A little more about the new girl

Good morning! It’s my turn to blog today. I wanted to show off with a well-researched historical article, you know something profound. But I realized, as the newest filly in the stable, I haven’t actually introduced myself. So, no, I’m not going to post anything profound today. I am, however, going to give you an insight into Renee Ryan, the author. When I’m done, I want you to tell me something I don’t know about you and I’ll put you in a drawing for one of my latest releases (your choice).

So here goes, random tidbits about me, in no particular order.

I’m married to my very own hero. We live in Savannah, Georgia but I hate the heat and humidity. I do, however, love, love, love snow. All kinds of snow, the more the better, I even like shoveling the stuff. No really.

If I could choose between living in a small town or a large city I would choose something in between. Say a college town with about 250,000 people. I know that’s cheating. If pressed, I’d have to say a big city. I especially love New York City. Whenever I visit (at least once a year) I never get tired of the constant activity, the bright lights, the anonymity, always having something to do within walking distance of my hotel.

I write character driven stories. I usually start a book by plotting my characters first. Who are they? What are their hang-ups, habits, flaws? What lesson do they need to learn by the end of the book? 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 in my mind.

I’ve published 11 books so far, with 6 more on the way in the next two years. The breakdown of my published novels is this: 1 short contemporary romance, 2 WWII romantic thrillers, 1 Americana historical romance, and 7 western historical romances. All of my books (but one) are Inspirational romances. Note for all you aspiring authors, I went seven years between my first book release and my second. There were many times I wanted to quit. I’m so glad I didn’t. The lesson here is to NEVER GIVE UP!!!

I always tell authors to ignore reviews. Although, I admit, I sometimes find myself reading reviews of my own 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, by the way. Hence my advice to other authors to avoid reading reviews. So 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.

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 thirteenth contracted book. A big dream has come true. BIG one.

My favorite kid joke of all time is: What does a pig put on a wound? Oinkment. Hahahahahaha.

My cats Reggie and Leroy were named after two famous Green Bay Packer football players, Reggie White and Leroy Butler. My husband and son brought them home from the shelter but didn’t think to ask their gender, nor did I. We didn’t think to check for ourselves. When we took the “boys” to the vet to be neutered they came home spayed! Yep, 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.

And now it’s your turn…tell me something about yourself and I’ll put you in a drawing. Ready…go!

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Award-winning, multi-published author Renee Ryan sold her first book by winning the 2001 inaugural Dorchester/Romantic Times New Historical Voice Contest. She sold her second book to Harlequin Love Inspired Historical and has since sold nine more manuscripts to Love Inspired and Love Inspired Historical.

42 thoughts on “A little more about the new girl”

  1. Welcome, Renee! I’m a stay at home mommy with two little ones, a cat, and one and half dogs (I doggie sit my neighbor’s dog). Also, an artist, quilter, and crafter.
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

  2. The cat story is hilarious!

    Hmmm, you know me but what don’t you know? What about my favorite western? Angel and the Badman. It may not be the greatest John Wayne movie but it was the one that prodded me to start reading western inspirationals.

    Peace, Julie

  3. Very happy to meet you Renee..

    My brother would love that your cats were named after GB Packer players. He is a big fan. But to find out they were females OMG that is just too funny.
    And if you love snow… well just come to the true north, I would gladly trade places with you, but just in the winter. I live in a snowbelt of Southern Ontario and boy to we get the snow!!!

  4. Renee,

    I loved learning about you. I guess something about me is I have a cat named Feather. We got her at a shelter too. I nearly died having my son in 1988 due to blood clots and then when I had my daughter in 1998 got blood clots again but there were only one in my leg whereas with my son they were in my legs, stomach, around my heart, and I had a pulmonary embolism. I was lucky to have made it. Then I lost my precious soul mate husband last Oct. In between all of that my life has been good. I had a very loving and supporting husband whom I miss terribly and the best kids in the world. I am thankful.

    Have a great day
    Melinda

  5. I loved your post . Thank you. . I write but have published next to nothing.. Ooh, I would love to win that hundred dollars.

  6. Nice to have you here, Renee. I enjoyed learning about your books and life. I used to live in the Northern Clime and did not enjoy snow nor cold. Where I live the weather is delightful and ideal.

  7. Loved learning more about you, Renee. And you can come shovel my driveway in Salt Lake City anytime. Love your Reggie and Leroy story. I have Walter and Sadie, a HUGE male tabby and his dainty little girlfriend, Sadie (who may or may not be a Somali). They were shelter buddies and I got them together.
    So happy to have you among us, Filly Sister.

