Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Meet Our Greyhaus Authors - Ryshia Kennie

As a part of the continuing series, here is our next Greyhaus Author! Ryshia is one of the two Canadian authors here at Greyhaus!

I’ve never been one to follow the norm even though I spent what seemed a lifetime in government administration – as much a norm on Saskatchewan’s prairie landscape as farmers.  I write women’s fiction and romantic suspense or suspense with shades of romance – depending on your take.   You can find that and a whole lot more at or at my blog

I’m not going to tell you about a burning passion to write but I suspect I may have been born with a book in my hand.  I began writing early and wrote anything and everything except, what I really wanted to write – fiction in a full size book.  But the truth was, that no matter how often I began, I had no idea how to finish a novel – a short story was one thing, poetry another – even an essay or two.  But it was that collection of half-completed novels that was eating at me but I couldn’t seem to hurl myself over the wasteland of that middle ground and get to the end. 

The best thing I ever did for my writing was to treat it like any other job, something that had to be done every day, the next best thing was taking a college course that taught me some missing mechanics or simply how to write when you’re not feeling the love for your story.  While many more courses followed, that was the one that gave me two things, grounding and a critique group.  Those were the tools that helped me judge when my writing was ready to move forward into the market. 

I hit a turning point in the waning hours of 2007 when I got “the call” for my first completed novel, FROM THE DUST a historic romance set on the depression era prairies.  That offer was immediately followed by a request from a second publisher who was enthused with the project but wanted revisions before making a final decision.  It was unbelievable, after years of rejection, rewrites and plain old sweat - two publishers showed interest at the same time. 

So while I was slow to suspense, after my second novel that’s where I ventured, a romantic suspense set in a place I’d recently traveled, Cambodia.  Being a cop’s daughter, you’d think I would have written suspense novels from the very beginning.  After all I grew up on stories of car chases - cops and robbers style.  And while other children were told to not talk to strangers, I was told to get a good description of the suspect and report home. 

I followed that book with my first and only pitch - and that pitch changed everything.  For it was there that I was told, yes we could be interested but you need an agent.  I have to say my do-it-yourself personality was rather appalled at the notion of an agent but finding no wiggle room between my goal of bigger publishers versus a lifetime in the pool of small press, I bit the bullet.

I soon discovered that the bullet might be sweeter than I anticipated.  That was the year I discovered Greyhaus and Scott Eagan.  That was the next turning point in my writing career.  For it was when I signed with Greyhaus that my “write by the seat of my pants” methodology got a complete overhaul.  And I learned the true value of an agent – someone in your corner that other than doing the actual writing, does much of the heavy lifting for you.

2009 found me publishing my second book, a different type of story – RING OF DESIRE, a historical romance that somehow slipped into the realms of paranormal.  A one-off kind of book that was just plain fun to write. 

After that things began to change.  I was asked to give a workshop on the process of writing.  But, while I’ve gladly informally given advise to beginning writers, I didn’t feel like I was far enough along on my own journey to provide the expertise they were looking for.  Since then I’ve won my city’s writing award for best fiction for a suspense I recently finished, did my first reading and added television to the interviews I’ve done.  It all seems like amazing stuff, something that should happen to someone else.  But I’ve come to realize that it’s all about the rungs on a ladder.  At every point we all have something to learn and we all have something to say. 

But apparently I may have too much to say for I have a small convoy of books awaiting news – either good or bad.  So rather than bite my nails or cross my fingers – guaranteed bad luck I’ve heard, I write.  A new story is occupying my mornings and interfering with my thoughts even when I should be thinking of other things.  And that’s my life in the world of Once Upon a Time….


  1. Thanks Scott. Nice to be here and even though it's a gorgeous, end of summer day up here and I should be outside - any day is a good day to talk about anything related to books. My latest find and I admit I'm late to it, "Darkly Dreaming Dexter." Anyone else have some recent book finds?