You might know that in Feb I went to the Australian Romance Readers Conference, and met a wonderful assortment of people, readers and writers alike. Among those wonderful people was American romance writer Jordana Ryan. In fact, I was lucky enough to participate in a panel discussion with Jordana. Now the thing about this talented author, is that she is not quite so innocent as she seems. Jordana has a rather wicked side to her, a side I got to witness first hand as she reduced a man to a stuttering mess, simply by asking a few well worded questions about erotic romance and sex. Lexxie Couper and I are still laughing at the man’s priceless expressions.
Now here is your chance to meet Jordana, and find out for yourselves just how lovely she really is.
Hi everyone, I’m Jordana Ryan, author of No Matter What, The Wrong Woman and Summer Fling and Color Blind Available in the Amira Press Meant To Be Anthology, available at http://www.amirapress.com. Also available is Sweet Dreams and Perfect Game from http://www.bookstrand.com. At http://www.mysticmoonpress.com you can get my short A Gentleman’s Dare. Thank you Jess for having me on your blog today, it’s such an honor.
One of the questions I get asked most frequently is what inspired you to become a writer? After just over ten years working with the mentally ill and adult and juvenile criminals, writing was quite a change of profession for me. I was used to working in a tense, sometimes violent environment where nothing stayed the same and every day there was something new. People wonder why when I was used to such a high stress, active profession, I would want to work in the very solitary, very different world of writing.
The answer is very simple. My doctor told me I had to take six months off to recover from surgery, and I, being who I am, refused to spend that time being unproductive. I had always wanted to write a book so I decided that in that six months, that is just what I would do.
I began a novel called Loving Dakota and I joined some critique groups and off I went. Quickly I learned a lot about what it takes to be a writer. My first lesson was in head hopping. Loving Dakota was a very special project, however my point of view was all over the place and I had too many characters with point of view, so I ended up scrapping the project (someday I’ll go back to it) and beginning something new.
No Matter What was born on a beach in Daytona. The first three chapters, handwritten in my notebook as we drove from Florida to Missouri. I didn’t know if I had something until I started typing it up and sharing it with other aspiring writers. I can honestly say if it weren’t for the select few who read No Matter What as I wrote it, start to finish, and encouraged me along the way, begged me for more, and told me how good I really was, that I might not be here. I never realized how daunting writing your first book can be.
I edited and re-edited the book so many times, and finally, it was ready to be submitted. I did receive a few rejections (which I believe every writer has gone through) but I kept pushing on, finally finding a home for the story at Amira Press. Excitement was overwhelming me as I prepared to become published. But, even then I had no idea of the journey I would be embarking on.
Since then I have written a lot, made a lot of friends in the business, and learned the ropes so to speak. And I’m confident in my ability to write a book and get it published. Most often people will now ask me about where I get my inspiration and my writing process. Inspiration isn’t hard to come by. I draw on my own experiences. I consider myself lucky to have worked in a field for ten years that gave me a wealth of worldly knowledge from which to draw from.
I do a lot of research on various different subjects, not only because I feel that I should learn something new every day, but because I never know what is going to inspire me to a new story. I also work with a lot of authors as an editor, and I have had people that know my work and the kind of stories I write that will give me ideas and say “you should write that”. Those recommendations are stored away in a notebook and waiting for my attention.
How do I write? I’m definitely not a plotter. I like to let my characters dictate my stories. I firmly believe that the characters will tell me where to go as opposed to me telling them what to do. One of the best experiences I had writing was in the writing of Sweet Dreams. This is a romantic suspense that was fun to write. I knew I had a bad guy, but I didn’t know who it was until I wrote one line in the book, and I thought, AHA!!! That’s who it is. It was that moment that excited me and propelled me toward the ending. Interestingly enough I have tried to be a plotter. Those are always the novels that I will begin, and abandon. I just can’t seem to follow an outline.
What makes writing special to me is that in each piece there is a bit of myself. It’s quite a legacy to leave, when you can leave in black and white bits and pieces of yourself for whomever wants to read them. I thoroughly enjoy the writing community. Authors, editors, publishers, we are all a wonderful group of supportive people after the same goal. I have made many friends along the way. People that help me, and people that I help. Essentially that is what I did as a counselor, so what I do really isn’t all that different from my former profession.
I’ve gotten a lot of great experiences out of this. Just recently I went to Australia for the Australian Romance Readers Convention. What a trip!! If it weren’t for my change in profession, I never would have had that experience and met the people I did. I’m looking forward to more experiences like Australia, and a long career of providing high quality stories to my readers.
I love to hear from my readers, and there are many way you contact me:
My Website: http://jordanaryan.tripod.com
Thanks for taking some time with me today, and don’t forget to visit my website. You can enter my contest to win a $50 gift card to Borders, learn more about me, and read some excerpts of my books.
Thanks again, Jess for having me today!!