Sweet Mother’s Author Interview with…THE RUBES!

Carrie Rubin is one of my favorite bloggers here on WordPress.  She recently published her first book, “The Seneca Scourge,” which I bought and read from cover to cover.  (Carrie’s blog and a link to her Amazon book page are included both above and below this post.)


Also, Carrie has -ever so kindly- offered to give away a signed copy of her book or an Amazon gift card of equivalent value to a random commenter.  I will be-gift (is that a word?  No?  It should be.) the book or card to the commenter who amuses me silly.  Or amuses me the silliest.  Oh, you get it, be a goofball in the comments section today and you just might win a truly awesome, page turner.


This is Carrie…

This is Sweet Mother…


And now, the interview…


Mother:  I have a weird inclination to make up nicknames for the people that I like. For you, I’ve made up, “The Rubes,” based on your last name and for some reason because I think it fits you. What are your favorite nicknames for yourself? If you could have any nickname in the world, what would it be?


Rubes:  ‘The Rubes’ is fine. It’s much better than Sheldon, which is my family’s nickname for me. Author Wendy Reid calls me Carebear. So does my teenage son when he’s not calling me Sheldon, so let’s go with that.


Mother:  As I understand it, you were a doctor. Then you quit the medical profession to become a writer. Have any members of the medical community or your immediate family questioned your mental health around this desire? If yes, how did you soothe their fears? And lastly, why did you do it? Is it because you don’t enjoy money?


Rubes:  Oh, my. Well, first of all, pediatricians are not exactly at the top of the reimbursement scale. For example, while surgeons hold conferences at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago, pediatricians hold conferences at the Comfort Inn in Peoria. Just sayin’.  But I didn’t really quit medicine. I was already planning a switch from clinical medicine into research, but on the way, I got sidetracked by my book’s publication. After encouragement from my husband, who knows I’ve always wanted time to write, I took a year off to pursue writing. I haven’t been in clinic for six months now. I’m keeping up all my licensure and board requirements, because who knows what the next day will bring? But I doubt I’ll return to primary care; it will be public health or research.


Mother:  If you were about to die and you were allowed to write down one sentence to leave for your family and the world, what would it be? Note: You can’t say, “Sweet Mother it was all for you.”


Rubes:  “Don’t forget to tape my shows…”


Mother:  “The Seneca Scourge” is a fantastic read and I really mean that.  If it’s not a good read, I’ll put it down and never pick it up again. So, you know it was a good read considering this interview is happening and that I’ve actually read the book from cover to cover. For example, I can NOT and will not read Jonathan Franzen, no matter how many times Oprah tells me to. I won’t read him simply because he makes me die of boredom.  Were you aware of keeping the reader “hooked” while you were writing? How did you go about the planning process for Seneca?



Rubes:  Thank you, Sweet Momma. But honestly? I was an idiot when I wrote the book eight years ago. Thought I could just sit down and write a novel–no worries. I didn’t read any books on writing technique; I simply winged it. I know so much more now, and luckily, it turns out I had enough structure in the book to keep it interesting. And that’s all I ever wanted. I never had any delusions of it being a literary accomplishment. I merely wanted to keep people hooked.


Mother:  You are probably the best and most frequent commenter out there in the community of bloggers in which I hangout. Commenting with such diligence, have you ever left your children unfed? Unclothed? Seriously, does your family ever get jealous of your blogging? Because my Wifesy does from time to time.


Rubes:  Yes, hunger and nakedness run rampant in my home. It’s really a shame.  Social media does take a lot of time, but as we all know, blogging is a reciprocal process. And really, it’s an introvert’s dream mode of communication. I do most of my blog trolling while the kids are in school. Still plenty of time to cook nutritious dinners and sew torn clothes. My husband, however, remains naked.


Mother:  You write about the medical establishment better than just about anyone I’ve seen. Do you have plans to make Sydney a serial character? Or do you have a series of books planned around medical concepts?


