Meet the Author Monday: Ruth Graham

Ruth Graham

It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to Ruth Graham, author of Coffins & Confetti (A Celebrant’s Memoir Of Life, Loss & Love).

About Ruth Graham:

A world away from the ‘other’ Ruth Graham, daughter of preacher Billy Graham; stand-up comedy taught this Ruth the art of observation, and how to turn it into relatable stories. These then found their way into one-woman shows, and short sketches aimed at tv variety shows in the 1990s. A short stint working on cruise liners then followed; and a whole random list of other jobs and skills. Depending on your viewpoint, this is a stellar career, or a hiding to nothing. But either way – it’s given her much material to draw upon.

Based in the West Midlands in the UK, Ruth makes her living as a full-time professional celebrant, as chronicled in her two books, the latest of which is Coffins & Confetti.

In her spare time, just like Ed Sheeran’s song, she plays fiddle in an Irish band; and walks her
ageing terrier Gloria.

About Coffins & Confetti:

Following the success of her first book, A Thousand Goodbyes, writer Ruth Graham invites us to join her on the next part of her journey as an Independent Civil Celebrant. She honestly believed she’d seen it all – apparently not!

Once again, we’re exposed to the best, worst (and funniest) examples of human behaviour in Ruth’s latest memoir,
Coffins & Confetti,but this time the tears and laughter are set against the poignant backdrop of the writer’s own search for true and lasting love.

Written in conversational style with trademark humour, Coffins & Confetti takes the reader on a journey encompassing the darkest corners of despair, peppered with some of the funniest true-life stories you will ever hear.

A letter to life, a memo to mortality but above all, a testament to tenacity, Coffins & Confetti is a book which oozes humanity and hope with the message that if you hang on in there long enough, things will always turn around …

Author Interview with Ruth Graham:

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  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Engaging good proof readers and designers. Nothing is more annoying than badly-proofed work or a layout that doesn’t look right.

  1. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

When I was young my dad hit me for something (back in the days parents did this!). I remember thinking how unfair it was, so to make him feel bad I stood there unemotional and stoic, and then said, “I suppose I deserved that.” The look on his face, and he never did it again!

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

They date back to my twenties – I’ve three completed poor novels. A very good one that ended up as a re-write but didn’t get taken. And a six-part fully-written comedy that I just didn’t know what to do with. It was based on a homes and interiors magazine like the one I used to work on, and it was called ‘Monthly Cycle’.

  1. How do you handle writer’s block?

Two methods. Take a break completely and go and do something else for a day or two. The other thing is to talk options through with a friend. They may see things differently and spark a new idea or direction.

  1. What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Pace – keep things moving. Continuity – you have to know who is who and where they are – readers need to feel grounded. Great descriptions and good, realistic narrative.

  1. How do you come up with the titles to your books?

I used to be a songwriter so it’s similar to that. Ideas tend to just appear.

  1. Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

With my first book (A Thousand Goodbyes) I had emails and cards through the door, thanking me for talking about the subject of death. I had a man turn up on the doorstep and ask me to sign the book. And a lady who texted who said it had helped her deal with the grief of a break up. We stayed in touch and she proofed the next one!

  1. Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?

I’m only on Instagram but yes of course they can.

  1. Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special?

Kenny the crematorium assistant is very special. Every time I see him he makes me laugh – you honestly couldn’t make him up. I talk about him in Coffins & Confetti.

  1. What book is currently on your bedside table?

Not at all me, but I decided to read a classic. So I’m halfway through Bonjour Tristesse – a book about teenage angst, jealousy and infidelity. Then I’ll go back to crime fiction as usual.

  1. Where can readers purchase your books?

I’m just on Amazon right now.

To learn more about Ruth Graham, here’s where you can find her:
Instagram: @celebrantRuthG

Meet the Author Book Promotion

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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