Come on in, pull up a chair – today we’re talking with Jesi Lea Ryan, author of Four Thousand Miles. Let’s meet this debut author, shall we?
When did you decide to pursue writing seriously?
I majored in Creative Writing and Literature in college, but since I wasn’t interested in teaching, I wasn’t left with a lot of options for employment. I just didn’t trust in my writing enough to count on it to support me. So, I ended up in the insurance industry. I worked there for twelve years, but in Spring 2009 my position was eliminated. I decided to look at it as an opportunity to write. Halfway through Four Thousand Miles, I decided I never wanted to do anything else ever again.
How did you choose what genre to write – or did it choose you?
It sort of chose me. I read several books a week, but I’d never read romance before. I didn’t realize that was what I was writing when I started Four Thousand Miles. To me, the book is about an emotionally damaged woman who attempts to run away from her problems by fleeing to England—about her healing process. Yes, part of that healing is brought on by the friendship and love of a good man, but I didn’t realize until after the book was done that it was a romance.
Tell us a little about your writing process. How do you get from idea to completed draft?
I’m not a very organized writer. I don’t outline or anything. Really, I’m an obsessive day dreamer. I swear if it was an Olympic sport, I’d get gold! I think of my day dreams as writing in my head. I usually start with a character; then I put them into a situation and see what happens. I kick scenes around in my head—examining them from different perspectives, fleshing out the details, listening to the dialog. As a result, I rarely ever find myself sitting in front of a blank screen.
What are some of your favorite authors to read?
Oh, my goodness! That’s like asking a parent to pick the favorite among their children! I have great respect for writers of all types, whether they are commercial or literary or self-published. A few of my favorites are Oscar Wilde, Richelle Mead, Neil Simon, Tom Perrotta, DH Lawrence, Jodi Piccoult and JR Ward. See what I mean by my eclectic reading habits?
If anyone is interested in my reading, I maintain a blog where I review all of the books that I read. I started it just to record my thoughts about the books I read, but I’m finding people are actually enjoying reading it. Check it out at http://diaryofabibliophile-jesilea.blogspot.com/.
What do you like do when you’re not writing?
Well, I’m also an MBA student, so I spend a lot of time laboring over spread sheets. Yuck! When not writing or studying, I read almost constantly. Even in the car, I usually have an audio book on. I’m also a pop-culture junky. I’m addicted to Perez Hilton.com and I’m fascinated by the positive and negative aspects to celebrity. I actually began writing something on it, but stopped when I couldn’t find a member of the paparazzi to interview.
How do you balance writing with the other aspects of your life?
Most of my writing time is done in the afternoons when most people are at work. It gives me a large chunk of quiet time. I also spend a significant amount of time each week blogging, developing my online presence and meeting with a group of local writers in a critique group. My husband brings work home frequently and we have no children, so many nights, we are both hanging out, each with our own laptops. My weekends are when most of my down time takes place.
Who is your favorite literary character or couple?
Georgina and Seth from Richelle Mead’s Succubus series are wonderful! Seth is quite possibly my ideal man. I also have a thing for the Jake and Brett in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Both couples have massive stumbling blocks between them. I suspect the Georgina and Seth will find their “happily ever after” in the end, but Jake and Brett never quite made it.
Where can readers find your book?
My novel, Four Thousand Miles, is available on ebook now at All Romance http://tiny.cc/h5af7.
“When Natalie Spencer loses both her career and marriage in the same morning, the emotional shock sends her on a spontaneous journey to England. There, she is nearly mugged in a Tube station, but an introverted songwriter named Gavin Ashby scares off her attackers. Recognizing Natalie’s fragile state, Gavin offers help and invites her to recuperate from her trauma at his country home.
“As she adjusts to her new role and surroundings, Natalie finds healing by helping others. Gavin and his family begin to accept Natalie into their hearts, leading her to a choice…abandon her old life in the States and trust in a new chance at love, or flee once again?”
It’s a fun read. I hope you all buy a copy and enjoy it!
Thanks so much for joining us today, Jesi. Your method sounds a lot like mine, actually…and my husband and I are the same way in the evenings. LOL I wish you all the best with your book, and plan to read it soon.
Feel free to leave comments for Jesi below, or connect with her at her blog or on Twitter and at Facebook .