Interview with Gary Alan Ruse, author of THE CROSS OF ST. ANNE

Today I’d like to welcome Gary Alan Ruse to my blog to discuss his new mystery, THE CROSS OF ST. ANNE.

Gary, you’ve been a professional science fiction writer for years.  What inspired you to write THE CROSS OF ST. ANNE, a paranormal mystery?

It may seem a stretch since I’ve done most of my work in science fiction, but I’ve been out there writing mystery stories for years, too. Also, if I get an idea for a story that really appeals to me, no matter what genre it may fit, I just have to write it. It won’t let me go! I’ve long been a fan of supernatural adventure/thriller books and movies like Hammer Films’ version of the Dennis Wheatley novel, “The Devil Rides Out,” or another British movie with a script by American Richard Matheson, “The Legend of Hell House.” And, oddly enough, I have personally had a few “paranormal” experiences, so The Cross of St. Anne was not only a good fit for me, it may have been pre-destined in a sense.

We’re both cat lovers, yet the cat in your book, Sathan, is no friendly feline!  (My big black cat Salem wants to play Sathan in the movie version, by the way.)  Which character in THE CROSS OF ST. ANNE was the most fun for you to write about?

Note the terrifying eyes

Yes, I do love cats and have been blessed over the years with some wonderful feline companions, so I did have a twinge of guilt about portraying such a truly nasty one. But when you’re crafting a tale of magic and mystery the plot and the characters must be allowed to be what they must be within the context of the story, and not merely what you’re personally comfortable with. So Sathan is a meany and perhaps a bit of a demon. I would love to see a movie version. Your cat Salem has the right look for the role! (Does he have a SAG card?) As to which character was the most satisfying for me to write about, that’s hard to pinpoint. Annie McCormick is the protagonist and the character through whose thoughts, fears and emotions I navigated myself and the reader through the story, revelation by revelation, so in a way she was the most satisfying to write. But I truly enjoyed writing the dialogue and narrative for all the characters, even the villains (who are so dramatic) and the delightful Karen (even though a suspect).

Gary, your bio is amazing.  What life experiences have impacted you the most as a writer?

My childhood was filled with books, movies and TV shows. My maternal grandmother was a frustrated writer herself and always encouraged and supported my writing efforts, as did my mom and the rest of my family. Those beginnings were certainly at the core of what shaped me as a writer. I have an art background which has helped make my writing more visual. Serving in the military, especially in a war zone, also taught me a lot about human nature, interesting locales and what a real sense of danger feels like! It also gave me a chance to edit news reports written by others, and I think I learned more about writing from studying those and smoothing out rough spots than from any class or book on the subject.

I miss these old-style covers
Tell us about your upcoming projects.

I am currently working to finish a nearly done screenplay for a Steampunk (Victorian Science Fiction) movie that I think will be one of the most amazing projects I’ve done, and that I hope my agent will find a home for. Also working on a humorous SF/Mystery novel, and on assembling a collection of a number of my dark fantasy stories (some previously published, some to be seen for the first time). And I have ideas for a sequel to THE CROSS OF ST. ANNE …a new scary mystery for Annie to investigate.

Sounds great!  Check out Gary’s work on Amazon and Barnes & Noble or visit his website.

Then it’s time to start the Holiday Hop and win yourself some cool prizes.  Here’s how it works:

Go here and work your way through the indie authors.  Each website you visit will offer a different contest and a different prize.  (Don’t forget to enter mine, too, shown at the top of my blog!)  Have fun, discover new authors and WIN!