Interview with Dawn Ryder, Romance Author

What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?

This is becoming a lost art. There is too much tech in the hands of children now. They aren’t learning how to use their imaginations. Books make you use that brain to envision the setting. This might be in fiction but when a child grows up, the adult will remember how to think outside the box and that’s how the next generation of new things and ideas will be born.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Realism. I want there to be a foundation of , it really could happen. Twists and turns are important to me. I want the reader to stick with the pages, knowing they will miss something if they skim.

How was writing this book different than your other books?

In the Unbroken Heroes, I’ve introduced my Shadow ops. They are an elite unit that works off grid. This book, Take it to the Limit, is where I illuminate what I’ve only talked about in the other books….the reality of one of their cases following them home. It’s why they live off grid. I didn’t want to just talk about it, I wanted to write one story where the reader sees it first hand as it unfolds.

What makes this book stand out from your other work?

Each Unbroken Heroes book is a challenge for me. I’ve been writing historical romance for a few years and this set of books just begged for a slot on my calendar.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Not killing my main villain…he really needs killing…

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Okay, the Grandpa. He was a hoot to write and weave into the story line.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

I’ve always been a story girl. Back when my Mom was telling me only one hour of television a day, she was a good mom for saying that, well, that wasn’t enough story time for me. My first real love of a book set was the ‘Little House’ books and it wasn’t too long after that I discovered romance. It was an era of no iPods and if you were lucky you had the radio to listen to. Books were my mental playground. It was also the way we entertained ourselves on camping trips. I’d tell stories to my younger siblings, we’d make up stories together…

A mom who had a firm one hour a night television rule….so if you wanted more entertainment, better crack a book. I did.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

Historical romance and Contemporary. I’ve dabbled in paranormal too. In fact, my first published book was a paranormal.

What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was least useful or most destructive?

Most useful was my mom taking me to the library. It wasn’t a choice. We went and stayed for hours. Like any kid, I thought books were boring but the truth was, my reading scores were low, so my mom made me read and I got those scores up to grade level. I used this same approach with my own boys.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

Names are very important and I like them to reflect the culture I’m writing in. I’ve taken some hard comments over it in the past but I try to find unique names that fit what era I’m setting the story in….Sorry but Petunia was a very popular name at one time.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?

Full time writer…weekends…holidays….

What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

Marital arts Instructor/ Master. training in this art has helped tremendously with fight scenes. It’s also really funny when my sons and I are at the movies, we are all advanced black belts, and we watch the fight scenes…

What do you like to read in your free time?

A little of everything. Last year I was re-reading the classics and discovering why I love Romance so much.

What projects are you working on at the present?

This week I am finishing up a Highlander romance that will release under my Mary Wine name and then I am going to head straight into the challenge of writing the last book in my Unbroken Heroes. It will be about Thais Sinclair.

What do your plans for future projects include?

After that, I will be submitting a new project to my editor in the hopes it is contracted. It’s a scary and exciting time for an author as a contact ends and you hope to gain a new one.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

Yes. When I’m stuck, I will work on quilt blocks. Just piece them and for some reason this works. I can’t sew a costume piece, because I’m thinking about the construction of the garment. No, just piecing quilt squares. It results in boxes of half made quilts that drive my husband batty.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Complex story lines. I like there to be twists and turns and real reasons for my characters to be where they are.


What would your tombstone say?

No tombstone…no grave…. scatter my ashes at sea and I will be on to the next adventure. Leave the Earth for the next generation.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Healing. I’d love to be able to kill cancer and regrow healthy cells….

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?


If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?

A Harpy Eagle. They are huge.

What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

Hit the New York Times list.

If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?


How many donuts are you capable of eating in one sitting?

I’ve been on a no carbs diet for a month now….I’m giving this question the stink eye look…..

How violently do you have to fight the urge to scream when you hear the ice cream truck coming?

That truck hasn’t come back since the day I had the Bankside sword group over and they charged after him with their rapiers and long swords….It was an honest mistake.

Say there’s like a whole box of your favorite snack in a room all by themselves. Say I left them there and told you not to eat any until I got back. How long would it take you to disobey my wishes?

Right now, I will run you down…enjoy seeing my step count increase and make you take them with you!

Finally, and this one is important, so please pay attention What do you think cats dream about?

Training humans. And that they will probably kill us in the morning.


This or That?

Dogs or Cats?


Tea or Coffee?


Winter or Summer?

Winter in the Caribbean and summer in Alaska!

TexMex or Italian?


Vintage or New?

Both…but in clothing, Vintage wins.


I am a fourth degree black belt in Taekwondo. It’s the first rank where you are called ‘Master’. I started classes with my boys, to set a good example by not being a ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ sort of person and I was there with them at the studio…I never thought I’d stick with it this long or break bricks!




Take to the Limit cover.jpg

A hardened military machine, Bram Magnus is a tough, combat-ready, all-American hero who never surrenders. But the one thing he can’t fight? His smoldering, intense attraction to his girlfriend’s younger sister… He’s always kept his feelings locked deeply down but when his girlfriend betrays him the night before he ships off to Afghanistan, Bram has one chance to show the woman he’s resisted for years that he wants her as fiercely as the first day he saw her.

Ever since her older sister first brought home the soldier with steely hard muscles and piercing eyes, Jaelyn has wanted Bram, and when her sister casts him aside the night before he leaves, Jaelyn can’t resist one steamy hot kiss with him. But danger is not far behind, and even as a deadly enemy hunts them, their relationship only grows more explosive. It’s all Bram can do to keep Jaelyn safe, but with a threat this powerful, will they pay the ultimate price for their passion?





Dawn Ryder

Dawn Ryder is the contemporary romance pen name of a bestselling author of historical romances. Her official naughty inner child. She is commercially published in mass market and trade paper, and digi-first published with trade paper releases. She is hugely committed to her career as an author, as well as to other authors and to her readership. She resides in Southern California. Dawn’s Unbroken Heroes novels include Dangerous to Know and Dare You to Run.


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