On being a writer…

After reading Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment at the age of 17, I knew I wanted to be a writer. But I knew nothing about the craft. My first novel, Happy Birthday Jesús, was published 36 years later. Surprisingly, it received good reviews.

Praise for the work of Ronald L. Ruiz: “The sparse, simple prose lets the story tell itself… The supporting characters are briefly but fully drawn… Few readers will be able to forget the chilling experiences of a forlorn hero who’s destined to take his place next to Bigger Thomas (of Richard Wright’s Native Son) in the honor roll of seminal characters in American literature.”

–Publishers Weekly (featured review) on Happy Birthday Jesús

For many years, I was a criminal defense attorney and at the end of my career a prosecutor, but I always managed to find time to write. What I saw and experienced during those years often serves as a basis for my writing. For me, learning how to write has been a long, continuous and, at times, torturous process.

Now retired, I try to write every day and I feel fortunate that I have found something in writing that sustains me. I’m glad I persevered during all those years of rejection. More than anything, writing about what I see and experience in life has given me a sense of worth.

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4 thoughts on “On being a writer…

  1. Ron, Ron, Ron,
    I think about a lot. I was wondering now you were doing, where you are, what is new, how Phe is doing, etc, etc etc. I hope you will contact me so that we can get together, at LEAST by phone or e-mail. I miss having you to talk to and bounce stupid ideas off. God bless you and your genius.


  2. Ron: If your new novel is one tenth as good as A Lawyer, I must read it.
    So few authors really “live” the life they explore except in selected memories
    and cliches of literary technique; yours is always the day-to-day account of
    the miseries and joys of “the examined life.”

    A serial approach gives everyone a chance to be part of this saga. I’ll certainly
    spread the word.

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