THE LAWMAN CLAIMS HIS BRIDE book no. 4
Offering an oasis of hope, faith and love on the rugged Colorado frontier.
For five years, U.S. Marshal Logan Mitchell has dreamed of returning to his sweetheart in Denver. He never imagined he'd find Megan Goodwin locked in a prison cell. Megan has no memory of what happened the night the outlaw was murdered. And though Logan is sure of her innocence, proving it is only half the battle. Remembering the killer's identity will clear Megan's name but could lead danger right to her door. Logan will protect her life with his. But forging a true marriage takes trust, faith and the courage to open their hearts to God's plan--where ever it leads . . .
It is my absolute honor and thrill to welcome my friend Renee Ryan to Get Lost in a Story. Plus I get to ask her fun questions besides.
DONNELL: Hi, Renee! If you got your choice to live in a big city or small town, what would it be?
RENEE: Can I choose something in between? You know, say a college town or one with about 250,000 people. Okay, I know, that would be cheating. If pressed, I’d have to say big city. I especially love New York City. Whenever I visit I never get tired of the constant activity, the bright lights, the anonymity, always having something to do within walking distance. Sign me up!
DONNELL: Character driven author or plot driven?
RENEE: Definitely character driven. I usually start by plotting my characters. Who are they? What are their hang-ups, habits, flaws? What lesson do they need to learn? How will they learn it? How will the romantic interest drive that change? Once I know basic answers to those questions the story starts to unfold for me.
DONNELL: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
RENEE: For the record, I always tell authors to ignore reviews, especially on-line reviews. Having said that, yes, I read reviews of my books. I try not to look for them, but I seem to be one of those people who stumbles across them when I least expect it. If it’s a good review I smile, sigh happily, pat myself on the back and then let the glow last as long as possible. If it’s a bad review, I agonize. I obsess. I get mad. I sometimes cry. I am not a pretty crier. Hence my advice to other authors to avoid reading reviews. Most of us just aren’t made for that much negativity thrown our way. I recently came across a very ugly thread about my last WWII book, purely by accident of course. It’s not important what the discussion was about or whether the readers had a point (which, of course, they did and one I’ve tried to address in my latest book). What stunned me most about the whole experience was that a famous author, one I’ve always admired, joined in the rant. It was very hurtful and completely unnecessary and has made me reassess how I feel about this person. I stick by what I tell my fellow authors. Ignore reviews! If I say this often enough maybe one of these days I’ll follow my own advice.
DONNELL: What name have you been dying to use as a lead character, but haven’t found the right fit yet?
RENEE: Scarlet. And, yep, I already know who you’re thinking about as you read this. No way would I ever attempt that one in a book. But it’s a really great name, isn’t it?
DONNELL: (I wasn't going to say a word ;) What’s in your refrigerator right now?
RENEE: Several bottles of water, milk, eggs, stale bread, a two-year old lean cuisine, iced tea, lemons and beer. Now that my kids are out of the house, and my husband doesn’t come home until late, I no longer cook. It’s very freeing.DONNELL: I’m a genie, and I’ve just granted your three wishes. What are they?
RENEE: Okay, I would like to give some great answers, you know, like say world peace and salvation for all. But I’m going to go with something a little less serious today.
1. Anything with chocolate, whether solid or liquid, has zero calories.
2. I’m a perfect size 4 without diet or exercise.
3. I have a permanent, live-in maid and chef.
DONNELL: (Great genie; where do I sign up?) What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
RENEE: My grandfather was a great storyteller. He could tell the same story over and over again and still make it seem fresh every time. I never thought I would be able to do that, not without a lot of training. Add to that, my only C in college was in my first (and only) Creative Writing course. I never thought I’d acquire the necessary skills to pull off a career in writing, at least not where I would be able to produce the kind of books I loved to read. But with a lot of persistence, workshops and rejections, I sold my first book to Dorchester through the inaugural New Historical Voice contest. Now I’m working on my tenth contracted book. A big dream has come true. BIG one.
DONNELL: What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing/researching a book?
RENEE: I knew, but didn’t really know, that the Jews weren’t Hitler’s only victims. He sent other people groups, the mentally ill and many dissenters to the death camps to die right along with the Jews. I feel as though many of those voices were truly silenced.
DONNELL: What is your favorite kid joke?
RENEE: What does a pig put on a wound? Oinkment. Hahahahahaha.
DONNELL: :) If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?
RENEE: I would go back to the time when Jesus walked among His disciples. I would love to sit at his feet and hear Him preach firsthand. What a joy that would be.
DONNELL: (Lovely answer, I'd join you.) How much money does it take to be happy?
RENEE: That’s a trick question. I’m not answering that one!
DONNELL: What question are you never asked in interviews, but wish you were?
RENEE: The names of my two cats, because there’s a story there. My cats are Reggie and Leroy, thank you for asking, Donnell. They were named after two famous Green Bay Packer football players: Reggie White and Leroy Butler. My husband and son brought the baby kitties home from the shelter but didn’t think to ask their gender. Nor did they think to check. A few months later, they took the “boys” to the vet to be neutered. Both cats came home spayed! Reggie and Leroy are girls. We didn’t have the heart to change their names once we found out. It’s all very confusing at our home.RENEE'S CHANCE TO ASK:
Do you read Christian Fiction? If so, do you like more or less Scripture/God in your stories and what would you consider crossing the line into “too preachy?”
Leave a comment and you’ll be put in a drawing for one of three copies of my latest release, THE LAWMAN CLAIMS HIS BRIDE. I dedicated this book to Donnell, by the way. She’s such a great friend and writer! It’s always a joy to spend time with her, even if it’s online. Thanks for having me today!
It's my privilege, Renee, thank you! ~ Donnell
To learn more about Renee, visit her web page at http://www.reneeryan.com/