Thursday, March 19, 2015

Interview with Ryan Jo Summers

This week I have the ever-fabulous Ryan Jo Summers hanging out with me on my virtual couch for a lovely chat. Ryan and I are Soul sisters, both published with Soul Mate Publishing. Her latest title, Shimmers of Stardust, was released in September 2014. Alright, girl. Let's get this party started!

EJ: Have you always been a writer, or was there a specific event in your life that drove you to write? 

RJS: I always wanted to be a veterinarian, and write on the side. (I started writing at 10, but only later realized people did this for a living) I thought being a vet for financial security and write for fun was the sensible approach. For many years, I wrote and submitted, dreaming of publication. Now, with multiple publications and regular free-lance work, my focus has shifted to wanting to retire from the day job one day and write full time for both fun and financial security.

EJ: Sounds like a smart plan. Think back to when you were in school. Did your English teachers love or hate you? 

RJS: They loved me as I was a good student and wanted to learn, except when it came to book reports. They’d usually say reports had to be a minimum of so many pages. My hand would go shooting in the air, and I’d ask what the maximum was that we could write. Looking back, I am sure the kids didn’t appreciate my enthusiasm much.

EJ: We teachers love good students like that. What was it like when you finally received an offer on your book? Who did you tell first?

RJS: I didn’t tell anyone when I received my first offer. It was a different book with a different publisher. I was too scared to say anything for fear the deal would somehow fall through before the book actually came out. When I sold my fist Soul Mate book, I was a little quicker to spread the word, but it still took me almost a month to open up. In both cases, it was my co-workers whom I told first. My family is far away and I wanted this to be a face to face experience. When I reached the third book, a phone call was sufficient.

EJ: How does your family feel about you writing romance? 

RJS: My dad is very supportive, glad for any success I have. He has lots of advice, some I take and some I don’t. My mom is glad for me. She says with all the books I’ve read over the years, it should be easy to write my own now. They both want me to be happy, and if writing makes me happy, go for it

EJ: Aww. Sounds like you have lots of support. Where do you do most of your writing? Can you snap a photo and show us where you work your magic? 

RJS: My study. Behind me is my bird, Taz. The fish give me something to shift my eyes to for a quick mental break. Tons of natural lighting. To my right is another big fish tank, so there is surround sound white noise of falling water.

The white squares on the back of the chair is double sided tape to discourage scratching from the kitties. Three cats are shown: Whymzie, Kryshnah and Aspen.

EJ:  I'm a cat person myself but we only have one cat right now. I love the idea of adding a fish tank to my imaginary office. What's your writing process like? Hopefully it's better than mine is right now.

RJS: I get up in the AM, read over yesterday’s work, and revise. I add to it and stop when the time runs out for when I have to go to work. I usually write the story as I go, scene by scene, with lots of narrative up front. I go back and add details and descriptions while I revise. Then I go back and tweak, revising again.

EJ: Where do you get your inspiration?

RJS: Songs a lot of the time. I listen to music for the stories they tell as well as the sound of the music. Songs give me lots of inspiration when I am stuck. Taking walks in nature helps a lot too, getting my mind loose so it can just filter through things to find something to write.

EJ: Me too! Music is a huge part of my process, photos to. What celebrity hottie revs your engine? Have they ever inspired the image or personality of one of your literary heroes? 

RJS: I don’t watch television shows. No protest or anything, I just prefer to use my time on other outlets. So that being said, I have no clue who the current celebrities are. I glance at tabloids in the grocery store and they’re all strangers to me. My generation is George Clooney, Pierce Brosnon and Robert Redford. I don’t think they’ve ever inspired me literarily speaking but there is nothing wrong with enjoying the eye candy. I only wish we women could go grey as stylish and sexy as the men seem to.

EJ: Sadly, I'm addicted to my TV shows. Who was your favorite character to write? 

RJS: In this story, Shimmers of Stardust, I loved writing about Logan Riley. In most my books, I connect with the male lead more so. Even when I adore the female lead, he tends to be the one I identify more with.

EJ: Tell us more, please! 

RJS: Here's the trailer.

EJ: The book sounds amazing. I was really intrigued by the trailer and can't wait to pick it up. Are you working on anything new? Can you give us the log line and first paragraph of your current WIP?

RJS: I have two of them.

Winds of Destiny
Three stories of three free-spirited sisters finding love and adventure in their small North Carolina coastal town. 

The old man was dying. He knew it without the solemn stares coming from the doctor and the nurses. Before he parted, he had one more bit of unfinished business left. It was one he should have attended to a long time ago. Looking now into the worried faces of his two friends and neighbors of the last thirty-two years, he smiled grimly. It was time.

September’s Song
Ivey London was told her husband died in combat five years ago. So who is this amnesiac soldier who suddenly shows up, looks just like Keegan did and has superpowers?

It was going to be cold out, Ivey decided, snapping off the weather report. Jory needed to wear his heavier jacket. The clock in the hall chimed, alerting her of the time. 

“Jory,” she called upstairs, hand on the banister. “It’s almost time for Becca. Are you ready yet?” Listening, she heard only dull thumps to tell her he was moving around. Soon he came bounding down the stairs, followed closely by his oversized black and white dog.

EJ: I really like the concept for both of the books. The beginning of Winds of Change might hit a little close to home right now for me, though. If you ever need a beta reader, I'm your gal! Alright, it's time for . . . 

Rapid Fire Questions 
Salty or Sweet? 
Coffee or Tea? 
Coffee all day, hot tea at bedtime
Coke or Pepsi?
Neither, but sprite once in a while
Chocolate or Vanilla? 
Chocolate of course. 
Cat or Dog?
Both. I prefer dogs, but don’t tell that to the five cats I live with.
Extrovert or Introvert?
Both. Depends on the situation, who is present and all that. At my core, I have always been and still am quiet and shy. My co-workers will probably disagree with that statement.

EJ: You are probably one of the only other people I have ever met that doesn't like Coke or Pepsi. We truly are soul sisters! 

Ryan Jo Summers is a bookworm and lover of words. She now even has favorite words she collects. She writes a gambit of materials, from short stories delving into mystery, romance, time travel, horror and especially Christian. She writes lots of non fiction Christian and some poetry. She free-lance writes for assorted markets. Her niche is contemporary romance with blended subgenre twists. When not writing, she likes to paint, explore the great outdoors and read. To feed her love of words, she also likes bent and twisted word find puzzles. She likes to cook, experimenting and finding new twists on old favorite recipes. She makes her home, along with several adoring pets, in the mountains of Western North Carolina, while she dreams of living on the beach lined coast of eastern NC.


Check out these titles by Ryan Jo Summers, available now on

Thank you so much for joining us today. I hope to see you all again next week! 

What's next for Elizabeth Janette?

Next Tuesday - Romance Weekly Blog Hop #LoveWriteChat 

Next Thursday - author Zen DiPietro joins me for a chat


  1. Elizabeth, thank you so much for allowing me to visit with you and prattle on about my pets and stuff. I had a great time. I'd love to have you beta read-- your choice of course.

    1. Anytime. It was great having you here today.