Lexi Ryan: Writing Love Stories That Linger Long!

Lexi Ryan is the perfect example of the very best of a midwestern girl! From the very minute I met her, she had me all wrapped up in warm, homey friendliness with best of the best friend vibes until I truly felt we had known each other forever, rather than just for a day.  She is candid yet kind, open yet considerate, and honest yet compassionate, and her books display that in every word and phrase. They are often emotional and deep - sometimes even leaning to the dark and hard subjects - but always real, with a satisfying and sigh-worthy ending.  See? I just loved her!  And I think you will, as well.  Just read on and you’ll discover exactly what I’m speaking of and what makes her such a beloved author to so many thousands all over the world.

InD: You are a hard person to get to know online! You don’t share too much, so this is going to be a lot of fun. I’m just going to ask random questions! I would love to hear about your childhood first.
I actually live in the town where I was born, Terre Haute, Indiana. I am the youngest of seven kids, so I come from a really big family. I have four older brothers and two older sisters.
InD: Was that a good thing?
: As a child, it was a great thing. I loved having so many siblings, but as a mother, I was never interested in doing it myself. I was never going to sign on for all that, which is funny because my dad is the oldest of nine, so apparently he always knew he wanted to have a lot of kids. I always knew that for me, there was no way. I have two, and that is perfect.
InD: What was that like growing up in Terre Haute? And what were you like as a kid?
My childhood was a lot different than my children’s. Aside from all the siblings, it was just a different time. My mom stayed home until I went to kindergarten, and we were a one car household. My dad took the car to work, so we were stuck at home.
As a child, I spent a lot of time playing outside, and with my four brothers playing Dungeons and Dragons. We lived out in the country and there were seven of us, so we didn't really get to be involved in extracurricular activities. There was no budget for that.
If I wanted something, my dad would say, “Save your pennies.” That was his answer to everything. For example, if I said, “One day I want to have a nice car”, he would say, "Save your pennies”, or “Daddy, look at that wedding dress! Could I have a pretty wedding dress someday?” “Save your pennies.” That was his answer to everything.
My kids, on the other hand, have the opportunities to do whatever they want. My daughter, from the age of six, was in gymnastics, until it got to be three practices a week, three hours a practice, and she decided she didn’t want that much. They enjoy being at home. They want the childhood I had, except I didn't have all the computers and technology until I was in high school.
InD: With that many brothers and sisters, were you teased a lot?
Maybe by my sister, Debbie, who is two years older than me. We were really close friends, but also fought viciously.
InD: Are you close to them now?
Yes, but not geographically. I have brothers from Seattle to Virginia, literally all over the country. I have one sister who still lives here, and I am still here in town, but otherwise we are spread out. We all still try to keep in touch. We really value what we have as a family, or at least I think we do. When I was growing up, I always thought we were special because there were so many of us, and I think that has never changed. I still think it is just really special.
InD: What were you like as a child?
I think I was a born storyteller, to myself at first. Before I discovered books, I would steal my brother’s Matchbox cars and make up little stories. I can remember taking my mom's Dolly Parton tape and singing along, and I would make up stories to go with the songs. They made sense, so it was like a musical. I thought everyone did that.
I am sure my love of stories was because our parents read to us all the time. I remember reading a Ramona book and loving it. I thought, “So, this is what it's like to love to read!” I always enjoyed the idea of being a writer; it was storytelling in my own little way. Then I discovered Romance novels!
InD: Okay, how did you get into Romance novels?
My mom gave me my first Romance novel. She handed me “A Knight in Shining Armor” by Jude Devereaux the summer before 7th grade, and said, “You are probably old enough to read this now,” and so I did, and I thought it was amazing! I immediately decided I wanted to write books that make people feel the way that book made me feel.
I devoured everything they had in my library by her, and anyone on the shelves around her. When people talk about "Old Guard" Romance, I think of Jude Devereaux and Judith McNaught. Those books felt like I was traveling through the past and present. The big, juicy single-titles were all Historical at that time, so I read lots of Historical because there weren’t a lot of authors writing Contemporary Romance.
InD: I absolutely agree there were not a lot of Contemporary authors back then.
My library had category Romance, but they were usually just small paperbacks on little turnstile racks.
InD: I remember those! The little Harlequin-type books.
Yes! I have always been an author-driven reader, though, so I wanted to find the authors I loved and then read everything they wrote. I would read the categories to find an author I really liked, then I would go back and maybe find more, but it was hard because category Romance is in the business of selling you a certain kind of story and heat level, because they are in the business of building a brand, not a specific author.
But once I found Romance in the 7th grade, I became a die-hard reader. I even loved to re-read books. I was never involved with sports, never had a ton of friends, and I was socially awkward, so it was not like I did not read before. Because I was a smart kid in school and had to read for book reports and stuff, I was just never really into it until I discovered Romance, and then reading was all I wanted to do.
InD: I can understand that, with so many brothers and sisters, you don't really need to go look for other friends when you have them built in at home.
Yes, but I am still a bit socially awkward. It is kind of who I am. I discovered books can save you, and they can save you over and over again and give you somewhere amazing to go when you feel you are stuck. I remember walking through the library, terrified I would read all of the books and there would not be any left. That, to me, would be the worst possible thing.

Read the entire interview in the February 2023 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

You can just click on the magazine image on the left hand side of our home page to open and enjoy!


If you would like to receive the magazine every month (for FREE!) , just sign up on our home page. Once you do, an e-mail validation notice will be sent directly to you. Just open and click the link and you're in - forever!  Each month the magazine will be delivered directly to your inbox to downlad and read!