Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Author Spotlight: R.J. Craddock

Please welcome R.J. Craddock. 

“What’s in a name?”

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Ruth Craddock a.k.a R.J. Craddock the author of the urban fantasy: The Children of Cain series. The story is about Gwenevere; an orphan girl found wandering in the woods in the dead of winter speaking an unknown language, who finds out she is a Witch and a descendent of Lilith and Cain. My first book The Forsaken came out last year and book two The Offspring just came out on April 11th.

I just recently went to comic con in Salt Lake City Utah to sell my books. It was a riot! I met a lot of interesting people: comic book fans, fantasy lovers, fellow authors, avid readers, and aspiring writers. As a published author I got asked a lot of questions from readers and aspiring writers. The most common ones were:
 “How do you actually finish a book?”

 “Where do you get your ideas come from?”

 “How do you come up with names for your characters and places?”

My answers were:
 “Write straight through! Don’t revise at all until you’ve written one complete draft of the book. Even if some parts are just so-so or just plain awful; keep going until you’ve completed the story.”

I used to be a mad reviser. All I ever did was rewrite the first couple chapters over and over again until they were flawless. However, I never got any further in the story because I couldn’t leave it alone and move on. It was my husband who finally convinced me to write straight through. To just let things be terrible for a while and only revise when the story was done. Only when I started doing this was I finally able to finish writing a book.

“I get inspiration for my stories from reading good and bad books, from watching movies and more often than not from my own crazy dreams.”

 I find that when I can’t stand a book or movie that I start asking myself why and how I might change it to make it better. This spawns a lot of my plot concepts. My subconscious apparently is a complete nut and likes creating strange worlds and bizarre scenarios to entertain me whilst I sleep. Adding all these things together gives me plenty to draw from when I start compiling my stories.

“Names are easy to come by, but the right name says a lot about a person or place. I used baby name books, movie credits, and the names on tombstones to find new names, but I research the meanings behind them to decide if a name is right for my purposes.”

For instance I named by lead character Gwenevere because of the historical connotations associated with it and the mythical sound of it. Gwenevere just sounds dark and magical, doesn’t it? Legion, the head Vampire in book two, was a name that came to me without any help. The moment I thought him up it was obvious there could be no other name for him but that one. Legion means army or a multitude of people/things or "Legion" is a group of demons referred to in the Christian Bible. On the other hand I created my own language for my series and used a made up name for the mountain fortress in book two naming it Bec LaNuff. I like the sound of it because it sounds foreign, ancient, mysterious and a little scary. However, I took it a step further and gave it my own meaning. In the true tongue or language of the Children of Cain it means Mountain of blood or Blood Mount. Creepy, huh?

Anyway, I hope my answers help some of you aspiring writers out there with your own work. As for the avid readers I hope my explanations give insight into the inner workings of an author’s mind as you read from here on out. I want to thank Livia for letting my stop by her blog and share this with you all. 

Thank you, Ruth!


  1. Hi R.J.! I too have really fantastical dreams. I've used them as inspiration more than once.

  2. Dreams make the best stories! I know a lot of books that were inspired by a dream.