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Ruth Clare the author of the memoir, Enemy: A Daughter’s Story of How Her Father Brought the Vietnam War Home. Inspiring and engaging, she draws on her former career as an actor, and the years she spent in therapy, to speak with honesty and insight about the impact of growing up with violence and neglect, developing resilience in the face of adversity, the importance of authenticity, how becoming a parent was way harder than she imagined, and the importance of fighting against the voices that say you are not good enough.
Ruth recently delivered a speech for Child Protection Day in Kiama, read her deeply moving speech here.
Once I finished my biochemistry degree I worked in a lab for a couple of days, but had a panic attack at the thought of wearing a white coat forever, so decided to be an actor, as you do. I appeared on Neighbours, Blue Heelers, in lots of short films, plays and tons of commercials. Because I was an actor I was also a waitress (not the good kind, the nasty kind that can ruin your night) and an office temp. In 2004 I became a copywriter/marketing manager of a graphic design business, which I run with my husband (Mono Design). I am much nicer now.
My work explores the secret lives we all live, the way we adapt to trauma, the nature of resilience, courage, shame, perfectionism, anxiety and rage. It also looks at the agony of letting yourself be seen.
The bidding war over my book was pretty darned satisfying, but the main highlight thus far has been the number of letters people have sent telling me their story is my story, and that they are glad someone is finally talking about it.
My book was published by Penguin and my writing has appeared in The Age Good Weekend Magazine, Elle Magazine and Good Reading Magazine. I have been reviewed in The Australian, Better Reading and Books + Publishing and been interviewed on Conversations with Richard Fidler, Life Matters, Jon Faine’s Conversation Hour plus many more.
I believe honest discussions about the things that hurt us as individuals and a society can be the beginning of real change. It is my hope that sharing my story might inspire new conversations around domestic violence, living with a depressed/alcoholic parent, childhood trauma, parenting, resilience, PTSD and the trans-generational impact of war.
I was on Neighbours for a few months and did lots of commercials over the years, so it is possible. Or maybe I was your waitress fifteen years ago. I was sometimes rude enough to be memorable. If that was it, sorry!
I can do a really loud whistle. Seriously, it will hurt your ears.
Ruth Clare’s Creating Compelling Writing workshop was an honour to host. Ruth’s generous, kind-hearted, lively and down-to-earth approach to writing eased first time work-shoppers into the basics of writing, while giving more experienced writers a greater understanding of what they needed to make their writing leap off the page. Participants particularly enjoyed Ruth’s take on point of view, how to be an authentic writer, and ways to structure story. All left feeling more enthusiastic about writing and pursuing a creatively authentic life…key ingredients for creating compelling writing.
Ruth is an engaging and wonderful speaker. We were on a panel together and I’m reading her book at the moment. She knows how to tell a story – in a book and onstage.
Ruth is a highly intelligent writer and speaker. She is also very entertaining and had the audience engaged and excited the entire time. She is a versatile speaker too and addressed in a thoughtful manner such sensitive topics as PTSD, child abuse and issues around Australian participation in Vietnam war. She also spoke with a lot of wisdom about the ethics of memoir writing. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Ruth and could have done it for much longer than just an hour.
Ruth recently conducted her 2 hour workshop, Creating Compelling Writing, as part of Yarra Plenty Regional Library’s Booklover’s Festival. Her session was very inspiring and thought-provoking and the feedback we had from the more than twenty participants was fantastic. She definitely has some new fans!
Ruth Clare is a passionate and engaging speaker who is at home on stage presenting to, and engaging with, an audience. A willingness to allow herself to be vulnerable in front of a crowd creates a magnetic atmosphere which keeps people transfixed and, most importantly, wanting more. She is eloquent, dynamic, honest and graceful.