"Colorful Characters, Sinfully Sweet Romance..."
Favorite Food: Chicken & Dumplings / Peach Cobbler
Favorite Movie: Pretty Woman
Favorite Place to Travel: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Favorite TV Show: Elementary
Favorite Author: Too many to name, but Pearl Cleage is a favorite.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
What made you become a writer?
I was an avid reader at a young age. However, reading PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen was a turning point for me. I wanted to make readers laugh and cry and swoon and go through the full gamut of emotions, as I had while reading that book. I was in middle school at the time, and that’s when I essentially began writing romance.
I am sure you have been asked this before. Why romance?
When I started writing seriously again as an adult, I was reading a lot of chick lit and that’s what I was attempting to write. It was the men in my critique group who pointed out that I was writing romance, which I hadn’t really read at that point. I realized then that every story I’d ever written had a central romance. From then on, I embraced the fact that I was writing romance and began reading romance almost exclusively.
Do you have a day job or are you a full-time writer?
I’ve been a full-time writer for about the past five years.
Describe a typical day for Reese, the writer?
Sadly, there is no typical day for Reese Ryan in the Age of COVID. Some days I’m helping out with the grandkids. Most days I’m behind on one deadline or another. Whenever I can, I’m working in a group writing session via Zoom or text because I need the accountability and support. Discovering author Tasha L. Harrison’s Wordmakers Group back in August has been a huge productivity and focus boost for me. I highly recommend the group to other writers looking for support, encouragement, and accountability.
What do you like to do when you want to relax?
Oddly enough, the husband and I love watching murder mysteries. We’re especially hooked on Canadian and British ones. The Murdoch Mysteries, Frankie Drake Mysteries, Father Brown, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and Death in Paradise are among our favorites.
ABOUT THE BOOKS
Tell us a bit about SECOND CHANCE ON CYPRESS LANE.
When a New York reporter unwittingly becomes involved in an international scandal and loses her promising career, she returns to her small, oceanside hometown where she uncovers secrets from the past and gets a second chance at love with the man who broke her heart long ago.
What inspired you to write this book?
I honestly don’t recall what prompted this particular story. However, it was my first visit to the Outer Banks and the town of Duck in particular that prompted my decision to write a story about a small island town in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
How have you changed as a writer since that first book?
Mostly, I hope I’ve improved as a writer since that first book. I’ve certainly learned a lot about my personal brand as an author and I’ve leaned into certain themes and story elements.
Which of your books (or series) would you recommend to readers not familiar with your work and why?
For readers who enjoy sexy, emotional romance set in a small town, I’d recommend SAVANNAH’S SECRETS-the first book in my Bourbon Brothers series or SECOND CHANCE ON CYPRESS LANE-the first book in my Holly Grove Island series.
What do you see as your greatest accomplishment as an author?
The thing I’m most proud of as an author is having won the Reading Warriors Donna Hill Breakout Author award in both 2018 and 2020. The thing I’m in awe of is that I’ve had nineteen books published in the past four years.
How do you feel about the state of the romance industry; in particular, the treatment of authors of color?
The lack of opportunities and shelf space for authors of color is an established fact at this point. Anyone disputing that is being willfully obtuse. The blowups in writing organizations proved that even in organizations designed to advocate for all writers, AOC have been treated unfairly. However, I am very encouraged by the growing number of books by AOC that are not only being given shelf space but all-important marketing dollars and effort. Something which had long been lacking.
I’m especially proud of the diversity in lines like Harlequin’s Desire which has signed numerous authors of color including Yahrah St. John, Zuri Day, Nicki Night, Jayci Lee, Robin Covington, Sophia Singh Sassoon, Naima Simone, Nadine Gonzalez, and Kianna Alexander just since I joined the line a few years ago. Still, there is plenty of work yet to be done in the publishing industry and within various writing organizations.
What’s next for Reese?
My next release is SOMETHING ABOUT YOU from Rose Gold Press, a grown folks romance between two divorcees who unexpectedly discover that they’re about to become grandparents coming early in 2021. Then WAKING UP MARRIED-the next book in my Bourbon Brothers series, releases March 2021. It’s a fun, friends-to-lovers, marriage of convenience story.
ABOUT THE READERS
If there was one thing you could tell your readers what would it be?
Without a doubt, I would tell my readers how much I appreciate their continued support. It means the world to me. There are so many incredible books and authors out there. The fact that they’ve chosen to spend time their valuable time and hard-earned money on my books means everything to me.
What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Read widely and deeply, especially in the genre in which you hope to write. Always try to improve at your craft both before and after getting published. There are lots of economical online writing workshops available and countless books on the craft of writing which are immensely helpful.
How can readers reach you?
Readers’ Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ReeseRyanVIPReadersLounge/
Thank you so much for having me! And thank you for the incredible work you and your team continue to do to illuminate the work of Black authors.