow me then start harassing my husband on FB and telling him to come home and handle it.
Ambrosia: Any phobias?
Ambrosia: Favorite strangest food?
Rue: I like ketchup on my eggs. I don’t know if that is weird to the world but my husband always looks like something is about to burst through his chest when I do it. hahahaha
Rue Volley is a bestselling author, graphic artist and photographer. She splits her time between writing and designing covers for books. She owns "Rue View" magazine and RV Radio, both dedicated to helping those in the Indie Arts get more exposure. She hosts multiple groups on facebook, all dealing with promotion and marketing for artists. She is signed to Vamptasy Publishing and also writes for Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly publishing and Hot Ink Press.
Tell us about the books coming out in January…
Okay, well I have a few. I have book two in a witches tale series coming out called “This and That and what killed the cat” Book three in the Maddie Maze series called “Silly spells and Surefooted suckdiggery” and I have the first novel in the Hunters’ Blood series called “Dog will Hunt” coming as well as book two in the Double Gun Dealer series called “Lin” I can give you a blurb on This and That and what killed the Cat…
I ran for what seemed like forever and then stumbled, over what I have no idea, but the fall is not what irritated me, it was the fact that something had the nerve to try to trip me up. How dare it! I mean I am Alexi Carvelle Damn it! Witch and all around badass…well, you know what I mean. Sometimes you have to tell yourself that and convince people around you that it is true, but you know what? If you believe it, then it is real, just like nobbles and elves and magick. Oh my god…magick. What a pain in the booty. I have tried over and over again to master it and although I proudly scream (in my mind) that I am a witch, I am so not even that yet…in fact I am trying to just get this heart flutter thing under control with you know who…you know, Mr. Deadish and super hottie Logan Stewart. I have too, I mean he is on a timer now, a when is he going to just stop ticking timer and my ability to master this hocus pocus this and that is imperative. I mean Kyle won’t do it, how could he? He is just the disease and I have to be the cure and I swear to you, when this is all said and done, I will zap him into some other dimension just for coming here and mucking up the clockworks.
I looked up and grinned…Logan stared down at me with a smile so familiar and yet foreign to me. It is almost as if he teeters on being fake at times, but I took his hand and he helped me. I brushed the leaves off of my jeans and laughed, trying to play off the embarrassment of falling. I know, why the hell should I feel weird about falling? Well, it is the L word, it has me all messed up and doing things that suck on the daily. I straightened my shirt and adjusted my jacket, feeling myself starting to surface.
To Rue’s website, http://ruevolley.moonfruit.com/
A place to buy and browse all your books, http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_10?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=rue+volley&sprefix=rue+volley%2Cdigital-text%2C220
To Rue’s merchandise, http://www.whatboredombrings.com/
Fan pages, good reads, blogs, etc
Vivid Book Designs