Rubes:  Well, thank you, but my apologies to Sydney—The Seneca Scourge is her last and only hurrah. But I suspect all my books will have a medical theme. Write what you know, right? My current work-in-progress involves a public health issue and a killer. I’ll say no more.


Mother:  How did you land your publisher? Did you comment on his blog?


Rubes:  Haha. If I could’ve, I would’ve.  Many agents I queried liked the medical thriller aspect but not the science fiction. I was reminded that genres shouldn’t be crossed. Whoops. So I started looking for small presses that would accept a cross-genre.  sffNet has a comprehensive listing of e-publishers. I queried one on the list. They accepted.


Mother:  Along those lines, I know that you work with an e-book publisher. How do you compare the e-book publishing experience with that of a hardcopy publisher?


Rubes:  My publisher is mostly e-book but they do have a print-on-demand (POD) option. Unfortunately, POD paperbacks are costly and therefore limit how well-received a paperback version is. But it’s nice to have the paperback available at local bookstores. Would I like to have a more traditional publisher next time? Sure. Especially when it comes to marketing. Small publishers put the onus of marketing on the author. I am thus a fish out of water.


Mother:  I know sometimes you write and read while on the treadmill. Do you worry that you will fall and break your computer or your face?


Incidentally, this is what I picture when I picture you on the treadmill…



Rubes:  Every day I write while walking slowly on my treadmill. I can’t sit still for hours on end. It’s not good for my back, my heart, or my rear. That $39.99 plastic treadmill shelf was the best Christmas gift I ever received. And no, I don’t worry about falling and breaking my face, because I do indeed look like those guys in the video, skinny jeans and all.


Mother:  Ellen Barkin or Ellen Degeneres?


Rubes:  Ellen Degeneres. I’ve been watching her since she was on These Friends of Mine.


Mother:  Stephen King or John Grisham?


Rubes:  Stephen King. I read both authors, but King accomplishes the coveted act: Writes brilliantly and weaves a great story.


Mother:  Boxers or Thongs?


Rubes:  On Daniel Craig, thongs. On Donald Trump, boxers full of fire ants.


Mother:  Sandals or Shoes?


Rubes:  Shoes. I have a pair of black shoes I wear every day except in the summer. They’re sturdy and manly, but I don’t care. I don’t want corns and bunions.


These are actually Carrie’s shoes. Dear God, 1,000 drag queens just died…


Mother:  Thai or Chinese?


Rubes:  Foodwise, I am nowhere near sophisticated enough to appreciate the difference.


Mother:  Coffee or Tea?


Rubes:  Tea. Healthy antioxidants and it doesn’t taste like barfed-up bile.


Mother:  Novel or Blogging?


Rubes:  Blovelling.


Mother:  University or College?


Rubes:  Given the alphabet soup behind my name, I guess the answer is university.


Mother:  Humor or Humour?


Rubes:  Humor. You can take the girl out of North Dakota, but you can’t take the North Dakota out of the girl.


Mother:  Tumor or Tumour?


Rubes:  Good God, hopefully neither.


Mother:  Salsa Dance or Salsa Relish?


Rubes:  With Daniel Craig, a salsa dance. With Donald Trump, a mouthful of Salmonella-tainted salsa relish.  (And you may have been talking about the Salsa Relish bike, but I wanted to diss The Donald.)


And that concludes our delightful interview.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.  Comment away, below, to WIN your copy of “The Seneca Scourge.” 







Sweet Mother is updated daily-ish.  You can follow this blog by adding your email after you hit the follow button at the top, right of the page.



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Photo creds:

Mostly Rubes, Mommie Dearest


171 thoughts on “Sweet Mother’s Author Interview with…THE RUBES!

  1. Great Interview! The Rubes is awesome, and, as you said, a great commenter. You know what I like so much about having a person from the medical field in the blogging community? Having someone to send a picture to and ask “hey, what’s this?”

    Good post.

    1. my wife is an animal doc, so i’m constantly going, ‘can you look at this?’ she counters with, ‘you have two legs and not four.’ i still make her look… and really glad you liked the interview, jon. xo, sm

  2. Hunger and nakedness run rampant…. such a relief to know that I am not alone, that other children have to wait for supper, or are late for school or soccer, as their mother finishes up one more quick comment… But those shoes! It’s not just the drag queens who are dying!

