INTERVIEW: Blogger RUTH HILL of "My Devotional Thoughts" shares her love of Movies, how her Faith inspires her work, favorite Interviews, and WHO she would love to interview - Someday!

by - December 16, 2019

Ruth Hill and Paul Greene ("When Calls the Heart," "Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy")
- pictured at Carnegie Hall (photo courtesy: Ruth Hill)

I am delighted to share with you all today - a very special interview with my dear movie friend, Ruth Hill, who has interviewed and met a number of actors and actresses, we enjoy seeing quite frequently on our TV screens! Ruth and I first became acquainted several years ago over our mutual love of family movies.

Ruth may or may not remember this, but I reached out to her a long while back when I missed a special TV program. I asked her if she could just share some simple details about it and the storyline. Well, instead of just giving me a little snippet (which I anticipated), Ruth went the extra mile and gave me full details on what I had missed. It was like seeing it all through her eyes. From then on, we've been great friends, who not only share a love of movies, but we also share a deep abiding faith. I'm so grateful for her loyal friendship.

Come along for our chat below - all about Ruth's amazing web-site, "My Devotional Thoughts," where she has interviewed numerous actors, directors, writers, singers, and so much more!





Ruth Hill and Brennan Elliott (“All of My Heart,” “Crossword Mysteries”)
(photo courtesy: Ruth Hill)

Net, It's a Wonderful Movie:

Hello Ruth… Welcome to It’s a Wonderful Movie! Please share with my followers details about your web-site: My Devotional Thoughts.

Ruth Hill, My Devotional Thoughts:

Thank you for having me, Net. My website, My Devotional Thoughts, is a blog I started about ten years ago, but it has been through a few changes since that time.

Initially, I began my site almost on a whim because there were so many blogs I was following, and I remember thinking at first that I couldn't do such a thing. These bloggers were reviewing products, running contests, and they had such incredible followings. But being a substitute teacher and a single mother, I finally said, "Why couldn't I do that too?" I knew I had a talent for writing, so I jumped in and started under the old blogger format using "blogspot" as my site. Then I changed it over to ".com" so I could get more interest from companies. I was going along at a rapid-fire pace, reviewing products and becoming quite an influential "mommy blogger." Until one morning when I woke up to a message that said my blog had been removed by Google due to it being suspected as being spam. What???? So began three weeks of reworking things, and I decided to move everything over to "wordpress" and use ".net" since my ".com" was locked out. By the time Google restored my account, I was already up and running on my new blogging platform.

Fast-forward a couple more years when I was getting pretty burned out, and I felt like my site was going nowhere, and Hallmark began all of its original programming. I finally realized what I needed to do with my website. Review Hallmark content! And the rest is history.

Net, It's a Wonderful Movie:

Who was your first interview – and how did you get started?

Ruth Hill, My Devotional Thoughts:

So, this is quite an interesting story. Yet again, I began on somewhat of a whim. I saw an online magazine's request for writers and interviewers. I had secretly dreamed of interviewing some of these Hallmark stars, but again, I just didn't think it was plausible. I am not an overly outgoing person by nature. I asked one of my Hallmark actor friends what he thought, and he told me to go for it.
Once I applied and was accepted, I reached out to Brennan Elliott (one of my favorite people on earth), and within minutes, he accepted my request for an interview. That first interview was a whirlwind experience. I love to say that my first interview happened in the parking lot of a nearby gas station as I sat in my car. Recently, I met Brennan, and I expounded this story in a recent blog post. But to make a long story short, I eventually moved all of my interviews to my website. I had no idea my hobby would become my primary job, but I couldn't be happier.

Net, It's a Wonderful Movie:

Who was your hardest interview get, but well worth the wait?

Ruth Hill, My Devotional Thoughts:

This is a difficult question to answer. I am a very persistent person by nature, and I don't give up easily. There are some interviews I have had to let go that were promised, but ultimately didn't work out for whatever reason. But I will say that probably Andrew Francis stands as the most difficult interview to get. I had to work with him over three years before we finally set up our first interview. Yet I will say it was definitely worth the wait. In fact, we're pretty good friends now and probably will meet at some point in the near future. Other similarly difficult interviews were Lacey Chabert and Danica McKellar. Most of the time, it's due to timing and contacting the right people to work out an interview.

Danica McKellar and Lacey Chabert image via: Facebook

Net, It's a Wonderful Movie:

How special has it been to actually meet many of the actors you have interviewed – over the phone, through video chat and in person?

Ruth Hill, My Devotional Thoughts:

I cannot even tell you how special those moments are. I have never been disappointed by meeting any actor in person as of yet. And now they sometimes initiate the contact if they know I'm coming to the area.

