Book Nerd Interview
Ruth Clampett, daughter of legendary animation director Bob Clampett, grew up surrounded by artists and animators. A graduate of Art Center College of Design, she has been VP of Design for Warner Brothers Studio Stores and taught photography at UCLA. Today she runs her own studio and as the Fine Art publisher for Warner Brothers Studios has come to know and work with some of the world’s greatest artists in the fields of animation and comics.
From this colorful background comes Ruth’s first novel, Animate Me, a fun and sexy, unique and engaging contemporary romance.
Ruth lives and works in Los Angeles, strictly supervised by her teenage daughter, who helps plan their summer around their yearly pilgrimage to the San Diego Comic Con.
I loved these characters...an instant favorite. I didn't want it to end! -Brenda, Amazon Reader
Incredibly sweet, hot, & well written. -Miss Construed's Reviews
A home run. Nathan's the kind of guy I hope my sons grow into-the kind that look for a special girl then pour their whole soul into loving her. -V. Rundell, Amazon Reader
A fun & sexy romance! -The Little Black Book Blog
I came from a world of artists who were visual storytellers. My dad was cartoonist and one day he explained to me that you can have wonderful animation or cinematography but for a picture to be memorable it had to have great writing. I realized then that I wanted to not just make art, but write too. Soon after I wrote my first story about a miniature girl that lived in a tiny treehouse and had adventures with all her animal friends.
Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Life can be hard, work can be mundane and the pressures of the day to day tedious, so to have something at our fingertips that can sweep us into another world through storytelling and entertain us so completely is a marvel to me. A good story doesn’t just delight me, it sparks my imagination and inspires me to be more than I am.
Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
I’m a hopeless romantic so it’s no surprise that Jane Eyre is my all time favorite book. I loved that the characters were flawed, yet you felt hope for them. Rochester, although seeming a beast at times, could see past Jane’s social standing and recognize her intelligence and bring out the beauty in her. I love that she’s such a strong female character. The drama is gripping and the prose incredibly beautiful.
For a favorite book out of my genre, I would say The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It took me a while to gather up the courage to read it but once I did I was blown away. The humanity in that story is extraordinary…two young people facing the unthinkable yet supporting each other with humor and dignity, always felt completely honest to me. It’s a book I will always hold close to my heart.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Ignore the trends or what you think people want you to write and just keep writing the story that’s inside of you.
In your debut book; Animate Me, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?
Animate Me is a unique love story set in the colorful world of animation. People have told me that with I’ve managed to combine humor, intrigue, drama and sexy romance in a fun and engaging way. And although at first you may think that Nathan is an unlikely romantic hero, I’ll bet he’ll win you over and be someone you’ll never forget.
What part of Nathan did you enjoy writing the most?
I loved writing Nathan’s earnestness in the face of his massive crush on Brooke. His quiet determination to win her over, despite the odds against him, was inspiring to me.
For those who are unfamiliar with Brooke, how would you introduce her?
Brooke is a smart and savvy and cartoon executive who deep down fosters a true love for cartoons and the artists that create them. She has a dynamic career and a successful boyfriend but when she meets Nathan she slowly realizes that falling in love with someone who adores and appreciates you for who you really are, is far more meaningful than success ever could be.
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would love to introduce Nathan to Harry Potter as he’s a big fan of his. Maybe Harry could show Nathan how to use his wand, and Nathan could do some drawings for Harry. I also think Nathan could fit in quite well at Hogwarts and would look quite dashing in his black robe.
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
When asked by an artist or writer about something they’ve done that I’m not enamored with I often stretch the truth. As another creative person and sensitive buttercup, I don’t want to be anything but encouraging to other artists and writers.
What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?
I had a job at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood selling movie souvenirs. They had me fitted for a long satin embroidered Chinese gown for my uniform and I took my breaks up in the balcony of the historic theater watching movies. My souvenir stand was where the footprints were, so I loved to watch people squeal when the found their favorite stars, and stick their hands in their handprints. It was pretty memorable
Who was your first boyfriend?
His name was Michael and we were an official couple from third to sixth grade. It all started when I passed him a note with check boxes that said “Do you like me, or love me?” The rest was pre-pubescent history. Even though my direct method was effective, to this day I am horrified by my nine year old audacity.
