About Me

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Welcome to Heartstrings.Thanks for stopping by. I am a mother, a grandmother, and an author of historical western romance and contemporary romantic fiction. Ethan's Heart, book one of The Blackwood Brothers' series won the 2017 Maggie Award for Excellence. Book two, Escorting Darby Bloom, features Blackwood brother Isaac and will be released in December 2017. Stay tuned for more books in this series. If contemporaries are more your thing, check out Carly's Rule and Dusty's Fate. They are both Amazon Best-Sellers.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Interview with Ruth Ryan Langan aka R.C. Ryan
New York Times Bestselling author

1.  What inspired you to write your first book?

I think there is a kind of arrogance in writers that makes us believe we can do better than the work currently being sold in bookstores.  Maybe that's a small part of it.  But the bigger part is this absolute need to write.  At least in my case, it was the driving force.  I simply had to try to write down the stories playing in my head.

2.  What or who has been the biggest influence in your writing career and why?

I'd say my family is the biggest influence.  I want my children and grandchildren to be proud of the work I do.  And there's my husband, who is my biggest fan.  From the beginning, when nobody actually believed that I could live my dream, he believed and supported me emotionally when I had to face those painful rejections.  In fact, he believed in me so completely that even when I was tempted to give up the dream, I couldn't because I knew he wanted it so badly for me.

3.  You have written nearly 100 novels, both historical and contemporary.  After that many books, how do you come up with the new story lines?

Coming up with fresh stories is never a problem for me.  There are more stories in my head than there is time to write them.  So time is my enemy, but coming up with fresh story ideas is the easy part.

4.  What is your writing schedule like?  For example, do you write any time of the day, or do you prefer a specific time of day?  Do you write for a specific number of hours or pages?

I'm a morning person.  Probably because I have 5 children, and my day always started early.  It's become my internal clock.  I walk with my husband first thing in the morning--a mile or two.  Shower, breakfast, and then I get to work.  On deadline, I can work 9 to 5, with a break for lunch or to fold laundry.  I have an office in my home, and that's the only place I work.  I never take my laptop out on the deck, or try to work while on vacation.  When I'm working, I work.  When I'm playing, I don't work.

5.  What is the most difficult or challenging part of the writing process for you?

I can't think of one thing that's more difficult than any other in the writing process.  Writing is difficult, but only because it requires so much discipline.  Once I sit at my computer, I'm at work and ready to stay there.  But often, it's difficult getting there.  So many distractions and interruptions.  It's called life.  It does get in the way.

6.  Do you ever experience writer's block?  If so, how do you cope with it? 

I don't experience it, and I don't believe in writer's block.  I just write until the story is told.  I once was a guest on a TV show with Robin Cook, and when I gave this response, he agreed, saying, as a doctor, he was never allowed to complain of having surgeon's block.  Not matter how difficult the operation, he had to see it through.

7.  Are you a plotter or a panster?  If you are a plotter, do you have any plotting tips to share?

I do have to give my editor a semblance of plot before we go to contract, but I consider myself a non-plotter.  I just let the characters write their story.  That way, I'm surprised as my readers as the story progresses.  When characters become real, they have a way of taking over the story and taking it in directions I never thought of.

8.  How long does it generally take you to finish a book?

As long as it takes to get it right.  Whether it takes 4 months or 6 months or a year, I'll take as long as I need to give my readers a great story.

9.  What is your personal writing goal?

To tell stories that my readers love so much, when the book ends, they're sorry to see it end and wish the story could go on just a little longer.  That, to me, is the sign of a good book.

10.  What is your current work-in-progress, and would you summarize it in a few lines?

I'm currently completing JAKE, book 3 in my current 3-book series for Grand Central Publishing entitled Wyoming Sky.  Three brothers living on the ranch of their father and grandfather.  Three generations living and working together, facing danger and passion as they meet the women who will forever change their lives.  Jake is a veterinarian who becomes involved with Meg, a hot-shot lawyer from Washington, D.C.  Meg has returned to Wyoming to dispose of her father's estate and becomes embroiled in danger.  Someone wants to drive her away and threatens her with death before she and Jake resolve the mystery and discover love.  The other two books in the series are QUINN, available now, and JOSH, which will be released in October, 2012, with JAKE due to be released in March 2013.  All are contemporary romantic-suspense, and all written under my pseudonym R.C. Ryan.

