Monday, February 03, 2014


Welcome M L Ryan to the blog today. M L is the author of SPECIAL ATTRACTION. I hosted her on January 27-28, but due to cyberspace weirdness and miscommunication, I omitted her interesting interview on those days. The good thing is you have another chance to learn more about M L Ryan.

Caroline: Please tell our readers something about your life.

ML: I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, the youngest of three children.  My siblings were quite a bit older than I, so in some ways, I was an only child.  It was a pretty nice situation, though. Being the third kid, my parents didn’t pay as much attention to what I was up to as they did with my brother and sister so I flew under the radar a lot. 

I was definitely not considered a jock, but not a bookworm either.  I think many of my high school classmates would be surprised to know I got a Ph.D. in Immunology, as I spent all my time in the music and drama departments.  On the other hand, my graduate school classmates would likely be just as surprised to find I’ve written three fantasy novels.

I’m married to the most intelligent, amusing, caring man I’ve ever met (and he’s pretty hot, too!) and we have a teenage son.  I never realized how messy my house could get with two guys living in it but I put up with it because: 1) my husband’s aforementioned qualities and 2) my son is way bigger than I am now.

Caroline: I also married the most intelligent, amusing, caring man I’ve ever met. Aren’t we lucky? Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

ML: I read a lot of fantasy and paranormal romance and I love Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress and Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniel’s series.

Caroline: What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?

ML: I play soccer twice a week in a local women’s league.  It’s great exercise, and I love my teammates!  I’m also a huge college basketball fan.

Caroline: You sound very physically active. Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?

ML: "No individual raindrop ever considers itself responsible for the flood."

Caroline: Good quote, and it shows you are a deep thinker. With a PhD, I know you’ve written tons of papers and a masters and doctoral thesis. How long have you been writing fiction?

ML: I’ve been writing fiction for almost three years.

Caroline: Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?

ML: The location doesn’t matter much, but I need either complete quiet, or constant background noise (like waiting for a plane in an airport).  I always write on my laptop.

Caroline: Ah, I prefer my desktop and classical music in the background. Are you a plotter or a panzer?

ML: You’d think as a scientist I’d be a plotter, but I most definitely am not.  I like to go with the flow, and sometimes it takes me to really, really, odd places.

Caroline: Odd places make good stories, don’t they? Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?

ML: Some things are fictionalizations of real events.  For example, Hailey’s original job as a chinchilla milker had roots in my past milking rats.  Who could make that up?

Caroline: Ugh, ugh, ugh on the rats! Do you set daily writing goals? Word count? Number of chapters? Do you get a chance to write every day?

ML: I try to write every day, but I don’t always succeed.  Because I have a day job, I don’t stress myself with word count goals.

Caroline: A day job definitely interferes with our art. What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

ML: Laughter. I want to make people laugh.

Caroline: I love books that make me smile. Your excerpt certainly provided me with a chuckle. What long-term plans do you have for your career?

ML: I plan to just keep plugging away. And hopefully, people will want to read my work.

Caroline: I’m sure they already do enjoy your work. Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?

ML: I just finished a submission for a sci-fi romance anthology, STARDUST, and I plan to begin the fourth book in the Coursodon Dimension series next month.

Caroline: What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

ML: Two words.  Self.  Publish.

Caroline: I so agree! Self-publishing has been very good to me - much better than traditional NY publishing was. What’s a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you?

ML: I’ve never been stung by a bee.

Caroline: Me, either, although I used to play with them as a child. Share something about you that would surprise or shock readers.

ML: My favorite place to spend a Saturday afternoon is in a hardware store.

Caroline: I love even the smell of a hardware store, especially one of the old-fashioned type that is rare now. I know your book is a series. How long will it be?

ML: SPECIAL ATTRACTION is the third book in the Coursodon Dimension series.  I plan to write at least two more. 

Caroline: Great. I love series. Tell us something you learned researching your book that surprised/interested you.

ML: That different types of beer should be drunk from very specifically designed glasses to enhance the drinking experience.

Caroline: I didn’t realize that. Can you give readers a blurb about your book?

ML: I’ll be happy to share the blurb for SPECIAL ATTRACTION:

Thanks to a magical transplant from an inter-dimensional enforcer, Hailey Parrish can transform into a hawk. when someone begins dismembering hikers along the Appalachian Trail, the enforcers make use of her feathery talents to pursue the killer.  Unfortunately, like most things in Hailey’s life, there is nothing ordinary about the assignment. Their target turns out to be maddeningly elusive, they rescue a stray dog that makes a sewage treatment plant seem pleasantly fragrant, and stopping the murders turns out to be the least of their worries.

Caroline: How about an excerpt?

ML: Here’s an excerpt from SPECIAL ATTRACTION:

I tore into the steak. Aiden knew exactly how I liked it—heated to around ninety-nine degrees Fahrenheit to mimic a fresh kill. When I was human, the whole eating-something-I’d-just-killed thing kind of disgusted me. I was pretty sure that if there was such a thing as reincarnation, my next fifty or so lives would be lived out as small, furry creatures eaten by ravenous predators to atone for my current habits. In a perhaps vain attempt to circumvent my fate, I rarely ate meat when I wasn’t feathery.

When I had consumed every last morsel, I took a brief detour back into the woods.  Being the modest type, I preferred to shift back to human form somewhere private. Not that I cared if anyone witnessed the transformation; in fact, the nearly instantaneous process was devoid of major unpleasantness. I did end up naked, and I wasn’t comfortable with anyone other than Alex getting an eyeful. While the tiny bathroom in the back of the MCP provided privacy, I learned from experience that it’s best to relieve oneself outside while still in bird form. The first time I changed back in the MCP without preemptive excretion, it took two days and a whole lot of magic to restore the lavatory to usable order.

My alimentary cleanse complete, I hopped onto Alex’s shoulder, and we headed into the MCP.  Aiden, who was holding the door to the bathroom open, winked and said, “Your chamber awaits, m’lady,” before bowing.

Ignoring his teasing, I flitted onto the ridiculously small, metal commode. The functional, but airplane-sized, booth had a sink, shower, and toilet. Actually, the whole room became the shower, and you had to sit on the closed toilet seat while bathing.  The efficient design had a dual purpose of providing the entire space with a good wash down during every shower, an added benefit that should not be disparaged when sharing close quarters with a bunch of men.

M.L. Ryan is a professional woman - which is not to say that she gave up her amateur status, but rather that she is over-educated with a job that reflects her one-time reluctance to leave school and get "real" work – and she spends a lot of time in that profession reading highly technical material.

She has many stories rolling around in her head, and she finally decided to write some of them. She prefers literature that isn’t saddled with excruciating symbolism, ponderous dialogue or worldly implications. She also doesn’t like plots so reliant on love at first sight that it makes her feel like her head might implode.

She lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband and teenage son, four cats, two dogs and an adopted desert tortoise.

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