3QQ is an ongoing blog feature in which we ask authors who are joining Nora for an upcoming Turn the Page Bookstore signing some questions about their current release, upcoming books and anything else that strikes our fancy.
TTP’s next event is this Saturday, September 14 from noon-2 pm. Joining Nora are the other authors who contributed to the Mirror, Mirror anthology — all of whom are good pals.
First up is Ruth Ryan Langan who also writes as R.C. Ryan. Nora and Ruth met at the very first Romance Writers of America conference in 1981. Both were newly published and very starstruck by the authors attending. Fortunately, they found each other and a friendship that’s spanned three decades and counting was born.
Nora and Ruth have roomed together at RWA since 1983 — and the stories they have to tell about those conferences would take days to finish. Unfortunately, they banished juiciest ones to the cone of silence, so you’ll just have to take my word on the subject.
1. Mirror, Mirror is the 14th time you’ve teamed up with Nora and other writing pals for an anthology. What’s the appeal for you in writing stories that are loosely linked by a theme?
I love the challenge of writing a story set to a ‘theme’. Whether it’s my version of extreme Twilight Zone, what lies on the other side of this life as we know it, or my own take on a familiar nursery rhyme, it challenges me.
Writing shorter stories is an art form all its own. The author has to establish the characters quickly, engage the reader immediately, and, of course, tell a satisfying story. Since I cut my writing teeth on smaller books, I learned how to pare down my work and still satisfy my readers. It’s all part of this on-going creative process.
And then, of course, there’s the chance to do all this with good pals. These are people I love and respect. That makes it so much more fun.
2. Can you tell us a little about “Stroke of Midnight”?
Sydney has had some hard knocks in life. After losing her mother at an early age, her artist father married again, to a woman with older twin daughters, believing his beloved Sydney would be surrounded by women who would make up for that painful loss. He was wrong. Upon his death his widow dissolves his estate, selling his paintings for a quick infusion of money to start her twin daughters on their road to fame and fortune.
In a poor section of New York City Sydney becomes a teacher, and to feed her artistic soul, teaches art in the evening at a local community center. When her stepmother drops off a box of her father’s old things, Sydney discovers something in the pocket of his favorite shirt that will change her life. It is enough money for a visit to his hometown in Ireland.
Thus begins a saga that will introduce her to a delightful man who could be the lover of her dreams, or a charming con-artist. And it all happens in a magical place where, if you truly believe, dreams do come true.
3. Your books written as R.C. Ryan feature the patented Ruth Ryan Langan loving families, but with a more Western flavor. What’s been the most fun about cowboys and what’s up ahead now that we’ve finished with Quinn, Josh and Jake Conway?
I just can’t help myself. I love a sexy cowboy. Even more, I love writing the family saga. Long, three-part series about several generations of cowboys and the women in their lives just satisfies my soul. There’s just something special about the rugged people who live on the land, dealing with everything from the fickle weather, to the demands of every-day life on a sprawling ranch.
For me, the most fun is that these are real people. They don’t dress up and go to fancy dinner parties. They’re not interested in Gucci bags and Manolo Blahnik shoes. They wear faded denims and plaid shirts and wide-brimmed hats. And that’s just the women. < g>
They’re smart and savvy and read good books and travel, but their hearts are always centered on the things that matter to a rancher – family, country, and doing the right thing even when it hurts.
As much as I love QUINN, JOSH and JAKE, I’ve already moved on. I’ve just completed Book 2 of my next 3-book series for Grand Central Publishing. We haven’t settled on a title for the series. But as soon as we do, I’ll have it up on my website and on my Facebook page. I hope all my readers will be as happy with this crazy, sexy, loving family as they’ve been with my earlier ones. I can’t wait to hear from them.
If you can’t make it to the signing, you can always place an order for the books available at the event
and have your copy of any of RC Ryan’s books as well as Mirror, Mirror
signed by the authors.