Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blooming Author Lea Ryan!

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” ~ George Sheehan

Lea Ryan's book MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth was published by CreateSpace this week.

Tell us about MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth. What is it about and where will it be available?
The novel is about a nineteen year old girl named AnnaBeth who inherits her grandmother’s Victorian mansion. The house comes complete with a cat, a crow and a ghost.

She becomes involved with the most powerful family in town, the MacDowells. The two elderly matriarchs, Vestra and Madeline, act as ‘fates’ or witches who control the lives of almost everyone around them. They take AnnaBeth under their wing as a sort of fate in training.

She, of course, gets in over her head. They make her do things she doesn’t really want to do. They turn her into a person she doesn’t really want to be.

She falls in love with their son, Justin, too. The romance between Justin and AnnaBeth is a big part of the story. When she wants out of the whole witchcraft situation, she refuses to cut ties with the family out of fear for him.

It is currently available in print on Amazon (ISBN: 978-1453787397) and on ebook at

What were your inspirations for MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth? What sorts of thing inspire you as a writer in general?
MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth began as an idea I had for a short story. I wanted to write a story about witches who used parts of the dead to make potions that kept them young looking. I started making notes, and the story turned into something else entirely.

As far as my inspiration, it can really come from anywhere. I get inspiration from books and movies. My surroundings inspire me too. I get ideas for stories when I visit places I think are interesting.

Dreams have inspired me a few times as well. Sometimes I have these really crazy, vivid dreams. Then when I wake up, I have to grab a piece of paper and write the dream down before I forget it.

Let's talk about your process. How do you approach a story, do you start with outlines or something else? Where did you work when writing MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth? Do you think it was the optimal writing environment for you?
I usually start with some vague idea for a conflict, and then I brainstorm until it turns into a story. I always use outlines. I need to know where I’m going before I start writing. The story can sometimes take on a life of its own though.

When writing MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth, I worked anywhere and everywhere I could find a free moment. I carried around an IPaq PDA and wrote on that or notebooks during lunch breaks at work and any time I had some quiet. As long as I'm in a place in which I can hear myself think, it's the optimal environment.

Tell us about your "story of getting published."
I didn’t go the traditional route when it comes to publishing. The whole agent/query thing wasn’t for me. I think I knew that from the beginning. I sent a letters to a few agents with no luck and then decided not to waste any more time with that process.

I do have an editor/sometime publisher – Dee Armstrong Crabtree. Her website is

What are the publicity plans you have coming up?
I’m having an online release party this week and next on my website. There will be a drawing for some free ebooks and one signed print copy of the book. I am also releasing a short story called Mischief in Reau Garden that features some of the adult characters from MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth as children. The link to the free download will be on my website.

I’m writing a guest post on the Miscellaneous Moments blog. I have an interview on my publisher/editor’s blog . I believe that one is scheduled for next week.

My website is here:

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