Tell me about your first kiss
Michael, my young Romeo, was my first kiss and it was prompted during a rowdy round of spin-the-bottle. We both were clueless but eager learners.
When was the last time you cried?
Oh jeez, I cry all the time. I’m an emotional girl. Lately I have cried over my book quite a bit, specifically from being moved by the friends that have supported me in publishing. So many friends have jumped in to help me, from creating art, photography, hand-modeling, pre-reading, sharing technical knowledge and holding my hand when I was overwhelmed enough to give up. Just writing about it now, and the gratitude I feel, is making me teary.
Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
Without question, true love. True love gives you the highest highs and the lowest lows but damn, those highs are the poetry of life.
What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
I went to a very hard edged high school in L.A. and always wished I’d gone to high school in the fifties, during a more innocent time with sock hops and Elvis. Although I can’t quite envision my self in a poodle skirt and saddle shoes.
For years shy animator Nathan has carried a torch for Brooke, the beautiful and dynamic Director of Development at their animation studio, even creating B-Girl, a comic-book heroine in her likeness. When a new project throws the two of them together, lovestruck Nathan finally seizes his moment – only to find Arnauld, head of the animation studio, claiming exclusive rights to Brooke’s affections.
But Nathan, it turns out, is not giving up on his dreams so easily. With inspired determination, he sets out to be the super hero of wooing his girl. Threatened by his persistence, Arnauld plays dirty – only to spark an uprising at the studio that unleashes the sort of havoc only a building full of frustrated animators can create. While Nathan pulls out all the stops to win his B-girl, Brooke has to choose. Should she pursue the sparkling career that has taken her years to build…or follow her heart?
Nathan has always loved his job as an animator at an animation studio but readers are quickly informed of his other love, Brooke. Although she’s the Director of Development at his animation studio, he considers her to be the girl of his dreams. However, a road block has always been in his way…in the form of Arnauld, Brooke’s boyfriend. So when a project allows them to work closer together, they quickly learn that they have a lot of things in common. Nathan begins drawing on her Starbucks cups and always complimenting her. Brooke appreciates his gestures as she saves the cups and anticipates what the next drawing would be. Meanwhile, her boyfriend Arnauld is the complete opposite. He’s always degrading her looks by telling her to lose weight. Enraged by Arnauld’s insensitivity, Nathan is determined to win her heart over. Ruth Clampett’s Animate Me takes readers into the rarely told environment of animation where a story unfolds full of romance, suspense, and laugh-out-loud moments
What I love about this story of chasing love is it places readers into a male point-of-view. This is something that is rare in today’s books. Through Ruth’s amazing writing, readers are given front row seats to Nathan’s feelings towards Brooke. We understand that his feelings for her are strong but the ways in which he expresses his feelings to her are simply sweet. It is nice to know that there are guys out there like Nathan.
The world of animation is something that is always been an intrigue to many. Surrounded by animation her whole life, Ruth is able to present a real life representation of this lively world. As the book defines the word “animate” – to bring to life; Ruth truly brings the characters and story to life. The interweaving of cartoon characters and references of classic animations was an amazing way of telling the story. It will draw you in leaving you impatiently trying to find out what will happen next.
As if the book didn’t have so much life to it already, the included animations brightened up its spirits. Seeing what Nathan has drawn on Brooke’s Starbucks cups made me smile. Animate Me in a way is a true story in the sense that the world presented to readers are actual environments. I thank her for sharing this with us as I truly enjoyed my time with Nathan and his mission to win over Brooke. It is truly something different from what is readily available out there. I am an instant fan of Ruth’ work and I cannot wait for what she will offer next.
You can purchase Animate Me at the following Retailer:
And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Ruth for making this giveaway possible.
2 Winners will receive a Signed Copy of Animate Me & a Signed Illustrated Print by Ruth Clampett.
5 Winners will receive an E-Copy of Animate Me by Ruth Clampett.
1 Winner will receive a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card by Ruth Clampett.
1 Winner will receive One poster, and Bookmark of a Surprise Art by James Vallesteros.
10 Winners will receive One bookmark of a Surprise Art by James Vallesteros.
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