1.)   Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:  

New novel — Counterpoint: Dylan’s Story / Historical gay love story/ Dreamspinner Press.  Tagline:  Music, love, loss, love again. Also: Short stories from Untreed Reads: The Lawyer, the Ghost, and the Cursed Chair — very funny. About…a lawyer, a ghost, and a cursed chair.
Mr. Newby’s Revenge — how to use brown paper towels, colored contact lenses, and kitty litter to get even with the one who bullied you. Burma Girl — Greedy old man drives his daughters to desperate acts.    

2.)   Who is your favorite character and why?

Dylan, of Counterpoint. Because like Don Quixote in Man of LaMancha, though life leaves him “scorned and covered with scars” he keeps on stubbornly fighting for his destiny. He’s vulnerable and gutsy. And he’s also a cute musician.  

3.)   If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?  Why?  

Can’t tell you that because it would be a major spoiler. I can say I spent many years trying to change it and it never worked.

4.)  Give us one interesting fun fact about your book or series:

Well, the funniest thing I know is about my first book, The Phoenix. It started out in the mid 1980’s as a non-gay American Civil War Story. Several things happened over the years: a minor character (Kit) hijacked the book; I realized that though there are terrific authors of Civil War books I wasn’t one of them; finally, ten years after I started it, the my straight Civil War story had morphed into a gay Victorian romance about an actor and a doctor. The only thing that didn’t change was the doctor. Makes me shake my head every time I think about it.

5.)   How can we contact you or find out more about your books?  

My website is http://www.ruthsims.com/ and you can read excerpts, etc.,from the books and the short stories, and subscribe to my infrequent newsletter.

6.)   What can we expect from you in the future?  

Another short story, Song on the Sand, from Untreed Reads this month. A novel about a Victorian serial killer. A Depression era family novel. A novel about Alexander Hamilton. A contemporary novel about hate crimes. Some other stuff if I ever get them finished.

7.)   And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

Here’s an extremely brief snippet from the second half of the book. It takes place in a low-class London music hall.

Dylan had never heard a violin played as Geoffrey Dohnányi played that night. The piano accompanist floundered and quit; no one noticed. Geoffrey’s slim body was in constant motion from head to feet, almost dancing when he played a czardas that had the people clapping in rhythm, slow … slow … faster … faster … and still faster until his fingers were flying over the strings. He stopped, breathing hard; the rhythmic hands burst into wild applause. He played songs they could sing. He played Schumann. He played musical jokes, making the violin hiccough, and whine, and scold. He played magic.

Suddenly Dylan did gasp aloud. St. Joan! Dohnányi was playing the theme from his St. Joan! But he dared—dared to alter the theme itself! Bad enough that he had once criticized the first violin and cello parts, but to alter the theme was unpardonable! And yet …  He listened, frowning. Dohnányi’s improvised double‑stops produced a grating dissonance perfect for portraying the fatal flames that reached for the Maid of Orleans.

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