Dennis Ruane


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           In 1977, I began working on a PhD in Nutritional Science at the University of Wisconsin. From the start, I suspected that I had made a mistake in my choice of a career path. That summer, I took up the hobby of woodcarving, and the following year, I began keeping a journal with the intention of writing a novel one day.

           I turned my woodcarving sideline into a part-time business in 1980 when I began selling wooden spoons at a craft cooperative in Madison. As meager as the income was from this enterprise, the fact that people would pay me for something that I enjoyed doing, changed my perspective on making a living. In 1982, I abandoned my science profession to pursue a career as a woodcarver and moved back to my native Pennsylvania that spring.

           The time demands that come with such an occupation made it difficult to work at writing, and for decades, most of my literary effort went toward the journal. A number of attempts at writing a novel ended in frustration, and nearly pushed me to the conviction that I should give up the idea entirely.

          In 2004, I had my own woodcarving gallery in a building on Main Street in Waynesville, North Carolina. The upstairs of the building served as home for my wife and me, and my workshop was in the basement. The urge to write returned that year and this time a story that I had been mulling over since I lived in Madison, finally came together.

          I worked, on the manuscript for the next two years, and by the summer of 2006, I self-published my first novel, Wooden Spoons. I was so encouraged by the reception of Wooden Spoons that I began work on another story that same year. The manuscript of Cataloochee Man was completed ten months later, and the book was published in 2009.Cataloochee Man was inspired by the solitary hikes I took in the Cataloochee Valley of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

          My third novel, The Man in the Room has been a long time coming. I actually began working on the story a year before Cataloochee Man was published, but external events disrupted my momentum on the project. Hardwood Gallery was closed in 2008 and I purchased a house and a small building near Marshall, North Carolina. Over the course of two years I converted the building into a workshop and gallery. Walnut Creek Gallery (now the Woodcarving Shoppe) opened on May 12, 2011.

          In the fall of that year, I finally got back on track with regards to writing, revived the files that had lain dormant in my computer, and forged ahead with the manuscript for The Man in the Room. The novel was completed a year later, and published as an e-book on Christmas Day, 2012.The paperback version was published three months later.The Man in the Room was five years in the making, during which time, I had gone through some personal changes, resulting in a somewhat autobiographical and especially introspective story.



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One bold era in the life of an individual can change the course of civilization.     DENNIS RUANE Quote

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You can never be free of their criticism until you no longer seek their praise.     DENNIS RUANE Quote