Name: Ruby Monet – which is a pseudonym, but one in which I’m able to genuinely be myself on social media – without restrictions or reprisals
Where are you from: I’ve lived a lot of places, for both of my parents’ careers, and for my professional career (my official “day job”).
Currently, I live in the Kansas City area. I’ve lived in (sometimes briefly) several parts of the US throughout my life: Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, DC, Washington, Iowa, Illinois, California, and New Mexico…. I think that’s all of them. 🤔🤓 lol
A little about your self `ie your education Family life, etc.
I’m the oldest of 3 siblings, and I’m currently dealing with a few long-term chronic illnesses related to auto-immune system disorders. 🤓🤔😢
I’m a scientist by nature, personality, academic training, and profession. I have a B.S. in a broad science field (I prefer not to say just what), and I began working on my M.S. in Geology about 14 years ago. About a decade ago, I put my M.S. pursuit (and related research) on hold to pursue my career in a different state than my grad school University. 🤓😊
Over the past year (Feb. 2016 – present), I’ve dealt with many chronic health issues coming to a head. Unfortunately, now I’m in the process of applying for disability…..and waiting for any decision to be released. 😢
This has been a difficult experience, because I believe that I was called to my profession in order to make a difference to other people’s lives. 🤓😢
I’m disappointed that it’s difficult for me to now work 8+ hours/day. So, I’m trying to find some kind of positive outlet. 😇 I’ve messed around with writing short stories for the past 20-ish years, but none of those attempts were meant as a serious endeavor.
Lately, I’ve been using my professional background and my research-based science personality to help dig into why I’m having so many health issues. 🤓
So, on days that my health is a little OK… I plug away a little bit at my story. My goal is to try to bring some sort of happiness (or escapism) to other people’s lives by telling a great story. 🤓😇
There are 2 positive quotes from Maya Angelou that I really like, that pertain to where I’m at — regarding helping as others (writing and reading as an escape) as a positive means to deal with my current circumstances:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
“You may not control all the events that happened to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I don’t really have a lot of writing news, just yet.
(Sorry for the text formatting. It keeps doing it’s own thing, and it’s too challenging right now with my hands’ joint pain to keep fixing it.) 😢
I’m still working on the 1st draft of my 1st story.
I guess the “latest news” that I have… the feedback that I’ve gotten from friends and family about many of my graphic dreams has finally convinced me to write some of my dreams into stories to be shared with others.
Right now, I’m working on the 1st draft of a story about a dream that I’ve experienced (dreamed multiple times) since 1994.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
My sister has always been more of a writer than I am. I consider myself as more of a storyteller than a writer. 🤓🤔😅
I’ve jotted down story ideas in journals as a teen and college-aged young adult. Writing those stories down was mostly just an outlet for creative escape. 😅 In contrast, my sister pursued creative writing and poetry since she could hold a pencil, and then when she could type her ideas onto a keyboard. 😊
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Right now, I still don’t truly consider myself “a writer.” I guess I am, but I’m certainly not at the same level as JK Rowling, Stephen King, Jean Auel, Lori King, Elle Boon, Siobhan Muir, or even Michael Cook. 🤓😅
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve mostly been inspired to write my 1st story based on a dream that I had on Monday, 9/4/1994. I’ve had this dream multiple times since then. The story has developed, the characters have revealed themselves more, and the overall story & message have fleshed out over time.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not really sure yet. 🤓😉. I did OK with creative writing in high school and college, but it’s been along time since I’ve done any kind of creative writing (that’s not a technical report or legal background) for anyone else to read for enjoyment, get lost in a narrative, or critique for new ideas. 🤓
I’m definitely open to constructive criticism, because I know I’ll need quite a bit of help before my story is ready to be sent to a publisher for serious consideration. 🤓😅
I absolutely plan to work with a professional editor or editing team, when the time comes. 🤓 Reading typos and grammar errors in any book or article is enough to derail my enjoyment, and it’s pretty frustrating to maintain focus with my ADHD. 🤓😇
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
So far, I only have a working title: “Glacier Mountain Aliens,” which is certainly not going to be the final title on the front cover. 🤓
I haven’t come up with a good book title yet, but lots of other names and facts have seemed to generate themselves easily. 🤓😅
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Geez, this story has so many messages to share, because of the dream that it’s based upon:
- My dream in 1994 gave me the confirmation and direction to further pursue my given calling in science. (My maternal grandfather gave me the initial push to make a difference in that scientific area when I was 9, and again when I was 16.)
