An Interview With Emma Ruthven-Stevenson, author of Ina

Emma Ruthven-Stevenson has a hate-hate relationship with computers and always writes her first drafts on paper. But, that hasn’t prevented her from going down the indie self-publishing route either. She’s taken up the challenge and her book is now available on Amazon. Well done Emma 🙂

The Emma Ruthven-Stevenson Interview

emma ruthven stevensonWhat is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?

That is really incredibly difficult. I’m an open book. I say what I think and see no point in hiding things or lying…..

I’m often in trouble more for doing that than anything else.

So bear with me, let me think and answer some of the questions below and see if I can’t come up with something no one knows.

Due to the amount of times I’ve broken various bones in my arms, wrists and hands, I am completely ambidextrous and can use both hands equally as well.
Not really exciting but I’m really stuck for something…

Are the names of your characters important to you?

Yes. Most definitely. I love the process of the character developing and for me they pick their own name. Sounds crazy, right?

What I do is pick a handful of names that have meanings to different aspects of the character, parts of their personality or appearance etc. I take into account the time, location and status as well.

For Ina her name came about in the most unusual way. She started out as Mhari, which is just a Scottish name that I liked that I found suited her look. But something didn’t fit about it. As the character and her family progressed I realised it wasn’t fitting.

I do a fair amount of notes onto the family background and found that both her older brothers had names beginning with a D. Men were generally the namer of a child and I thought that perhaps her father, Laird Donald Elliott would want a D name. So she became Donald’s daughter, then Donaldina (the feminine version of Donald) but nothing felt right.

My husband suggested shortening it. So it became Dina but it still didn’t feel right. Once It became Ina it just felt right for her. And it stuck.

How did you choose a title for your book?

It was always obvious to me that the actual title was going to simply be the name of the main female heroine. I wanted it to be both simple and memorable. The reasoning behind the series name was different. A fairling is a token or gift of love and promise, holding the series together will be this. For Ina it is the blue stone that Alasdair finds when he learns (falsely) of her death that he eventually has made into a pendant for her. Each book cover will display the picture of the fairling specific to the heroine.

Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?

Have you ever wished that you could be or do anything else instead of writing, and if so what?

I have always wanted to be a writer. It’s always been my dream but that’s exactly what I presumed it was, just a dream. I held a variety of jobs from cleaning to being a chef, to standard shop work. Then I discovered childcare and loved it! I trained for over six years, spent a lot of money and time completing full-time college, university and local courses to gain my qualifications only to suffer with my health just as I finally qualified.

My health spiraled further downwards affecting my ability to work and I eventually ended up signed off.

I figured it was as good a time as any to attempt to write.

Have you ever written naked?


Although I admit to not always getting dressed. It’s a joy to do your ‘job’ in your jammies!!

Who would you like to play you in a film of your life?

Oh. I think if someone wrote it then no-one would volunteer. Abused young childhood, then to 7 -11 being very church going, 12 -17 was a massive amount of teen rebellion with drugs and underage sex and drinking etc, then came about the combat with health issues…..

You’d never get people to agree. They’d all run screaming!

There are a few I’d love to audition! Genevieve Padalecki, based on Ruby from Supernatural I found her very realistic. Eliza Dushku based on her portrayal of Faith in Buffy the Vampire sereies, she did a good job playing the variety of naïve and gritty.

I’d love someone like Kate Beckinsale, Liv Tyler or Charlize Theron who are all incredibly talented and wonderful at portraying variety in their roles. There is a film coming out in Dec, the actress playing Lily, Agyness Deyn, looks very good from the clips I’ve seen but I don’t know.

The problem with it is that I can pick characters then I see something else that specific actress does and I don’t rate it. Wow, I just completely didn’t answer the question.

What is the single biggest challenge you faced when writing your book?

As in and earlier question I mentioned my health. I suffer from bipolar disorder and epilepsy, so I don’t work to deadlines etc. I find if I put that pressure on my conditions both rear their ugly heads!

A more pressing challenge is learning to work around my crazy animals. My tiny mini dachshund lays across the arm of my chair and one cat lays on my arm!
I initially write everything longhand on paper and my other cat has a habit of stealing pens. Millions of pens in my house but you first have to do the hunt to find them all.

Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?


And stay true to yourself.

If you can also talk with other writers it really helps. I’ve been fortunate to have other authors happy to share advice and tips with me. I’ve also had the same with a few editors and publishers.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Everywhere! I have pads of paper everywhere I go. Sometimes it’s dreams, sometimes it just happens..

The inspiration for Ina came from standing beside Loch Rannoch in Scotland and just watching the water. I saw the prologue scene play out in my mind. It built from there.

What was the most important thing you learned at school?

We moved a lot while I was at school. I’ve started at a different school 11 times. (maybe 12). It’s hard for kids who move that often, you become something of a loner and making friends can prove difficult so you learn not to.

However I joined every club, took part in student councils, debate teams and school plays and dances.

I learnt about me a lot and what I could do if I put my mind to it. I also learnt some really silly things: if you’re on a school trip in Prague, don’t get caught drunk. Never be caught in intimate and compromising positions by teachers. Don’t smoke behind the bike shed, don’t get caught fighting in the boys toilets…
Should I mention I wasn’t particularly well behaved at school?

Have you had to learn new skills and tricks or attempted impossible feats in order to get a book finished?

I am computer illiterate! Really, it’s true. Anyone who knows me personally knows the horror I have at the typing, editing and publishing stages. Even the whole email thingy gets complicated..

What is your favourite TV moment of all time?

Should probably have mentioned somewhere that I’m still a huge buffy the vampire slayer fan, I know, I know I should have grown out of it. I didn’t.

Season 6, episode 8, Tabula Rose. They all wake up in the magic store unaware who they are.

“GILES: We’ll all get our memory back, and it’ll all be right as rain.
SPIKE: Oh, listen to Mary Poppins. He’s got his crust all stiff and upper with that nancy-boy accent. (everyone looking at him) You Englishmen are always so… (pauses) Bloody hell! (ticks off on his fingers) Sodding, blimey, shagging, knickers, bollocks, oh God! I’m English!
GILES: (puts glasses on) Welcome to the nancy tribe”.


inaWhere can I find out more about Emma and her book?

You can find Ina – Highland Fairlings Series Book One in Kindle and Paperback format here:

You can also meet her at, on Facebook and Goodreads.


Why ‘The Thursday Throng’?

These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.

If you would like to see all the Authors who have been featured on The Thursday Throng you can click here:

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  1. Thank you so much for such a fantastic piece!
    I’m happy to have been one of the authors you have so kindly interviewed.