    1. “it’s not just the drag queens who are dying!” – looooool. i secretly think carrie wants us to ‘intervene’ when it comes to these shoes, as she sent me the picture herself. although, i will say wifesy has a similar pair that she wears to work. i think we should take to calling them, ‘medical shoes.’ only about a half a step away from ‘orthopedic.’ bwwaaaahhhh. the book is fabu, read it, when you get the chance. xoxox, sm

      1. I don’t know. Medical….orthopedic…it’s all the same, really 🙂 I will read the book. Thanks for the review and the lively interview!

    2. I do love me shoes, but you’ll be happy to know, I do own a pair of stylish boots from Nordstroms that I pair with my skinny jeans. Then again, ‘stylish’ can mean different things to different people…

      1. oh.dear.god. that is a lesbian shoe regardless of who you sleep with. that and crocs. unless the crocs are worn by children, in which case it’s parental abuse. ;0

    1. thanks for stopping by, reading, and saying so…perfect mother. carrie is awesome and her book is a great read. the shoes are all the rage over here, it seems. i suppose all of us ladies have a pair of those…and we can use them as our admission to the convent if all hell breaks loose. loooool. all the best, sweet mother

    2. You know what, Perfecting Motherhood? If someone told me another blogger out there had shoes like that, you would have been high on my list. And that’s a compliment! We ugly-shoed people need to stick together.

      1. I’ll go for comfort before style any day! To me, shoes have to be practical so they can get me from point A to point B fast. Slow walking people with bunions on your feet, move out of my way!

      2. this is truth you speak! i have a mean hallux rigidus from wearing heels for too long in my nyc life. i’ll let the doc tell you what that one is all about…;0

      3. Agreed. And I bet like me, you’d rather wear banana peels than Spanx. If clothing requires Spanx, then I will choose a less form-fitting selection. Sheldon doesn’t like to be confined.

  3. Thank you again, Sweet Momma. You are the whole package: funny, generous, kind, and thoughtful. You have truly warmed my Sheldon heart. In fact, Bazinga!

    But, I’m sad to say, I will never part with my shoes. Never, I tell you…

    1. i had no idea the UPROAR your shoes would cause on here, but i must say i am thoroughly enjoying it. and thank you for the kind words, rubes, i could say the same about you. the interview is officially a hit and it was my pleasure. xo, sm

  4. Great interview, Mother and Rubes. I can’t wait to read my personally signed copy of this “Seneca Scourge” novel that all the kids are talking about. I actually heard one older boy discussing intricate plot points of the book at a dance battle I was at, and I gave him a haymaker to the bread basket. Hey, older boy or not, I don’t handle spoiler alerts well.

    1. okay, you may just win for saying, “haymaker to the bread basket…” are you feckin’ kidding me??!! that’s amazing and why don’t i have it on a tee shirt somewhere? looooooolllll.

    2. Your comment officially proves you are far hipper than me. I, too, envy your ‘haymaker to the bread basket’ comment. Then again, being hipper than me takes very little. After all, you’ve seen my shoes…

  5. I have the book already so that means I can relax and not post anything amusing in this comment. Donald Trump with fire ants in his boxers is the greatest image on earth.

  6. Ah, the fire ants. Having had a run-in with one in Mexico, I can attest to the pain inflicted! A boxer-load sounds about right for DT…. But I wouldn’t rule out a full pants-load. 😉

    Great interview from both questioner and answeree, and you can ignore my less-than-hysterical comment since I already have the e-book AND a signed copy of the paperback. 🙂 I should take a photo of me with it for the blog….

    1. I do take far too much pleasure in dissing The Donald, don’t I? I should really find a new target, but normally I don’t like to make fun of people. It’s just so easy with The Donald.

