Ruth Nestvold’s short stories have appeared in numerous markets, including Asimov’s, F&SF, Baen’s Universe, Strange Horizons, Realms of Fantasy, and Gardner Dozois’s Year’s Best Science Fiction. Her fiction has been nominated for the Nebula, Tiptree, and Sturgeon Awards. In 2007, the Italian translation of her novella “Looking Through Lace” won the “Premio Italia” award for best international work. Her novel Yseult appeared in German translation as Flamme und Harfe with Random House Germany and has since been translated into Dutch and Italian. It is now available as an ebook in the original English. She maintains a web site at http://www.ruthnestvold.com and blogs at http://ruthnestvold.wordpress.com
What inspires you to write?
Besides the things that make me made or sad or joyous, my most common inspiration is old literary motifs that strike a chord with me. That’s probably a professional hazard, a result of my long years in literary studies. They say write what you know, after all, and what I know is fiction!
Tell us about your writing process.
I love research and brainstorming, so I do a lot before I actually start writing. I need to have a sense of my time and place, the things people would do, what they would see. If I don’t have that, I invariably get stuck. Research often gives me ideas of twists the tale can take as well.
Once I have a pile of notes and some general ideas for scenes and — most importantly for me — I now how my story is going to end, then I start writing, mostly bare-bones scenes, fleshing out as I go. I do a lot of jumping back and forth in the text, no straight writing from point A to point B.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I do talk to my characters at times, especially if I feel like I’m getting stuck. Then I need to ask them what it is they really want at this point. I used to do a lot of character interviews before I even started writing, but I don’t do that much anymore.
What advice would you give other writers?
Join critique groups. Listen to what other writers and readers have to say, but stay true to your vision. At the same time, if everyone stumbles at the same point in your manuscript, vision or no vision, realize you have to change something there. As hard as it is, be humble — we can all always learn more than we already know, can improve our craft.
Most importantly, write regularly. Keep writing and learning, even when things look bleak. Only the productive and the stubborn win.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’ve been published traditionally and have also published indie. I’m pretty sold on indie now because I love the independence. But it is quite a bit of extra work, with the formatting, editing, cover design and marketing, some of which (although not all) is picked up by the publisher in traditional publishing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think indie publishing is with us to stay and will continue to grow. But I don’t see traditional publishing dying completely anytime soon. I think both forms will continue to exist side-by-side, just like books and television.
What do you use?
Co-writer, Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
fantasy, science fiction, magic realism, short story
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
Your Social Media Links