Ruth Miller - Author
Ruth was inspired to write her first picture book, I Went to the Bay, some years ago, when she observed her youngest son's never-ending quest for frogs in the bay at her family cottage in Muskoka. She was delighted when Kids Can Press saw the charm in the story and decided to publish it.
Two more picture books followed:I Went to the Farm inspired by visits with her grandchildren to Riverdale Farm in her Cabbagetown neighborhood of Toronto, and the now out of printThe Bear on the Bed, inspired by the visit of a bear to her cabin at summer camp when she was a teenager.
Ruth grew up in Toronto and spent a year in Paris following graduation from the University of Toronto. That led to her becoming a high school French teacher and loving the French language ever after. She studied Early Childhood Education and for a few years ran a music and movement program for preschoolers with a friend. Her large collection of rhythm instruments goes with her whenever and wherever she is invited to read her stories. “Children enjoy the added fun of making music after the story session.”
For 20 years Ruth worked as a Sexual Health Educator for Toronto Public Health, a job she loved. Now, in retirement, she counsels at a clinic in Toronto when she is not taking voice lessons, acting lessons, performing on stage and enjoying her grandchildren.
Where do you live now?
When did you start writing?
In grade seven, when I wrote a story about blueberry picking at the cottage and the teacher asked me to read it to the class!
Where do you work?
In my head! Well, on paper, at the computer, at home, at the cottage.
Do you have any pets?
Not now, but I have had Springer spaniels in the past, and a budgie!
What is your favorite food?
What is your favorite hobby?
Singing. I started taking voice lessons six years ago. I love it.
What was your training or schooling?
The University of Toronto, then the Sorbonne, then the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).
How did you get involved with children's books?
I wrote and illustrated a book for a project.
What is your favorite book?
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.
What is the thing you like the most about creating kids' books?
The images, the poetry and the whimsy.
How do you research or create your stories?
I start with my own knowledge and memories, and sometimes I have to research to ensure accuracy.
Where do you get your ideas?
So far, from events in my own life.
What's your greatest childhood memory?
Fishing with my father and blueberry picking with my mother
What is your favorite animal?
Springer spaniels, of course, and then human beings.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A fashion designer, like lots of girls.
What is the weirdest or most interesting job you've ever had?
Being a mother is a weird and wonderful job. But some people would say that my day job, teaching sex education, is pretty weird and wonderful.
Do you have any special secrets or insights about one of your books or characters?
My first book, I Went to the Bay, was inspired by my youngest son who, when he was little, was a champion frogger.