Cristal Ryder has written numerous compelling, emotional and sexy stories for Ellora’s Cave and Sybarite Seductions among others and this fall she’s publishing her first book with Harlequin E. We’ve asked her how she’s reached this point, and she’s shared some of her experiences with us….
7 questions for Cristal Ryder
What got you interested in writing?
I talked a lot when I was a kid (and told I still do!) which led to reading and then the desire to write. I also paint and sketch so an artistic nature was part of me.
What has been the most useful thing you’ve done to get to this point?
Never give up. Keep writing, keep trying, keep submitting and most important keep learning. Always give yourself another goal to strive for.
What is the one thing you wish you’d learned sooner?
Oh, geeze, how do I pick just one thing? So many things I’ve learned over the years. To relax and go with the flow. That is both a life lesson and a writing lesson. I learned that if you’re trying to put a square peg in a round hold, it’s not gonna fit no matter how hard you try to jam it in. So take a step back, regroup, look at the peg from another angle and it either needs to be thrown away or you have to find that square hole for it.
Which book or blog or site or conference or contest would you recommend for new writers?
I think Romance Writers of America is a good place to start. Find a local chapter as there is so much knowledge and support. From there you will broaden your reach. Being around like minded people is very helpful
What drew you to Harlequin?
It’s been a goal for over thirty years. Harlequin has been around a long time and I hope for a lot longer too. Around 1983 I asked for and received Harlequin’s guidelines. They came in a big envelope, photostated and crooked on the page. I didn’t understand much of what it said and was frightened off. How I wish I had dug in and figured it out. Just think, if I had I could have had a writing career that began thirty years ago. Oh, the possibilities!
Then in 2001 I started to follow the Writing Round Robin on the website. I entered a couple and was chosen as a chapter winner for the story Thin Ice, by Debra Webb. I was over the moon on that and thought to myself, maybe I do have the chops to write for Harlequin. Then in 2003 had a request for partial for Superromance, life got in the way (divorce and stuff) which threw me off my path. And here I am all these years later. So back to the second question above, never give up!
What did you do when you got the call?
I was at the day job on lunch and writing when my cell rang. It was a Friday in late October. And guess what? The person that told me I won the Writing Round Robin contest all those years ago was who made the call to me that day. It was just great! Apparently there were a whole slew of eavesdroppers listening to the call too – you know who you are 🙂 – and then after we hung up my twitter exploded with “welcome to the family” tweets. Needless to say it was difficult to work the rest of that day.
What is the quick pitch for the book?
SHE WANTS IT is a contemporary adult romance that sizzles! It’s coming out this fall from Harlequin E.
A woman used to being in control must learn to let go and let her new lover give her her ultimate fantasy. Torn between loving and leaving the talented chef, she soon learns he’s just as talented in bedroom as he is in the kitchen. It isn’t long before a whole lot more than food gets fired up under the hot Florida sun.
Thank you, Cristal, for sharing your experience and insight. We’re looking forward to seeing just how you mix intense emotion and sexy fantasies this fall!