    2. you should, you should, you should! i loved this darned book. and i KNOW first hand how hard this fiction stuff is. maybe i need to buy those shoes… do you think it will help? loooool

      1. I’m not sure if this will end up above or below the exchange between SM and The Rubes, but I’m rolling on the floor and laughing at the image that popped up in my head of elf shoes on Ann Coulter.

  7. Bloveling should be the word of the week – nay – month! I solemnly swear I will find a way to incorporate it into every post I write throughout the rest of November. You can hold me to it. Great interview, gals.

    1. just bought it on Amazon~~can’t wait to read it. actually I’m thinking it might be a good excuse not to NaNo until tonight, yeah, I must read it…no wait, I didn’t mean it, I’ll write first and then read. 😉

    2. it’s such a page turner, honie! you’ll love it. i did. and you are never random in my book, just very much enjoyable. i’m sure that wasn’t proper english, but it’s cold in here and my typing fingers are crackling… sigh. more coffee. xo

    1. My paperback is in a grand total of two bookstores now–one in Ohio and one in New Hampshire. It’s tough to get books published by smaller presses into bookstores without showing up in person to grovel (or blovel…) As for trying to get it into B&N? That’s about as likely as me falling in love with Donald Trump. But that won’t keep me from trying. Thank you for your interest!

      1. to be honest i only read thrillers and mystery novels and the more the more the better 🙂 fact that you were from medical profession means the book is going to be even more interesting… since i am not from US.. will check out online….
        All the best for your new book 🙂

  8. Carrie is indeed a diligent commenter. I’m glad that nakedness runs rampant with other blogs. This turned out well because after reading the intro to Carrie’s novel I had the urge to sanitize my entire family. Being naked helped

    1. i write in the nude and apparently carrie’s family runs around naked while she blogs. that’s her story and i’m sticking to it. tho right now i have clothes on because even in california, it’s FREEZING. anyhoo, storkhunter, THANK YOU for swinging by here and reading. much love, sm

  9. I love this interview. It is fun and smart and has visual aids. Great questions, terrific answers and a great video to back up the visuals. I’m sorry that I can’t come up with anything funny to say … you used up all the funny!

    1. I shouldn’t be so hard on the guy. There must be something nice I can say about him. Okay, I’ll give him this–he has pretty amazing kids. And luckily, Ivanka didn’t inherit his looks or his hair. Oops, just bad-mouthed him again…

    1. hey there cycle, i love to do author interviews… however, to me it’s important that i read the books first… so, if you can point me towards it, we’ll schedule it up. did you write this? or in conjunction with someone? much love, sm

  10. I must tell “The Rubes” that I’m not sure about those black shoes! But then I associate shoes with work and not leisure. Try some comfortable walking shoes to plod around in, assuming you plod of course.

    Being English and living in the US, I’m having to remember to drop the “u” in certain words, and write the date month first. so in a way, “I don’t get it” Hmm. Good interview anyway…

    1. hello elliot, welcome and thank you for reading our ‘ugly-shoed’ interview, which is what i am now calling it. I am a yank. A northeasterner now transplanted in Hollyweird. However, I lived in your beautiful country (well, Scotland and I know they’d go bat shite about that) for 2 years…so, as such, i try to stick the ‘u’ back into words whenever possible, just to annoy my american compatriots. all the best, sweet mother

      1. Carrie had actually commented on a different blog about her shoes yesterday, although I read this one first. Stick with “Ugly Shoes” I say.

        I’m not far from you, I live in Orange County.

    2. I’ve walked miles in these shoes and nary a blister. There. Did that make me sound British? Speaking of which, these shoes have indeed enjoyed the pavement of London Town.

      1. Did you say London Town meaning what the locals call it? It is actually a city but if you live nearby, the slang use is to refer to it as a town.

  11. Boxers full of fire ants! Ha!

    Does a person have to be slightly insane to be a writer? I barely manage to keep up with my blog on a weekly basis nevermind actually being dedicated (OCD) enough to slog away on a single idea for any amount of time.

