Ruut DeMeo is a Finnish-American novelist and songwriter. After touring and recording her original music for nearly two decades, Ruut earned a degree in Creative Writing from Goucher College and studied children’s literature at Johns Hopkins University. A Kratz Writing Fellow and member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Ruut’s research into Nordic folklore has been supported by the Mellon and Finlandia Foundations. Although she writes fantastical tales, Ruut finds inspiration for her stories in the real world. To build the setting for her first middle-grade novel, Ruut spent time in Newfoundland. For the retelling of a Finnish myth, she delved deeply into the history and culture of her homeland.
Ruut believes that good stories are a way we can connect to the kid inside of us. Of her lifelong dream (staving off getting a ‘real job’ for as long as humanly possible), Ruut says this:
“As a kid, I thought very little about what sells, what pays well, and what society expects me to become. Now, if I look up and see that I’ve been writing, doodling, or playing music for hours, then I know my inner child’s been at the wheel, and I’ve been doing the thing I was actually put on this earth to do.”
Ruut’s new illustrated novel for middle schoolers is due out in early spring, 2021. Be sure to check out her website and follow her on Instagram @ruutdemeo.