Ruth J Hartman is an accomplished author, a dental hygienist, and an avid reader. She lives in rural Indiana with her husband of 30 years and her extremely spoiled cats. Ruth enjoys spending time with her husband, taking long walks, and playing with her feline companions.

Ruth says that many fans who meet her for the first time are often surprised to learn that Ruth suffers from severe OCD. At one point in time her OCD was severe enough that she felt trapped in her own home leading to the penning of her memoirs titled Life in Mental Chains. Today, Ruth gives God the credit for helping her to move through her most severe OCD symptoms and is thrilled that she is finally able to write funny romances to make other people smile.

More Than A Review was blessed with the opportunity to interview Ruth, to learn about her passion for cats, and her commitment to supporting fans and peers. We hope that you will find her story just as inspiring and will see it as a beacon of hope and support for overcoming mental health barriers that prevent you from living the life you deserve to live.

MTAR: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Ruth: I’ve loved to make up stories since I was a little kid. It kind of migrated into writing. I was that weird kid in high school who got excited when we were told we had to write term papers.

MTAR: What inspired you to write your first book?
Ruth: My first book was a memoir, “Life in Mental Chains” It’s about living with severe OCD. Once I’d gotten on medication to help with my symptoms, I felt well enough to write down my story, hoping it would help others.

MTAR: What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?
Ruth: Cats.  All of my books have at least one cat in them, even if they don’t play a major role.

MTAR: How did you choose the genre you write in?
Ruth: Most of what I write is romance. I guess I write it because that’s most of what I love to read. Peoples’ relationships fascinate me.

MTAR: Do you work with an outline, or just write?
Ruth: Both. Mostly I don’t use one, but I’ve found I can do it either way.

MTAR: Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Ruth: All the time!

MTAR: Do you have a specific writing style?
Ruth: I think my best asset is writing dialogue. I’ve been told it’s believable and easy to read.

MTAR: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Ruth: Coming up with the ending!

MTAR: Through your research do you typically learn something new from each book you write and what was it?
Ruth: Yes. I researched animal shelters for “Better Than Catnip”.

MTAR: How did you come up with the title?
Ruth: I chose “Time for a Duke” because I wanted to integrate the time travel aspect.

MTAR: What was your favorite chapter (or scene) to write and why?
Ruth: I love the first time she and the duke who discovers her meet. They’re dressed differently, speak differently, and it’s funny to watch them try to figure each other out.

MTAR: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Ruth: In “Better Than Catnip”, there are scenes at the stray cat rescue shelter that were tough to write. Some people are unfeeling when it comes to animals. I’ve never understood that.

We hope that you have enjoyed our interview thus far.  Next time we will discuss the authors that inspired Ruth, her challenges with getting her first book published, and her advice to aspiring authors.  You won’t want to miss a single word!