    That said, I am the queen of half done projects. I have the attention span of a chicken with ADHD…

    1. ohhhhhhhh, i understand your halfdone. i so understand it. i have half of a comedy career lying around somewhere. in fact, right now i’m supposed to be writing something on deadline, but i’m answering comments because it’s more fun. so, YES, completely insane. all of us. i heart you, fabs, mucho. xo, sm

  12. I Know I recognised that pretty face. Carrie is a wonderful and loyal blogger in the sphere. Many times I have been greatful for her comments. :+)
    i wouldn’t have pictured the shoes. Where can I get a pair every girl needs a pair of sensible shoes.
    Great interview very fun questions and answers.
    I wonder if Mrsa will be in book 2?
    I see you gave the book away so I don’t need to worry about being funny or not. :+)

    1. wait… i don’t think i gave the book away yet… i simply said one individual was ‘in the running’ by using the term ‘haymaker’ — i mean, it’s gorgeous. and carrie is the kindest and most giving of bloggers. i feel honored to know her in the ‘virtual’ sense. honestly, thank you very much for stopping by here and for reading our dribblings. it is much appreciated. xo, sm

      1. The pleasure is mine sweetmother :+)
        I thought you gave the book away.I guess I’m in the same boat as Carrie because I’m not sure what a ‘haymaker’ is it a horse?

    2. Hey, Starla, fancy meeting you here! And I don’t think you need a funny comment to be in the race for the free book or gift card, because you, my dear woman, are stuck with snow in Montana. That would suck the funny right out of me. Even these trusty shoes of mine couldn’t survive that.

      1. You you need snow boots around here that’s for sure. :+) Your right the weather has sucked the funny right out of me at least for today. I’m glad I’m still in the running for the contest and I can be my sweet unfunny self .Nice interview by the way.
        I thought you were resting?

  13. Like every other blogger on the planet, I adore Carrie. She never fails to make me laugh. I don’t know how she keeps up with us all. She must comment on blogs while on the treadmill too. No wonder she is in such great shape.

    1. I seriously, seriously do not know how she does it… she’s like the energizer bunny of blogging and commenting… my hat’s off to her. thanks for reading, robin. xo

      1. I suppose you have something gourmet planned, are wearing a Little Black Dress, and have the champagne chilling too. Go ahead . . . put us all to shame.

      2. Yeah, right, a LBD in those shoes? I’m making spaghetti and meatballs (with ground turkey breast, of course). My husband’s favorite. And I’m a beer girl. Told you. North Dakota…

  14. Tried to “Like” the post, but the site wouldn’t let me.

    I don’t want to sound sexist (but the Rubes should be used to me by now), but how is it OK to put Daniel Craig in the intentionally wedgie-fied existance of a thong, but let Carrie get away with wearing Bostonian loafers?!

    “Sensible” is one thing, but those bad boys make Birkenstocks look like stilettos…just sayin’….

    1. clearly she wore the shoes AFTER she had the kids because those are birth control! loooool. honestly, good to see you here, 1 point. carrie and you are both amazeballs. and i’m using that term in the unisex way… looool. xo, sm

  15. Great interview, Sweet Mother. Can I call you Rubes, Carrie? I love that! I, too, have a pair of black shoes I like to wear all the time. They’re just comfortable, ok? Sorry, this probably isn’t really funny… I still want your book. I even asked about about it when I went to Barnes and Noble, but they only had the e-copy. I still really really want to read it!! I told my mom about your book, Rubes. I hope to get it soon. Congrats on your book signing.

    1. Thank you! And you can call me Rubes or whatever else you want. I guess the paperback version is only available on Amazon and my publisher’s site (where it is a dollar cheaper; not sure why). But B&N could certainly order it for someone from my publisher’s site. But big book stores like that prefer working with big distributors and suppliers, not small publishers. Oh, the things I’m learning…

      1. If it helps me win! 😉 I think your sensible, black shoes would up my sexy writer quotient for sure! In the meantime, my one feral child is naked and hungry, while I write and man the tread mill, to win that book.

