Interview with Ruth Smith Meyer

Today's guest is Ruth Smith Meyer. She's here to talk to us about her latest book, Out of the Ordinary:

With vivid memories of her very early life, Ruth Smith Meyer has spent seven decades processing the things that made her feel different or unusual. Whether it was being born into a conservative Mennonite family, the differences in her physical composition or the things that happened in her life, they all contributed to the struggle and the growth that she experienced as she faced them one by one. Smith Meyer is candid in the recounting of her life with all its inner conflicts and growth, changes and decisions from childhood to senior years.

Welcome, Ruth. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

After a life of raising four children, volunteer work in school and church, driving school bus and working as Creative Director for a Seniors Day Centre, I am enjoying a new career of writing in my own senior years.  I also have enjoyed watching and participating in the growth of five grandchildren and now, after the death of my husband and remarriage , I have four more children, thirteen grandchildren and now three great-grandchildren to enjoy.

When did you begin writing? 

From an early age, I always found some way to write—letters short stories, home-made cards, articles for local papers and more.  As I grew older I longed to make it more intentional.  After the death of my husband of 39 years, I attended WRITE! Canada, and there found new reason to go on living.

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

Yes, my newest book was only released in March of 2015.  Out of the Ordinary is the story of my life.

How did you get the idea for the book?

My memory starts at a very young age.  At one point in time, I began to record those memories as they arose.  My first novel was based on the life of the mother of one of the seniors with whom I worked.  Her family was so happy with that book that they asked me to write one about their mother. My children saw how much joy those books gave that family and encouraged me to use my recorded memories and more to write a book about my own life for their sakes.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

The biggest challenge was to know what to include and what to leave out.  It would be impossible to put a whole 75 years in one book.  Then to know whether to put it in chronological order or under different aspect of my life was another hurdle.

What is your primary goal as an author?

I think I would say my primary goal is to inspire others to grow in their own lives.  I would like my writing to be an enjoyable venture into new insight for my readers.

What projects are you currently working on?

Having just finished Out of the Ordinary and just beginning to do the promotion that goes with a new book, I haven’t begun another big project.  I continue to write regular assignments for a devotional magazine, add to my own blog and participate in several others.  I’d still like to write one novel that isn’t based on any one real-life character, but I would like to write more inspirational articles on different topics to share through magazines.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Keep writing for yourself.  Find a writers’ group which can be invaluable in perfecting your writing skills and also in finding places to share your gift.   My group, Ready Writers of London, Ontario, have given me so much insight into my writing, helped me strengthen the weak areas and give me confidence.

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About the author:

Ruth Smith Meyer, author and speaker, nurtured her children through her years as a stay-at-home mom, gardener, seamstress, farm helper and school bus driver. When the children were all in school, she was thrilled to become Creative Director at a Seniors Day Centre. Throughout her life she has been active and provided leadership in church, community and as presenter with Marriage Encounter.

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