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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blog Tour Q&A with R.C. Ryan, Author of Montana Glory

Please join me today for as Q&As with author R.C.Ryan, author of Montana Glory.

Martha:  I have to admit that I was surprised to learn you are Ruth Ryan Langan because I have read and enjoyed several of your historical romances but had not read any contemporary books by you.
Q1 Do you have a different formula, technique or voice for writing the contemporary stories when compared to historical romances?

R.C. Ryan:   Only the language, or rather the flow of the language, is different.  Historicals lend themselves to more flowery language, whereas contemporary stories need to be less formal.  People today speak in a sort of shorthand.  My characters reflect that.  And, of course, my historicals, though fictional, need to reflect more traditional roles for men and women.  My women could be feisty, but they were considered oddballs because they didn’t always conform to tradition.  I love writing both contemporary and historical, but each presents its own set of difficulties.
Q2 When you do a series do you have each book plotted out before you start the first one or do the subsequent books flow from the first book?

R.C. Ryan:   I have a general idea about each book and where it will go, but I always let my characters dictate.  And often they surprise me by taking the story line in a very different direction than I’d first seen.  I describe my writing style as seat-of-the-pants.  I create characters and then have to hold on to keep up with them, never knowing exactly how or when they’ll write the final chapter.

Q3 Where did the inspiration for the Montana Series, and particularly for Montana Glory, come from?
Montana Glory

 R.C. Ryan:   I saw an entire prologue in my mind.  A young boy, verging on manhood, who had been forced to accompany his father to the gold fields of wild, untamed Montana.  He finally stumbles upon a treasure of nuggets, hauls them home to his father’s cabin, only to find his father drunk.  He takes his father and the gold to the nearest town, and wakes in the morning to find his father’s throat slit and the nuggets gone.  That was all I knew, until I started thinking about the generations that would follow, and how that incident would shape their lives.  I’d thought about starting with Coot.  But then I thought how much fun it would be to learn about Coot through his grandsons’ eyes.  And then, of course, I wanted each of those grandsons to be very different, and to have experienced very different situations before coming together once again to bond and begin the quest that drove their grandfather for all his life.

Q4 What type of research goes into creating one of your contemporary novels?

R.C. Ryan:   As much research as my historicals.  And that is to say, as much as it takes to make my story believable.  Thank heavens for the Internet.  Years ago I had to set aside entire days to spend at my local library, thumbing through dozens of research books to come up with the facts I needed.  Now, with the click of a mouse, I have everything I need at my fingertips. 

Q5 Would you please share with us one surprising thing about your experience writing this book, or about something else related to your career as a writer.

R.C. Ryan:   Well, for as many books as I’ve written, I’m pleasantly surprised by all the buzz created by this series.  I’ve heard from so many readers who were captivated by this family, and by Western lore.  I think I’ve tapped into something marvelous here.  A love of all things Western.  A fascination with cowboys.  And, I think, our yearning for a more rural way of life, still enhanced by modern technology, but a bit distant from it.  Maybe it’s the isolation of ranch life, or the overly-romanticized view of it, that fuels our imaginations.  At any rate, I’m very pleasantly surprised and pleased by my readers’ reactions to my McCord family.
Montana Legacy

Q6 How do your hobbies/interests influence your writing.

R.C. Ryan:   I think my hobbies infuse my life with flavor.  And that, in turn, gives me insight into something I might otherwise have no interest in at all.  For instance, I love to garden.  Digging in the dirt and watching things grow is just pure fun for me.  But I also understand how hard it is to turn the earth, and how dependent I am on nature to nourish the things I plant.  And that, in turn give me an appreciation for the life of a rancher, whose whole life revolves around the caprice of nature. 

Q 7 Is there an ancillary character in this series you had the most fun with?

R.C. Ryan:   I loved all of them, but Cora and Cal were, by necessity, kept in the background.  I had fun helping them find ways to suppress their true feelings throughout three books.  From the feedback I’m getting, there were a lot of readers who fell in love with them and wanted their happy ending.

Q8 Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

R.C. Ryan:   This is my job.  A job I absolutely love.  I work from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, and even on weekends if I’m on deadline.  I don’t need rituals, and no matter my mood, when it’s time to work, I get to it.

Q9 Do you think about your audience as you're writing?

R.C. Ryan:   I’m my audience.  I write to please myself.  If I’m not happy with a scene, I change it.  I’m probably my toughest critic.  Then there’s my editor, who is equally tough.  If she has questions about something, or if she wants something clarified, enlarged, eliminated, I aim to please her, since she’s the first reader of my work.  If something slows the action for her, it will no doubt slow the action for my readers.  And finally, I love pleasing my readers.  There is no greater satisfaction for me than to hear from satisfied readers.  They just make my day.

Q10 What do you think readers will like best about Montana Glory?

R.C. Ryan:   My readers will be happy to see all the loose ends tied up.  A satisfying resolution to all the conflicts and an ending to all the mystery.  Like my readers, I want…no…  I demand a satisfying resolution to everything.  I want my happy ending.  And by heaven, I’ll keep writing the story until I get it.
Montana Destiny
Q.11 What is something unique about you that you would share with your readers?

R.C. Ryan:   I’m married to my childhood sweetheart.  We met in first grade, and he went home from school on his first day and told his parents he’d met the prettiest girl in the whole world and when he got bigger he was going to marry her.  His mother loved relating that story to all who would listen.

Q12 If you could have readers finish a sentence what would it be?
R.C. Ryan:  
A)    I hope old Coot doesn’t turn out to be crazy after all, because I really want the McCord family to………………..
B)    After reading Montana Glory, the third and final book in the Montana series, my favorite author in the whole world is……………  

         (Sorry.  I couldn’t help myself.) 

Happy reading.
R. C. Ryan

THANK YOU, R.C., for sharing with your happy readers.
Readers please check my review and the Giveaway for a chance to win one of five copies of Montana Glory!

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