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Writing for yourself instead of the trends

Best-selling author Laura Ruby talks about her published work and process with writers, students.

Laura Ruby, best-selling author, describes the moments in the real world that inspired writing Bone Gap: her late father-in-law (also her number one fan) gave her an article about people with face blindness; the collapse of bee hives is well-documented in the news; she takes multiple trips through the southern Illinois creepy cornfields that seem to whisper to her.

Swirl these elements together and add a dose of feminism -- Ruby had a story to share.

Bone Gap is the story of Roza, a beautiful girl who is taken from a quiet midwestern town and imprisoned by a mysterious man. Cornfields hide passageways between worlds. Finn - the only witness - cannot forgive himself for being unable to identify her kidnapper for he has face blindness. The novel is written from at least five different point of views, including Roza, Finn, Roza's grandmother, a scarecrow and another character's beehives.

At Mount Mary, Ruby spoke to an engaged audience of writers, students and guests of the Mount Mary University English Department on Nov. 7. The Writers on Writing series hosted by the English Department brings best-selling authors to campus to talk about their published work, their process and their craft.

The way Ruby personifies cornfields is exactly the type of writing she wants to pursue. Writing that challenges traditional genres. In fact, the first question asked by the event’s audience was when she pitches her work to a publishing agent, into what category does it fit?

Her book Bone Gap has been described as magical realism, thriller, mystery, but Ruby asserts: “I prefer ‘Midwestern fairytale.’”

Listen to Ruby read a passage from the first chapter of her book:

What’s next for Ruby? She says she feels most satisfied when pushing what realism is or mixing genres. “When I was done [with Bone Gap] I realized I had something that felt like me.” She says even the revisions for her piece of work were satisfying because she was writing for herself and not what people expected. In other words, vampire romances are far from her plans.

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