  8. FIRST OF ALL a town of 250,000 people is MIDDLE SIZED?????
    Renee, honey, that is a BIG CITY.
    Of course I’m from a more modest sized city…of 600.
    And I don’t live IN that teeming metropolis. I’m about five miles out where it’s quiet.
    They put gravel on my road sometimes, though, so it’s okay.
    And true the town’s only grocery store has a motto, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.”
    It saves a TON of money to not have anything available to buy.

  9. Enjoyable post and an interesting background. Reading is something that I always felt strongly about since very young. I love the feel of books and never have too many in my house.

  10. I once had a dog named Lucky. He died very young. It was all so tragic and ironic, you know?
    We named the next one Dingo, as in “You say the dingos ate your baby?”
    He lived a long, long time and died peacefully of natural causes at an extreme old age.

    Is there a message in that?

  11. Wow, Renee, thank you for telling us a little bit about yourself. : ) And I loved all the things you said about writing. So wonderful to meet you!

  12. Hi Renee – Great to hear more about you. I chuckled about the boy cats really being girls!! I too had cats with wrong gender names. I named them after the Beatles, and guess what, George and Ringo were girls too!! Welcome again. Loved learning about your writing journey!!

  13. Hi Renee, it’s so good to have you hear and after being cyberfriends forever, to meet you last summer at RWA. Your presentation was brilliant, by the way. I sure wish we got snow here at the beach. Last time was 1949 and I wasn’t even alive yet. Sheesh. I’ll even take rain.

    I am a dedicated Beatle fan. And raised my daughter as one.

    Hugs…

  14. Welcome. I loved getting to know you a little.

    We have always been pet people but now that we travel for long weekends it is just too much trouble to find pet sitters. Some of our pets had fun names. One was called Deeogee spelled Dog. Another was an apricot toy poodle named Apree. Our latest pet was named Amedeus. She had pus named Wolfgang, Mozart, and Staneslouski.(Okay….I admit I am not sure of the spelling of that one but I seldom write her name) She goes by Stansee.Only Amedeous lived here but she was a fun dog who climbed trees, gave birth to one puppy(Wolf). The next litter three and the next eighteen. We always managed tofind home for the puppies but she decided that was enough because she never had more. Guess she didn’t like us giving her babies away!

  15. It is great to learn little tidbits about you… thanks for sharing Renee!
    Hmmm, something about me… love to collect horse, fairy, & dragon statues… love to squeeze in as much reading time in as I can, still enjoy watching some cartoons… 🙂

  16. I am a Ga. girl, too. I live in the Atlanta area. My husband and I love to visit Savannah. You live in a beautiful city!

    I have always thought that I would like to live in the college town Athens, Ga. Go, Dawgs!

    Since I retired from teaching, I have become a readaholic! I also love to travel. We went to France, Belgium, and the Netherlands this year, and next spring we are going to Italy.

    Welcome to P&P!

  17. I like the variety of eras in your stories. It must make the research interesting! I do love reading about small towns and like the convenience of a big city, but somewhere in between just about right for me. Thankfully I do live in a medium-sized city 🙂

  18. Renee, I’m so glad that you didn’t give up in those seven years between sales. I love your writing. I published my first three big books right off but it’s now been five years since those and I have nothing to show for those except six novellas. I really, really want to sell another big book. But I have no idea when it’ll happen. All I know is that I’ll never give up trying. God has a plan for me. He just hasn’t shown it fully to me yet.

    I’m thrilled that you’re a Filly sister now. Hope you’ll enjoy being with us.

  19. You’re more than welcome to my snow – come on by and shovel it any time you want lol. I have 5 cats and have had up to 7 at one time and I help with ferals/strays.

  20. Hellooooooo, everyone!!! I just arrive home from a full week in the North Carolina mountains. I was without cell coverage and very, very spotty Internet. The weather was perfect, the leaves gorgeous, but who knew I was so addicted to modern technology. I felt sooooo disconnected.

    I love all the cat/pet stories. I’m smiling. And, Julie, I loooooove Angel and the Badman. It’s my all time favorite John Wayne movie. I never tire of watching that one. We are sooo sympatico.

    I’ll do my best to catch up on the posts, but know that I’ve read all of them and am smiling. I’ll announce the winner later tonight. For now, I have to empty the car and feed two very sad-eyed cats.

