The Journey of Ruthie Belle: In The Situation Room with Michelle Cuttino

Michelle Cuttino - Imani WisdomImani Wisdom is the founder of Pink Noire Publications. Based in Indianapolis, IN, Pink Noire is a groundbreaking company with an unpredictable brand of literary storytelling. Wisdom is also the creator of Pink Noire Blog, which hosts inspirational posts for the soul, along with social commentary. Born and raised in “Indy,” Wisdom spends her days overseeing a family of five, writing short stories and books, cooking vegan dishes, running 5Ks and mini-marathons, and enjoying quality time with her friends and family.

Wisdom is a graduate of Ivy Tech Community College, earning a degree in Paralegal Studies. She is a prolific storyteller whose works depict an honest portrayal of societal issues. As a blogger and author, she has received numerous honors including 2012 nominee for Poet of the Year (AAMBC Book Club), March 2012 Up and Coming Author (The Writer’s POV Magazine), September 2011 Blog of the Month (The Writer’s POV Magazine), and February 2011 Editor’s Pick ( for her short story, The Shattered Mogul. Her works include Zion’s Road: A Love Story about Faith and Redemption, and her upcoming debut full-length novel, The Journey of Ruthie Belle.

Michelle: Tell us a little about Imani Wisdom, the woman behind the author.

Imani: I am an introvert who loves to write a good story. Whether it’s a short story, or a novel, I enjoy creating characters. Depending on the storyline, I like creating new worlds, too. I’m from Indianapolis, and I’m the mother of three beautiful children.

Michelle: You are the founder of Pink Noire Publications. First, where did the name come from?

Imani: Initially, it was named “Wickedly Sweet Ink,” but I felt the name didn’t go with my personality or my writing. So, I changed it to my brand colors: pink and black. Thus, Pink Noire.

Michelle: What is Pink Noire’s mission?

Imani: Pink Noire’s mission is to provide the highest quality of entertainment, as well as present women’s issues in a different light. I love to write about strong-willed women, but I also like for them to bear some flaws. Sometimes, the weakest voice makes excellent characters.

Michelle: You are also the founder of the Urban eBook Fair. Tell us a little about this project.

Imani: I founded the Urban eBook Fair two years ago on a prayer. Little did I know, it was a growing interest among the writing community, as well as curious readers. In the future, I hope the fair expands beyond the micro-bytes of the Internet into something more, much more!

imani-cover-pic-iiMichelle: You’ve written a few short stories, including Zion’s Road: A Love Story about Faith and Redemption. Tell us what the short is about.

Imani: Zion’s Road is a short story I started ten years ago. With the lead character as a former Klansman, I wanted to write a story about redeeming oneself from their truths. Meaning, the things we reap, we will sow in the long run – especially, when it comes to secrets. In Harold’s case, he buried this particular secret for decades, only to find out things aren’t what they seem.

Michelle: Your upcoming release is actually your debut novel, titled The Journey of Ruthie Belle. Please tell us what the book is about.

Imani: The Journey of Ruthie Belle is the prequel to Zion’s Road, and it’s also where Ruthie makes her introduction. In the story, Ruthie began as a meek housewife in an abusive marriage. Although she found an ingenious way to break free, she suffered tremendous ups and downs in life. So, like Zion’s Road, she, too, will make her pilgrimage into her journey to uncover her own truths, including reuniting with a long lost loved one.

Michelle: Give us some insight on whom Ruthie Belle is. What makes her tick?

Imani: Ruthie Belle is you and me. She is a fierce mother and grandmother. She’s straight forward, and loves unconditionally. However, those attributes did not occur overnight. She had to grow from the inside out. Like any person who battles with low self-esteem, you can either let it defeat you, or you defeat it. In Ruthie’s case, she made a concerted effort to defeat it!

Michelle: Why did you decide to explore the taboo topic of domestic violence in this novel?

Imani: As told in Zion’s Road, racism is taught. Although no one is born physically and emotionally hurting others, domestic violence is more complex. That is why I’ve chosen this topic as the story’s narrative. I wanted to go deeper, not only exploring the mind of the victim and the children, but the aggressor as well.

Michelle: Was it hard for you to segue from writing shorts to now writing a full-length novel?

Imani: Not at all! It was easy converting from shorts to 77,000 words (or more) novels. The only thing I did have trouble with was the pace.

Michelle: What do you hope readers walk away with once they’ve read The Journey of Ruthie Belle?

Imani: That one bad chapter in their life does not define their story. So what you’ve made a poor decision or two, so what! I’ve made them, and I had to learn from them and move on. If you allow them to fester and grow onto your conscious, they won’t be considered as “bad choices,” but your demons.

Michelle: What’s next for Imani Wisdom?

Imani: Well, either two things: Depending on how well this novel is received, I will pursue writing the next saga. I won’t go into details as to what or who this story will convey, but I will say it will touch on another taboo topic.

Or, I will pursue getting a play I’d written into production. The story was supposed to have been a Christmas play for my church, but things didn’t go as planned. I finished it despite the controversial topic. To make it interesting, I wrote two manuscripts from the original story line.

Michelle: Where can readers contact and/or follow you?

Imani: You can follow me on Twitter @Imani_Wisdom, on Facebook @ImaniWisdom, and on Instagram @ImaniWisdom. My official website is


Michelle Cuttino - Imani WisdomSynopsis 

The meek Ruthie Belle dreams of one day being free from her husband’s constant mental and physical torment, until one day she finds the courage to break free from his bondage. Even though the plan goes without a hitch, Ruthie spends the rest of her life riddled in guilt and shame. Later at the ripe age of 103, Ruthie discovers forgiveness and redemption are a part of everyday journeys.

During her pilgrimage, she meets people from her past and makes new and important friends to help her heal and to find understanding. Yet the further into her journey, the darker it gets. Ruthie discovers things aren’t the way it seems when her shame comes back for his revenge – her husband. Will new revelations keep her from her pursuit to redemption? Or will the haunting of her past stop her cold in her tracks?


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