K.S. Ruff | Discover Books & Novels on CraveBooks

#Followers: 2

K.S. Ruff

Member Since: 11/2023


I live in Northern Virginia with my football-crazed husband, two beautiful daughters, and two psychotic Shih Tzus. I teach courses in international relations, foreign policy, peacekeeping, and human security at the American Military University. What can I say? I still love school. I've written six romantic suspense novels in the Broken Series, a middle-grade fantasy novel entitled Saving Tir na nOg, and a children's book entitled Brave Just Like Me. I'm addicted to coffee, dark chocolate, reading, and writing; although not necessarily in that order. Reading will always be my first love. Writing appears to be edging out coffee for second place, unless it's morning. In the morning, it's coffee.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your hobbies and interests.

I teach courses online for the American Military University. I primarily teach international conflict resolution, international relations, human security, environmental security, information literacy and global citizenship. When I'm not teaching, I'm reading, writing, or playing word games with family and friends. I enjoy cooking and baking when I'm not strapped for time. I'm hopelessly addicted to coffee and chocolate. I watch very little television, but when I do, it's typically the Hallmark Channel. What can I say? I love a good love story!

When and why did you start writing books?

I started writing shortly after my daughter's first kidney transplant. She was two and a half at the time. I was struggling to find a book that would comfort and encourage her through the countless difficult and frequently painful medical experiences she had to endure. I'd written several things in the past... government reports, supreme court briefs, grants, academic journal articles, and news articles... but never a book. I felt keenly the need for this book, and remarkably the words to that book came to me the day I brought my daughter home from the hospital, about two weeks after her transplant surgery. It took some time to learn the industry, to find a publisher and an illustrator. Once that book was finished, I decided to write romance novels. I am an avid reader of romance novels, so I felt that was the perfect genre for me. Then, my youngest daughter started demanding a book of her own, a book about fairies. It seemed only fair, since I had written a book for her sister, but I refused to write about Tinkerbell style fairies. I knew by the time I was done, she'd be too old for that. I felt this was the perfect opportunity to introduce young readers to the immensely powerful, magic-wielding faeries born in Celtic Mythology. This was a tall order for me. World-building is intimidating, but, as it turns out, really fun. I think Saving Tir na nOg is the best book I've ever written. I'm really proud of what I was able to accomplish in that book as a creative writer.

What made you decide to tackle writing as a career?

I genuinely enjoy writing and storytelling. I like the challenge, and I love hearing how my readers are impacted by my stories. It's incredibly rewarding. Once I got a taste of that, there was no turning back. I think writing is the perfect second career for someone who also enjoys teaching and reading. Those passions mesh well.

Which one of your books or characters is your favourite?

That's a tough one. If I had to choose, I'd say my favorite character is Maxim, a character that is introduced in book three (Broken Wings). His character is just so unexpected, complex, and intense. In a world where people are so determined to see things in black and white, he is every shade of gray. He is the head of the Russian mafia in Ukraine who recites Shakespeare and deep down inside just really wants to help make Ukraine a safer place.

Which one of your books was the hardest to write and stretched you the most as a writer?

Broken Promises, which is book six in the Broken Series, was the most difficult novel for me to write. I was just going through so much at the time between my daughter's dialysis and subsequent kidney transplant, some life-threatening complications following that transplant, some debilitating health issues of my own, and the fear and stress caused by COVID. It took me nearly five years to write that novel. There were so many starts and stops, I questioned whether I should abandon writing altogether. I was stretched so thin, I couldn't immerse myself in the story. I questioned whether I had anything left to give. I'm really pleased with how that book turned out and how readers are responding to it, so I'm glad I stuck with it.

Who is your favourite author and book?

Deborah Harkness is my favorite author. I have read her All Souls Trilogy at least five times.

What book are you reading right now?

I am reading Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi and am thoroughly enjoying it.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

In my romance series, real world experiences and events spark inspiration for my books. For example, I was forced to do shots with the Russian mafia while attending a government function in Ukraine. That inspired the story for book three (Broken Wings). Some dear friends of mine were caught in a shoot-out between drug cartels outside San Fernando, Mexico. They graciously lent me their story for book four (In a Broken Dream). My love of all things Irish and Irish mythology serve as the inspiration for my middle grade fantasy novel Saving Tir na nOg (book one of the Chosen Ones). And my oldest daughter inspired my children's book Brave Just Like Me, which was written to comfort, encourage, and support young children battling life-threatening medical conditions.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

When I'm not writing or teaching online, you'll find me snuggled up with my Kindle, a comfy blanket, and my dogs.

Do you have any new books in the works?

I am working on the second novel in The Chosen Ones middle grade fantasy series. In Escaping Tech Duinn, my three young heroines discover the magic infused knots they cast to rid the human realm of evil and violence has had a disastrous impact on Tech Duinn. Now, the realm of the dead is no longer filled with those souls, both good and bad, awaiting Donn's judgment on their final destination, but it is bursting at the seams with every evil creature cast from the earth. Tech Duinn, which was never intended to hold so much evil, is literally crumbling around them. The girls are faced with an impossible decision: help free these evil creatures, allowing them once again to wreak havoc, violence, and death in the human realm... kill these evil creatures themselves... or risk the complete collapse of Tech Duinn, which would not only free these evil creatures but would also free the imprisoned warrior-witch Carman, more formally known as the Goddess of Evil Magick.