W. Ruth Kozak is a Canadian travel journalist with a strong interest in history and archaeology. A frequent traveller, Ruth lived for several years in Greece and instructs classes in travel journalist and creative writing. A travel writer since 1982, her publications include the Vancouver Province, The Vancouver Sun, 50 Plus, Senior Living, and various other newspapers and magazines in Canada, US and the United Kingdom as well as on-line publications, www.EuropeUpClose.com and www.travelgeneration.com. Ruth also edits and publishes her own on-line travel zine at www.travelthruhistory.com She has been published in the APA Insight Guides 1994, Writer’s Abroad anthology “Foreign Flavours” as well as two poetry anthologies and was writer for The Vancouver Guide for Planet Eye Traveler. Ruth was recently invited to Egypt by Egyptian Tourism and you can read her blogs about this trip a http://travelthroughhistory.blogspot.com She is currently working on an Athens Guide e-book for Hunter Publishing, US.
Ruth’s first historical fiction novel SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON (volume one) was recently published by www.mediaaria-cdm.com UK. This is her first published literary work. Volume Two BLOOD ON THE MOON: THE FIELDS OF HADES will be produced in 2016. Ruth just returned from a successful book promo tour where she attended the Historical Novel Writer’s Conference in London, Eng. and was invited to three events in Greece including a reading at the Athens Centre, a presentation at the World Poetry Conference in Larissa and a reading for two grade nine classes at the Athens Community School. SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON is currently available on Amazon.com and in bookstores.
1. When did you first start writing? I started writing when I was very young. By the age of 10 I was writing plays for classmates and friends and at the age of 12 I began writing stories, mostly about Canadian Indians and pioneers and later Biblical themed stories, then the Romans and by the age of 16 I became interested in Alexander the Great. During my last year of high school I wrote an Alexander themed novel. When I was 19 I wrote a play The Street: A Modern Day Tragedy that was produced, and later (in 2000) rewritten and successful produced by a local theatre company.
2. Please tell us about the book you have written—title, genre, and storyline. SHADOW OF THE LION is historical fiction but based on a true historical timeline. The theme is “How blind ambition and greed brought down a world power” and the story tells of the end of Alexander the Great’s dynasty after his dead in 323 BC. It is in two volumes (because of its length). Volume one SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON was published July 2014 and the second volume SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES will be out in 2016
3. Where do you find your inspirations? I have loved that history since I was a teenager and ended up visiting Greece first in 1979 then went there to live in 1983. I spent a lot of time visiting sites related to Alexander and lived there part time during the 1990’s while researching and writing.
4. Are you an Indie Author or are you part of a publishing house? My book was traditionally published by AriaMedia-CDM publishing, Bristol Eng.
5. When you are not writing, what do you do to recharge? I never stop writing. I also instruct writing classes, do workshops & readings, one-on-one writing coaching and editing. I have been a published travel journalist since 1983.
6. When you need to get away from it all, where is your favorite vacation spot? Of course I love to spend most of my holiday time in Greece. I am also a travel journalist and I recently enjoyed a trip to Egypt courtesy Egyptian tourism with a special side-trip to Alexandria because of my novel. Locally, I love going to the beach or walks in the many lovely local parks.
7. Do you read books within the genres you write? I mostly read historical but also memoirs.
8. To help first time authors and aspiring authors, can you please tell us how you promote your work. By readings, social media, Facebook, sending promo to local newspapers etc.
9. Do you have any advice on how to deal with negative reviews? The only negative review I have had was from a source that really disappointed me. It was my first review and the review was very bland and unenthusiastic. What the reviewer said was totally opposite to anything any other readers had said about my book (or reviews on Amazon). It happened to be a review published in the Historical Novel Society magazine so I was very disappointed by it, but chose to ignore it.
10. Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling to publish their first book? Don’t give up. But mostly be dedicated, determined and get the work done! SHADOW took me 15 years to write. I had it critiqued all the way through by my writer’s group, then the complete MSS read by two critique readers before sending it to a well recommended editor. This is important! If you can, try to get into a good writer’s critique group as I find that great encouragement.
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