Spotlight interview with Ruth Frances Long
Over the next few weeks we’re running a series of Spotlight interviews with the guest facilitators who will be hosting workshops at this year’s Dalkey Creates Festival. Today we’re catching up with Ruth Frances Long Award-Winning Children's Author.
Ruth Frances Long, is an Irish author who writes in the fantasy and romance genres. She is the author of the young adult novel The Treachery of Beautiful Things and has recently completed a YA trilogy series, set in Dublin and further afield and featuring Irish folklore, fairies, angels and demons.
Q. What did you want to be when you were a child?
I always wanted to be a writer. I also wanted to be a lot of other things - astronaut, musician, actor, vet, artist, chef - the way every kid wants to be. The joy of reading and writing is that I get to explore them all from the comfort of my own home.
Q. Do you have a routine in your creative practice?
It depends on the story I'm working on. I don't have a fixed routine at all but generally I like to let the ideas permeate to begin with so there's a long period where I don't appear to be doing much at all. I like to write longhand in most cases (although there have been a few books where I've skipped that stage). I like noise while I write because if it's too quiet my brain starts to worry (I have children).
Q. Which work of art do you wish you had created?
Frederic William Burton's Hellelil and Hildebrand, The Meeting on the Turret Stairs. It's so evocative and romantic but shot through with impending tragedy which appeals to my love of Irish legends.The colours leap out of the frame and it tells a whole story in a single image.
Q. If you could give any advice to someone starting out on your path, what would it be?
Keep at it. There are a lot of bumps and twists along the way. Determination is the strongest weapon in your arsenal, but remember to look after yourself as well. Because writers live in their own heads so much of the time, and because writers have very strong empathy ( we have the ability to put ourselves in the minds of others, to create realistic people in our heads so we need it) it's really important to look after your mental health. Do other things that bring you joy as well. Don't give up. Remember it's a marathon not a sprint.
Q. Who would you like to meet that you haven't already?
Susan Cooper. She wrote The Dark is Rising Sequence which is one of my favourite series of books. (It's so hard to pick one person though. There are so many!)
Q. What would you ask them?
Everything about writing, fantasy and folklore I could think of. Which probably wouldn't be very much as I'd be too busy fangirling and spluttering about how much I love her. I'm very smooth like that when I meet people I admire.
Q. Which actor would play you in the film of your life?
I'd love to say someone young, gorgeous and petite like Saoirse Ronan or Emma Watson but I asked online and got Catherine Tate and Kathy Najimy so my friends might have a better sense of my character and sense of humour than I do. Maybe a combination to give young me and contemporary me. Can I do that? ;)
Ruth Frances Long will be running a workshop called ‘Writing for Kids, Teens and Inbe-Tweens’ on Sunday 22nd October, 10am - 1pm in Harold Boys' School.