New Year, New Voices: Tell Me My Name

New Year, New Voices: Tell Me My Name

Posted on January 14 by Erin Ruddy in Fiction, Interview, Recent Releases
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Hello Canada,

 

It’s the year 2020. How lucky am I to be ringing in a new decade with the launch of my debut book? Finally, the gruelling work has paid off—the late nights, the early mornings, the countless hours spent toiling in solitude.

See that red blinking arrow pointing at me? It says: “This way to Easy Street. You’ve made it, baby!”

As much as I’d like to thank Last Decade for getting me here, I’m perfectly happy to bid her adieu. My new thriller and I are about to live large! Soak up the glory of our incroyable achievement. It’s a moment I’ve been dreaming about since I was a lonely teenager scribbling heartfelt prose into a journal. Hooray for me!  

Wait a second. The arrow just turned. It’s still pointing at me, only now it says: “Prepare for more obstacles. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

Well, if I’ve learned anything on my meandering path to publication, it’s that there is no end to the struggle. As the famous Japanese proverb goes: fall down seven times, get up eight. Success is just a matter of how determined you are to pick yourself up and carry on.

As most writers will tell you, the improbable journey begins with a compulsion to write. It can come in as a whisper or a roar. In my case it was a faint voice muttering at me as I tried to build a career in journalism. Writing for a living felt like winning the jackpot, but I still couldn’t mute that nagging voice or ignore the cast of characters jousting in my mind.

And so, I began to dabble at fiction. Quietly at first, carving out a little time here and there around the demands of work and home. I never thought in a million years I’d complete a full-length novel. Then one day, there it was. An entire dreadful mess of a book. It wouldn’t see the light of day, but that didn’t matter. I was hooked.  

The idea for Tell Me My Name came to me in the summer of 2016. It was so powerful it wouldn’t let me sleep. We’d purchased our cottage earlier that spring, and I’d remarked to my husband that we’d never seen our neighbours. Occasionally we’d glimpse a light on in an upper window, but no cars ever came or went, no sounds ever carried through the trees. Were they merely old and reclusive, or was something sinister at play? I couldn’t let it go.  

Tell Me My Name is about a forty-year-old woman who finds herself at the centre of a Rumpelstiltskin-inspired nightmare, forced to remember someone from her past who thinks he’s her long-lost soulmate. It’s a fast, fun, creepy premise and certainly not for everyone. But like my writing journey itself, it’s also about finding hope just when you think you’ve lost it.

There’s still a few months before my book comes out. Part of me wishes I could park here for a while, pretend I’ve landed on Easy Street. But I know better. The voyage will continue, and it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Reviews won’t all be favourable, readers won’t all be kind.

It’s okay. I’ll carry on. 

Fall down seven times, get up eight. 

Write, edit, breathe, repeat...  

 

 

 

Erin Ruddy

Posted by Dundurn Guest on July 24, 2019
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Erin Ruddy

Erin Ruddy is a writer, editor, and award-winning journalist. She is currently the executive editor at MediaEdge Communications. She lives in Toronto.