SC: We are delighted to have the amazing Ruth Clampett on the blog for an interview. We have been a fan of this lady for some while and she never disappoints. Thank you Ruthy for being here with us today.
RC: First I’d like to say thank you to the fabulous SubClubBookClub for doing this author day with me. I’m truly honored!
SC: The Honor is all ours. I love how Max and Ava meet in Work of Art. How did you get the idea for that?
RC: The opening scene in Work of Art happened to me in real life at an art show in New York. This artist came storming into our pavilion with his manager on his heels. When I stepped up and defended him in their argument he turned and looked at me and it was one of those big moments! It was the beginning of a very intense relationship. He was definitely one of the inspirations for Max…but believe it or not, he was more intense and crazier than Max. So as I began developing Work of Art in my head in preparation for writing the book, this scene seemed like the perfect way to start what would end up a very dramatic relationship between Max and Ava.
SC: Tell us more about the real life inspiration for Max
RC: Although the artist I just referred to provided the foundation for Max, Max is also a blend of many of the artists I have worked with in my career. I’m not going to name names but there is one artist I know who is good looking and charming and partakes the delights of many women. He was the inspiration for Max the manwhore, before he and Ava grow close. Many artists I’ve worked with have a sweet , sensitive side and then a tough protective side from being misunderstood and I gave Max all of those qualities. It takes a brave soul to commit to being an artist in a society where artists often aren’t appreciated until they’ve achieved some degree of fame or success.
SC: Book two, The Unveiling has a sex scene in a museum that’s really hot. Do you really think that could happen?
RC: It did! The inspiration for that scene came from someone in my real life but the sex happened at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC! Again, I won’t name names but she told me that her boyfriend and her went into the corner one of those really dark rooms where they project short art films and he stood behind her and lifted up the back of her skirt…the rest I’ll leave up to your imagination. So when I was writing book two that story came to mind and I couldn’t resist adapting it into my story.
I think it’s becoming clear that there is a huge amount in my stories that has happened in either mine, or friend’s lives. Just as every place I’ve written about thus far I’ve been to, including the restaurants.
SC: The dedication for book 2 is beautiful. Can you tell us about that?
RC: Sadly, my mom passed away in the middle of the writing and editing of Work of Art. As we prepared for her memorial I wrote a piece about her and one of the focuses was the incredible love affair she had with my dad, who was an artist. Although she grew up in Buffalo, Wyoming among ranchers and with little exposure to art, when she moved to L.A. and met my dad she seemed to have an instinctual understanding of how to be with an artist.
She explained to me once that she thought he was a genius, and she wanted to make his life beautiful and happy so that he was always inspired to create. My dad knew he had found a very special woman, someone who loved and supported him, despite the fact that he could be challenging…and he adored her and was devoted to her until the day he died. So it became clear to me as I wrote the dedication for book two, how much their relationship inspired who I hoped Max and Ava would one day be.
SC: If Max were your boyfriend, would you stay with him?
RC: Absolutely! It takes Ava a while to figure out what I’ve known all along.. Max is amazing, you just have to understand in the beginning he’s a diamond in the rough. Life’s disappointments: losing his mom who always believed in him, being betrayed by his dad who didn’t, and having his heart broken so completely by his first love, were life blows that led Max to a very dark and destructive place. The social issues from being on the Aspergers spectrum only added to his challenges. He was always a great talent and his art became sensational in the market, despite Max’s issues. But he needed more in life. So even though meeting a woman like Ava gave him hope again, he still had to get rid of all his demons to finally be the man he wanted and needed to be for her.
The journey of watching Max become the amazing man he was destined to be was my favorite part of writing this trilogy.
1. Favorite book? Jane Eyre. Rochester is a badass.
2. Think that makes you the most petrified? Having my legs bound. Sleeping bags freak me out. I don’t think bondage is in my future.
3. Favorite Food? CHOCOLATE It’s my crack.
4. Sweet or Spicy? Sweet..my ample thighs are proof of that
5. Bad boy or good boy? I may fantasize about bad boys, but good boys work much better in real life. Take my word on this one.
6. Artists are? My passion. They see the world differently than we do and I love them for it.
7. If you could get lost anywhere in the world where would that be? Venice, Italy. I usually get lost there and there’s something cool around every corner and over every bridge. Besides I love Italians…their passion is awesome! 🙂
8. Sexiest thing about men? That they have penises. I think that’s cool. I also think a man who is handy is so sexy. If a man starts fixing things in my house I am undone.
9. Favorite piece of art? How can I choose just one! I have dozens. Tonight I’ll say Van Gogh’s Starry Night because I just wrote about it at the end of book 3 in Work of Art. It makes me smile just thinking about it.
10. Do you know what YOLO means? I have a 17 year old, so I know all of these strange letter sayings. Besides…that’s my anthem, I’m trying to do all the things in life because it’s true…you only live once!
Thanks again SubClubBookClub for doing and author day with me and your support of the Work of Art trilogy…I adore you guys and Max does too!
Work of Art Book 1- The Inspiration Right now it’s 99 cents
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Work of Art Book 2- The Unveiling
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Ruth Clampett, daughter of legendary animation director, Bob Clampett, has spent a lifetime surrounded by art and animation. A graduate of Art Center College of Design, her careers have included graphic design, photography, VP of Design for WB Stores and teaching photography at UCLA. She now runs her own studio as the fine art publisher for Warner Bros. where she’s had the opportunity to know and work with many of the greatest artists in the world of animation and comics.
The Work of Art Trilogy is Ruth’s third publishing endeavor, following Animate Me and Mr. 365. She lives in Los Angeles and is heavily supervised by her teenage daughter, lovingly referred to as Snarky, who loves art and visiting museums as much as her mom