Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blooming Author Jesi 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

Jesi Lea Ryan's book, Four Thousand Miles, was published by DCL Publications on October 7, 2010.

Tell us about Four Thousand Miles. What is it about and where will it be available?

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?

Four Thousand Miles is available now in ebook format at DCL Publications.

What were your inspirations for Four Thousand Miles? What sorts of thing inspire you as a writer in general?

The inspiration for this story originated while I was staying as a bed & breakfast outside of Pluckey, Kent in England. It was actually a 500 year old, medieval farm which had been converted into an upscale restaurant with guest rooms. Not only were the buildings beautiful, but the surrounding countryside was as well. I remember thinking that it would be the perfect place to fall in love. I just ran with it from there!

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 Four Thousand Miles? Do you think it was the optimal writing environment for you?

Honestly, I do everything that the books on writing tell you not to do! I don't outline. I'm not organized. I don't adhere to a writing schedule. I work at the dining room table where I can be in the middle of the action of my home rather than in my quiet office. My only excuse is that it works for me.

I do have a couple of rules for myself. I never sit in front of a blank screen. If I'm blocked, I get up and do something else. I give myself the space to think about my work and how to resolve the plot or character issues that I'm hung up on. Only after I am comfortable with my direction do I sit back down to write. Another major rule...plenty of black coffee!

Tell us about your "story of getting published."

I really had no clue about how to go about the process of selling my book once it was written. I used tips off of other writers' websites to learn how to write a query letter and approach agents. I sent out about forty queries to agents, but didn't get a nibble. In May 2010, I attended the Romantic Times Convention with the goal of finding an agent. I didn't, but I did find two editors who requested partial manuscripts from me. Within two weeks, Jean Watkins from DCL Publications offered me a contract. She'd only read the first three chapters. I thought that was a good sign!

What are the publicity plans you have coming up?

Since it is an ebook, signings are pretty much out of the question. I've been making the rounds on the blog circuit, and that's been a lot of fun! Next week, I'm having a release party for a large group of friends and family. Since many of them are not ereaders, it will give me an opportunity to show them how they can download the book. My hope is that it will open the door for them to other ebooks.