I’m from Middle-of-Lots-of-Cornfields, Indiana. I’m still here, so either I love it or it’s the black hole every teenager in town believes it to be <grin>. Actually, I live in the same neighborhood where I was raised, so my kids get to grow up tromping through the same old forests and creek beds that entertained me as a child—that, I love.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was in second grade, I decided I wanted to be “an author.” I don’t think I had any idea what that meant at the time, but I liked the way it sounded.
My first story was scribbled in a journal I found under my sister’s bed. I loved filling those blank pages with the escapades of a little runaway I named “Spam.” Of course, when I showed my masterpiece to my mother and sister, my mom thought the best part was the little girl’s name and my sister was just irritated that I’d usurped her journal.
By the time I was in middle school, I was penning teenage soap operas. We would pass them around English class. My friends would read them and beg for more. There was no turning back after that.
Tell us about your latest book.
Technically, my latest release is novelette called “Just One Night.” It’s a hot reunion story and the first in a series set in a small southern Indiana town called Decadence Creek. I’ll give away a copy to a random commenter, but more on that later.
My latest novel is Text Appeal is a sexy (and I stress, sexy) contemporary romance about a bad boy poker player, Charlie ‘The Devil’ Singleton, and a good girl hotel heiress, Riley Carter. It’s my modern day Cyrano de Bergerac…except instead of being physically unattractive, Charlie is wild, dangerous, and scandalous—pretty much everything Riley’s spent her life avoiding.
I love this book, and I love Charlie. I don’t instantly fall for all my heroes, but I fell in love with Charlie the moment he introduced himself in the opening scene. He runs into Riley at Fredrick’s of Hollywood and is trying to buy her a particularly naughty piece of leather lingerie.
“I see the way you look at that bustier.”
“It’s fine leather craftsmanship,” she said, forcing a shrug. “I appreciate the work.”
With a smile, he lowered his voice. “Honey, look at me like you’re looking at that get-up, and I’ll buy you the whole damn store.” He winked and her insides shimmied.
The rational part of her brain stepped forward, and she thumped him on the arm. “Stop coming on to me.”
He cocked his head. “Why?”
“Because I’m…” That was a good question. Why?
Right. Chaz. Remember Chaz, she lectured herself. “I’m seeing someone.”
“Ah,” Charlie said, sliding his glasses back on and hiding those hypnotic blue eyes. “And you don’t want to be thinking of me when you wear it for him?”
“You won’t think of me?”
“I won’t wear it for him,” she said through her teeth.
He raised a brow. “Because…he prefers satin?”
“I’m not going to wear it at all,” she seethed. “Chaz doesn’t need me to dress in outrageous lingerie. He’s very…respectable.”
Charlie wrinkled his nose. “I’m sorry. Do you want me to talk to him about that?”
Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
In all seriousness, as a working mother of two small children (ages 5 and 1), my biggest challenge is finding the time. With both of my babies, I took about nine months off writing around their birth, and with my youngest I tried to convince myself to wait, to put writing on the back burner as long as possible. But I couldn’t do it.
That’s the thing about being a writer. It’s a compulsion. And I’m much happier when I’m doing it.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Write, write, and write some more. Any spare time you have outside of that, read, read, and read some more.
I don’t mean to over simplify, but if you can’t make time for reading and writing, this career is not for you. If you can and do make time, the kinks work themselves out.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Right now my favorite author is Kristan Higgins. If you love contemporary romance and haven’t read a Kristan Higgins novel, get thyself to your favorite book retailer and buy one! Rich, complex characters, humor, real and imperfect family relationships. She’s so fabulous, I don’t even complain about the closed-door sex scenes. Well, not much at least.
Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?
I draw the line when it’s not organic to the characters and their stories. I write really sexy, so that line may be in a different place for different books, but if I feel like I’m pushing the envelope for the sake of pushing the envelope and not because it’s something the character needs to experience, the scene gets cut.
Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?
I have a little bit of writer ADD and I’m always working on too many projects at once. In addition to the Decadence Creek shorts, I’m finishing up the first book in my Sex Goddess series. This is a story about best friends falling in love—my favorite kind! It will be titled either SEX GODDESS 101 or ACCIDENTAL SEX GODDESS (I can’t decide!) and should be available in January.
Thank you for joining me today. I’d like to give away digital copies of JUST ONE NIGHT to two random people. This contest is open to everyone and will run through August 13th at midnight. For your chance to win, just leave a comment below. I’d love to know: How important are titles to you? Have you ever bought a book just because of its title?
Bio: Author of both contemporary and paranormal romance, Lexi Ryan writes smart, spunky stories that sizzle. She enjoys reading, sunshine, a good glass of wine, and trips to the beach. If she’s not entertaining her kids or not hitting the pavement in an attempt to be a runner, you can probably find her perusing the nearest selection of Blue Bell ice cream.
Lexi lives in Indiana with her husband and two young children. You can find her at her website: www.lexiryan.com