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9/05/2018 12:00 a.m.
Genre: Mixed Genre (Though classified as Sci-fi and
TAMSIN The Unexpected One & TAMSIN Waking Fire by Joanne Ruth.
Along The Guided Path: A collection of poetry prose and prayers by Joanne Smith.
Local Rotorua writer Joanne Ruth's TAMSIN series books have been nominated for the TCK Publishing – Reader’s Choice awards and her book, TAMSIN The Unexpected One was listed on the CQ International Magazine’s MUST READ LIST for 2018. She was recently a panelist at Murder in the Library and we asked her some questions about her work.
What turned you to a life of
I think my love of mystery,
intrigue and adventure. I have always
been fascinated by the way people think and operate and the unlimited capabilities
of those who dare to step outside the accepted norm. It seems that in most
people’s lives there is some sort of battle with the manipulative machinations
of the greedy and power hungry.
Were you always destined to be
a writer? If yes, how did you know? If no, what happened to change your path?
I have always written – since
childhood. I loved making up stories and dreaming up incredible scenarios about
ordinary things. Always looking for
adventure – I wanted to make movies. It
was only much later in life when health problems put an end to my working life
that I decided to finish writing a book I had started many years ago. Since then my childhood bucket list dreams of
being a published author have finally come true. I wish I had settled into this a long time
ago but I have to admit that all those years of life experience adds new facets
to my stories. Human nature is fascinating.
Can you tell us about the most
interesting job you have had other than crime writing?
Over the years I have worked a
varied array of jobs. I loved working as a legal secretary. I was so interested in the law and those who
try to manipulate it. The lawyer I
worked for had a reputation for being blunt and straight up. I used to read his law books and he encouraged
me to study.
Another interesting job was
with the Inland Revenue Department.
There I encountered human nature at its best and at its worst. A sense
of humour was a definite asset. Real
Estate was almost on a par with that.
What are two things you do in
your spare time that might surprise people?
I don’t think there are many surprises
these days. I’m a lot more sedate than I used to be. I really enjoy reading and movies. The only thing left to do on my bucket
list is a flight in a helicopter. I’d still like to do that.
What are your top tips for
Don’t try and write the way
you think an author would. Write what you have inside you to write and write it
as you would speak it. Let your
individuality come through. You can always
find a good editor who can polish your script for publishing.
Find someone to read what you
write who will be honest with you and give feedback from a reader’s
What book are you reading at
I am re-reading a couple of
Georgette Heyer novels. I find her books
light, witty and clever and her characterisation brilliant. I'm taking a break from the authors I have
been engrossed in - Matthew Riley, Sam Bourne, Lee Child and Andrew Gross.
Can you tell us about your
I am presently working on two
projects. Firstly the third book in my
TAMSIN series and also an unrelated novel that came about after someone
asked me if I would write a romance.
It’s turning out a bit of a mixed genre book too. I have discovered I am
definitely not a romance writer.
What are you looking forward
to about Rotorua Noir?
I’m really looking forward
reading some of the stories submitted for the competition. This is a great opportunity for local
writers. The creative buzz from having so many NZ and overseas authors involved
will be inspirational and the writer’s workshop will be invaluable for so many
What is you connection to
Rotorua and what do you love most about it?
I have no familial connection
to Rotorua itself but came here for work in 2009. My father’s family came from the
Taupō/Turangi area and I raised my children in Taupō so I do have connection to
the Central Plateau. I love the natural
wonders and the spirituality of this area and the sunrises across the lake are
unforgettable. I live here now with my
Granddaughter who came to live with me 3 years ago to attend school here. We both enjoy being involved with local
theatre and the shopping here is great.
Find out more about Joanne Ruth
Visit her page on Amazon