I’m excited to welcome author Ruth Buchanan to the blog! Her latest release, her Christmas novella Unseasonable, launched yesterday, and today, she shares with us about the story.
Florida hurricanes in winter are rare but do happen. Did any real-life hurricane experience influence this story?
Ruth: In a roundabout way, yes. In 2016, I was just putting the finishing touches on my novel Unbreakable when Hurricane Matthew blew over my home in South Florida. I hadn’t evacuated, and I hunkered down behind my aluminum shutters praying that the power wouldn’t go out (or the roof blow off). Under such circumstances, it was easy to imagine how my central characters would respond in similar circumstances. Particularly Ann Cooper, who has such a physically demanding outdoor job.
The sisterly affection/antagonism between Rachel and Ann feels so natural. Did any of your real-life relationships help shape these character dynamics?
Ruth: Absolutely. I have two sisters, Lisa and Bethany. The sisterly dynamic Ann and Rachel maintain is based in part on my relationships with them. The three of us shared one bedroom when we were growing up, and we’ve shared apartments as adults, though not all at the same time. Even with grown siblings who get along well, it’s amazing how easily the pettiness of childhood creeps into our adult interactions.
I also liked that Unseasonable shows Christmas isn’t confined to any seasonal expectations. Why is this message so relevant to our culture today?
Ruth: “Christmas” as an American cultural celebration has really gotten away from its roots, with its explosion of materialistic tradition divorced from spiritual practice. At its core, the Christian observation of Advent calls for meditating specifically on the miracle of Christ’s physical incarnation, a truth with implications reaching far beyond seasons or even our earth itself, impacting the whole of cosmic creation.
The authentic humor in Unseasonable is a trademark of your writing. What role do humor and authenticity play in crafting a story that will resonate with readers?
Ruth: Thank you for saying that! Humor and authenticity are absolutely central to how I seek to express myself as a writer.
In fiction, we want to walk away with a sense that we’ve experienced something that really could have happened alongside characters who really could exist. It’s vital that my characters act like real people–sometimes good, sometimes bad, and sometimes flat-out ridiculous. I love when readers tell me they laughed out loud during a story or that they would totally hang out with my characters. Or date them (ahem Moss). In my estimation, those are some of the highest compliments they could pay.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers about Unseasonable?
Ruth: I truly hope you enjoy it! My hope is that Florida residents will find their experiences mirrored in Unseasonable and that non-Florida residents will want to see what all the fuss is about.
Just don’t visit during hurricane season.
To learn more about Unseasonable, you can read my full review on Goodreads. I’m confident this short read will leave a smile on your face.
If you’re in the mood for a hilarious holiday read, check out Unseasonable by @RuthMBuchanan, available now on Amazon.Tweet
Ruth Buchanan is a Christian freelance writer who holds degrees in ministry and theology. She writes fiction, non-fiction, plays, and sacred scripts. She’s an eager reader, an enthusiastic traveler, and the world’s most reluctant runner. Ruth loves Jesus, family, church, friends, and coffee. She lives and works in South Florida.