Mastodon The Writing Desk: Special Guest Post by Ruth O’Neill, Author of The Sisters

10 November 2023

Special Guest Post by Ruth O’Neill, Author of The Sisters

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

Ava Cressman’s life takes a twisted turn after her divorce from Spencer. Seeking comfort, she falls into the arms of a mysterious man named Joel Carney, a former college acquaintance. However, when Joel meets Ava’s sister, Tanya, an unsettling connection sparks between them. Tanya, seemingly innocent, invites Ava and her twin sister, Belle, on a secluded trip to a remote lodge. From the moment they arrive, an ominous atmosphere hangs in the air, hinting at a hidden darkness beneath the surface. As shocking truths emerge, will Ava find a way to expose the tangled labyrinth of secrets before it’s too late?

As an author, I always have a mixture of emotions when I release a new book. There’s excitement and enthusiasm of knowing that my words will soon be in the hands of readers, taking them on a journey into the world I’ve created. There’s also a sense of vulnerability, as I open myself up to critique and feedback, hoping that my story will resonate with and touch the hearts of those who read it.

I’m deeply passionate about my book, The Sisters. Having two sisters of my own, I understand the importance of sisterhood in life. In the book, I’ve drawn on my own relationship with my sisters, incorporating some of their key attributes into the story.

While my book explores themes of betrayal, hurt, lies, and deceit, it’s important to emphasise that these elements do not reflect the dynamics within my own relationship with my sisters. In fact, it was an enjoyable challenge to infuse these darker aspects into my characters, and I believe it showcases one of my strengths as a writer.

Writing The Sisters has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and I felt a sense of sadness when it came time to pen those final words: The End.

Character invention is a dynamic process. My goal is to create characters who are authentic and contribute meaningfully to my stories. I aim to create characters that readers can connect with emotionally. My characters usually evolve and change as the story progresses. I believe I’ve managed to incorporate all these aspects into the characters in The Sisters.

When I write, I do have a rough plan and structure in my mind, but I don’t usually know where it’s going at that time. The storyline develops as I progress with the characters. This approach can lead to unexpected plot twists and character developments, making the writing process itself an adventure of discovery.

Writing is therapeutic for me. It allows me to explore my own thoughts and feelings and provides a means of escape from everyday life.

How I began writing

My partner had his book An Ordinary Polish Boy published about his father's journey to England from his hometown in Poland after the Germans had invaded in the war. I could see he was so passionate about writing this story as a tribute to his father that it prompted me into writing an almost biography of my life to leave for my son to inherit.

My writing journey began twenty-six years ago, prompted by a deeply traumatic event. This pivotal moment in my life inspired the creation of my very first book, Sunshine & Tears. The tragic loss of my husband, my partner of fourteen years, sent me on a search for closure, and I found comfort in the act of putting pen to paper. My primary motivation was to write my story as a legacy for my son, Simon. At first, it was just a way to cope, but it became crucial for dealing with the heart breaking event.

Sunshine & Tears was written eighteen years after my husband’s death, it was almost a sort of therapy for myself. As I began to write it, I knew it was a story some people could relate to. It was difficult at times to relive and write about the painful memories deep within me. It is a tragic love story between two people, who really did love each other, but one of them was unable to cope with the harsh realities of life. Alcoholism is an under-estimated mental illness that is misunderstood by the population. There are no real resources available for sufferers and people are isolated as they struggle to overcome their addiction.

The positive reviews and feedback from readers were not only flattering but also deeply satisfying. I enjoyed the process so much that I decided to try my hand at something new – writing a thriller. Befriended was self-published in 2018. I enjoyed writing this book so much I continued to write in that genre.

I’ve now gone on to self-publish three more psychological thrillers, Tell Me Why, Circle of Betrayal and The Sisters. I’m presently working on a new psychological thriller, and it deviates significantly from my typical writing style, introducing a unique twist which I'm really excited about.

Ruth O’Neill

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About the Author

Ruth O’Neill grew up in the ancient Roman city of Bath England, a beautiful peaceful city whose locations are often referred to in her first book Sunshine & Tears. Ruth has always enjoyed helping others and is very committed to her job as a Teaching Assistant for Literacy, where she supports young people with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities at the City Academy Bristol for the last twenty-two years. Her family are the most important people in her life. Ruth has three children as well as three young grandchildren who now take up a big part of my life. She lives with her partner in Bristol in the Southwest of England. Ruth enjoys hula-hooping, skipping, reading, holiday's abroad, and spending precious time with her three grandchildren... oh and wine. Find out more at Ruth's website and follow her on Twitter @ruthoneill1

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