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  • Writer's pictureValerie

BookWorthy Chat with R.M. Ruiz

BookWOrthy RM Ruiz
Chosen Kids Cover

Valerie- Today we are talking with R.M. Ruiz, the author of The Chosen Kids Series for kids ages 8-12. Welcome R.M.


R.M.Ruiz- Thank you. I’m so excited to be here and excited for your podcast. I can’t wait to hear all the episodes.


Valerie- Well, thank you. I’m so excited to have you. My kids have devoured your books and are slightly upset that the third one isn’t out yet, but they were thrilled to hear I was talking to you today. Well, we are in the New Year, somehow. We’ve made it to 2024. I wanted to say Happy New Year to you. How does your family celebrate the New Year?

Happy New YEar

RM Ruiz- Happy New Year. Well, it is pretty boring. We just stay up watching movies and then, you know, at the last minute we watch the ball drop in New York. And then, you know, we go to bed at 12:05. But the next day, all of us go to my parent’s house because we are Mexican-American, and my Dad has a tradition where he makes a big pot of Menudo, which is kind of like pork. I don’t say pork stomach lining and hominy and this red spicy stuff. It’s really weird, but it’s delicious. And that’s how we all spend the day together, eating and having dessert.

Valerie- Oh fun, so does Menudo have any superstition with it like Black-Eyed Peas for us Southerners?

RM Ruiz- No, no. I try not to think about what’s in it because it’s delicious. We just kind of eat it and don’t think about it. It’s traditional, but it’s delicious.

Valerie- It’s tradition, the calories don’t count, right? It sounds delicious. If I end up on your doorstep, you’ll know why. Well, RM are you a fan of resolution in your household?

RM Ruiz- I do New Year’s resolutions. But it’s more like, when I’m putting away my Christmas decorations, I write myself a letter telling myself what I want to accomplish the next year. So that’s how I do my resolutions. So when I unpack the box the next year, I see if I accomplish those goals. I read it years ago in a Woman’s day magazine. I’m talking like 20 years ago or something and I’ve been doing it ever since, it helps hold myself accountable.

Valerie- Are you typically successful in accomplishing your goals?

RM Ruiz- I want to say maybe like 70% of the time.

Valerie- I am excited to talk about your books, The Chosen Kids Series. What was your inspiration for these books?

RM Ruiz- Well, my biggest inspiration was God, you know, and my family. So they’re based on characters. The characters are based on my nieces and nephews and their auntie who is kind of based on me. But she’s not me. I know I get a lot of flack from my family, but I’m like, I wish I were her. She’s just really cool. She’s got it together. She’s like a big kid herself and very adventurous and driving my dream vehicle. A 1979 Volkswagen Transporter Van. I’ve always wanted that since I was a child. So there’s a lot of family stuff in these books that I just put in the books. I kind of identify with Kaden a lot. There is a lot of me in him, but he’s also based on one of my youngest nephews. And he’s just like him, like a little bit sarcastic, you know, but a sweetheart. I took a lot of personalities from my nieces and nephews and I just amped it up a lot. Even the little girl who likes to draw, my niece, loves drawing and she’s not always drawing like the character, but that is her thing. So there is a lot of truth in these characters.

Valerie- No each of the characters in The Chose Kids has a tool or a role on the team. How do you feel that God equips us and our kids for our daily battles?

RM Ruiz- First of, all I want to say that God has a plan for all of us, right? And he equips us with our natural skills and talents and abilities and some spiritual gifts.  We all have that inside of us. And then we’re fighting these battles in our lives, plus we know there are spiritual battles, right? We know there’s stuff going on. And He equips us with not only our talents and skills to fight these but also the word of God. The Holy Spirit plays a big part in my books because he’s there, he’s the enabler, he’s the helper. Jesus gave that to us. I always thank Jesus for the Holy Spirit.

Valerie- He knew we’d need it.

RM Ruiz- We have to fight these battles and The Chosen Kids talk to Jesus, they hear the Holy Spirit. They may not always listen to him, but they do hear the HolySpriti and they are learning to listen and follow his guidance. When they don’t they have consequences just like we all do.

Valerie-  I love that element of these books. That you are having your characters struggle with listening to the Holy Spirit and that it is just a whisper, a feeling in their gut. They’re often like, huh, I’m not going to listen to that. They do choose not to listen to it and then things don’t go so well and then they choose to listen to it and like “Oh” then I guess I should listen to it next time, the first time.

RM Ruiz- Yeah and then it takes two or three times. I don’t know that might be a little based on personal experience, I’m just saying.

Valerie- And I think that’s something unique about your books that you don’t see a lot in this middle-grade reading level. To show that God does speak to us. He does give us the ability to choose yes or no. He does give us a conscience and his holy Spirit to give us a pause, huh, that might not be a good idea. It’s such a good reminder for kids to remember to take that pause before their actions because they can be impulsive. I enjoyed those parts of your books.

RM Ruiz- I’m so glad. That makes me happy. I heard some feedback from a couple of kids who it reminded them to listen to the Holy Spirit. That is one of the best feedback I have received. It just made my day. That’s really what I want because it is hard. You know, we’re going along and these kids are doing a lot of stuff, and then there’s just a little voice in their head. Like you said, you have to pause, you have to listen to it. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t, but that’s part of life. It can’t always be easy.

Valerie- But to look and learn that at 8-12 instead of 25, 30, or 40, is steering them up for success, right? You do an amazing job of weaving in family conflict and forgiveness alongside these characters. How has your family helped you research those types of situations?


RM Ruiz- Well, you know, during the pandemic, we had our little COVID bubble going on. So I would just sit watch and listen to them. Some stuff is like what happened that  I put in the books. Watching kids gave me a lot of material to work with.

