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November 19, 2013 | 03:01 PMWALWORTH — "It's a love story on many levels. Its about a pastor and his wife, humans and God, and humans and their country." That's how Larry Ruegg describes his first published novel. "At first, I didn't think anyone would publish it. There's no sex in it."
He also said there are no "bad words" in it.
"I refuse to communicate that way (with vulgarity)," he said. "I enjoy writing. It keeps my mind active."
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Ruegg of Walworth wrote the book while his wife was receiving kidney dialysis.
"The last two years were really bad," he said of his wife's treatment. "I would be sitting in the waiting room (at the hospital) with my laptop, writing up a lecture I was giving at Carthage College (in Kenosha). After that was done, I thought, what else can I write? So I wrote this. I always wanted to write a novel."
His book, "Worth the Effort," explores the United States about 30 years in the future, where election rules have changed completely.
"Right now, money elects someone," Ruegg said. "In the book, that's gone. There are no ads for candidates. Instead, the candidates fill out a resume. They can have a website, but they can't put anything negative on it about other candidates."
Ruegg said he isn't happy with the current election system of political parties and endless terms in office.
"Once someone is elected, it becomes their major job to become re-elected," he said. "Each time they're elected, they get more power and more connections, which help them get elected again." In his book, all that has changed.
"There are term limits for everyone," Ruegg said. "The president serves for six years, and he can't run again. Neither can the vice president."
Write what you know
"The main character here (Ward Adamson) asks out this girl," Ruegg said. "It was the same way I asked my future wife out for out first date. I was sitting next to her in church. That's how we met. That's all in the book."
Ruegg said he was always told to write what he knew.
"There's a lot in here based on my family," he said. "You write what you know about, and in this case, it fit the story."
Ruegg and his wife were married 58 years. She died about a year and a half ago, Ruegg said.
"My wife and I were really active with the library in Walworth," he said. "So, Bobbi (Sorrentino, library director) read the whole book before I had it printed. She said we had to have a book signing, that there had never been one at the library there."
He has no expectations for the book signing.
"I have a supply of books," he said. "If I run out, well that's a good thing. We can always order more."
Ruegg, who was a pastor for 30 years in Walworth, said he's happy writing for now.
"I still have a few places I want to go," he said. "I had a trip planned for Athens and Rome but was unable to go. I hope to get that trip scheduled again."
Until then, he has two and a half books in the works.
"One is a murder mystery, completely different from this book," Ruegg said. "Then I have the next two books in this series about Ward (Adamson, the main character)."
He's waiting to see the way his first book is received before going further with the series, that's why one is still just "a half" of a novel in progress.