Interview with Ruthie Knox + Cover Reveal!

Followers of the Loveswept line – and fans of contemporary romance in general – have kept Ruthie Knox’s name buzzing in romance circles for the past year since Ride With Me came out. Her latest project, the Camelot series, is being eagerly anticipated by many readers. The first novella, How to Misbehave, comes out January 28, 2013, and the second, Along Came Trouble, will be available on March 11. The final Camelot story, Flirting With Disaster, isn’t out until June 10, 2013, but we’re very happy to be revealing the cover for this one today. Something about seeing the cover of an anticipated book makes it seem more real, no?

Here’s what Ruthie Knox had to say about the cover art and her upcoming series, “ I’m thrilled to be able to reveal the cover for the final title in my upcoming Camelot series with Loveswept: Flirting with Disaster. I hope you love it as much as I do! I’ve been really gratified to see each of the covers the Random House design team comes up with for this series — all of them sexy and intimate, but with that spirit of fun that infuses all three of these stories.

The Camelot series consists of a hundred-page novella and two full-length novels set in the Midwestern college town of Camelot, Ohio. It revolves around the three Clark siblings — Amber, Caleb, and Katie — and contains a number of hot security guys, extended-family shenanigans, banter, angst, and of course the occasional steamy scene, just to keep things interesting.

And here it is…..

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In addition to sharing her latest cover, Ruthie Knox also had a brief chat with Senior Reviewer Dabney Grinnan about her work. Here’s what they had to say:
Dabney: I’m looking forward to the Camelot series. One thing I love about your work is how well you create a sense of place where your novels are set. You’ve done London, New York State, the TransAmerica trail, and now you’re tackling the Mid-West. How do you pick your settings and what sort of research do you do to create your realms?

Ruthie Knox: Thanks, Dabney! Setting is very interesting to me. I’ve moved around a bit, both as a child and as an adult, and perhaps as a result have never really felt as though I belonged anywhere. My own family lives in the city where my husband works, with no extended family anywhere nearby. These experiences of dislocation, relocation, and accommodation have left me with an interest in the ways people invest place with meaning, both positive and negative.

I have lived most of the places I write about, or a reasonable facsimile — done week-long bike trips in a number of parts of the country, visited Upstate New York to visit family many times, spent a year in London — so I’m definitely writing what I know. But that’s not to say that I don’t have to do research, because I do. I look at maps, read journals, save pictures to my desktop, and generally try to imagine how the settings I’m writing about feel from the perspective of each character.

Camelot, Ohio, is near and dear to my heart because its very much like the small college town where I grew up. That said, my purpose in the series is not to idealize the place, but to use it — to show what it means to each of the people who have come to live there, whether that’s positive, negative, or (often) both.

(And because I know some readers groan at the idea of yet another small-town-set romance series, I’ll mention that my next series, slated for 2014, is set in New York City.)

Dabney: This is your first series. What inspired you to do a series and why did you pick one based on siblings?

Ruthie K.: The Camelot series was something of an accident. My intention at the outset was to write a book about a pop star who falls for his sister’s neighbor in a small town in Ohio. I wanted the pop star’s sister to have a secondary romance as a subplot. But I found, as I planned the story, that the sister who fell for her bodyguard interested me a great deal more than the pop star and the neighbor — that there was simply more story in my subplot than I had thought, and less in my main plot. So I flipped them, which is how Along Came Trouble happened.

In the course of writing it, the hero’s sister, Katie, turned out to have more personality than I’d expected, and a backstory to match. Her hero, Sean, grew out of a sentence of character description that seemed to write itself, followed by a whole bunch of questions I asked myself in idle moments for weeks afterward. The answers to these questions led me to the story that became Flirting with Disaster.

The series opener, How To Misbehave, actually came last (though chronologically it comes first), born from my desire to offer readers an entree into the Clark family with a short piece. The eldest Clark sibling, Amber, seemed like the natural choice, though she has a very limited role in Along Came Trouble and How To Misbehave. I already knew she had a husband, Tony, and three kids, and I had a decent sense of her personality. The question that most interested me about Amber was “How did she hook up with Tony?”

So the decision to write about siblings was more or less accidental — though it is probably a result in part of my interest in family dynamics, which is inexhaustible. It seems to me that siblings never have exactly the same parents, any more than they have precisely the same childhoods. The personalities we’re born with, our genders, our birth order, and variable life circumstances dictate that even siblings born less than two years apart will be raised with significant differences. It was fun to think about this in the context of Amber, Caleb, and Katie Clark.

Dabney: You’re a mom, a writer, and a ? (are you something else?). How do you find time to write? And how old would you want your kids to be before they could read your books? :)

Ruthie K.:
Until a month ago, I was a mom, a writer, and an editor. Now I’ve dropped the editing, so I’m just a mom and a writer, which is a lovely thing to be. I find time to write the same way I found time to edit: I pay for a lot of babysitting (more than thirty hours a week). I also wake up around 3:30 every morning and write before the rest of the house wakes up, though at this point I’ll confess that I do that mostly because I crave quiet alone time, and that’s the only time of day that I get it.

As for how old I’d like my kid to be before he reads my books? Well, if he’s anything like me — and so far, all signs point to him being way too much like me — he’ll read them before he’s even really old enough to understand, and then again when he’s a little older, and yet again when he’s old enough. And I think that’s okay. I mean, yes, my knee-jerk reaction is, Ugh, Kidlet, DON’T EVER READ MY BOOKS, but that’s not a realistic hope. But my experience has been that we take from fiction what we’re prepared for. If he reads my books and finds them appalling, embarrassing, sexy, fascinating, awful, shameful, positive, tawdry, awful — I guess I can live with all that. Those are valid human responses to having a mother who writes sexy genre fiction. But in the best possible world, maybe he’ll find a version of male-female relationships modeled in these stories that gives him some insight into women at a point in his life when any positive portrayal of women will be a good corrective to the flood of crap he’s constantly being bombarded with by the media.

Dabney: What’s your favorite thing about the Clarks? Are they all wildly different from one another or are their family traits they all share?

Ruthie K.:
The Clarks feel, to me, like real siblings — each different, but all similar in their values and their attitude toward the world and what they owe it. I think my favorite thing about them is that they all try so hard to be decent human beings. Each sibling has his or her flaws, yet they’re all really good, ordinary people, with what are in many ways ordinary sorts of problems, and with a core of decency and a desire to be useful, helpful, and appreciated that resonates with me. They all have a tendency to take on too much responsibility, to work too hard and feel they owe the world more than perhaps they really do. In this sense, they’re very Midwestern. :-)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me Ruthie. I’ve really enjoyed all of your earlier work and can’t wait to read about Amber, Caleb,and Katie! Best wishes to you in the New Year!

– Dabney Grinnan

PS And here’s a handy cheat sheet that Ruthie Knox provided so you can keep the series straight:

4 thoughts on “Interview with Ruthie Knox + Cover Reveal!

  1. Pingback: Friday Giveaway: Cover Love Edition | Ruthie Knox

  2. I love the cheat sheet!
    Ruthie, 3:30!? That’s dedication. But clearly, what you are doing is working, becuase your writing is the bomb. Keep up the great work!
    I can’t wait for more in the Camelot series!

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