AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: LORI RYAN
Our latest victim (ahem… interviewee) to stop by for an interview is Lori Ryan…
My most current book is Penalty Clause, Book Two in the Sutton Capital Series. It is self-published and is available on Amazon.
Tell us a little about Penalty Clause, what inspired you to write Penalty Clause?
Andrew Weston thinks he’ll be able to help the object of his teenage crush, Jill Walsh, get over her divorce. What he doesn’t realize is that healing Jill’s wounds will heal his own. When Andrew realizes he’s in love with Jill, he has to scramble to find a way to keep her with him forever.
Just when Andrew succeeds in finding lasting love with Jill, she’s almost taken from him by a force he can’t control.
Andrew was one of my favorite side characters in Legal Ease, Book One of the Sutton Capital Series. He was so loyal to those around him and so funny and easy going. I knew I needed to write his story. He deserved happiness and Jill Walsh was just the woman to bring that to him.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I’m a heavy duty outliner, so most of the time I have the story plotted out. As I write, though, my characters do have a tendency to take over and the book usually ends up even better when they do that. My favorite thing is writing and having a character do something or say something I had no idea was coming. It’s always a little stunning but I know my characters are strong when they take over the keyboard.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I started in romance but I may move into others as I go along. I read romance novels, typically devouring one a day, so it’s the genre that made sense for me. I didn’t know I would include an element of suspense when I started out. I plan to write some erotica someday and want to get more into the mystery side of things.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
It’s so hard to choose. I honestly love them all. I think it would be impossible to come out of a book and not love the people you just spent months immersed with.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
Aunt Mabry form Legal Ease went through several reiterations. I have a hard time writing characters that are spiteful and mean. I think I want everyone to be sweet and cuddly and lovey. Or alpha and sexy and hot! Mean and petty is hard for me.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
In a way, yes. No one character is based on someone I know, but a lot of the stories that happen are things that have really happened to me or to someone I know. There are several scenes in the third book, due out in October of this year, which really took place. And in Penalty Clause, Jill’s dog Rev is based on my dog. Everything about him is my dog to a T. Even his name!
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Finding time can be tough. I also have a hard time filling in things once I have the main story idea down. Sometimes, I have to go back and add subplot or twists to make the story interesting enough and I often get stuck with that. When that happens, I usually have to just stop writing for a few days and let the characters just run amok in my head for a bit. They usually come up with something that way.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I get this question a lot and my answer is always, “I don’t know.” I really don’t think there’s anything that surprising about me. I’m sure my friends would disagree. I’ll have to ask them and get back to you.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Cinnamon toast. I’m an addict. Completely hooked.
What TV Shows are you addicted to?
Bones, NCIS, Castle. Are you seeing a pattern here? You get why I want to write a mystery someday, right?
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
I have to have the scenes written out in my head already. I play scenes out in my head and then sit down and write them. If I get to a point where all the scenes are on paper, I have to walk away from the computer until more scenes are filled in. I can’t simply sit in front of the computer to make things up. It all has to be there in my head first.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Nope. My husband is very into music but I’m not. I listen to music but I’m one of those people who never knows who the song is by or what it’s called. If I ever write a book that involves a lot of music, you can bet my husband had a big hand in it.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
To me, Andrew is always Ivan Sergei. That’s how I see him in my head. Jill was based, physically, on my friend so I have a hard time seeing any actress playing her. Maybe Amanda Seyfried or Katherine Heigl?
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I’m self-published so I haven’t had this experience yet. Someday, maybe…
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
Wow. I don’t have a clue! I started reading them heavily when I was pregnant with my son last year. I’m guessing I probably read one before that at some point in my life, but I can’t remember exactly when.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Oh, there are so many it’s hard to name all of them. I’m dying for a new one by Bev Pettersen. And I want another Neighbors from Hell by R.L. Mathewson. I buy anything new from Jacinda Wilder, Bella Andre, Susan Mallery, and Jill Shalvis. I’m in love with the erotic authors Shayla Black and Lexi Blake. You can see my list is pretty long.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I’m very lucky. I don’t have to work another job, but I am home with my nine month old, so much of my time is devoted to him. I guess that’s really a full time job itself.
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all time favorite?
My all-time favorite is The Outsiders. Something more recent? Hmmmmm. Bridesmaids.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I have a Sutton Capital Novella coming out soon. The Baker’s Bodyguard tells the story of Kelly Sutton’s sister, Jessica. It’s short and funny but also has some steamy sex scenes.
Chad and Jennie’s story, Negotiation Tactics is coming out in October. Fans have been asking for that one and I think it will be the best of the series yet. Those two have great chemistry together, but it turns out, there are a lot of roadblocks in their way. It will definitely be the most emotional book of the series.
I also have another series planned for later in the year and I have a romantic mystery with a little darker tone to it that I’ll be pitching to an editor later this year.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
Bev Pettersen. Or Shayla Blake. Or Jill Shalvis. Or Peny Reid. You can tell I have fan girl issues, right?
How do you pick your characters names?
Sometimes they hit me and other times have to pour through online lists until something jumps out at me.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
I’m kind of a love at first sight person. For Jennie and Chad, they definitely had lust at first sight but love is coming more slowly for Jennie. She has some issues that are holding her back, so it’s building a lot more slowly for her. For Andrew and Jill in Penalty Clause, I think it was love at first sight but neither of them knew it. Same for Jack and Kelly. They were in denial.
Where can readers find you?
You can find me at my goodreads fan group: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/104565. Join my fan group and I’ll send you a free copy of The Baker’s Bodyguard. You can also find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/loriryanromance or on Twitter at @loriryanauthor.
And for the silly side –
What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Chocolate with sea salt and caramel. Really, though. Let’s be realistic. Is there a wrong kind of chocolate?
Ranger or Morelli?
Oh. My friend would be able to answer this for you.
Hold on. I’ll call her.
Okay. She says Morelli. He’s steadier. She says she’ll never get anything too serious out of Ranger. He’s sexy and cool and a good guy but Morelli ultimately has more passion for Stephanie than Ranger.