Thursday, August 2, 2012

Guest Post: Taming Talia by Maria Nicole-Ryan

Today's guest is Maria Nicole-Ryan, author of Taming Talia, an erotic historical western. Here's a blurb of her new novel:
          A sex-starved widow vows to bed the first suitable man she meets. Luckily, Pinkerton Agent Jared Fields fills the bill.
New widow Natalia Montrose vows over her not-so-dearly-departed husband's grave to bed the first suitable man she meets. Enter Jared Fields who offers to assist in managing her newfound wealth. No indeed. This passionate woman would rather keep control of her wealth while enjoying the stranger until all her desires are sated.
Disowned by his wealthy New York City family, Jared Fields enjoys the freedom afforded by the various assignments he receives from the Pinkerton Agency. But discovering whether or not the Widow Montrose had her husband killed may prove a little too difficult. When he meets the fiery widow, all he can think about is what he'll do when he gets her in bed.
When they meet, Natalia and Jared circle each other warily. Both feel the pull of sensual heat, but when the Blizzard of 1889 hits, will the sexual sparks be enough to keep them warm...or alive?
Take it away, Maria!

                                              Writing and the Undeniable Urge to Create

You’ve heard the old question: which comes first—the chicken or the egg? To translate this into terms I care about—which came first—writing or the undeniable urge to create something…anything?
For me, first came reading. I don’t think I’m generalizing when I say all authors were readers first. I devoured every book placed in my path: fairy tales, mythology, romance, biographies, and mysteries. Like many writers, I started writing my own stories in grade school. So why did I wait until I was in my fifties to start writing for publication? I plead to being too sensitive to criticism. I let a former childhood friend and teachers discourage me in school. That’s how I lost my way.
I was always good in science, English, and terrible in math. Unfortunately I allowed my curiosity and thirst for all sorts of knowledge propel me into the nursing profession. I was never meant to be a nurse, but still I was a good one. All along this path, I wrote papers for school and letters to friends—that was in the old days before computers, all you young’uns. To satisfy my urge for creativity, I became a professional student. I worked on a degree in psychology for a while. I took up macramé and created lovely wall hangings, etc. In my thirties I discovered Kathleen Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers, so I started my own romantic epic. After writing a hundred pages typed on an old Smith-Corona portable typewriter, I gave up. Let’s face it I was young and cute and life had a way of intruding. LOL Then in my forties, I went to interior design school and fell in love with watercolor painting.
I never gave up my nursing career and never practiced as a professional designer after going to school for five years at nights to complete my degree. One thing I discovered during those five years was that I’d rather have a root canal than do a presentation, something which is part and parcel of selling oneself as an interior designer. As much as I loved working with color, design, and the puzzle of space planning, my personality wasn’t suited to be an interior designer.
Then when I was fifty, I bought my first computer and discovered fan fiction. I read it and decided I could write it, too. Chapters/scenes were posted on story boards and readers could comment at will. My third story ended up being a 95k novel, written in three months, involving my favorite characters, Michael and Nikita from La Femme Nikita. I received great comments—of course, fan fic readers are a forgiving lot. After all, it’s preaching to the choir. But I made a cyber-pal, another fan fic writer, who also had published about twenty to thirty Silhouette Desires. She gave me great encouragement and, more importantly, the first red-lined critique. Honestly her pen must’ve run out of ink. From that one in-depth critique, I learned so much, but especially about POV and how to avoid the sin of head-hopping. She still remains one of my biggest supporters, and I can never pay her back for that first critique.
That was when I had the bright idea of writing my own stories again. I knew it would be more difficult, but I knew I could finish a book-length novel. That first effort took eighteen months and was 142k words in the first version. Eventually I trimmed 14k words and it sold to a small e-press in 2003, right after my second completed novel sold in 2002.
The last ten years have been the most productive and exciting of my life. As of now, I’ve sold seven full-length novels to publishers and independently published another, plus three short stories. I have one more which will be published by Samhain Publishing in August this year, and I’m currently working on the third in that series. Three of those early books have had the rights reverted, and I’ve revised and published those independently as well.
Which takes me back to the original question of which came first? For me, the answer is the undeniable urge to create came first. It took a long time to discover which area of the creative arts suited my personality. Writing was and always has been perfect for an introverted and introspective person like me.

Marie-Nicole Ryan is an award winning author who was born in a small western Kentucky town, but after college and marriage, she said "Good bye" to small town life. After spending three years as an army wife, she landed in Nashville, TN, where she spent many years working as an R.N. and case manager. Finally in 2002, she achieved her dream of becoming a published author.
She loves cowboys and writes erotic historical western romance. She also writes romantic suspense, sometimes very erotic romantic suspense, one of which, TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, won a 2008 EPPIE for erotic romantic suspense. Her upcoming 8/14/12 Samhain Publishing release, Taming Talia is available for pre-order at most online stores.
She's an active member of RWA and Music City Romance Writers. Recently, she returned to her old hometown in western Kentucky. When she's not slaving away at her current work in progress, you might find her walking her dog Cassie, a sheltie rescue, or at the Y. But you won't ever find her in an airplane. No, not ever.

Thank you for stopping by, Maria!


Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Just want to say thanks for allowing me to post today.

Unknown said...

Great interview and interesting to find out more about your unique journey to publication. Wishing you many sales!
Angela Britnell

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Thanks so much, Angela. I'm so glad you dropped by.

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