Scientist by day, author by night, 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 and dry material. In an attempt to strengthen the other side of her brain, she decided to write some of the many stories rolling around in her head. Because she has written science non-fiction for many years, the paranormal romance/urban fantasy/sci-fi genre was a natural.
M.L. Ryan lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband and teenage son, four cats, two dogs and an adopted desert tortoise.
What inspires you to write?
I really do have a lot of stories floating around in my head, so my primary inspiration is to get them on paper to free up some room in there.
Tell us about your writing process.
I always have an outline, but then I hardly ever consult it. I guess that makes me a pantser who longs to be more organized. I have bits of paper all over my purse, desk, nightstand with generally illegible snippets of dialogue and plot arcs. I would not recommend this to any writer, but it seems to work for me.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Listen. The characters tend to do what they want and I’m just along for the ride. When I try to talk to them, they often swear at me and tell me to mind my own business.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t skimp on the moisturizer when you are young.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’m extremely impatient. Waiting for publishers seemed intolerable, so I decided self-publishing was the way to go. I had no clue how time consuming it would turn out to be. Marketing alone could be a full-time job! From my conversations with authors, there isn’t much difference in the time spent marketing between traditional and self-published books, however. One thinks a publisher will do all that for you, but unless you’re already a best-selling author you have to do a lot of self-promotion anyway. I think most authors are better off self-publishing and having all the control.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Much as I enjoy a “real” book, I think the eBooks will eventually take over. Hopefully, that means more people can self-publish and traditional publishers won’t have a stronghold on what is available. I’m constantly amused when I read about some famous author having been rejected countless times before they got their “big break.” Good literature is good even if some narrow-minded, unimaginative editor doesn’t like it. Self-publishing is definitely the page of the future.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Paranormal romance, urban fantasy, science fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print