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via Friday Features September’s Song by Ryan Jo Summers

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via Wednesday Writer Welcomes Ryan Jo Summer and Rainbows in the Moonlight

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Last year, about this time, I posted on the evolution of my blog. It had turned five years old and had taken a few radical turns over those years. My ponderings were on those twists.

This year–as my blog turns an incomprehensible six years old–I find those original thoughts to still hold true, with a year’s worth of experience to add to. However, first, a review of last year’s post:

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Jan 1, 2016: In a few months my blog will turn five. I can hardly believe it. Just like I can hardly believe it’s already 2016. As I was taking the calendars down last night, I considered the fact it didn’t seem that long ago I put them up. And now I’ve turned their pages twelve times. I’m sure a few of you can relate.

And that got me to thinking about this blog. It hardly seems possible I started it, albeit very reluctantly, back in May of 2011. I had very little knowledge of what a blog really was, let alone the purpose of creating one. Yet I had been told if I wanted to be a serious writer, I needed one. So voila, Summersrye was created. Had I known then what I know now, I’d have skipped the nickname thing and just used my proper name. But I like Rye, and not knowing any better, it seemed acceptable. Honestly, I don’t recall how I ended up at WordPress. It might have just been the first blog site that popped up when I plugged in a Google search.

keyboard and notebook

I went through recently to see what kind of posts I’ve written and the transformation this blog has undergone. The results sort of surprised me. My first post was May 11, 2011, called “Starting out”. That was pretty much it for 2011. In 2012 there were a whole 17 posts. The content changed directions twice. First I was going to take a non-fiction manuscript and blog it piece by piece. Feedback was nil. I even sent out a post asking “Am I doing this right?” of which I got one response back. Okay, at least someone out there in cyber world was aware I was blogging.

directions sign

Then I got the contract for my first book, “Whispers in her Heart”, the book that would forever change my life. I was going to be a published author. Time to get really serious about this blogging thing. Right? My posts changed from the random and non-fiction snippets to lots of “Whispers” stuff.Whispers cover from amazon

2013 I posted about 48 times, (give or take one) I was learning book promotion and it showed. I started putting in progress on edits and cover creation as well as teasers for “Whispers”, and a few pictures of my first book signings. I included poetry and shared life happenings. I opened up just a little, trying to remember if anyone was reading this, they were a real person on the other end of the computer screen. I shared photos of my pets, who are part of my life. I shared personal reflections and works in progress.

chasing ideas

2014 I continued sharing anecdotes and photos of my pets. I was now reading other people’s books and trying my hand at posting my reviews. I was following other blogs and re posting things I found interesting. Now I had a few books out and was regularly sharing status and updates on “Whispers”, “Shimmers of Stardust”, and “When Clouds Gather”. I posted more times than ever before.

Recipe for writing success

2015 was much the same. Book reviews. Pet anecdotes. Personal situations. Personal reflections. I was getting pretty personal this year. My family of books was growing. Now we added “Chasing the Painted Skies” and “Sizzle in the Snow” Anthology plus more works in progress and two more slated for 2016. I had people contact me asking if I would please read and review their books. I added the new feature somewhere along the way of hosting authors, interviewing them and talking about their books. In exchange, I was usually hosted on their blogs. Giveaways were another new feature in 2015.

All in all, not bad for a kid who few thought would ever make a writer. I recall hiding in my closet, pounding away on an old manual typewriter I bought at a garage sale. I baby sat so I had money for paper, notepads, and pens. Finally my mother gave me an electric typewriter for either my birthday or Christmas when I was around twelve. To have access to the electric outlet, I had to move out of the closet and into first my bedroom and then a corner of the long harvest table situated in the living room. I guess she wanted to see her daughter once in a while.

old typewriter

So while looking back, I also want to look forward. What do I want this blog to accomplish in our brand new 2016? Well, I want it to be a communication point. First, I want to be able to share news with readers about new books, giveaways and anything else share-worthy. I want to continue having others from other houses on my blog, sharing news about their exciting new releases. Bonus if they offer giveaways too. I want to grow the book reviews. In fact, I just finished a sassy little story last night and will be posting a review this weekend. And I have that author scheduled to be hosted on the blog in a few weeks.

Writing is a gift

Of course I want to share stories and pictures of my zany pets. They are the world to me, as many pet owners will testify. I’d be tickled if readers shared their wonderful pet pictures. I will also continue to share personal reflections and observations. Sometimes life gets rough or crazy and it’s nice to talk about it on a blog. It may not fix it, but it makes handling it a little easier. I follow a few blogs of people who do that very well. I’ll probably go back to posting some of the poetry from time to time and maybe some short flash fiction or sample chapters. That has been in the back of my mind for a while too.

Happily ever after

The end result, I want 2016 to be a year of growth and connection both for this blog and my writing career.

