Ruth Wildes Schuler – The Turbulent Tide

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

The Turbulent Tide is a historical novel of the Russian Revolution. It starts with the minor revolution of 1905, goes through the First World War, the Great Revolution and into the famines in the early 1920s. The protagonist eight-year-old Katrina is orphaned and goes to live with her Uncle and his family whom she had never met. The story contrasts the luxurious lifestyle of the aristocrats with the peasants who work their lands. Katrina meets a peasant boy her first day at her new home and a bond is formed that last through the years to follow. The book follows the trials of the aristocrats, the peasants and a monastery of monks through the turbulent tide that sweeps over Russia during this time. All of their lives are altered severely.

Tell us something about yourself.

I was born in Salem, Massachusetts. My Grandmother Sarah Wildes (many times removed) was one of the first hung at the Salem Witch Trials. I came to California as a teen-ager. I completed majors in Criminology, Social Work, Educaition and Psychology for my B.A. and then went back and made up a literature major and earned a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. My husband is a retired San Francisco Police Captain. I have two children, a son and a daughter. My daughter is a published poet. I have two grandchildren. Our granddaughter is in her first year of law school and our grandson plans to pursue a career in medical research. He just graduated from college.

I started writing as a child, but didn’t pursue it seriously until I married and had my children. I have had over 1000 poems, short stories and literary articles and book reviews published in 24 countries and translated into 19 languages, but this is my first novel.

What inspired you to write this book?

I had reoccurring dreams with flashes of various scenes. I felt I had to put them down, but to write the book, it was necessary for me to do a lot of research to gather all the the data and dates. The novel is one hundred per cent accurate in the portrayal of the real life incidences.

How did you choose the title?

It just came to me. It had alliteration and seemed to describe what happened in Russia over that period in time. Such complete chaos swept over that nation destroying everything in in its path.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

The major obstacle was to get an agent. I never succeeded. Most wanted established writers in the novel field and did not really want to work with new writers. I was told that people got their historical fiction on television these days. Also that now that the wall had come down, people were no longer interested in Russia. I could not accept that. I finally decided to self-publish, which I did with Xlibris Publishing. I am very satisfied with the book they produced and the advice they gave me at various stages of getting the book out.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I was ill a great deal as a child and spent a lot of time in bed. There was no television in those days, so there was nothing to do but read. So that became the main pursuit in my life. Of course then I wanted to write, and always wrote little things as a child. I finally started writing seriously when I was in college. I came in contact with the small presses then, and that is where most of my work has been published around the world since. I found there was a great deal of prejudice against women when I started, and many magazines published only token pieces by women. Then a young woman, Sharon Lee in the East Bay started a small press magazine called Women Talking/Women Listening, which published only women’s poetry. That gave me the courage to start my own Internatinal Literary Magazine Prophetic Voices with my daughter Jeanne Leigh Schuler-Farrell and Goldie Morales. I published it for 11 years.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I usually write late at night when everything is very quiet. No phones or knocks on the door and my husband is sleeping. I need quiet to be able to think peacefully.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

They just seem to come to me.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

That many circuits are closed to writers. For example, the academic magazines tend to publish their fellow academics because in many cases, their jobs depend on getting their work published. So they are not open so much to outsiders. Some of the big name magazines and publishers are only open to established authors. This is why I tended to publish my work in small press publications.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

I would not spent so much time and energy seeking an agent. I would have self-published much sooner.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?

I like many types of books, literary novels, mysteries, thrillers, biographies, history and other narrations. I have always been interested in biographies and reading what factors became involved in making certain people famous. I found most famous people had to overcome a lot of pain in their life. Not giving up made them push to greater achievements the normal people. My favorite authors are Emily Bronte, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, W. Somerset Maughm, Eric Hoffer, Ernest Hemingway. F. Scott Ftizgerald, Franz Kaffa, Pearl Buck, Leon Uris, Margaret Mitchell, Jack London and Boris Pasternak.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

Yes. It is called “Wild Is the Hawk’s Dream.” It is the story of a group of Arab Moslem students who met a western girl on a college campus and the interaction that ensues from the clash of the cultures. It affects all of their lives. Their stories are interesting, and each side must change their thinking some from the relationship that develops.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Don’t give up. A rejection is only the opinion of one person. Many of the greatest writers received very large numbers of rejections before achieving publication. And many had to self-publish at first. Tolstoy self-published “War and Peace.” William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald and so many others also started with self-publishing. Join a writing group. I belong to the Marin Branch of The California Writers Club, originally formed by jack London over a hundred years ago.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

People who love history, adventure, and romance.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book? The Turbulent Tide (Book Review)


  1. Bipin Patsani says

    I enjoyed reading the interview with great interest and quite like it. I congratulate
    Ruth Wildes Schuler for her achievements and

  2. Bipin Patsani says

    Ruth Wildes Schuler is not only a very powerful poet, writer and a very good friend. She is a wonderful person as well with a keen and compassionate heart. Her contributions to and association with literary journals published in English in India are highly commendable.