Sherri Lupton Hollister

Character Workshop and Interview with Reese Ryan

I have a guest blogger today, my friend Gloria Loftin who’s going to share her recent interview with Reese Ryan.

Reese will be the presenter at an upcoming workshop on characters for the Pamlico Writers’ Group.

Interview by Pamlico Writers Group member, Gloria Loftin

The Pamlico Writers Group is proud to host multi-published fiction writer, Reese Ryan who will be giving a two-part workshop, “Building Believable Characters” and “Creating Functional, Yet Compelling, Secondary Characters,” at the Turnage Theater, 150 West Main Street, Washington, North Carolina on Saturday, October 14th, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

To register for the workshop, go to Events Calendar, October 14th.  Early registration is $35 for members and $40 for non-members, there will be an increase of $5 at the door.

Ms. Ryan is the author of the Pleasure Cove Series, set in a fictional North Carolina coastal town, the Playing by the Rules series, set in London, and the upcoming Bourbon Brothers series set in the hills of Tennessee.

As a transplanted Midwesterner, Reese now makes her home in Central North Carolina where she’s

found her groove writing sexy contemporary fiction with colorful characters and an emotional love story.

Past president of her local Romance Writers of America chapter and a panelist at the 2017 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Reese is an advocate for the romance genre and diversity in fiction.

I had the privilege to interview Ms. Ryan and ask her about her writing.

GL What do you write and when were you first published?

RR I primarily write contemporary romantic fiction featuring diverse characters. My first book was published with Carina Press—an imprint or Harlequin—and was released in July 2013. By the end of the year, my ninth book will be on bookstore shelves.

GL Are there other genres that you are interested in working in?

RR I have projects either in progress or in development that are in genres ranging from historical fiction to thrillers and literary fiction.

GL What kind of books did you read as a kid?

RR I was a huge fan of Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary. I still remember those books fondly and can’t wait to introduce them to my grandchildren.

GL  What is the first book that made you cry?

RR  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is the first that I can remember. And it’s one of the two books that’s had the biggest impact on what I write.  The other is Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice.  I credit both books with my penchant for writing unconventional heroines and lots of family drama.

GL  What’s more important to you—plot or character?

RR  Character, no question. So much of the success of the story hinges on whether the reader likes the character or can at least sympathize with him or her. Character development is so important to me in a story.  The character must be layered and have depth.  Cardboard characters need not apply!  I want to go on a journey with a character, and I expect to see growth and change over the course of the story. Otherwise, what’s the point?

GL  You dedicate part of your all-day workshop to the development of secondary characters. Why do you find them to be so important?

RR  Life doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  Character is revealed by behavior, especially as it relates to other people. A guy sitting on a park bench might be handsome and seem sweet.  But if he kicks a puppy or is rude to his waitress, we see him in a different light.  It’s the same with characters.  A well-developed cast of secondary characters show readers who characters are rather than just telling them.

GL  Do you have a favorite character from one of your books?

RR The character I’ve written that stuck with me most is Jamie Charles of Love Me Not. That book and character are darker than anything else I’ve written, and she’s the most misunderstood of my characters. But I love Jamie and her story.

GL  Speaking of a cast of characters, tell us a little about your current series and the one you’re working on.

RR  My Pleasure Cove series deals with complicated family relationships, forgiveness and secrets.  Each couple finds a way to overcome their painful pasts to build a future together.  My upcoming Bourbon Brothers series chronicles the romantic adventures and family intrigue of the heirs of a bourbon empire in Tennessee.

GL  Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are your trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

RR  I am a big believer in series.  Readers love them.  So unless I’m writing literary fiction, I will always aim to create a series for any book I write.  However, for me, each book has to stand on its own.  A new reader should be able to enjoy a book and understand exactly what’s going on, even if it’s the fifth book in the series.

GL  What books are you currently reading?

RR  In addition to books on the craft of writing, right now Maisey Yates’s Copper Ridge series is my new obsession.

GL  What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

RR  The money I invested in my membership at the national and local levels of Romance Writers of America (RWA) was well worth it.  I doubt I’d be a published author if it hadn’t been for the knowledge, encouragement and connections I gained through my membership.

GL If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be?

RR  Don’t let fear stop you.  Rejection is simply part of the process.  Collect those no’s. They’ll bring you closer to a yes.

Visit Reese’s website at:

By Gloria A. Loftin

I would like to thank Reese for taking the time out of her very busy schedule to speak with me.  If you would like to attend this workshop, or obtain information about the Pamlico Writers Group, please contact Sherri Hollister at or

You can obtain more information of Ms. Ryan at

One Reply to “Character Workshop and Interview with Reese Ryan”

  1. ” Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is the first that I can remember. And it’s one of the two books that’s had the biggest impact on what I write. The other is Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I credit both books with my penchant for writing unconventional heroines and lots of family drama.” – Really resonate with this one!! 🙂

Comments are closed.

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