- Our Earth and the Universe are linked in so many complex ways — and many of us have missed a beautiful “big picture” out in the far flung reaches of space. (I envision nebulae in the Milky Way and beyond. They are beautiful expressions of the future being born in our Universe.)
- Recurring themes of triumph over oppression.
- Recurring themes of survival and success over obstacles and personal demons.
- Recurring themes of “good” over “evil” and love vs. hate: racism, eugenics, genocide, love of all kinds (LGBTQIA), love as polyamory, and whether we need fighters as much as lovers.
- Recurring themes of “us vs. them,” and the need for “trust” and altruism — for all of humanity to move forward in non-destructive progress.
- Is peace-keeping the same as war, or does it prevent war? Are Warriors needed all of the time? If not, then when — and who should take up that specific call?
- My characters travel through time & space, and find a very adventurous experience in another dimension, with aliens on a different planet, etc.
- My characters are based on people that I know: not 100% for each person/character, but enough for each character to be realistic, have a multi-faceted personality, have flaws, and still be relate-able within the story. After all, this story is based on a dream about my friends and I, that I began having in 1994. 🤓😅
- If we are cut-off from all that we are, all who we know, and all of the people that give us reference for who we are as human beings: will we each still fundamentally be/act like the same person?
- Mental health (and emotional health) is nearly the same as physical health issues: we need to take daily responsibility for our well-being. This includes ADHD, PTSD, general anxiety disorder, bipolar II, etc. These are current mental health issues that are often stigmatized, when they need recognition, treatment, and daily management — much like a diabetic usually takes a dose (or doses) of insulin routinely to manage his/her medical condition.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Umm, I don’t know how realistic my story is. It’s a conglomeration of my personal experiences, lessons that I’ve learned from my friends’ hard knocks, a mish-mash of people that I know, and complete fiction that had occurred repeatedly in my dreamscapes.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Wow. I’ve always loved to read, so it’s kind of hard to name one author or one genre of fiction or non-fiction. I read a variety of genres including Sci Fi, erotica, adventure, mystery, suspense, biographies, science journals, the Smithsonian, etc. 🤓
With my current health issues that sometimes affect my vision and my joints, I’m thankful that we have technology that reads out loud to us, can type text for us, and many more book & magazine genres are available as audiobooks today than just 10 years ago. 🤓🎧📚📝
FYI: I typically finished all of the US public school reading requirements 3-4 years ahead of schedule, including the classics. 🤓😅. The only story that I didn’t really enjoy was “The Iliad,” but I think that’s because we translated it from Latin to English, as we went along. 🤓😉
Currently my author mentors (unofficially) are Caitlyn O’Leary and Lori King. 🤓😊. Both of these wonderful ladies have been really helpful in explaining how the book publishing process works to a newbie. 🤓😅
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I typically read to (1) learn, or (2) escape my reality for a while. I read all kinds of authors, but lately I’ve read mostly (1) auto-immune system health books, or (2) erotica, paranormal, and Sci Fi books as an escape. 🤓🤔😅
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Author friends and groups on Facebook. I’ve also found groups on FB with people who struggle to deal with (and hopefully overcome) a variety of visible and invisible chronic illnesses. 🤓😇
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I think maybe so, but it will have to be a part-time gig because of my physical health limitations. 🤔🤓😢.
Unfortunately, this situation is a double-edged sword. 😢 My disability (if/when it’s approved) will be my primary income & support. But, I still want/need an outlet to feel productive and useful somehow — something that I can do for a few hours on the days that I feel OK and have some energy. 😇😊🤔
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’m not sure yet, since I’m still working on the 1st draft. 🤓🤔. But the answer will probably be “yes.” I’m a perfectionist, and a planner. I can see myself obsessing over something inconsequential in the future…especially a detail that affects one story (like this one) to the next. 🤔😉
I have a love/hate relationship with book series. 🤓😂. I have 6 different authors’ series that I’m following. 😅 But it’s so hard to remain patient for each subsequent story in the series: so that I can escape & experience that character’s world, and learn what has happened — or will likely happen next. 🤓😅🤔
FWIW: One of my current protagonist characters, “Colt,” is already clammering at the back of my mind for his story (entwined but separate) to be told, so that he gets an HEA/HFN too. 🤓😅
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Ummm, I think it started because I kept telling my sister and my friends such graphic story-like dreams. 🤓🤔😅 Many people don’t understand how all encompassing and detailed my dreams are: emotions due to events, the feeling of a hug or kiss, venue colors, tastes of food, sounds of voices, background music, clothing textures, etc. All of my senses are engaged, as if I were really living in the moment in one of my dreams. 🤔☺️
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Ummm, I’m not really at an edited stage in my story’s 1st draft. 🤓🤔
Here’s a thumbnail sketch of my story:
It starts off with about 20 of my friends (all women) and I on a research-based hike across a glacier field. We have 4 men acting as guides for us.
