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Book Club Darling Kennedy Ryan Has Another Drop

The wait is over for fans of 'Before I Let Go' and the 'Hoops' series. Enter for a chance to win a copy of 'This Could Be Us.'

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If you are not yet a fan of Kennedy Ryan’s delicious romances, brace yourself! Before I Let Go continues to gain cult status since being published in November 2022. Every online book club group to which I subscribed had dozens of readers posting infectiously positive reviews about it almost daily. Then, as I should have predicted, my in-person book club voted to read it. The book is moving, intense and relatable. It will definitely have you feeling all the feels! It centers on love, loss, mental health, healing, and hope.

Intrigued, I did a search last summer to see what Ryan might be working on next. To my surprise, I learned that Before I Let Go is not her first book! Soon, my curiosity took me down a rabbit hole to BookTok where dozens of videos show readers practically drooling over Kennedy Ryan’s previous self-published books. I have to say, I was extremely impressed by this success. Apparently, I was not the only one. Publisher Bloom Books was impressed enough to reissue Ryan’s Hoops romance series over the summer and fall with brand-new, steamy book covers!

Released in paperback:
Long Shot (Hoops, 1) - August
Block Shot (Hoops, 2) – September
Hook Shot (Hoops, 3) – October 10

Kennedy Ryan, Block Shot, Hook Shot, Long Shot, books, book giveaways

Enter here for a chance to win this Hoops series 3-pack
Ryan, who began writing again in her 30s, was at one point overwhelmed. She was juggling her work and her autism non-profit while raising her son, who is on the spectrum. Writing was something that was just for her. It has since made her uber-popular among book lovers who have been anxiously awaiting, This Could Be Us. The sequel to Before I Let Go is the second book in the author’s Skyland series. Available on March 5, it continues the story of the character Soledad, beloved by book clubbers everywhere.

This Could Be Us, book, Kennedy Ryan

Enter here for a chance to win a copy of This Could Be Us

Our chat with Kennedy Ryan

In an email chat with Sisters, Ryan shared inspirational words about what it took to become a successful author. She also teased plans that guarantee her fanbase will continue to explode!

You went from self-publishing your well-loved books to having five reissued and traditionally released by Bloom Books. Remarkable! How did this come about?
I used the last eight years writing [the kinds of] stories I didn’t see a lot of people telling. I was building my brand around creative conviction. And I was putting in work as a businesswoman because when you self-publish, that is what you are. Not just a creative or an artist.

We’re experiencing a unique moment where indie authors, who used to be disdained by much of the traditional publishing industry, are being sought out and rewarded. I’m [fortunate that] when this moment came, I had crafted a backlist that caught the attention of editors at a great publisher like Bloom. We could work together to get these stories on shelves they never would have been on before. I’m really blessed to have the flexibility to publish for myself when I want, and to have amazing traditional publishing partners when that is the most appropriate route for a story. These successful books [now have] wider distribution—in Target, Walmart and airports.

It wasn’t until I was in a tough spot in my personal life and really needed an outlet for myself—just for me—that I decided to try fiction, specifically romance.
Author Kennedy Ryan

Did you hone your craft through formal training?
I’ve been writing most of my life. I know that’s something people say all the time! But in my case, it really is true. I started writing poetry in maybe the fourth grade. I think you still can detect a more lyrical style in my books. At seventeen, I started writing editorials for my city newspaper and then went on to pursue journalism in college. After graduation, I wrote for non-profits and freelanced for magazines. I did some ghost writing of non-fiction and technical copy. It wasn’t until I was in a tough spot in my personal life and really needed an outlet for myself—just for me—that I decided to try fiction, specifically romance.

My first book was traditionally published nine years ago. I started self-publishing a few years later. I had never written fiction. I didn’t take for granted that it was something I’d just know how to do. So, I [took] courses to make sure I had the basics of story structure and character development. I know the rules. I just sometimes choose to break them!

What can we fans look forward to next?
2023 [was] really about reintroducing The All the King’s Men duology and my three HOOPS novels to a new wave of readers through Bloom, which has been so amazing. I released Before I Let Go at the end of 2022. The 2024 follow-up features one of the secondary characters from BILG. I think my readers are really excited to see what’s next in that world. BILG is in development for television at Peacock, which has my readers so hyped about casting and how this world will play out onscreen. So, they’re primed for book two! And in 2024 I’ll self-publish a book, which I haven’t done in nearly three years. Score, the follow-up to my 2021 book Reel, should be coming in the summer. My readers have waited a long time for this one and ask about it often. So, lots of good things coming!

What advice do you have for Sisters From AARP readers?
To never stop dreaming or believing something is possible. I signed my first book deal when I was forty years old. When I started writing that book, I didn’t think anyone would be interested in what I had to say, but I felt a spark. I was a mom, a wife, running a charitable foundation—always putting everyone else’s needs first, as we women often do. Writing romance was something just for me that made me feel alive. I joined a local writer’s group, still not knowing if anything would come of it, but there was something about being around like-minded people once a month who were working toward their goals and pursuing their dreams.

If you have hopes or ambitions, don’t just leave them there. Make plans. Take action. Position yourself to achieve. And surround yourself with people who believe you can. If there aren’t already people like that in your life, find them. Writing can be a solitary pursuit, but I’ve found author friends and people who kept me encouraged when I felt like giving up. Find your people. Follow your dreams. Put in the work. I never expected at forty years old to begin a completely new career, but that’s what happened, and it changed my life.

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