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, now it’s time to turn the calendars to 2017. I have added a pet sitting service to my life this year, which does had the unfortunate side effect of eating into my writing life. The bonus is I have met some interesting people and wonderful dogs and cats this year. I have settled comfortably into the house I bought in late 2014, but still have two rooms to paint (still!) and a few odd chores here and there I tackle when I need a break from writing.

What I would like to do with this blog in the coming months is much what I’ve done the last two years–share book reviews, host authors and their works, and continue the ‘Been Thinking About’ posts. Naturally I want to keep sharing misadventures of my pets, though my rescue collie, Ty, has his own blog I struggle to keep up with here on WordPress. Since I have two more books coming out in 2017, I want to share the steps from edits to covers to final release. I have a special giveaway planned for the first one, a Food & Love anthology coming up around May (ish).

Since I have two works in progress, and one more I hope to start soon, I want to share sample chapters. The opening chapters to one is already on my website at http://www.ryanjosummers.com. And I would like to encourage everyone to leave a comment with what they would like to see included in this blog, or more or less of any feature.

Lastly, I wish everyone a happy and healthy and wonderful new 2017.

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It occurred to me recently that when writers help out other writers, we not only do them a favor, we learn a lot along the way. I am part of a very active author group with my publishing house. We share gobs of emails and someone is always hosting or interviewing someone on their blog/ website or social media page.

I too have availed myself to both sides of this favor coin. I have hosted authors for interviews, cover reveals, new releases and book reviews. I have also been hosted by some really neat authors and as my books are released later this year, I have a growing list of more people who will be hosting me.

My thought on this is how much we learn about our fellow authors—and ultimately ourselves—as we exchange these hosting favors. We learn and share about our writing spaces, typical writing process, first sales, dreams, hobbies, likes and dislikes. All the things that make us human and writers.

Personally I find this concept intriguing. Perhaps because the notion took me by surprise. Either way, it shows how much we are like–and unalike–our fellow authors. We are a unique breed of people, writers. We think differently, see things differently, use what we see differently. But we are also humans, with jobs, families, homes, obligations just like everyone else. It is comforting to know despite how different the rest of the world may view us, among our fellow writers, we are just like everyone else.
looking in the mirror

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Hello everyone. This is a blog tour that I was invited to join by Lanora Mangano.  http://findinglanora.weebly.com/lanoras-lanotes. This is part of the “My Writing Process” blog tour. My apologies, as this was scheduled to be out yesterday, instead I got my dates twisted around (just like my writing) So, without further ago, here we go–following are four questions about my writing process:

1–what am I working on? Currently I have a full work load. I am working on the first rounds of edits for my third book, When Clouds Gather, slated to come out November by Soul Mate Publishing. I am writing three different novels. One is a young adult/new adult book, which is about 2/3 completed with the first draft. One is the second story of a trilogy about three sisters finding love in a small North Carolina coastal town and the last is still in the plotting/ developing stages though I think it will be a literary fiction novel.

2–how does my work differ from others of its genre? I like to mix and blend genres. Since I am interested in so many things, it’s hard to simply write with one theme. My debut book, Whispers in her Heart, was romance, but I had to include paranormal and mystery in equal measures. The first book with Soul Mate, Shimmers of Stardust,  is Christian romance, but it includes time travel with a bit of western lore. I recently finished a rough draft of a romance that included shape shifting and sunken treasure.  It’s like taking all these cool parts of books and tossing them into a blender, just for the fun of shaking them up.

3–why do I write what I do? I like to see two people fall in love and work through all the obstacles in their paths. Sometimes that could be their own views and experiences and sometimes its obstacles created by others or events. Ultimately though, they have to find love. It’s a beautiful thing. However, by incorporating other elements like time travel into Christian views or bringing in shape shifting or paranormal or mystery, it helps keep things exciting and makes the characters work harder.

4–how does my writing process work? I begin with a review of the previous day’s work, maybe two days’ work. I look for wrong words, clutter, loose sentences, double periods and other things I missed before. Then I keep writing from there, adding mostly dialogue, another few scenes, whatever I can get down. Sometimes just one story, sometimes two or on a particularly creative day, all three books.

Then it’s time to leave for my day job. Literally as I am driving down the road, or maybe cooking at the stove, I will have a realization of the perfect word I had hunted for, scene I want to do next, snatch of dialogue, new character, you name it. Something always strikes me at weird moments. So I scribble it all down and save it until I can get back to my desktop. Future scenes are tucked into three ring binders until I get to those parts. Each day the process more or less repeats.

Okay, up next are two more authors, who will post on their blogs June 9th. Angela  Scavone  and Tasha Taylor. Angela lives in Ontario Canada, sharing her home with her father, an evil cat and a much loved trio of pups. She currently works for the Board of Education behind the scenes, supporting and analyzing student data. However, in her spare time, apart from her love of storytelling, she likes to read and spend time with family and friends.

Angela’s web and blog is http://angelascavone.com  Her Twitter handle is @busterwhyte. Her book is A Journey Home.

