Featured Interview With Rusty Blackwood
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Isn't always easy to speak about myself as I tend to feel it's somewhat self-absorption when I do, however I realize it's required in this field. I'm a proud mom of two great sons, and grandmother of 4 wonderful grandchildren and one great-grandchild. I grew up on my paternal grandfather's farm in rural south-western Ontario, Canada. Looking back, I consider myself most fortunate to have had a childhood where I did, and very often return there in my mind. I presently live in St. Catharines, Ontario on the southern shores of Lake Ontario. A beautiful area of this beautiful Provence. I love animals, horses in particular and would have one if I could, but I love my cat Tipper, who has been my stalwart furry friend for many, many years.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I would say at age six in grade one. Story time was my favorite time of the day, and I loved listening to the different stories the teacher would read to the class, and traveling in my mind to the many places she would read about. I carried this fascination with me until I became a serious writer in 2001.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I have always been drawn to expressive writing. By this I mean where the characters truly come alive, their stories present themselves in a vivid way, and the reader is totally immersed into the book. It takes a special talent to do this effectively. A few of my favorite authors wrote primarily for children, and they are Canadian author, Lucy Maude Montgomery, and American author, Laura Ingalls-Wilder, and English authors Anna Sewell, and Louisa May Alcott. Anyone who is familiar with these names would be familiar with their excellent work. I very much admire Margaret Mitchell's’ Gone with the Wind, and Emilie Bronte's’ Wuthering Heights. I very much enjoyed Kathryn Stocketts’ The Help, and I have always enjoyed Steven King’s work, pretty much anything he has written. I'm an eclectic reader in many ways for it depends on my mood at the time, but I truly enjoy romantic fiction drama with an interesting twist of suspense where you'd least expect it.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
I am most proud of my latest title, The Perils of Autumn, published by Tellwell Talent; I feel it's my best yet, not just because it garnered another 5 star rating from Readers Favorite Books, and is now a 2019 International Book Awards Finalist in Romance, but because it tells a fine story, one that really will hold readers' interest. Autumn Rose Leeves is born to unwed Abigail Leeves in 1946 in Lexington, Kentucky. Because of the stringent values and relegated, narrow-minded views of the time, Abigail and Autumn are ostracized by society until they come upon kindly, elderly shop owner, Lucy Perkins, who takes them in and basically supplies them life. Abigail eventually takes over the running of Lucy's shop, and is willed the shop upon her death. This allows Abigail to put her daughter through nursing school. Autumn graduates in 1970 and after a brief stint at two Lexington hospitals, is sent on assignment to care for the terminally ill wife of middle-aged, English equestrian master, Cyril Landon. Upon Mrs. Landon's death, Autumn, who has a great love for horses and an interest in riding, is asked to stay on and take riding lessons from Cyril Landon. As time goes on, Cyril and Autumn, though 35 years divide them in age, develop an attraction to each other that in time deepens into love. Though Autumn's mother, and Agnes Harris, Cyril's housekeeper who is a life-long friend of his as well as a stalwart friend of his late wife, stand against the marriage. However, they marry, and life carries on, which includes the tumultuous birth of a daughter. Cyril's celebrated thoroughbred stables, Landon Lawns, located just outside Lexington in a posh community known as The Meadows, employees world renown jockey, Duff Taylor, who lives full-time above the tack room at Landon Lawns and enjoys the many benefits it brings, but he also has a dark secret surrounding an unsolved racing incident from his past that he will go to any length to protect. All of this combined, sets the scene for a most impressive read for anyone who chooses to 'take the ride'.
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