So many people assume that I am going to interview this person when I meet them, but nothing could be further from the truth. There is nothing like that in-person contact, even in today's society. While we are so connected by social media and cell phones, there is nothing like looking directly into that person's eyes and being able to give them a hug in person.

When I meet these people, we typically have established such a rapport via email, phone, video chat or whatever that any nerves are mostly non-existent. If anything, I get so incredibly excited to meet them, and I find there is a change that occurs once that in-person contact has been made. I am in the process of writing a few posts that will be published before the end of the year that will examine this topic in more depth. But what I will say is that when it comes to meeting these people...there is truly nothing better!

Net, It's a Wonderful Movie:

Is there a Hallmark star you haven’t spoken to, but would love to – someday???

Ruth Hill, My Devotional Thoughts:

Yet another difficult question to answer. I'd say probably at the top of my list is Candace Cameron-Bure. I am so impressed by her life and her career that I would love the opportunity to interview her. I admit I am not actively pursuing any opportunities because with someone of her stature and popularity, there are many hoops to jump through before interviewing her. It's finding the right connection and getting that initial contact that can be tough to come by. I'm not saying "never," but the struggle I often have is agencies and managers. If I am not a "known" commodity, I am typically dismissed or ignored. Hopefully, this will change one day.

But as I always say, if I don't meet her here, I'll meet her in heaven. :-)

Candace Cameron Bure - Christmas Town
Credit: ©2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: David Dolsen

Net, It's a Wonderful Movie:

Of any person, living or gone, of all time, who would you most love to interview or talk to?

Ruth Hill, My Devotional Thoughts:

This one might be a bit surprising because it's no one who is connected with Hallmark. I could have said Fred Rogers because he was so influential on my early life. But I'm going to stick with someone who is living. Michael Crawford, the man who originally portrayed the Phantom in "Phantom of the Opera," is a person who has influenced my adult life incredibly. I have had a dream of meeting him for more years than I can count, and I would love the opportunity to interview him. I keep hoping he'll come make a Hallmark movie because then I might have a ghost of a chance. Maybe one day...

Net, It's a Wonderful Movie:

I know your faith is very special to you… please share with us a favorite verse – that inspires you in your daily walk!

Ruth Hill, My Devotional Thoughts:

For years, my "life" verse was Isaiah 40:31 "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."

I still hold to that verse, but another one has become special to me over the past few years as I pray for the salvation of so many in my life who need the Lord.

Luke 18:27 "What is impossible for man is possible with God." In context, this refers to salvation. And that is a promise I hold out to for many in my life that still don't know the Lord (but are getting closer).

image: Bible Study Tools

Net, It's a Wonderful Movie:

From Winterfest… Spring Fever… Summer Nights… Countdown to Christmas… Do you have a favorite season of TV movies?

Ruth Hill, My Devotional Thoughts:

Yet another hard question! While those Christmas movies are my favorites, it is the "Miracles of Christmas" on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries that are my favorites. Throughout the year, the mystery series have my heart. But at Christmas, the movies on that network are usually much more profound and touching than the lighter Hallmark movies on their main network.

images: Hallmark Crown Media

Net, It's a Wonderful Movie:

What are some of your favorite Hallmark movies (any season)?

Ruth Hill, My Devotional Thoughts:

Picking my favorite Hallmark movies is a very difficult thing. There are so many factors that go into that choice, and I watch Hallmark movies much more differently than most people. Realize that I am watching my friends in these movies. But I will at least tell you some of my favorites--without ranking them.

By far, one of my all-time favorite Hallmark Christmas movies is A Princess For Christmas, followed closely by Signed, Sealed, Delivered For Christmas. I have so many favorites that I will watch from year to year, but I feel these two are very strong. I feel like A Princess For Christmas is the original royal Christmas film before they got so popular. And Signed, Sealed, Delivered For Christmas is about the closest you can get to the real story of Christmas on the Hallmark network.

I simply adore all the Signed, Sealed, Delivered movies. I am not the kind of fan who watches them hundreds of times, but that doesn't mean I don't simply adore them. It is a series that is near and dear to my heart for so many reasons. There is nothing quite like that series that exists anywhere in this world.

I love the movie Royal Hearts with Cindy Busby and James Brolin. I always felt that was the perfect romantic royal film.

I also love Pearl in Paradise because it is what introduced me to the pair Kristoffer Polaha and Jill Wagner. Sure, I knew each one separately, but this one opened the door for what has become my second favorite mystery series, Mystery 101.