Valerie- I have a 15-year-old and a 9-year-old, so when reading about Caleb and Kayden and their interaction in the first book. I was like, that’s exactly what’s going on in my home. Are your kids paying attention to this book? It was neat to see the transformation that Caleb went through to be accepting of his little brother. That he could protect him and take care of his little brother.

RM Ruiz- Well, wait till they read book three, because book three is all about their relationship because they haven’t had one because they have been bullies and victims. So they’re going to see their relationship grow in book three. I’m having a lot of fun writing this book.

Valerie- My 11-year-old keeps asking when book three is coming out. Well, in these first two books, you introduce some pretty interesting characters. My 11-year-old wanted me to ask, where do you get your inspiration for these evil characters that are being defeated in these books?

RM Ruiz- In Revelations Jesus tells us what’s going to happen at the end of the world, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions. So I kind of went and chose which disaster I wanted to happen in the books. Then I researched it to see what causes hurricanes to develop. When you have warm water that makes a tropical storm turn into a hurricane. I’m probably giving spoilers here, but you know parents don’t tell their kids. I thought well, I want something in the water that heats the water. So that’s where the first Sea Devils came from and then I also sketch out the creature just to get in my mind what I want it to look like. I know it’s weird and a little morbid, but I have to see what it’s going to look like. Sometimes I’ll Google, sea creatures and other things to help me create my evil being and what they’re going to do to cause the disaster. Actually, in the third book, I was like, this is creeping me out.

Valerie- Why do you feel it’s important to communicate spiritual battles in our world to young kids?

RM Ruiz- Because I want them to know there is a spiritual battle. I mean they can like these ‘chosen kids’, especially the older ones with phones, there’ going along with their normal day. They’re just looking at the earth and there’s nothing right. But then suddenly I bring these evil beings to earth, you know like I brought the spiritual realm kind of to earth. Then it’s like whoa, this is real. This is a battle. Evil beings are trying to destroy our world, and I want kids to be aware of that.

GK Chesterton Quote

Valerie- What you’re saying reminds me of a GK Chesterton quote, that says, “Fairy tales or that kind of fantasy shows us that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, that there’s something stronger than fear.” I think that’s the power behind stories like the Chosen Kids Series. You’re not just, while there is evil and hardship and disaster, you’re showing that there is a power above and beyond that as well. I think it can be so easy to focus on the disasters and the chaos of our world, but to remind our kids that there is hope beyond it, there there is someone who has already won the battle, and that there is

RM. Ruiz- That a God is watching over us and everything, but there is a battle. He will equip us with everything that God gives, especially the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and you know all that, and we can fight these battles.

Valerie- I love that you’re trying to get young kids to think that way, because one quote at our church is, we’re either raising the remnant or the revivalists. We are preparing then for what’s coming next. What is the number one takeaway you’d wish kids to have from your books?

RM Ruiz- Well, there’s several, it’s like a layer, but I want kids to find their identity in Christ and I want them to know that they have a calling, that God has a plan for all of them, and that we are fighting spiritual battles and what they have to do to win these battles.

Valerie- Did you always want to be an author?

RMRuiz- When I was 10 years old, I gave my heart to the lord(LINK) and I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. As I was reading it my older sister told me, you know what’s that’s about right? So she starts telling me about Aslan, and all the symbolism. I just thought it was amazing. I read that book and it’s still my favorite book to this day. It’s the book that also made the most impact on me. And so I told my little 10-year-old self that I’m gonna write a book someday, and it’s gonna be just like that. It’s going to be awesome. But life happened and I was a single mom for 10 years flash forward 40 years and I am writing my book for kids that has always been in the back of my mind.

Valerie- He was preparing you that whole time, and giving you the inspiration of your nieces and nephews and situation that you can help encourage the next 10-year-old that comes to know the Lord. It’s amazing how God works. What is your favorite book?

Chronicles of Narnia

RM Ruiz- Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is definitely at the top, but a close second is The Hobbit. But, then I like Little Women, that would be my favorite ‘grown up’ book. But I like middle-grade and classic books. Little Women, Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights are my top three.

Valerie- Those are good ones. I can’t believe I read most of those in high school. I’m still not sure what they were trying to teach me, because I went back as an adult to read some of them, and I’m thankful for many of the things that I missed.

RM Ruiz- It’s so true because I have read them later, another good classic is Frankenstein. I mean, a lot of people think it is a horror book, but it’s not. It’s got a lot of human nature in that book. It’s a little bit crazy, but I like that book too.

Valerie- It’s interesting how Frankenstein movies focus on only one portion of that book, and there’s so much richness to that book. I’m surprised they don’t read that in high school.  What is your favorite children’s book other than your own?

RM Ruiz- Hmm.. I don’t know if I can… I’d have to say, Amelia Bedelia. One of my older sisters used to read it to me and I just thought it was the funniest thing ever. She’s so funny.

Amelia Bedilia Dresses the Turkey

Valerie- My boys were so confused about why I wanted them to read Amelia Bedelia. But it is comic gold. So we read through them and they were all laughing at all the word plays. They would have missed out on those books if I hadn’t encouraged them to read about a housemaid. What can we expect next from you, or more importantly when?

RM Ruiz- When? So book three, Encounters at Ambrose, takes place in the Midwest. It’s got a little Wizard of Oz feel to it. That’s going to come out in August of this year. It’s going to focus on the brothers, Caleb and Caden. They will be paired up together and so the majority of the books is those two, just getting into a little bit of shenanigans too. There are a couple of funny scenes which I hope kids will like.

Valerie- We will be waiting impatiently for August then, or at least you have an 11-year-old at my house that will be ticking down the days. Where can people find out more about you?

RM Ruiz- My website is I’m also on Instagram, and Facebook. When you go to the website you can contact me there, and sign up for my newsletter.




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