Author & Book Spotlight Arcadia's Gift by Jesi Lea Ryan

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Title: Arcadia's Gift
Author: Jesi Lea Ryan
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Aug 2 2012
Edition/Formats Available In: E~Book & Print

When sixteen year old Arcadia "Cady" Day wakes in a hospital after experiencing what can only be called a psychic episode, she finds her family in tatters. With her twin sister gone, her dad moved out, her mom's spiraling depression and her sister's boyfriend, Cane, barely able to look at her, the only bright spot in her life is Bryan Sullivan, the new guy in school. When Bryan's around, Cady can almost pretend she's a regular girl, living a regular life; when he's not, she's wracked with wild, inexplicable mood swings. As her home life crumbles and her emotional control slips away, Cady begins to suspect that her first psychic episode was just the beginning...

Where did the inspiration for this story come from?  What is the story behind the story so to speak?  

I have always been fascinated by psychic phenomena.  I have no abilities in that direction at all, so I thought it would be cool to experience it vicariously through a character.  
The idea for Arcadia (Cady) and her story came to me while I was sitting in an eight-hour insurance class.  As you can imagine, it was about as thrilling as it sounds.  So while sitting there, I sketched a couple of characters and plotted out a three book arch.  by the end of the day, I had a fully formed idea for a trilogy.
Tell us about the book cover.   

I am so in love with my cover!  It was designed by Claudia McKinney at Phatpuppy Art, and I highly recommend her. (http://phatpuppyart.com/)  The photo depicts Cady standing on train tracks.  The train plays a prominent role early in the story.  

 How does it represent your book?  How did you choose the artwork?  

The first thing that struck me about the cover is that the girl in the photo looks exactly like how I pictured Cady.  I mean, it was amazing to look at this girl and see someone from your imagination looking back at you.  I also wanted an original piece of work.  It was important to me that my cover photo not be used on other books.  We have all seem that done many times, I’m sure.  I was happy to pay a little more to ensure that would not happen.  

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

I tend to start with characters.  I make up a person, put them into a situation and then figure out how they got there and how they are going to get out of it.  It sounds simple, and I guess it is in the beginning.  I get very excited and the first ten chapters or so just flow out of me, but then I usually hit a wall and it’s a huge struggle to for me to complete the story.

Have you ever co-written book/books? If so was it difficult? If not would you ever consider co-writing with another author?

I have never co-written anything, but I do have a friend who brainstorms with me sometimes.  i guess I would be open to co-writing something if the right project and the right partner came along.

Where do you get your character names from?

If a name doesn’t immediately come to me, I turn to the internet.  For surnames, I tend to look up those of certain nationalities.  This is how I came up with the name for Bronwyn Perkins.  I liked the name Bronwyn.  It came to me right away.  When I needed to find a last name for her, I figured it should be Welch, since Bronwyn is a Welch name.  I also have been known to scan Twitter and Facebook for names.  While I would never take a real person’s full name, I might get ideas for partial names there.

What type of research goes into your writing?

For Arcadia’s Gift, I spent a lot of time researching psychics and the theories on how their powers work.  I also spent some time interviewing twins about their connections with their siblings.  While it wasn’t a scientific study or anything, I found it interesting that all of the twins that I spoke to told of experiencing connections with their twin that were psychic in nature.  Many of those connections were empathic in nature.  One man told me that when his twin sister went into labor with her baby, he felt abdominal pains.  They were a couple hundred miles apart and he didn’t know she had gone to the hospital.  I find that stuff fascinating. 

Are your family and friends supportive of your writing?

Of course my family and friends are proud of me.  My husband does some proof reading for me, and my friends have been very supportive.  I also have a critique group made up of local writers who have been invaluable. 

Do you remember when your interest in writing came about?  

I remember writing stories at a very early age.  When I was eight years old, I wrote a children’s book and was invited to attend a young writer’s conference.  I think I have been writing ever since. 

Other then writing, what are your interests?  

Almost everything I do revolves around books.  I am first and foremost a reader.  Reading is my first love, my best friend and my lifeline.  I read somewhere around 250 books a year.  I also do some reviewing.  My interests vary a lot, but I like strong, unique characters and well-researched subjects that I can learn something from. 

Did you learn anything from writing your books, if so what was it?

I’m always learning things from writing.  When I wrote my first novel, Four Thousand Miles, which takes place in England, I had to do a ton of research.  I remember getting really into how to restore a 500 year old building and what it would be like for an American to live in Kent. 

For my new book, Arcadia’s Curse, I have to research some very dark subjects.  I can’t say too much without giving things away, but I have to say, I am learning a lot, even if it is of things I’d rather not know. 

What are your current WIP? Can you share with us?

I am working on two novels right now; Arcadia’s Curse, the second book in the Arcadia series and a contemporary romance that will be a stand-alone novel.  I find I work best when I have multiple projects.  It keeps the writer’s block away.  If I get stuck on something, I can go work on something else until I am able to work it out.


Food:  Anything salty.  I could also eat Mexican food every day and never get sick of it.
Color:  Blue’s and black
Quote:  “A good book has no ending.” - R. D. Cumming.  I actually have this tattooed on my left arm.
Movie:  That’s tough.  There are so many movies that I like.  I suppose the first few that come to mind are Requiem of a Dream, Momento and The Princess Bride.  Oh, and anything with Ewan Macgregor in it.
Music:  Again, i have just about everything on my iPod.  This week I have been listening to Portishead, Lana Del Rey, Fallulah and Nine Inch Nails. 

This or That

Day or Night - Oh, night for sure!  I could convert to nocturnal so easily.
Rain or Snow -  Rain.  I hate everything about winter.
Facebook or Twitter - Twitter.  Too much drama on Facebook.
Mac or PC - I use a PC.
Coffee or Tea - Coffee.  I like tea now and then, but I need coffee to exist.

Jesi Lea Ryan grew up in the Mississippi River town of Dubuque, IA. She holds bachelor degrees in creative writing and literature and a masters degree in business. She considers herself a well-rounded nerd who can spend hours on the internet researching things like British history, anthropology of ancient people, geography of random parts of the world, bad tattoos and the paranormal. She currently lives in Madison, WI with her husband and two fat kitties.

Now that you are done reading here hop on over to Amazon and get a copy of Arcadia's Gift for 
On Amazon  for a limited time so don't delay go and get your copy today.

Places to find Jesi

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LetiDelMar said...

Oooo I have to read this! Thanks for the great write up and thanks to the author for making this free. I'm getting mine right now!

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