  21. Renee, you know I read everything you write! I love ya! It was great to get to know you better! I’ve been to Savannah. Beautiful city. My brother lived in Columbia for 2 years quite awhile ago and we visited him once. The SE is beautiful! That was my only time to visit. I’ve lived on the west coast all my life but have travel extensively. My Dad moved us all to Saudi Arabia at the end of my Jr. year of high school. What a huge change for someone from a small town in Calif. who had never been on an airplane! It was a great experience though!

  22. Nice to meet you Renee. I”m a retired teacher who loves to read, quilt and do watercolor painting retreats. I also love my 2 grandchildren and my little poodle Cody. I like cats too but can only have one pet where I live. I was born in Colorado, grew up in Arizona and live in Southern California…I’m a true girl of the West. Do you think that has anything to do with my favorite era of American History being The Old West?

  23. Fun info! And I loved hearing more personal things about our readers.

    I do not like snow, Sam I Am. I do not like it on the street. I do not like it on my shoes.

    Not on the street, not under my car.
    Not on my house, not near or far.

    I do not like snow, Sam I Am.

  24. Enjoyed reading the comments. I loved the story about your cars and their names. I think someone should research people and the names they give their pets. I think one can tell a lot about why we name them the things we do. I have 2 cats named Bogey and Bacall and a goldfish named Darcy.
    My grandfather always had shepherd dogs on his ranch and he always called each of them Shep. When asked why , he said “That way, I can always remember their name.”
    One thing about me is that I am an avid reader and for every 10 books I read, I read a classic. Just finished Of Mice and Men

  25. oops that was supposed to be your cats story. I guess some people would name their cars. What kind of car do you have and do you call it a name?

  26. Fun post! Loved your kid joke. 🙂 I read my first title by you last week – Homecoming Hero. 🙂 Your only C in college was in a creative writing course and now you are a published author – is that not ‘C’razy? 😉 I’ve visited Savannah a few times and while we enjoyed it I have to say besides the humidity we did not like the abundance of gnats!!

  27. I love all these fellow cat/dog/pet stories. Keep ’em coming! And to those of you who hate snow, come live one summer…just ONE summer…in Savannah with me and you will be crying for snow.

  28. My daddy was from Rome, GA. He was born in 1904!
    Anyway I live in a small town in California, of 2000. If I lived in a town of 250,000, I would never go out. Small towns are great.
    I have two old cats and now added a puppy! Old cats and young puppies don’t get along. I have heard them plotting on how they were going to get rid of him.
    Welcome to P&P.

  29. I am a born and raised Tennessean. Married my soul mate in 1987. I have worked in a printing shop for 27 years. I have no children but do have spoiled nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. I would never live anywhere but a small town. We live in Mt. Pleasant, TN 30 minutes from Columbia, Mule Town, TN.

    Great to learn about you.

  30. Hi-ho!!! Thanks to everyone who made a comment today. Normally, I would have answered each of your comments directly but I’m still scaling Mt. Laundry and dealing with VERY needy cats. So…here’s what I’m going to do about the prize! If you left a comment today (prior to this comment) then email me your snail mail addy at:

    renee@reneeryan.com

    And I will send you a copy of my latest release, CHARITY HOUSE COURTSHIP.

    Blessings!!!!

    ~Renee~

  31. Sorry I missed out on this one but congrats to the winners! We have been working on my kitchen sink today replacing a lot of the plumbing parts so I just got to the computer. Sink is still not fixed because we need more parts from Lowe’s so maybe with a little luck tomorrow he will get it fixed. Hubby is very slow at these things and can’t do anything without help, namely me.

  32. Thanks so much Renee, I will email you. Just maid it on again tonight. Seems our sink is clogged also and we are going to have to get a plumber which is coming on Thursday to run new lines. It seems there is always something going on with the house. We remodeled years ago and now everything is falling apart again.

  33. Welcome, Renee. I have been gone on vacation for three weeks with little or no internet access. I really missed visiting my favorite sites. I really thought I was in the wrong place when I pulled up P & P tonight. I didn’t realize there was a change coming – new look and a new filly.

    We now live in NE TN. It is hotter and more humid than I like. I really miss the snow. Each year we have been getting less and less. Our vacation this year was to San Juan PR and then a caribbean cruise. It was in the 90’s with 80% humidity the whole time. Makes it hard to do much of anything but swim.

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