We fall through an unknown time warp / space portal hidden for millennia at the bottom of a huge glacial crevasse on Earth. This time/space portal transports us across space and time to a completely different advanced alien culture.
Those of us with families and kids are completely isolated, and unable to communicate what’s happened with any of our loved ones in the 21st century on Earth.
The alien culture that we meet had set up portals at test locations on “potential colonies” throughout the universe over the past millions of years. They’ve encountered only 2 other young civilizations as a result (prior to meeting humans from Earth), and neither was a positive experience.
My friends and I have an opportunity to be ambassadors for humans, Earth, and the Milky Way in a bizarre adventure — especially when we learn that we’ve traveled far beyond the time, space, and galaxy that we all thought we knew plenty about.
We humans all thought that we had no need to question our cosmic address on Earth, our status in the Universe, nor our professional and personal callings in our individual lives.
Along the way, we meet aliens of different cultures that are warm and welcoming, as well as this that are hatefully prejudiced. (These conflicts are common occurrences in my dreams, and seem to subconsciously reflect some of the modern events and conflict that occur around us on Earth every day.)
There are some political and romantic entanglements between some of the human women and the alien men, and one of the human guides and some alien women. There are some cultural & relationship issues, especially when some of the alien women and men want to visit Earth.
There’s a potential alien government coups over a corrupt alien official and her allies, led in part by 2 of the human women from Earth.
There’s also the pending outcome of returning any humans and their alien friends/family/allies to Earth — and getting the exact time and location lined up with Earth’s magnetic fields, so that hopefully it will seem as if the humans had never been gone from their loved ones on Earth at all.
Then, there’s the part of the story arc of how do the human scientists and guides get people on Earth to believe them, without “outing” their alien friends who’ve come to Earth on a trial basis, prior to the aliens intentionally revealing themselves.
How would the human government leaders on Earth react (as realistically as possible) to learning about extraterrestrial aliens living among us? Will the aliens be welcomed? Feared? Treated as lab rats? Treated with goodwill as ambassadors? Viewed as a means to war-based technology? Viewed as having solutions to resolve or eradicate illnesses and pollution on Earth? Viewed as terrorists? Viewed as a threatening unknown “other?”
Will any future collaboration between humans and aliens tend towards non-destructive progress and technological growth on Earth? Will the typical human flaw of greed/competition for power and profits overcome any positive outcome for the average human person on Earth?
Will we see further separating of “classes” on Earth, as the powerful, wealthy, geniuses, and connected people vie for “the best spot at the table” with a powerful new alien ally?
