Next in our Interview series: Ryan Jo Summers. Make sure to leave questions and comments below!
Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. Can you begin by introducing yourself, please?
I come from a family of wordsmiths. My dad is a singer/ songwriter. His aunt wrote poetry. His dad was an old salt of the water, which explains my affinity of the water. I have always had books in hand and wrote my first story at age ten. Publication came much later. Now I have numerous articles and five books out, with two more books scheduled for 2016 releases. I live in North Carolina, in a 1920 cottage with a menagerie of loveable rescued pets.
What made you decide to start writing?
I had no choice really. I always felt that untapped urge, or drive, to write. Only when I was scribbling something into a notebook or pounding on a keyboard was the urge satisfied. At times, once I started submitted and gained countless rejections, I threw up my hands and declared I would never be able to be published. The voice still persisted I write. So I wrote, to quiet the beast, and tossed the finished products in the drawers. Finally one day, a lucky break. The rest is the continuation of the journey.
How do you find your inspiration or where do you get your story ideas?
Everywhere. For Chasing the Painted Skies, I was homesick for my old lake home, with lighthouses and storms. So I wrote the story to appease my loneliness. Sitting at a red light one day, a plumber’s van for Coynes Plumbing drove by. Instantly I had a new addition—Koynes and treasure. So I rewrote the script to add those parts. One day I was driving to work and passed a giant inflatable Santa. Immediately my mind wrote a newspaper article about a how my WIP character would shoot the Santa. It became my way to introduce that character. Seeing a truck hauling a car down the interstate became a hobby for another character and his backstory for another WIP. The list is endless. For Glimpse Eternity. I was driving home from work Valentine’s night and spotted a bouquet of roses in the middle of the road. The possibilities of why they were there were mind boggling. Over time, the premise of the story came to be.
Do you have a character that has been your favorite to write about?
Two of them. Logan Riley in Shimmers of Stardust (Published 2014) and Murphy in Beyond the Stars (unpublished so far). They are 1880’s cowboys who are just so much fun in their simplicity and common sense. They have high morals, despite one being an outlaw. They make my heart beat. I wish I could meet them in real life. I would feel so safe and protected beside them.
Is there another genre that you would like to try?
I have this huge interest in quantum physics. I would like to try something more mind bending than just time travel, though I love that too. And stories within a story. I have an idea for a YA/NA that would be two stories in one, told from two characters POV and timelines. It is tricky trying to figure out how to balance it all. But I like reading those who can do it well.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I paint canvas and ceramics. I love to read and word wiggly word find puzzles. I take my dog to the National Forest nearby and explore, recharge and reconnect. I like gathering with people in whose company I enjoy.
If you could be any paranormal being, what would you be and why?
A shape shifter, who can change at will into any animal. Years ago there used to be this TV show, called Manimal and he pretty much could do that. Again, time travel is so neat, if that counts as paranormal, I wish I could time travel at will too. Maybe blend the two. That would be so fun!
If you could pick the brain of one author, who would you like to have a discussion with & why?
Mark Twain, Samuel Clemens. I think he is the underdog of the writing giants. He was clever, creative and intelligent. He rose above his humble beginnings and made a niche for himself. Earnest Hemingway would be another choice.
What is your next project?
A few are going on. First, I am trying to finish a comedy novella based on finding love in an unexpected place and moving past challenges to keep that love. It’s about 2/3 finished now. Second, a final revision of an inspirational novel so I can submit it. I love reading and writing inspirational stories and really like this one. Third, my problem child. I have chiseled away at this for over two years, in spurts. It is literary fiction, and includes romance, suspense, quantum physics, relationships, military, and so much more. The characters have taken over the whole thing and changed it from just a love story to all this.
Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything else you would like to say to readers or fellow authors?
Never give up. Always have faith and believe that you can achieve anything you ask for.
Raven Koynes is a woman in hiding. Years ago she escaped to remote Gull Island Light Station, nestled far away in Lake Superior. She has carved out a life of peace and solitude for herself. Until famed nature photographer Sebastian Knight arrives—in the height of a nor’easter storm—to document the beauty of Gull Island. Unsavory treasure hunters also blow in with the storm, determined to find missing cargo from a sunken ship. And they think Raven knows where it’s stashed. A power outage is a final threat, pushing Raven to the limit.
Help arrives in the form of a stray German Shepherd Dog, who takes an immediate protective interest in Raven. He becomes her constant shadow and listening ear as she sorts out her growing—and conflicting—feelings for Sebastian.
Meanwhile, Sebastian came to the island looking for treasure as well, in the form of photographs, While he isn’t so sure about a sunken boat and missing cargo, he only needs one look at Raven Koynes to know he’s found his own valuable treasure. One he hopes he can hang on to once she learns about his mysterious secret.
Now that Madeline the resident ghost has found out, it’s probably just a matter of time until Raven does too. And with the storm and power outage, no one is going anywhere any time soon.
Buy on Amazon or read on Kindle Unlimited: http://amzn.to/1OmN2Sm
About the author:
Ryan Jo Summers is a North Carolina who writers twisted romance. Taking a contemporary love story, she blends time travel, paranormal, mystery, inspirational, suspenseful thriller, shape shifting, sweet honesty and more. She likes to cook, experimenting with various recipes, molding them much like her story genres. Lately, she is just enjoying this crazy journey called Life.
Where to find her