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  Curled Up With a Good Book
*Susannah, a Lawyer* author Ruth Rymer

Ruth Rymer, tell us about Susannah, your second release.

Young college graduate Susannah Reed is brutally attacked in 1877 and nearly killed. While recovering, she vows to study law, although The United State Supreme Court has just declared that women are too timid and delicate to be lawyers.

Undaunted, Susannah reads law at a firm in Chicago as she struggles unsuccessfully to combine her career with a future marriage to a man who will not allow her to become an attorney. She passes the bar and is hired by the firm where she studied.

Susannah’s handling of her cases brings her immediate success, but she must face the hostility and jealousy of male lawyers and threats on her life from a resistant public.

When did you first realize you wanted to write?

I've been writing since I was eight years old. As an outgrowth of my diary, I became a character, and everything I wanted happened to that character.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?

With Susannah I read extensively about Chicago between 1870 and 1900, mostly books published by University of Chicago Press. I also read novels written during the period, and both the news section and the classifieds in the Chicago Tribune. I visited upstate New York north of Albany so that I could create the fictional town of Green Valley. It's very important, in writing historical novels to be as familiar with the period and its society as possible. In my mind, I lived in 1877-80 while I was writing Susannah.

What is your favorite writing device?

I really like alliteration--using many words beginning with the same letter. For example: "Ethical edges easily erase in this effervescent and egomaniacal Eden.”

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book?

I learned about America in the nineteenth century to a depth I didn't know possible. I'd love to take a time machine there, but I would want to go as a man. Life was very difficult for women during that time.

What does your family think about your career as a published author?

They are all quite surprised!

What is coming up next for you writing-wise?

Maybe a sequel. Perhaps some short stories.

Visit Ruth Rymer at
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