INTERVIEW and giveaway: John C. Ryan

Long and Short Reviews welcomes John C. Ryan, whose debut book Two Lairds, One Lady was released in January.  He’s currently working on a sequel to Two Lairds, One Lady which will continue the banter, adventure and romance of the original characters.  It sounds like a fun book, so leave a comment for a chance to win a download of Two Lairds, One Lady.

Currently, I’m working on a sequel to my debut novel. If readers enjoyed “Two Lairds One Lady”, they’ll likely enjoy the banter, adventure and romance of the continuing saga and advenure of the original characters.

John’s always been fairly creative, but writing  a romance book gave him the opportunity to live a sexy, romantic adventure in an exotic locale, without leaving the comfort of his own home.

“It’s been a true labor of love,” he told me, “and I love that people are enjoying the fruits of that labor.”

John’s first attempt at writing a book was about fifteen years ago.  He started writing a non-fiction book about the Great White Shark and completed 100 pages before he lost interest in it.  Then, about three years ago he mentioned writing a historical romance to the love of his life, Elizabeth, who is an avid romance reader.

“To her credit, she didn’t laugh. Instead, she encouraged me to follow my dream,” he said. “She was there to ease the disapointment of the many rejections that followed but, luckily, she was also there to share the publisher’s acceptance of my first novel, Two Lairds One Lady.”

” How do you develop your plot and characters?” I asked.

“Largely, I borrow from real life. People I know, and love, can have terribly interesting character traits and stories to tell. Oftimes, once the story begins to flow, it takes on a life of its own. Also, I  never rush a story, and I’m not afraid to alter a plot in mid-story. As long as it flows in the end, it’s all good!”

In addition to writing, John has a restaurant, plus  he helps out at the Animal Hospital that Liz words for, so he can’t write as often as he would like. He does write every Thursday, on his day off, and whenever he can sneak in a few pages.

“Luckily, I could easily live on the royalties from my novel, set in medieval Scotland,” he assured me. “I’d just have to live during that era.”

“Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?” I asked. “If so, what do you do about it?”

“Absolutely! Actually, I hope Kafka was mistaken when he said ‘A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.’ There are days I court the muse, and days I can’t find it! If words truly escape me, I’ll step away from my computer and listen to some inspirational music, or watch a show set during the era I’m wriring about. If that fails, tomorrow’s another day! Actually, I was encouraged to hear a great writer say that words escaped even him at times. That was, until I learned ‘Words’ was the name of his cat.”

John usually imagines the characters first.

“My heroine, like a cat. Independent but loving, self-sufficient but giving, ever to land gracefully on her feet, and with a sharp set of claws!” he said. “My hero, a lion. Fiercely protective, handsome, graceful and with an awesome mane!”

“What would we find under your bed?” I asked.

“Books, pet hair, dust bunnies and more books.”

And, I wondered, “What makes you happy?”

“Books, pet hair, dust bunnies and more books. Oh, and my Liz!”

About his pets, he said, “They’re a cast of characters and can get me crazy at times, but they are loving and I couldn’t imagine life without them.”

“What is a talent you wish you had, but don’t?”

“I wish I had the ability to be a tad more realistic. Liz says I’m an Optimist, she a Realist. I see the glass 1/2 full, she thinks I’ll drop it, slip on the liquid, and cut myself on the glass.”

Finally, I asked, “What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?”

“I suggest reading samples of the best, and worse, examples of the genre you are writing within. You’ll learn what works, and, often,  what to avoid. Lastly, hiring a professional author/editor to work with you (for at least a few chapters). You’ll benefit from their experience and wisdom. It can ruly be an eye-opening experience! There’s so much to learn from other writers. I think, if you only listen to yourself, you have a fool for an audience. Also always remember, David only required one small stone to slay the giant!”

About the Author:  5_6 author photoWhen not engrossed in the creation of my next novel, or rapt in dreams of romance in the beautiful Emerald Isles, I share my home in New York with a myriad of pets, several of them handicap, and the love of my life, Elizabeth, a Veterinary nurse.

One of eight children, I credit my parents with stoking my interest in my Celtic heritage. My father, of Irish descent, passed prematurely from an illness attributed to his tenure in the New York City Fire Department. He was my living example of the Ryan creed, Death before Dishonor. My mother, a registered nurse, has Italian roots and has traveled throughout the world. She instilled in me a sense of wonder for faraway lands and exotic settings.

An uncle to nearly 20 nieces and nephews, I find great joy in being a part of their lives and hope to be as fine an example to them as my character, Sir Thayer, in my debut novel, Two Lairds One Lady.


5_6 Two Lairds One lady CoverTwo Lairds, One Lady, a single betrothal. Things are about to get interesting.

The exquisitely beautiful, fiery Elspeth Mourney has been pledged in marriage to the arrogant, impossibly handsome Highland Knight, Sir Thayer Mac Court by her father, the Laird of Lothian. By proposing the marriage of his beloved only daughter to Thayer, the eldest son of his most bitter rival, the Earl has secured a tentative truce. But Elspeth vehemently opposes the match, having unceremoniously chanced upon Thayer six years earlier. That fateful first encounter culminated in a stolen kiss-and disaster!
Yet, as their destinies collide, they chance upon a common bond, a fiercely guarded secret shared by both of their clans. Will this mystery that binds the fates of their families to the very survival of Scotland save their love and ensure the future of their people-or doom them all?



  1. Have you included your own character traits in your books?

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    • Hi and thanks very much for the question.

      Actually, there are some parallels between myself and the characters.

      Although I can’t claim to be 6′ 2″ with flowing flaxen hair, steel muscles and killer charm like my character, Thayer Mac Court, I’ve been lucky enough to charm the one woman in this life that matters to me, my Liz.

      I must confess, however, that like Thayer, I can be a bit possessive at times (although I haven’t challenged anyone to a joust in some time lol). Also, I tend to act a bit impulsively (like Thayer) and sometimes times lead with my heart, rather than my head.

      Ofttimes, I take my personal experiences and apply them to my writing. It comes across more genuine, because it is.
      Thanks again!
      Best regards,
      John Ryan

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