Scientist by day, science fiction-urban fantasy author by night, M.L. Ryan has many stories rolling around in her head. After just purchasing her Kindle, she started imagining what it would be like if it came with some fiendish polgergeist spirit. This resulted in her book, Special Offers. As our Author of the Day, Ryan tells us more about the inspiration for her book and reveals some of her secret skills.
Please give us a short introduction to what Special Offers is about.
Special Offers—the first book in the Coursodon Dimension Series—chronicles what happens when Hailey Parrish is possessed by an arrogant, magically-proficient enforcer from a parallel dimension who was previously trapped in her Kindle. And, as we all know, being possessed can really mess up a girl’s day.
What inspired you to send an infuriating cohabitant to Hailey?
I’d just purchased my full-priced Kindle when I realized Amazon was selling less expensive versions that came with “special offers” (ads instead of the pretty drawings). Having a warped mind, I thought it would be amusing if what made the cheaper Kindles special was that they came with some fiendish spirit. Originally, I imagined something like a havoc-wrecking poltergeist, but that quickly morphed into the annoying, yet ingratiating, Sebastian.
Readers say that they would never look at their Kindles the same way again - was that your intention?
Not at all, but if I’ve made them eye their eBook reader with suspicion, I guess I’ve done my job.
Have you always known you wanted to be a writer? What inspired your debut?
No, but I’ve always thought up elaborate stories in my head. However, as an Immunologist, I’ve written and published many research papers, and was inspired to write Special Offers to try my hand at something other than science non-fiction.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
- Rat milking. It’s not all that difficult; the hardest part is getting the tiny stool underneath them.
- I can identify every species of warbler normally found in the US by their song.
- Household repair. Once, I installed a new dishwasher after the original died on Thanksgiving.
Although Hailey finds herself in a peculiar situation, her character is very believable - how did you pull this off?
Give us three "Good to Know" facts about you
- I have a geographic tongue and I’m married to a geographer.
- I despise hazelnuts.
- My favorite film is Young Frankenstein. I’ve probably watched it over a hundred times and it always makes me laugh.
How were you able to incorporate your personality into this series?
A lot of me sneaks into my characters. Hailey and I are both snark-masters and can turn the most innocent comment into one up to the hilt in sexual innuendo. Oh, and we both swear like %#@& sailors. Sebastian and I share serious issues with authority, and Alex is tall, blond, sophisticated, and charming—he bears no resemblance to me whatsoever.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What does an average writing day look like for you?
I can write with the TV on in the background, but listening to music distracts me (as does the inspiration for the cat in the book--see photo below). Unfortunately, a typical writing day has to fit in around my pesky day job, so I write in the evening and on weekends.
What are you working on right now?
I’m putting the finishing touches on the sixth book in the series—Special Conceptions—which should be available later this month. Once that’s done, I’ll start on the next. I miss Hailey, Alex, and Sebastian when I’m away from them for too long!
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
My website: www.coursodondimension.com
Email: [email protected]