Tasha Tayloeis a UK based author, who on the approach to turning 40 a few years ago, decided to dust off some floppy disks, dig out some old notebooks and turn her hand to what she loved doing in her teens and early 20-s–writing. Working full time and her family–including man, boy, dog, cat, fish and any number of waifs and strays–human or otherwise–who happened to keep her busy, but writing is her not-so-secret passion. When asked what would be her perfect day (once everyone was fed, watered, happy and busy doing whatever they do), Tasha said (with a blissful smile) a lay-in, cheese on toast, long hot bath and as much time as she wanted to day dream and write, until it was time for bed. Other hobbies include baking, social media and people watching.

Tasha’s web/ blog is https://tashataylor.weebly.com. Her Twitter handle is @tashatayls. Her Facebook site is https”facebook.com/TashaTaylorAuthor. Her Goodreads address is http://www.goodreads.com.Tasha_Taylor and her Amazon address is http:www.amazon.com.uk/-/e/BOODBW9WXA. Her book is called Alex’s Return–Secrets of St. Sebastian.

Both Angela and Tasha will post their Writing Process on their blogs on June 9th. Be sure to check them out! I just bet they will be fascinating!

Thank you, Lanora, for this opportunity. It was great fun. If you have a chance, everyone, please check out my website at http://www.ryanjosummers.com or my facebook author page.

 

 

 

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blog hop

Murder, Mayhem, & Matrimony

 Today I am over on Elizabeth Janette’t blog– See below a copied version. Check out her blog though, as it is better than just the copy I provided.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Meet Author Ryan Jo Summers

Please welcome fellow romance writer, Ryan Jo Summers. She’s joining us today on the Blog Hop Tour.

What are you working on? 

For the first time, I am working on multiple pieces simultaneously. One is a YA/NA novel of a young girl coming of age, immersed in a world of family, growing up, choices and consequences. Another is a one novel trilogy of three sisters each finding love in the wonderful little North Carolina town of Sweetwater Harbor. The third is still heavily in the plotting and outlining stage but basically it’s a woman’s lit novel about living life as a military widow, with her young son, only to have her son discover one day his dad is very much alive and amnesic from TBI. Taking him back in under her new roof, she discovers he is being hunted by the military because of ‘special’ skills he possesses.
How does your work differ from others of its genre? 
Well, first of all, I can’t seem to just write the story. I have to twist and blend and crank it around. For example, my debut contemporary romance was about horse racing. But the heroine had supernatural Celtic gifts and then there was the mystery of who was trying to sabotage the hero’s horses. All strong elements in a basic love story. The story coming out this fall through Soul Mate, Shimmers of Stardust, is much the same. It’s a basic Christian love story, except it begins and centers around the hero having traveled through time. That, of course, conflicts with the heroine’s core Christian beliefs.
Why do you write what you do? 
I am a sentimental softie at heart. The characters and settings and conversations come to me, asking to be recorded. I couldn’t stop writing even if I wanted to. All this stuff has to come out. And I love to see how it all grows and becomes so real.
How does your writing process work? 
It starts with an idea, which can honestly come from just about any tiny, obscure phrase, comment, picture, or just about anything. My friends are amazed at how that tiny little thing became such a big thing in the story. Whatever the origins, the tiny nugget becomes an outline and character worksheet, filling in details and setting and dialogue. I research things I don’t know, which is a lot, and start writing. Each day starts with review of previous writing, adding new stuff that was scribbled down during the night, and then running from there.

Ryan Jo Summers is a fellow romance writer and Soul Mate Publishing peep. Her first novel, “Whispers in her Heart’, is published with Black Lyon Publishing. “Shimmers of Stardust” is slated for release Fall of 2014.
“Shimmers of Stardust” Blurb
Civil War hero, Logan Riley, turned outlaw is hanged in 1869. He survives, traveling through time, until he is found by modern-day anthropologist, Dr. MacKenzie Lynne. Hired by team of physicists, she soon learns real fate they have in mind for him and takes him and runs. Now, pursued by obsessed physicists and the military, they race across deserts and mountains of AZ and NM. If they get caught, it’s a lifetime of imprisonment and tests for him and probably worse for her. But staying free means forever on the run, hunted and homeless. Running and hiding, hunted like criminals, they also discover attraction and love blooming like desert flowers. Kenzie’s strong Christian faith works to convict Logan of his past crimes better than the hangman’s noose had. As their love grows and their pursuers close in, their love will face the harshest test of all—Christian morals against nineteenth century outlaw justice.
NOW– my turn to tag other Soul Mate authors: Catherine Castle. I can’t wait to get my hands on her book ‘The Nun and the Narc’. http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com  and Bethany Averie, author of ‘Riding for Love’ and the ‘Immortal Dreams’ trilogy, http://bethanyaverie.wix.com/authorbethaverie
  Check them out as well.

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