11.   Do you always love what you write?

I can't write it unless I absolutely love it.

12.  If you could choose anywhere in the world to write, where would it be?

I'm sure a lot of people would expect me to say "some tropical island, or a villa in the South of France."  But honestly, I'm living my dream.  I'm where I want to be, spending time with the people I love and doing what I'd always dreamed of doing.

13.  Describe your writing space, that one corner of the house that's all yours.

In our current home my office was planned in the pre-building stage, so it suits me perfectly.  Windows overlooking our neighborhood, which is now a golf course but was originally an apple orchard.  Our house overlooks a pond and the ninth fairway.  We have deer, foxes, coyotes and every kind of wildlife imaginable.  Three walls of custom-cabinets for my books and supplies.  A custom desk in the center of the room, with two computers, one for the Internet, the other not connected to the Internet so that it can't be contaminated by a virus while I work.  I work in silence.  No TV.  No music.  Just my characters, playing through my mind.

14.  What are you most proud of accomplishing in you life?  

My husband and I still love each other completely.  My family and this wonderful career still gives me such pleasure.

15.  What is the strangest thing that ever happened to you as a writer?  What is the funniest?

Early in my career, my publisher arranged for me to be on Good Morning America and later Phil Donahue and sent me around the country doing 'how to write romance' workshops at various public venues.  It was scary and exciting and certainly forced me to speak in public, something I'd never done as a wife and mother of five.  But being thrust into the public eye so early in my career certainly gave me a sense of confidence I couldn't have learned on my own.

16.  What would you consider the most important advice you could give a writer?

If you truly hunger after something, you will find a way to make it happen.  It takes discipline, determination and a very thick skin to succeed, but smart people find the way to make their dreams reality.  Write every day, in order to hone your craft.  Read everything.  Join a critique group or a writers' group.  Surround yourself with like-minded, supportive people.


New York Times best-selling author Ruth Ryan Langan, who also writes as R. C. Ryan, has written more than 90 plus fiction novels, both contemporary and historical.  Quite an accomplishment for one who, after her fifth child started school, gave herself the gift of an hour a day to follow her dream to become a published author.

2012 will see two new novels by R.C. Ryan.  QUINN, Book 1 in her new Wyoming Sky series for Grand Central Publishing's Forever imprint features Quinn Conway, a rancher and naturalist who studies the life-cycle of wolves in their natural environment, meets strong-willed Cheyenne O'Brien, no stranger to tragedy.  When a series of dangerous accidents plague her, Quinn steps in to help, loses his heart.  To defeat a dangerous enemy, these two much put their cherished freedom, and their hearts, at risk.

In October, JOSH, book 2, will be released.  Josh Conway, rancher and expert climber, is asked to rescue Sierra Moor, lost somewhere in the grand Tetons.  Risking death at the hands of a dangerous adversary, these two join forces to survive, and find the greatest reward of all--love.

JAKE, Book 3, will be released March, 2013. 

Please click on the following link to visit Ruth's website:  Ruth Ryan Langan

Or visit her on facebook:  RC Ryan and Ruth Ryan Langan

Or on twitter:  Twitter

Ruth, thank you for an awesome interview!

Since this interview posted, Ruth's story, UNFORGIVEN, in the novella THE UNQUIET from Jove, is a finalist in the RWA RITA contest. Good luck, Ruth.


  1. This is definitely an awesome interview. Great questions, Vickie. And terrific answers, Ruth. I love what Robin Cook had to say about writers' block and Ruth's advice to just keep writing.
    Dolores J. Wilson

  2. Thanks for posting a comment Dolores. I love the answer to number 16.

  3. Since this interview posted, Ruth's story, UNFORGIVEN, in the novella THE UNQUIET from Jove, is a finalist in the RWA RITA contest. Good luck, Ruth.