        BTW: I am in fact married to a surgeon, and we did attend a conference in Chicago, at the Sheraton. Even I haven’t been to the Ritz Carlton. However, your points were dead on. A lot of people don’t really understand what goes into being a Dr (surgeon or pediatrician).

        Congratulations on your book!

      2. Thank you. Interesting to learn about your husband. I know then that you understand the joys of never being guaranteed certain holidays or weekends off. Whether you’re the one working them or the one left celebrating Christmas without a spouse, it stinks either way. I’m sure it’s the same way for Sweet Mother and her Wifesy, as I imagine vets are also on call a fair amount.

      3. Carrie… which laptop “desk” do you use on your treadmill. This may be a slippery slope, but I’d love to get more exercise on big writing days! With NaNo, I’m spending HOURS typing… which one do you use, and why do you like it? thanks!

      1. -snort- he had one? But seriously, I wasn’t talking about standup in front of a real, live audience, I was talking about /here/ in blogsville. I would certainly enjoy a semi-regular post like this one and I’ll bet a lot of other regulars would too. 🙂 Just a thought… -nudge poke nudge-

  16. I am relieved that someone as learned as Carrie wears blovelling shoes, her kids run rampant naked and unfed, and she still has time to answer blog comments and deliver a formidable interview.
    Thanks for this opportunity to hear her thoughts about The Donald — fire ants indeed.

  17. Sweet Momma, you are, by far, my favorite lesbian. I wish I were cool enough to have you like my writing. I know you not, but feel as though your approval of my writing will mean I have officially arrived. I don’t know if you ever read my blog when I was using my real name, but I am back with a pseudonym that severely lacks thought or wit. At any rate, I love the interview and am supremely curious about Rubes (which, ironically, comes up in my Swype dictionary as ‘Tubes, Runes, Tunes, Tinges, and Tines’). I am glad to be back in the blogosphere reading your nuggets of wisdom and humor.

    1. well, i’m gonna read you know, lady. i don’t think my approval is worth much tho. but, i do have eyes and i like passing them over enjoyable writings and musings. so, consider a visit to your site happening sometime in the very near future. much love, from your fave lesbo (lol, i loved that) sm

      1. Oh my, my. I am going to have to bring something interesting to the table. I have naught on my blog since resurfacing today. Please give me a few days to come up with something witty, lest you be bitterly disappointed. See, I was forced into the underground until I finally said “feck it” and went forth with a blog that dehumanizes me. Bear with me. I deleted some of my best work when I deleted my former blog. Bollocks.

  18. I already bought the book, so thankfully I don’t need to worry about being funny.

    I’ve long assumed that Carrie is probably the quickest reader on WordPress, and thus already leaving a comment while the rest of us are still reading the second paragraph… Now, I understand though. The large part of my brain that thinks solely about shoes… Carrie doesn’t have that, and thus her entire brain works better. Dammit! Can I blame my mother for this? The Donald? Society at large? Surely there’s someone I can blame…

  19. Very entertaining on both sides of this interview, ladies. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you! (I’m too tired and too tied up with schoolwork right now to think up a more interesting comment.) Off to your other stop, Carrie!

  20. Bloody hell, I feel like it’s an attack on the UK – again! Extra ‘u’s add just that extra oomph… don’t they?

    Anyway. The treadmill guys remind me that I should probably get off my couch and go to work. Kinda forgot yesterday.

    ps. Happy to lend my pair of shoes for special occasions… no, no. I *insist*. I do. Take them, woman!!

    1. I had a good laugh last night because my husband, my teenage son, and I all had our shoes laying out by the door. If it weren’t for the size differences, I wouldn’t have been able to tell them apart…

  21. Huh, I don’t think I ever knew you were a doctor. I knew you were medical-ish, but I didn’t attach you to any specific occupation. Well now I’m impressed and intimidated. You must have an enormous student loan. I am humbled before your years of education and sleep deprivation. Truly.

    1. Be neither impressed nor intimidated. I write about poo, remember?

      Thankfully, the student debt has been paid off, which means I’m old, because that baby took years to get rid of. 🙂

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