Monday, October 26, 2015

"Ruth is No Heroine" A Guest Post by Giselle Renarde

I'm baaa-aaack...another Monday another guest post pour vous. :) Today we have Giselle Renarde talking about her newest novel "The Other Side of Ruth". Before you read her post, let us all just take a moment to admire this lovely cover...Ahh...that's better. 

Carry on. Happy Monday. Look for more current stuff here probably starting November. You don't want to miss all my NaNoWriMo rants do you? And if you're doing NaNo, make sure to look me up and friend me. I'm Sommer Marsden (of course). Bring wine and gluten free cookies and possibly a cattle prod O_o


Ruth is No Heroine
A Guest Post by Giselle Renarde

I’ve always found it strange that the main characters in romance novels are called heroes and heroines.  My characters aren’t heroic.  They haven’t pulled a single person from a burning building in the entire 9+ years I’ve been writing.  If anything, I consider most of my characters anti-heroes and anti-heroines… and none more so than Ruth from my lesbian novel The Other Side of Ruth.

Her anti-heroicness might not be obvious from the start.  She’s a pretty ordinary person: middle-aged, middle class, neither bored nor enthused by her career as a high school guidance counsellor.  It’s not until she develops a mad crush on an eccentric young woman that some might cry foul. 

Ruth is married (not entirely happily and certainly not sexfully), but when Agnes, a girl who is thirty years her junior, goes in for a kiss… Ruth can’t resist.  In that moment, she awakens to a reality she’s denied her whole life: Ruth is desperately attracted to women.

So she tells her husband she’s a lesbian and he’s very understanding and they come to an amicable agreement.  The End.  Right?

Haha, no.  That’s not how it goes.

Ruth lies, cheats, sneaks around, conceals the truth.  She doesn’t feel great about her illicit actions, but it’s easier this way.  Maybe she’s prepared to be out in the privacy of her own bedroom (when Agnes crawls through her window and into her bed, that is), but not in the world at large.

And that’s not the worst of it—not by half.  When it’s revealed that Agnes is living with a mental illness that hasn’t been properly diagnosed or treated, do you think Guidance Counsellor Ruth goes to work accessing resources? She certainly knows how. It’s what she’d do for any student at school. But for the woman she loves?  Of course not! 

When Agnes needs help, Ruth can only think of herself, of how Agnes’s problems impact her.  Love might be selfless, but relationships?  Not so much.

The older partner isn’t necessarily the more mature one.  Ruth proves that point.

Here’s the thing:  I didn’t write Ruth as a hero.  I didn’t write The Other Side of Ruth as a romance, for that matter. Do I expect readers to necessarily fall in love with Ruth? Weirdly… they just might love her despite her failings. She’s definitely human, and even strangely relatable. 

It’s entirely possible that some of us have and some of us will take kindly to a flawed character, but in the end I don’t think it matters.  I don’t think readers need to view a character as the perfect pinnacle of saintliness to care what happens to them.
I think you’ll care about Ruth’s journey. I think you’ll care about every side of Ruth.

The Other Side of Ruth is available as an ebook published by eXcessica, and also in print.

Get the paperback at
Or buy from and use Coupon Code AN5EWZTX for $5.00 off!

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for hosting me! I'll have to sign up for NaNoWriMo... don't usually, but I haven't been writing much lately. HUGS!


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