Meet Ryan Jo Summers

Please say Hi! to another of my new friends from Soul Mate Publishing!

* You are going to be new to many of my readers. Tell us about yourself.

Well, I live in North Carolina, having moved here from Michigan in 2004. Like most all writers, I enjoy reading. I also love animals, quiet days (bonus if they’re rainy days) and trips to the river.

* Tell us about the book that’s just come out.  Upon the TIde

It’s called ‘Upon the Tide’ and it tells about a NY fashion designer who takes a vacation to Florida. While there, she ends up involved in a robbery, with a hunky ex-cop turned beach bum. From there, the action really begins. They escape to the Caribbean, sailing around various ports of call, risking danger—and falling in love—as paradise turns mysterious and deadly.

* What started you on your love of writing?

Probably my love of reading. I’ve always read, from earlies memory. I wrote my first ‘story’ at age ten. Then dabbled some as a teenager and young adult. I didn’t get serious about it until I hit my 20’s and got married. It began more with free-lance pieces pitched to magazines. However, it still took years to both break into the magazines for free-lance work and to land that first novel contract.

* Do you write in more than one genre – tell us a little about each one and the books you’re working on in each?CHASING THE PAINTED SKIES_200x300

Yes, predominately they are all romance at their root, but from there they grow in all kinds of directions. I like time travel and Christian the best, so ‘Shimmers of Stardust’ (published 2014) had both included. My first novel, “Whispers in her Heart”, was paranormal. Mystery tends to dominate my work, with “Upon the Tide”, “When Clouds Gather” (published 2014), and “Chasing the Painted Skies” which came out last year. Earlier this year I joined with another publisher and they put out a sweet novella called “Glimpse Eternity”. I had a spicy novella put out last November as part of a Christmas anthology collection. That was so spicy, it was difficult for me to write and certainly stretched me beyond my comfort zone.

GlimpseEternityFINALComing up, I have a young adult/new adult that is finished and I am pitching it to agents. I am nearly done with my first women’s fiction and will also pitch that to agents when it’s ready. My first romantic comedy is coming out next year, along with a Christian romance novel and another novella included in a food anthology. Like I said, all romances, but all very different. The four most different ones have been the Christmas collection, the novel “Chasing the Painted Skies”, the YA/NA with fantasy and the upcoming women’s fiction, also with other included elements. They’re like a big old smoothie tossed in a blender and set to pulse.

* Have you attended any writing conference or classes? Tell us about some that and some that have been especially helpful.

No I have not attended anything like that and I really don’t have any good excuse. I work full time, plus free-lance, plus write/promote/etc… Plus I pet sit. So it’s hard for me to find time or get away. Even close by ones require time off work. All that being said, I admit I should attend some conference or regular class.

I did go to a couple writing group meetings in the last few years. One I found the group to be quite large (30+) and older (retired with no day jobs), They also were not particularly friendly or welcoming. The meeting was unorganized and lacked structure. Since they meet when I normally work, it is unlikely I will be back. The second one was better. It’s smaller, more informal and has some structure and flow to it. My problem is it’s held in the morning only a few hours after I get to bed (drawback of working second shift) So I arrive very tired, and usually hungry. The premise is to read and critique each other’s work, which initially I found good. Instead it became a little more critical than I cared for.

* Are you a member of any writing groups? No, again for not good reason.  When Clouds Gather

* How attached do you get to your characters? Do you know what happens after the book ends?

Some of them I get very attached to. It’s quite common to hate to see the end of the story. Finishing it means having to say good bye. At least temporarily. My stories go through a cooling off period once I hit ‘the end’. Then months later they come back out and I start the edit process. After I’ve gone over them a few times, critically and carefully to find and correct all those terrible little errors, I can now draft a synopsis and query and start submissions. But by then I am deep into something else. However, some characters just stick with me. I have to believe the good ones go on to happy times and the bad guys get what’s coming to them. And it’s not uncommon for me to dream of my characters at night too, sometimes ones from a few books ago.

* Describe your ‘perfect’ writing day.

No interruptions! Not having to leave and go anywhere or go to work later. Not having the pets pester me for attention/food/whatever. Those are biggies. Beyond that, a blank canvas in which I can write with limited need to promo. Just write. I love writing but I need to work on social media, and it tends to strong arm my day. A perfect day is where I am not obligated to do anything but write and the creativity flows like an open valve.

* Could you tell us the one question you wish people would ask about your writing… and don’t forget the answer.

Q: Now that you have some experience as a professional writer with novels, novellas and free lance work, and more to come, do you have any regrets?
A: This is a long time dream of mine. When the first non-fiction articles came out in the late 2000’s and then my freshman novel “Whispers” debuted in 2012, I felt I’d just won the world. I remember thinking if nothing else happened beyond that point, I had made it and was so very happy! Well, so much has happened since then and I am loving it. Loving it! The only thing I would change would be to have taken it (writing career) more seriously before the novel was contracted. I wish I’d reached out to the writer community sooner than I had. I didn’t get involved with social media and publishing house loops until I signed with Soul Mate Publishing. I should have been ahead of that by a few years. Otherwise, this is one great journey and I am happy to be on it.

Bio  Ryan Jo Summers

Ryan Jo Summers is a North Carolina author who specializes in writing romances with a twist. Love stories blended with inspirational, paranormal, suspense or time travel–or several at once. She also writes non-fiction for regional periodicals. Ryan’s dad is a songwriter and his aunt wrote poetry so she claims she came by her writing skill honestly. Apparently it’s in the genes.


Her hobbies include bird-watching, houseplants (50 ish and growing), poetry and yard work. She loves to gather with friends, hike in the forest with her dog, paint ceramics and canvas and work on wiggly word find puzzles. She lives in a 1920 cottage with a menagerie of pets. Living in the mountains, she dreams of the shore and frequently uses the water as scenes for her stories.


More about Ryan Jo can be discovered at her website,  or her blog


5 thoughts on “Meet Ryan Jo Summers

  1. Really interested to read about your work – and the wide range of genres you write in. Your most recent sounds full of action, so I’ll be checking it out.

    I worked in North Carolina for 4 months (Research Triangle Park) and loved it. The country was beautiful and the people were friendly.

  2. Hello, Anne, and thank you for stopping in. I’ve been through the area you were at near where Donna is. I spend most my time up on the mountains on the west side of the state, having moved here in 2004. (during back to back hurricanes!) It was the people and how they acted during that crisis– to a foreigner- that impressed me. I’d love to hear your impression of my written work.

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