March 12, 2016
CTC – Today I am pleased to interview Courtney Ruggles, author of The Sixth Domicile.
Thank you so much, Courtney, for taking time to answer some questions for my readers today. So, let’s get started.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
CR – I first realized I wanted to be an author when I was very young. I often wrote short stories and then was in a creative writing class in high school. In fact, it was in that class the idea of The Sixth Domicile was born. Truly, I really didn’t think it would come to realization that I would become a published author. When I was eleven, my grandmother requested I never quit writing. I was always writing short stories. I even had a word processor which I stored my short stories on floppy disks. I was obsessed and would lock myself up in my room after school to write. That word processor was probably the best gift I’d ever been given from someone.
CTC – How long does it take you to write a book?
CR – I laugh at myself with this question! My first book took me nine years, off and on! Between continuing my education, playing collegiate sports, and then just life in general in the following five years, my writing often sat on the back burner. However, my second novel took me nine weeks! I’ve started the third in the series, so I’ll have to get back to you on how long it takes me.
CTC – What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
CR – I have been very lucky to be able to work mostly from home. But when I’m focused on writing, I often have very long nights as dive into the story. Often times, I don’t want to come out and will stay up almost all night to get it on the page. Writing the sequel in The Domicile Series, I stayed up until three, four, or sometimes five in the morning for weeks writing.
CTC – When did you write your first book and how old were you?
CR – I was eighteen when The Sixth Domicile, then just called The Domicile, birthed as a short story for that awesome creative writing class. I fell in love with the idea of it, a modern Romeo and Juliet I thought at the time. As I kept writing it, especially in the last year, it morphed into this new adult dystopian. I couldn’t let go of the characters or the story and The Sixth Domicile was begging to be fully written. I was twenty-seven when it published.
CTC – What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
CR – I am a social butterfly and thrive on being with friends and family! When I’m not writing, I’m playing with my two year old son, going kayaking, skiing, or spending my time with my husband and family, along with my friends who I consider family. However, my time also gets taken up by my own classes as I’m enrolled in my doctorate program and also teach at a local university. But when I’m not reading for those pesky classes, I’m reading and drinking coffee. I LOVE a good book and a good cup of coffee.
CTC – What does your family think of your writing?
CR – My family has adamantly expressed how proud they are of me. Publishing a book has always been a dream of mine which I put on hold to achieve other goals. But now that it’s happened and getting ready to happen again, my family has done nothing but be amazingly supportive. And my husband has pushed me through the entire process (which I can say is a lot different than I imagined going in!!!) with his love and positivity. It’s really amazing to be backed by the people who mean the world to me.
CTC – What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
CR – How dark I can be!! I am really a positive, bubbly person but my books can be a little dark and twisty. I even had someone ask me what happened to me to make me write this story! I often chuckle because this dystopian side of me is extremely contradicting of my persona. Or maybe the dystopian is the real me? Mwahahah. No, I’m just kidding. Did I mention I study and teach psychology?
CTC – How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
CR – I’ve written two full-length novels so far. The Sixth Domicile was my first and was just released in January. The sequel in The Domicile Series is finished and in the hands of my editor! The second one (I’m keeping the title a secret for just a little bit!) is my favorite out of the two. The growth I’ve accomplished as a writer shows in this sequel and it also shows the risks I’m willing to take in my writing. The series will be at least a trilogy and I already have plans for a couple more afterwards.
CTC – Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
CR – I met this awesome author on my journey so far who has become my author bestie. In fact, I’ve referred to her as my spirit animal. She told me to write for me. That’s why we start this journey, isn’t it? To tell at least one story, if not tons, because of the desire within ourselves? She helped me better grasp that not everyone is going to receive my stories as well as others, and I have to remember that I have a passion for writing and sharing this crazy Domicile world with everyone! My best advice other than to remember to write for yourself is to get an author bestie like me!
CTC – Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
CR – I’m overwhelmed by the amount of people who’ve reached out to me about The Sixth Domicile! I never fathomed so many readers would contact me regarding their thoughts and love for the book! It’s humbling.
I’ve received wonderful feedback from my readers. They continually inspire me to keep writing, probably why I finished the sequel in nine weeks! I can’t even form the sentences to tell my appreciation for the support and amazingness my readers have given me.
CTC – Do you like to create books for adults?
CR – Yes, absolutely! The Domicile Series is new adult. I want to create worlds which we all can lose ourselves in. I often did growing up, retreating into a book to be lost in a time warp in fictional worlds of castles, woods with vampires, factions, and districts, and love to do so still as an adult. Sometimes, we as adults need to escape into these amazing worlds for a bit to rejuvenate. I hope I can provide that!
CTC – What do you think makes a good story?
CR – There are so many elements which make a good story! Characters are a major thing for me. If I can get into a character who I can relate to, I’m in. Also, a character which battles themselves between the light and the dark. One that comes out being better than they thought they could be. I love strong, valiant characters. And any story which keeps me guessing, whether with puzzles or plot twists. I’m a huge fan of dystopian because of characters beating the odds, going against the grain, refusing to conform.
CTC – As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
CR – Honestly, I always wanted to become an author! I had a teacher in the tenth grade pass me magazine after magazine of how to publish a book. I wrote a short story when I was in the fifth grade called The Three Unicorns Dancing, completely illustrated by yours truly in my ten year old style, which I still have. Then I wanted to be a journalist, with writing books on the side. As I entered the stage to begin thinking about colleges and what I would be when I grew up, I thought about being a lawyer and entered college with that goal. But after my sophomore year in college, I changed my ambitions and became a licensed social worker. Now, I’m living the best of both worlds! I get to teach one passion to students and write novels! I think it worked out pretty well and I couldn’t be happier!
CTC – You can find Courtney’s book here:
And, you can follow her here:
In a future ravaged by greed and war, The Domicile has emerged. A new civilization governed by clandestine Elders where citizens are united by white masks and uniform identities.