What inspired you to write your memoir?
I spent the first 15 years of my life as a military brat moving from base to base nearly every six months. I have so many stories about those times, and I met so many interesting people that it was difficult not to write this book. A great deal of the stories are based on my own experiences, however, there are some I just made more interesting for the reader.
About your Book:
Brat is a fictional autobiography about a military brat. As Robert Smith travels from one military base to another, he recalls the trouble he gave his parents fresh from the womb, the abuse and molestation of a cruel babysitter, his near break from reality following the trauma, and the first kiss he received from a dying girl.
How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
I tried a few traditional publishing houses a few years ago with no success. In the meantime, I would do readings for friends and family during events or parties. It’s one of those books that you can just choose a chapter and that chapter is a stand alone story. My friends would just yell out chapter numbers and I’d read or we would pick someone out of the crowd and they would read any chapter they chose, and it was a big hit. In the end, I decided if the publishing houses didn’t want it I’d publish it independently through Kindle. Enough people convinced me it was good that it seemed the right thing to do. This month it has become one of my best selling titles and, so far, the book I love the most.
How do you see writing a Memoir as different from writing other genres of books?
There was definitely time for more self-reflection in writing this than any other book. I gained better perspectives on events in my life and on my own character in general. I am big believer in the idea that you can become the person you choose to be, rather than the result of your environment. I also found the stories to be emotionally richer than other genres I’d written. I’d made people feel uncomfortable before or chuckle, but when I read this to people, or they read it to themselves, they’d laugh out loud or outright cry. Even when I read some parts I find myself doing the same, though usually its because I remember it perfectly.
Johnnie Ruffin, M.Sc. is an optimist, a writer, and a Software Engineer. He first published his short story “Khory’s Power” with “A Place To Enter” in the early 90’s, which introduced his shape-shifting black leopards known as the Caanlin to the world.
He currently lives in Pittsburgh creating innovative and challenging software solutions as well as raising four kids with his stunningly beautiful, wise, and “always right” wife.