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Home > Author Interview, Uncategorized > ‘5 Questions’ Interview With Ruth Nestvold! @Ruth_Nestvold

‘5 Questions’ Interview With Ruth Nestvold! @Ruth_Nestvold

5 Questions

Today I’m thrilled to welcome author Ruth Nestvold to the blog as part of the ‘5 Questions’ with authors interview series! Ruth Nestvold writes science fiction and fantasy, and has been nominated for the Nebula, the Sturgeon, and the Tiptree awards!

If you are an author who would like to participate in the series, fill out the questionnaire here! And if you are a reader who wants to suggest an author for the series, just send me an email!


Beyond the Waters of the World (Looking Through Lace) by Ruth Nestvold

Describe your book Beyond the Waters of the World (Looking Through Lace) in ten words or less

Beyond the Waters of the World: first contact story from the viewpoint of the native culture.

Where or how did you come up with the idea for your story?

Beyond the Waters of the World” is a continuation of my award-winning SF novella, “Looking Through Lace.”

The original inspiration for LTL was when I was reading a story in English in which little snippets of German were being thrown in, for local color, I presume — and constantly being used incorrectly. My anger at the attitude of some language imperialists who tend to think foreign languages equate one to one with their own native language was what made me want to write a story where the plot revolved around linguistic misunderstandings.

English is my native language, but I work as a translator, and I know how very hard it is to get things right in a foreign language, even after decades learning it. I wanted to make that difficulty of ever truly mastering a foreign language an integral part of my story.

What was your favorite part to write and why?

For the world of Looking Through Lace and Beyond the Waters of the World, I spent months before I even started the first story creating the languages. That was fascinating!

The premise of LTL is that the women of the Mejan culture on the planet Kailazh speak a secret language that the men don’t understand. The languages had to be related to each other, but at the same time different enough for the premise to work.

I was playing with vowel shifts and consonant changes and various rules of linguistic change and applying those to my conlangs to create believable linguistic differences between the languages. It was great fun — for me at least. 🙂

Do you have a day job? If yes, tell us about it and how did that affect your writing / publishing process?

As I mentioned already, I’m a translator, specifically technical translation. (Literary translation doesn’t pay enough.) The vast majority of the translation jobs I do are in IT. Both of those things have fed into my fiction, but of course not all the time.

The best thing about my work is that I’m a freelancer. As long as finances allow, I can limit the amount of translation jobs I take on in order to leave time for writing.

Tell us about an upcoming book or project you’re excited about

Right now, I’m working on a fantasy novel with literary references, Chameleon in a Mirror.

I have a PH.D. in English literature, and one of the authors I treated in my dissertation was the first professional woman writer in English, Aphra Behn. She was an amazing figure and has long fascinated me. So I decided to send an alter ego to go visit Aphra in the seventeenth century and see what would happen. It’s quite a romp, and a lot of fun to write.

Bonus Question! Fill in the blank: If you like ___, you’ll probably like my book too!

If you like Sheri Tepper, you’ll probably like Looking Through Lace and Beyond the Waters of the World.

If you like George R.R. Martin, you’ll probably like my gritty fantasy novels, Yseult and Shadow of Stone.


Thanks again for stopping by, Ruth Nestvold! You can learn more about the author via her website: www.ruthnestvold.com, Blog: Ruth Nestvold – Indie Adventures, Facebook: ruth.nestvold, and Twitter: @Ruth_Nestvold.

 Beyond the Waters of the World (Looking Through Lace) is available on Amazon (Kindle).

Check out Ruth Nestvold’s Amazon author page for more info and browse through her other books!

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