Wednesday, February 22, 2012

1st Blogoversary: Interview with Renee Ryan & Giveaway!

Renee, welcome to Hardcover Feedback! Thank you SO much for being a part of my 1st Blogoversary Celebration!
Thank you for including me in your anniversary celebration. I love a good party.

Would you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm an emptynester, married to my very own radio guy. I describe him as a man with a radio voice and television face. Our oldest is 25. He's getting married this April and, bonus, we love her! Our youngest is at University of Kentucky. She's in a sorority, having a ball, which has led my husband to call her college Camp UK.

What or who made the biggest influence on you wanting to become a writer?
When I was in sixth grade I was given a chance to take a six-week creative writing class that would get me out PE. I immediately signed up. I wrote my very first short story about my dog's secret adventures and was hooked. I never thought I'd make a living at writing, but I always dreamed. It wasn't until my children were in high school that I took that dream and turned it into a goal.

What was the first book you ever wrote about and was it ever published?
My first attempt was a short contemporary romance targeted for Harlequin Romance. I can't even remember the story now. But I do remember making every new-writer mistake. So, no, it was never published. Much to my relief.

Do you have any writing habits that people might find unusual?
Because I write out of my home where there are lots of distractions I used to find it hard to get started in the morning. I had to figure out a way to trick myself. So every morning I get up at the same time as my husband, get dressed as if I was going to work, then leave the house when he does. I drive to McDonald's and eat breakfast. When I drive home I pretend I'm driving to work. It's really helped.

Do you have a favorite character or one that is especially close to your heart?
You know, they say we write what we know. I say we write who we are. Having said that, all of my characters have a part of me in them and for that reason are special to me. But if pressed for a favorite, I'd go with the character who has the most of "me" in her. That would be Bella from Loving Bella. Her journey from a woman defined by her past mistakes to a woman living in true victory from her past defines my own journey.

What is the best gift you have ever received and who gave it to you?
It's an on-going gift from my husband. Ever since I was in college I made it a habit to start every morning with a large glass of water. My husband picked up on this early in our marriage and for the last sixteen years has woken me up in the morning with a smile and a glass of water. How awesome is he???

What is something that you have always wanted to do, but just haven't gotten around to it yet?
Visiting the Grand Canyon. I really, really need to get that done.

What is your all-time favorite book?
Pride and Prejudice!!! Isn't it everyone's?

Other than yourself, who is your favorite author?
I love Jane Austen. But if you want the name of a contemporary author I'd say Susan Elizabeth Phillips, hands down!

If a TV show was based on your life, what would the theme song be and why?
You're a Friend of Mine (by Clarence Clemmons and Jackson Browne)

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Travel. It doesn't even have to be faraway from home.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Can I be a middle of the day? I'm most productive 8 am -- 4 pm!

What is your favorite TV show and/or movie?
I'm going to be redundant here. My favorite movie is the A&E/BBC version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth.

If you had the opportunity to go anywhere you wanted, at anytime in history, where would you go and why?
I'd want to go back to when Jesus walked this earth. I would love to hear the words straight out of his mouth. What a gift that would be.

You are given an unlimited budget to plan your ultimate party. Please describe it (i.e. Where would it take place? Who would be on the guest list? What would be on the menu? Would there be a theme? etc.).
I'd take all my friends to the mountains in Colorado near Vail. We'd have a gorgeous, log home (one of those huge ones), a chef on staff 24/7, access to skiing right out the back door, several fireplaces going at all times. Glorious!

What are you currently working on?
I'm working on an immigrant story set in 1908. Think Downton Abbey meets Edith Wartan's Age of Innocence.

Where can people connect with you online?
You can connect with me at

Thank you so much Renee for being on Hardcover Feedback!
Thank you! And Happy Anniversary!!!

Renee has graciously offered to give away a copy of her book The Lawman Claims His Bride AND TWO COPIES OF Courting the Enemy!!! There will be THREE WINNERS!!! 

To enter, all you have to do is follow this blog in at least one way, complete the mandatory entries and then complete whichever extra entries you want in the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open internationally!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blogaholic Designs”=


  1. Love the McDonald's story! Thanks for the giveaway-these books look so good and are going on my TBR list!

    1. Hi Abbi, I was at McDonald's just this morning thinking about this blog. Thanks for stopping by.


  2. Okay, your husband getting a glass of water for you each morning is just INCREDIBLY sweet!!! I read that, and was like "Awwwwwwwwww"!! What a thoughtful guy you've got!!

    1. I know, right! He's a definite keeper. ;-)

  3. loved her ultimate party plans

    also my computer is having issues. I'd take either book if I won. don't know it rafflecopter recorded it. thanks

    1. I say come along with us!!! The more the merrier!!!

  4. Getting out of PE for creative writing...I would definitely jump on that chance if I had it (though I am sure I don't even do enough exercise as it is). And those daily trips to McDonalds...=)

    1. Lilian,

      That was back in the day when we had to wear hideous uniforms for PE that looked bad on everyone. YUCK!


  5. I love the fact that she starts the day with a large glass of water and that her husband loves her so much he 'provides' it for her. My husband wakes me up on the weekends with breakfast in bed.


    1. Wendy,

      what a wonderful husband you have!!! You have a real keeper in that one!


  6. I'm interested in the currently working on piece. You gotta love it when a TV show you love has taken over your genre in book world. :)

    1. MJ, you're so right. Downton Abbey has exploded into pop culture. Not too many years ago, that particular time period was considered "too recent" to be considered historical. YAY, for the Brits!!!

  7. I love the story about the daily glass of water! That is so sweet!

    1. Thanks, Rebecca!!! When he brought my water to me this morning I made sure he knew I told on him here. He was sufficiently embarrassed. ;-)

  8. I found it interesting that her favorite book and movie are Pride and Prejudice. I love both. Too.

  9. Shelena,

    You know what they say, "Great minds think alike."

  10. Love the middle of the day comment! I think I would be more that way if I didn't have kids, which is why I'm a night owl (kids in bed and can get a ton done).

    1. Yes, Tressa, we have to work when we can find the time. I remember those quiet hours after the kids were in bed. Everything seemed so...peaceful! YAY, you, for taking advantage of that!!!