Interview with Ruth Cardello
For you lovelies who have read the Legacy Collection by Ruth Cardello, I thought I'd quiz her a little on characters, upcoming release etc. Well here you go...
I’ve always loved writing stories, but I wrote my first book about seven years ago. Finishing my first novel was a huge achievement, and one that I saw as an ending – but it was really the beginning of an incredible journey.
Did you plan all the characters out for the series before you first put pen to paper or finger to keyboard (lol) or do they come as and when they appeared in each book?
It’s a combination, really. I plan out the series but some of it will change as I write it and new characters will appear sometimes. I already know the end of the series, but will it remain that way when I get there….now that is the question.
Which couple would be your favorite out of all of your characters?
I really couldn’t pick. My favorite story is the one I’m writing at the time. Right now, I’d say I love cowboys :)
Maid For The Billionaire is Dominic and Abby's story but we met Lil, Jake, Stephan, Zhang and heard about Nicole within book one. When did Rachid come to you as a character?
I’ve always had a thing for hot sheikhs so Rachid has been knocking around my head for a while, just waiting for the right story to join.
When did Jeisa come to you a character?
I thought up Jeisa as I wrote book 3. I knew Jeremy would have his own story and started planning for who he would be with.
After reading Bedding the Billionaire (book 3, Lil & Jake's story) I thought Jeremy would end up with Alethea so why did you decide to create a whole new character for him? I'm glad you did!!
When I was in Jeremy’s head, he wanted Alethea. However, when I sat back and looked at Jeremy as a character who would have his own book, I knew that she was all wrong for him. He needed someone who could love him in the same unconditional way that he would love them. I thought about how a woman would come into his life in a way that would allow her to get to know him enough to see past his awkward social skills and Jeisa was born :)
Where did the idea of Zhang wanting to live out her fantasy come from? I laughed so hard with their initial role playing when neither was sure how serious the other one was before leaving the wedding.
I have read (and loved) so many Sheikh romances over the years and I always thought –heck, if that hot Sheikh came for me, I’d WANT to go with him. Zhang was a character who was strong enough to take the journey I’d always dreamed of.
Jeremy is a bit of all the male characters rolled into one I think. He's strong and dominant at times like Dom, loves and would do anything for his family like Stephan, funny and sweet like Jake and powerful and knows his place in his family like Rachid. He has some major issues with who he is as a person, so much so that he wants to change everything about himself for the one woman he thinks he's loved all his life. Why does he have such issues with social interactions?
Jeremy was an incredible character for me to write about because he was both mature and innocent at the same time. His father’s health had forced him to take on responsibilities at a much earlier age than many do and that sacrifice shaped his views on love and loyalty. The Internet can teach you many things, but it doesn’t replace human interaction when it comes to learning social skills. Many brilliant people struggle with social norms because they spend so much time in their heads or buried in work. One characteristic I loved about Jeremy was that he acknowledged his shortcomings and addressed them. He didn’t waste time blaming his mother or fate for what had happened. He took challenges head on and that was one of the reasons I enjoyed living in his world so much. He inspired me as I wrote him.
The sex scenes in Rise of the Billionaire are Hot (well they are in all the of the books). Jeremy being a big in has something to prove when he finally pops his cherry and seems to do a fantastic job... How much research hours did he put in to get so good? Lol
A gentleman never says….lol
How many books can we expect in the Legacy Collection altogether?
I’d like to see the series have seven books total, but I’ll decide after book 6. The series will also have a novella, unnamed so far, that I’m excited about. It’ll have a wedding, a birth and a romance.
Where did the bikini theory come from? Is this something you've used before?
As the youngest of eleven children, I grew up in the kitchen listening to women talk about men and babies. Although the bikini theory is purely from my imagination, the way the women in my books talk to each other is based on fond memories I have from my childhood.
Are any of the characters based on people you actually know?
All of the characters have elements of people I know. Dominic has a bit of my husband in him. I am married to a retired Marine. I find strong men who are gentle with women and children to be incredibly sexy.
Zhang was based on one of best friends. My friend is not Chinese, she is Mhong, but she is one of the strongest women I know. I have watched her struggle and succeed at living in two cultures, that I’ve always wanted to write her story. She didn’t marry a prince (as Zhang does in book 4), but her husband is a wonderful man who also made their love a priority over his own culture.
I write a lot about families, friendships and forgiveness. My parents (both now deceased) raised eleven children and although we never had a lot of money, we always had each other. Everyone was welcome at our home. My parents purchased a table from a local diner that went out of business so they could have a table large enough for all the people they had over for meals. They never turned anyone away—and that made every meal at their home a warm and packed event my entire life. It was not unusual to visit my parents and find them playing cards with 20 something year olds I didn't know -- they loved people of all ages and people loved them. You'd think that when you've raised 11 children of your own you wouldn't want to hear the angst of someone else's young adult, but that was never the case. My mom was the one with the quick jokes and sarcastic but wise advice and my dad said much less, but when he spoke people listened. My favorite observation about my parents was that even into their 80s (after having been married 60+ years) my dad still smiled at my mom's humor. I remember thinking—I want that. I want to be with someone who still cracks me up after time has tested our commitment to each other.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on Gentling the Cowboy at the moment. It’s the story of a relatively innocent and frustrated young woman going on a journey that will change her life and, if all goes well, save a man who doesn’t yet realize how lost he has become.
It’s funny, it’s touching, and it’s turning out to be much spicier than my billionaire series. Did I mention I’ve always had a thing for cowboys? Lol
After this book, I’ll write book 6 of the Legacy series and a novella for it. But right now, I’m down in Texas with Tony Carlton on his horse ranch (dreamy sigh).
Thank you Ruthie!!