Want to Meet Author Jesi Lea Ryan?
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 exceptionally naughty kitties.
Stalk Jesi Lea here:
Liberty Ann: First off, how has your week been?
Jesi Lea: Tiring! I’m so glad the holidays are over. At least I don’t have the clean up other people do. I don’t put up a tree any decorations for Christmas. I don’t host any lavish dinner parties. All of my family and my husband’s family live out of state, so we usually don’t have to juggle family get-togethers. So if I have it so easy, why do the holidays still wear me out? No idea.
Liberty Ann: How did your current book come about?
Jesi Lea: I was sitting in an all-day, insurance continuing education class (yes, it was as exciting as it sounds), and started day dreaming, which I am known to do frequently. Before I knew it, I had outlined a three book trilogy about a psychic empath. Ta da! Arcadia was born!
Most of that original outline was lost, but it gave me a good baseline to work from. The first book, Arcadia’s Gift was published in 2012. Arcadia’s Curse was released a few months ago. And I am well into the writing of Arcadia’s Choice as we speak.
Liberty Ann: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Jesi Lea: I am very restless when I write. I think most authors sit their butts in the chair and pound away. I can’t do that. I’m up and down constantly, sometimes mid-sentence. I get up and walk to the kitchen for no reason or wander off to the bedroom to look out the window. I have to think about things before I write them, rehearse the dialog in my head, close my eyes and envision the space through my character’s eyes. When I get back to my computer, I might tap out a sentence or a couple of paragraphs, but soon, I’m up again, wandering.
Liberty Ann: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Jesi Lea: My book is written first person from the point of view of a psychic empath. Arcadia (Cady) can feel the emotions of everyone around her. The hardest part of writing about emotions to the crazy extent that I have to is keeping it interesting. There are really only so many ways a person can feel something. I work very hard to change things up and make the description meaningful. I find sometimes that writing some of the more difficult scenes, that my shoulders will ache and my stomach will hurt. I can feel myself taking on the same emotions that Cady does. Weird…
Liberty Ann: How much of your writing time is purely research?
Jesi Lea: I’m a curious person, so I have to be careful not to lose myself in Google. On the surface, my books don’t seem like they require much by way of research. The story is set in my hometown. The character goes to the same high school I did, and she lives in a neighborhood I once lived in. So I don’t really have to do any research into setting details. I have a file on psychic research and parapsychology. I have a rather disturbing file of modern torture techniques. Notes on hemophilia and drug addiction. lots of random things that sometimes never make it into the stories, but that I like to keep straight in my own head. So what I’m saying here is that if the NSA is monitoring my Google searches, they are probably both scared and confused. 🙂
Liberty Ann: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Jesi Lea: Oh, this is easy. If you look on my Amazon reviews for Arcadia’s Gift, there is one 1 star review. It was written by some reader in Australia or someplace. No author likes to get a 1 star review, but it is just business, so I didn’t dwell on it. But then the very next day, the same woman left a 5 star review on the second book, Arcadia’s Curse! At first I was shocked that she would purchase and read the second book after not liking the first. But then her second review was such an incredible turn-around from her thoughts from only a day earlier that I consider it the best review I have ever received. Don’t believe me, go to Amazon and check it out. So cool!
Liberty Ann: Light or dark chocolate?
Jesi Lea: Dark
Liberty Ann: Favorite color?
Jesi Lea: Jewel tones
Liberty Ann: Dogs or cats?
Jesi Lea: Cats
Liberty Ann: E-reader or print book?
Jesi Lea: All books are good.
Liberty Ann: Night owl or early bird?
Jesi Lea: Total night owl. It’s after midnight as I’m typing this.
Liberty Ann: Name one food you would never eat.
Jesi Lea: Most meats make me squeamish. I never eat any kind of seafood or fish. I avoid pork products. I have all these weird rules for eating meat. Basically, I will only eat white meat chicken or turkey, but not if it is on the bone. I will only eat hamburger or steak if it is thoroughly cooked. I mean charred! And even then I usually only manage a couple of bites of a steak. I don’t touch raw meat. My husband has to place it in the pan for me. When I eat chicken noodle soup, I pick out the bits of chicken. If I don’t see the meat go into the pot, it is deemed “suspect chicken”, and I want no part of it.
Liberty Ann: If you could have any automobile, which would you have?
Jesi Lea: 1968 Corvette Stingray. Preferably in blue.
Liberty Ann: What would you like to be called if you had to change your name?
Jesi Lea: The funny thing about this question is that I did change my name – Jesi Lea Ryan is a pen name – and I really don’t like to be called Jesi in my personal life. My real name is Jessica. The only people who called me Jesi were my family, and only because they wouldn’t stop it even when I ignored them. But when the time came to come up with a pen name for my writing, I needed something that I could actually see myself answering to in public. After kicking around dozens of options, I gave in and embraced Jesi. Now a lot of people call me by that name. I’ve gotten used to it mostly.
Liberty Ann: Please share with us about your favorite book and fictional crush to date?
Jesi Lea: I read 250+ books a year, so narrowing down one favorite book is impossible. I would have to say the collected works of Richelle Mead are my favorite books of all time. I have read every word she has ever published, and her books are an “auto buy” for me. She also is the author of my two biggest book crushes of all time – Dimitri Belikov (Vampire Academy) and Seth Mortensen (Georgina Kincaid series). I love them. For realz!
Liberty Ann: Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
Jesi Lea: What’s the point? Actually, I am kind of a slob. I hate hanging up clothes or putting clutter away too. I like my kitchen and bathrooms to be clean, but beyond that, I have no interest in house work. Luckily, I am blessed with a husband to does all of that stuff for me. Thanks, honey!
Liberty Ann: Okay, so everyone has had a chance to see your awesomeness. Where can they go to snag their own copy of your novel?
Jesi Lea: E-books and paperbacks are available on Amazon. Arcadia’s Gift is also available in audio book through Audible, iTunes and Amazon.
Liberty Ann: Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the Web. I really wish you the best of everything. But before you go…where can we follow you?
Twitter – @Jesilea (I never check my direct messages, too much spam, but if you @ me, I’ll chat back.)
Facebook – Jesi Lea Ryan
Website – www.jesilea.com
By Jesi Lea Ryan
Most people who experience death don’t live to tell about it.
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…
By Jesi Lea Ryan
Think high school sucks? Try being an empath who has to experience everyone else’s suckage on top of your own. (Literally.)
In the months since her family life imploded and her psychic gifts began to arise, Cady has struggled to figure out how she can fit into her normal life without going crazy from the constant presence of emotional energy. Her grades have tanked. Her best friend is afraid of her. And she begins to have doubts about why her boyfriend, Bryan, is really keeping her around. But a chance meeting with another gifted girl online opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Unfortunately, this new world comes at an awful price.
Find The Arcadia Novels here:
Amazon (Arcadia’s Gift)/Amazon (Arcadia’s Curse)
AUDIBLE Audio Book of Arcadia’s Gift
One thought on “A Chat With Jesi Lea Ryan, Author of The Arcadia Novels: Arcadia’s Gift and Arcadia’s Curse”
Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog! You’ve been great. 🙂 ~Jesi