In the end, are we doomed as a human race to repeat the rise and fall of so many ancient civilizations? Will altruism and love of all kinds triumph over human flaws and vices that seem to grow when there’s any possibility for becoming bigger, better, and “more?”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Getting the story within a story set up well, without being overkill, or running too long. 🤔😅
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Unfortunately, not yet. 🤓🤔 I would love to travel nearly anywhere on Earth 😉 — as long as my health is up for it. 🤔🤓😅
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
No one yet, but I’ve already seen some suggestions for some really gifted graphic artists. 😊
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I’m only able to work in short spans of time, only a few days per week – when my health is doing OK — issues with my vision, migraines, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, etc. 😢😇
I have Scrivener and voice recorder apps on my iPhone, so I can “jot down” story & character ideas as they come to me. 😊🤔🤓😇
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I’m still learning, and I’m thankful to have some awesome people as sounding-boards to provide feedback and direction. 🤔🤓😇
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
I’m not sure. 🤔 I think that whomever can best capture the spirit of each of the characters would be a better fit than just saying specific actors can provide a “look” for each character in my story. 🤔🤓😇
On the other hand, I’ve only come across 2 actors that specifically physically remind me of the people whom my protagonist characters are based upon: Bitsie Tulloch and Brad William Henke. 🤔🤓😊
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Listen to others’ advise, but ultimately follow your dreams. No one can give you the worst “no” to you but yourself. 😇
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope that people enjoy my story, and that there is some level of self-reflection — amongst the escapism. 😊
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I usually read 5-8 books at a time. 🤓🤔. Probably due to my ADHD and speed-reading, when I can see well. 🤓😇
Right now, I’m reading:
- Paige’s Warriors by Ann Mayburn
- The Ethical Slut by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton
- CBD-Rich Hemp Oil: Cannabis Medicine is Back by Steven Leonard-Johnson, RN, PhD and Tina Rappaport
- The Paleo Approach books (AIP and cookbook) by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I remember reading Lawrence the Alarm Clock by the time I was 3 1/2, and I could write my name (very imperfectly) by the time I was 4. 🤓😇 What can I say? I’m your average overachieving and driven first-born. 🤓😅😂
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Silly and sarcastic stuff makes me laugh. Example: the viral video clip of a cat watching a horror movie. 🤣
Horrible stuff makes me cry: animal abuse and neglect; and injustice that’s preventable – like the deaths of garment sweatshop workers in Bangladesh. 😢
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would love to meet Albert Einstein. Scientists made fabulous (and scary) progress in his era because of prioritizing collaboration over competition. 🤓🤔☺️
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I’m not really sure. I’m an organ donor, and afterward I want my body donated to science to study all of my weird genetic auto-immune issues.
Once the scientific studies on my cadaver are over, they’ll cremate my body, and then I want my ashes scattered around the Rocky Mountains.
Mostly, I want my death to help other people, as much as to let my family & friends mourn in a peaceful setting.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I love helping animals, trying new recipes for my health/allergies, I love to read, and I love to organize stuff. Not hoard things – but to help others organize all kinds of stuff. 🤓🤔😉.
I also like to learn new languages…and people seem eager to help with this, especially if they can teach me curse words. 🤔🤓😂
When I was healthy, I used to love roller-blading. Like some people love to train for endurance runs, I used to roller-blade 5+ miles nearly everyday. 😅☺️ I miss that physical outlet, and a chance to workout outside in nice weather. 😢
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Movies: “True Grit” (both versions), “Interstellar,” “Martian,” “Zombieland,” “Old School,” “School of Rock,” “Under the Tuscan Sun,” “Pride & Prejudice,” “Harry Potter” series, “Magic Mike XXL,” “Deadpool,” “Bridesmaids,” “The Heat,” “The Blind Side,” and documentaries: “Inn Saei,” fast fashion, “Food, Inc.,” “Hot Coffee,” etc.
I loved reading & watching “Outbreak,” “World War Z,” and “Outlander.” I’m really looking forward to the movie based on the book “The Lost City of Z.”
TV: “Grimm,” “Elementary,” “Wynonna Earp,” “Doctor Who,” “Scorpion,” “The Santa Clarita Diet,” “Dexter,” NHL hockey, NFL football, MLS soccer, “NCIS,” “Cosmos” with Neil de Grasse Tyson, “iZombie,” “Bones,” “House Hunters,” etc.
Surprisingly, I’m not a huge fan of Star Wars or Star Trek. 🤔 I like the stories, but I’m just not a fanatic type of fan. 😇 My brother is a huge fan of Star Wars, and one of my high school BFFs is a huge fan of Star Trek. 😅 I can usually tell the 2 stories apart, but I don’t live and breathe these iconic stories and characters like many people do. 🤔🤓😇
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Fave food: Italian and Irish food, but I’m allergic to wheat, garlic, and potatoes. 🤔😢. I know. 😉I learned about my food allergies in 2010, and it’s been challenging ever since. 😅
Fave color: Deep emerald green, because it reminds me of being outdoors in the summer.
Fave music: Alternative, hip hop, soundtracks for movies (because of variety), classical, and jazz 🤔😊
Animals: I love dogs, cats, horses, etc. I’m allergic though, so I get routine allergy shots. 🤓😢
FYI: Animal fears: Ants, cockroaches, deadly spiders, rabbits, sharks
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’m a scientist. I’m in a field that helps people live a better life, but I chose to work in a background capacity — so that I can help serve the greater good. 😊🤓. No, I don’t work in Big Pharma, btw. 😉
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I don’t have a blog set up on Word Press yet, but that’s on my to-do list. 🤓😅. Hopefully, I’ll have one set up within the month. 🤓