A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture. Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This is especially true in the Writing Community.
Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers counsel, advice and inspiration when asked.
So many people take the time to make us feel special, don’t they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums and wish us Happy Birthday on Facebook.
To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ. And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, and I’m participating too!
This is my RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS. It is for Ruthanne Reid, author of The Sundered. (June 29th, 2012 from 4th Floor Publication)
Harry Iskinder knows the rules.
Don’t touch the water, or it will pull you under. Conserve food, because there’s no arable land. Use Sundered slaves gently, or they die too quickly to be worthwhile.
With extinction on the horizon and a world lost to deadly flood, Harry searches for a cure: the Hope of Humanity, the mysterious artifact that gave humans control over the Sundered centuries ago. According to legend, the Hope can fix the planet.
But the Hope holds more secrets than Harry knows. Powerful Sundered Ones willingly bow to him just to get near it. Ambitious enemies pursue him, sure that the Hope is a weapon. Friends turn their backs, afraid Harry will choose wrong.
And Harry has a choice to make. The time for sharing the Earth is done. Either the Sundered survive and humanity ends, or humanity lives for a while, but the Sundered are wiped out.
He never wanted this choice. He still has to make it. In his broken, flooded world, Hope comes with a price.
I met Ruthanne in the early 90s on the Dracula: The Series fanfiction yahoo mailing group. I think this list probably pre-dated fanfiction.net, if only by a few months. I was in junior high school at the time, and a very few households in my small town had the internet. I used to hang out in the library to use the internet.
I had no ambition to be a writer at the time. I just wanted to read some stories, and I had already consumed everything that had been branded with “Dracula” in our local library, my school library, and at the book store. When I discovered something called “fanfiction”, I was in heaven. An endless supply of stories!
Some where awesome… some were less so. And when I signed up o the mailing list, it all came as a handy digest of emails that went straight to my private email, so I could load up the email at my parent’s house, then shut off the dial-up and read.
There was a particular writer whose work I really loved – this was, of course, Ruthanne. Eventually we started to talk, when I got up the courage to email her some fanmail, and eventually we accidentally sort of started a round-robin-of-two fanfiction between us. I had never really written anything before, aside from school assignments, to working with Ruthanne taught me a lot, straight from teh get go – paragraph and dialogue structure, how to spin a narrative, spelling…
From there we created alternate worlds, had long in-character RPs to help decipher motivation and character development, had long conversations about writing, ecah created epic length fanfics that we beta read for one another, and then, when I began my first original novel, Ruthanne helped me by writing out paragraphs for scenes that I could envision but not describe, and letting me bounce ideas and characters off her.
By then I was in university and Ruthanne had become my mentor, my hero, my very good friend.
What I’m trying to say is this: Ruthanne Reid taught me how to write.
She taught me the importance of tweak, tweak, tweak. She taught me how to edit, how to be judgmental of my own work, to step back and appraise it, without loosing my passion for the story I’m telling, the people I’m creating. Ruthanne taught me how to build a plot arc, embed clues in a narrative, and pull my hero/victim along on a journey. Ruthanne taught me not to pull my punches, to mix the tender with horrific (Oh, Ruthanne, your Trieze will always be my bad-guy template) and force my characters to engage with themselves and their world in a realistic manner.
Ruthanne has always been the first to comment on my fanfics. Ruthanne waved all the pompoms while I was doing my academic work. Sometimes we NaNo together, sometimes we don’t, but she’s always ready to smack me or hug me, as required.
Ruthanne never says no when I ask for a beta read. Ruthanne is always ready with a suggestion, or a joke, or a smack-down, or whatever I need to be able to get there with my books. Ruthanne is generous with her time, her praise, and her help.
Did you know, Ruthanne is also the one who designs my marketing materials and my website? And she never charges me enough, too.
Marvel at the bloody talent of this woman.
One more thing: I’ve never met Ruthanne Reid.I can’t wait until our convention circuits bring us into each other’s orbit. I’ve been waiting to hug this woman for twenty years.
FOR MY RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS:
I am ashamed to admit that there’s very little that I can give to Ruthanne that I haven’t already given her. I throw business at her all the time – I recommend her for everyone’s websites and marketing design work. I talk up her books constantly. I praise her to the high heavens all the time.
The one thing I wish I could do more of is help her get her book out there. It is a fantastic book. It is brave, it is genre-blending and innovative, and the characters make genuinely hard choices that left me shaking and panting when I finished reading it.
I want to shout from the top of the world. I want to tell everyone about how AWESOME this book is. And I want people to buy it, and read it, and love it, and love and hate your characters as I do.
For my random act of kindness, I’m going to give you a blog tour from Goddess Fish Promotions.
Email me, Ruthanne, and let’s get this party started!
Also: Becca and Angela have a special RAOK gift waiting for you as well, so hop on over to The Bookshelf Muse to pick it up.