Extended Interview for F.L. Ruby
F.L. Ruby (pen name) F is for my grandfather, Floyd Roberts, L is for my mother, Louise (Roberts), and Ruby is for my grandmother, Ruby Roberts.
- What makes you different or unique…that adds to success?
Other than not having a typical path to become a writer (although many find it later in life like I did), I can honestly say I get high when I write. Not only mentally, but physically too. I get a runners’-type high, very similar to when I exercise. I know I’ve been lucky over the years with working out, it has always come easy for me and much of it has to do with getting so amazingly high. Endorphins, no doubt. I eventually realized I have this same feeling when I write. So, I’m lucky. It’s probably an odd combination but I can’t help it and couldn’t stop if I tried, not that I would ever want to.
- Most embarrassing moment?
Other than throwing up on you when we rode the scrambler ride at an amusement park in Connecticut (you probably don’t remember, KC), I don’t think your show is long enough for me to list the many I have had over the years. Let’s just say I’ve had many. And yes, I did babysit you and Matt.
- Proudest moment?
Becoming/being a dad. My son, Mack (22) is a junior at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, NY. My daughter Sophie (20) is a sophomore at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA and my youngest, Tori (14) is a freshman at Pittsford Mendon HS. Mack is a sports management major and Sophie is a dance major. Tori dances at Rochester City Ballet with Draper Dance.
- Most inspirational topic & or person?
Many people have been inspirational to me. Those who have overcome adversity are at the top of the list.
- Future goal or vision?
To write for as long as I can. I want to continue to publish more stories, but the ultimate goal is to simply write…and escape into my imagination.
- What else were you interested in…was there a fork in the road?
I’ve always been interested in the arts. Always wanted to be an artist but I wasn’t sure what genre fit. I took a stab at a few but never really believed in myself. For example, I thought I wanted to be an actor for a while. But I always came back to a safe, practical existence and was fortunate to end up working in education. I finally know I’ve found the right genre—writing. My fork was my graduate work at Columbia University, where I earned a doctorate in education. Writing the dissertation was challenging but it was the first time I realized I enjoyed writing.
- Most important thing to promote?
I have a story to tell. Not only Sean Roberts’ ups and downs on his roller coaster ride but the overall theme of the book—the true meaning and purpose of life. I think the preface in the beginning of the novel summarizes the theme. It’s also on the author page on my website, FLRuby.com
Also, how appreciative I am about an audience interested in what I have to say. When I did an author meet and greet at a small rural library in Eldred, Pennsylvania a few weeks ago, I was touched by how sincere everyone was and the warm welcome they gave me. I’d go back there any day and would love to travel to libraries (big fan of libraries) and/or small bookshops to meet people and talk literature. I’m traveling to Olean, NY on March 24 to present a writing workshop at the Olean Public Library and Historical Society, using excerpts from Sean Roberts as writing prompts for the participants. I’d love to correspond with readers everywhere, either on Twitter @FLRuby2, Facebook (F.L. Ruby), or my website (FLRuby.com). I’d love to be a part of a Sean Roberts book club and either correspond online or travel to the groups to discuss. I was invited to meet and discuss my novel with several book clubs, including Barry’s Old School Irish book club, the Irish Pub I describe in Sean Roberts.
I’m also open to regular email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Talk about your challenges both personal & professional? How are you overcoming?
I wrote about some of my challenges in my novel. It was cathartic. Divorce, of course, is a challenge for everyone, both emotionally and financially. I’ve struggled with relationships at times and frequently it has been connected to the problems stemming from a divorce (mine or theirs). But I’ve chosen to make lemonade from the lemons I’ve been juggling. I think Sean Roberts, the novel, is my lemonade. I do have a lot of guilt that I carry around. Some I blame on my Catholic upbringing. That’s been a challenge for me too.
- What is most fulfilling part of job?
To write full-time is fulfilling–the whole process of writing. First drafts, ideas, editing, etc.