The reigning mystery series for me is Crossword Mysteries. I mean, I kind of have to say that because Brennan and Lacey are in it, but it's really becoming a pretty smart series, come to think of it. And of course All Of My Heart and All Of My Heart, the Wedding--magnificent.

Lest I forget--Bottled With Love...a definite contender for new favorite Hallmark movie.

I've left out so many!! I'm sure that at least eighty percent of the content on Hallmark would fall into a favorite in some fashion. I mean, I'm stoked the the Gourmet Detective is coming back. I love the darkness of Hailey Dean. I love the smartness of Aurora Teagarden. I adore Carlos and Alexa in Picture Perfect Mysteries. Chronicle Mysteries is quite current and so well-written and expertly acted. I also can't get enough of Darrow & Darrow. (See a pattern here with the mystery series??)

Ruth Hill and Barbara Niven (“Chesapeake Shores,” “Crossword Mysteries”)
(photo courtesy: Ruth Hill)

Net, It's a Wonderful Movie:

What do you hope people will take away after they have visited your web-site: My Devotional Thoughts?

Ruth Hill, My Devotional Thoughts:

This goes back to something about which I'm fiercely passionate. I am proud of the fact that my website has maintained its name and focus even as I have changed the content. I have been told that if I would change the title of my site and remove the religious symbols and Christian feel of the site that I might get more traffic and maybe more people would even agree to interviews. And I've been tempted. I understand what people are thinking about. Sure, I could do it. But here's the thing. I want every person who visits my site to know from the very beginning who I am and what I stand for. I refuse to cover up my faith, no matter what topics I might cover.

When someone cares enough to come to my site to read something I have written, I want them to go away feeling positive and inspired as well as informed. When I do an interview, I would rather show who the person really is rather than focus on their works and how they created that character. I can remember an influential actor friend of mine telling me something early on based on a review I had written of one of his movies. He said that while he is an actor by profession, he is a person who has chosen to act for a living. He still has to pay the bills and do all the other mundane stuff we all do. He doesn't even like to think of himself as a celebrity. And I've never forgotten that. I didn't even know I was doing that in my review, but he saw it. He could see that I cared about the fact that the people involved were real people, and that is how I treated them. And that is my goal.

Too many fans have this idea that actors are in some special class of people that puts them on a pedestal and makes them superhuman. I've done it too. But now one of my missions is to not only present these people with authenticity and consideration, but to also inspire and encourage them. When I was first writing reviews, I was distraught over the horrific reviews that exist online. I would read some of these reviews and sometimes wonder if the person had seen the same movie as me. Maybe there were one or two valid points they raised, but too many reviewers seem to think their job to cut down the films and even attack the people involved. I made a decision that no matter what, I would always find something positive to say about a movie or a show, no matter how much I didn't like it.

When it comes to interviews, I realized that so many of them out there are lacking. The interviewers ask the same humdrum questions over and over again. And very often, there are factual errors and lots of garbage in general. I decided to approach mine differently. Let's make it conversational and relaxed and really get to know the person. And at the end, I always make it a point to inspire this person and share my insights with my readers. I want to present that person in a positive manner and let everyone know why they are such wonderful professionals and human beings.

While I can't say that any of my interviews have ever succeeded in getting a role for someone in the business, I do know that I've heard stories over and over again that these people will do an interview with me and then get a role with a Hallmark movie a few days later. And that's the kind of story I like to hear. Not that I can take credit for their career, but the fact that I have put out that kind of positivity that inspires confidence and hopefully opens for doors for the person...that's enough for me.

Oh, and at the heart of everything I do is my faith. I regularly pray for these individuals, and they all know where I stand spiritually-speaking. While we may have to agree to disagree on a wide variety of issues, I want to always respect the person and show that I genuinely care about them on a deep level. Hopefully all my readers see that too.

Thank you, Net, for the amazing interview!

Blessings, Ruth Hill

image: My Devotional Thoughts - Ruth Hill

Oh… thank you, Ruth, for taking the time to share with us. I'm so grateful for this wonderful interview!

What a blessing it has been to have this chat with you and share your web-site with everyone here. I know many of my followers already enjoy your interviews on your blog as they accompany the newest movie premieres. It’s always fun to see who you will connect with next.

I also appreciate that you are not going to conceal your faith in order to compromise. God Bless You for living out your faith and expressing it in all you do, even when it’s a challenge. I believe, when it’s in your heart, you can’t hide it; everyone will see His light shining through you. I so value your joyful optimism and our friendship!

Thank you, also, to my followers here for reading our interview above – and be sure to look for my exclusive interview with Ruth on her website, “My Devotional Thoughts!”

Joyous Christmas Blessings to You All! Net

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