Guest – Annelise Ryan

Jessie- In New Hampshire wondering when the blackflies will arrive!

I am delighted to host Annelise Ryan on the Wickeds today! In addition to her mystery writing she has written scores of articles for publication and is a competive Scrabble player! Take it away, Annelise!

Change is something many people dislike and avoid at all costs, and the last year has brought plenty of it to all of us. I’ve always liked change, but perhaps that’s because my entire life has revolved around it. It’s what I’m used to. (Or maybe I have ADD.) Growing up, my father held a government job that meant a lot of moves, so I was often the new kid in school. That meant a change of address, a change of scenery, a change of friends, and sometimes a change of lifestyle. These changes sometimes happened multiple times in a school year. (It didn’t help my popularity any that I looked like this in grade school, the result of a self-inflicted change when I gave myself a haircut! Look close and you can see where my hair was penciled in in places.)

I chose a career in nursing because it offered me tons of options for jobs in varied settings with different patient populations. My experiences with impermanence growing up may have influenced the many career changes I made, because I worked in every nursing field from birth (obstetrics) to death (hospice). I finally settled in and spent my last twenty years working in the ER, a setting that is nothing but change and unpredictability. 

I loved it. Now that I’m retired from nursing, I find I miss it. A little. 

There’s an adage that says you should write what you know, so it’s no surprise, given my history, that the heroine in my Mattie Winston Mystery series has also undergone a lot of change, some of it by choice, some not so much. She always does her best to embrace change, wherever, whenever, and however it comes, though the outcomes vary. In the first book of the series, WORKING STIFF, Mattie is a nurse working in the operating room of a small-town hospital and married to a surgeon who also works there. When she happens upon her husband and a coworker conducting intimate physical exams on one another, she flees both her marriage and her job. She ends up taking on a new job as assistant to her friend, medical examiner Dr. Izzy Rybarceski, and meets a hunky new detective named Steve Hurley in the process. The only consistency in Mattie’s life from here on out is inconsistency. 

DEAD EVEN (released 3/30/21) is the 12th book in the series, and change is still dogging Mattie in her personal and professional lives. In this outing, she has to deal with an entitled, clueless family whose wealthy patriarch has been stabbed in the chest with a broken piece of his own cue stick. When she isn’t assisting with autopsies or trying to find killers, Mattie is struggling to balance her home and work life, dealing with the demands of raising a toddler and a teenage stepdaughter, and trying to keep her second marriage healthy and interesting. Mattie handles the challenges she faces in this book like she always has … with a frequent lack of grace, a streak of stubborn determination, the best of intentions, and a warped sense of humor. 

Change has been a hallmark of my writing career, as well. I’ve changed genres twice (going from paranormal suspense to mystery), publishers three times, agents four times, and I’m published under three different names (check out my six-book Mack’s Bar Mystery series written under the pseudonym of Allyson K. Abbott.)  

Readers: How do all of you deal with change? Do you like it or hate it?

19 Thoughts

  1. I can deal with a LITTLE change, but too much and I become hypervigilant. I’ve coped this past year by reviewing books (we’re talking one a day, sometimes requiring me to semi-operate on only two hours of sleep). Everything else has fallen by the wayside.

  2. Oh, Jessie, please, no black flies!

    Change – bring it on. I love change. It’s invigorating, exciting, and it’s gonna happen so you might as well embrace it. Idon’t know how I’ve missed Mattie for all those books, but I aim to remedy that.

  3. Funny, I’ve got that same haircut in one of my grade school pics! Change, for me, can be both healthy and nerve-wracking. When my kids were little, we moved from one coast to the other and then back again for job opportunities and that was scary but actually turned out to be a good thing in the long run. “Bloom where you’re planted ” has been a favorite saying of mine. Wishing you much success with your writing!

  4. Welcome to the blog, Annalise, and congratulations on book #12! Right now I’d welcome a change of scenery after the year we’ve had, but I love what Kathy says in her comment: Bloom where you’re planted.

  5. Annelise, congratulations on your latest book!

    As to the question about change and whether I like it or not. I’m a creature of habit so I like the predictable daily routines of my life. I’m not compulsive about it or anything but I hate when things get changed up on me.

    I deal with change as it comes because change is that annoying constant thing in life but I really don’t like it.

  6. ANNALISE: I remember reading WORKING STIFF but will have to check out your other books.

    I have had different levels of change throughout my life. My childhood home in 1970s was in boring, stable suburban Toronto. I left Toronto to attend university but I knew I could visit my parents who lived in the same home for 45+ years. The co-op university program meant that I switched from in-school learning to a job placement anywhere in Canada every 4 months for 5 years. That was an exciting, invigorating prospect for me.

    After university, I officially worked for same employer (Canadian federal government), but I deliberately chose to work accept different jobs which required me to move to 5 (or 6) different cities over my 30-year career. But after relocating to my final work posting in 2014, and retiring in 2016, I have remained here in Ottawa, Ontario. I love living in this city and don’t plan of making a big change any time soon.

  7. I had glasses like that in one of my school pictures. I am very resistant to change. I can be very set in my ways. I do like internet tv and can find just about anything that I want to watch for free. Hey I’m already paying enough for the internet. I still haven’t tried audio books. I like reading books, I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember. I will read different genres every now and then but I always prefer cozies.

  8. As for me, most of my life I fought change. Also from a military family, I guess I took all the change while growing up and decided in adulthood, I had control NOT to change.

    However, it took me to being a senior citizen to embrace change. Believe it or not, it was my idea that suggested that after living in the same area, same home for almost 40 years, why didn’t we move to where we really loved to be. So in a matter of minutes, even though it took months to fulfill, I was extremely excited about change. Best thing I ever did. Now I’m extremely open to change when there’s more happiness and joy in that change.

    Congratulations on the just released “DEAD EVEN”! Can’t wait for the opportunity to read it. Love the cover.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  9. Welcome! It depends on if the change is welcome. If it is, I’m all in. If not, I tend to whine for a day and they do whatever it is I have to do next.

  10. Congratulations on your new book! My husband was in the Air Force so change was a part of our lives. We are now thinking about where to move next after living in the same place for ten years.

  11. I need to look at this series. I’m also a nurse who is supposedly retired….Not. I work with disabled children in their homes and love. The OR trauma was my love and I did that for 25 years. As for change, when I retired, I ran away from home and haven’t looked back. The move was from south FL to north central AZ and it was the best thing I could have done. Congrats on the new book and I’m going to check out this series for sure.

  12. I am not a fan of change, most of the time. Occasionally, there is something I am excited about. And there are times I will find that I enjoy something much more than I thought I would.

    One change I’ve been happy about this past year is working from home. I love it! I will not be happy when we go back to the office.

  13. I always said I was good at change, that I adapted well. The truth really is I hate change. I bitch about it, get PO’d, sometimes cry, then I get over it and, well, change.
    I always dreamed about being the person who livesld in a different city, with a different job every 6 months. In reality I spent 30 years at I job I did not love. I’m retired now, still hoping to be a gadfly, this time by RV. Dreams are good.

  14. Congratulations on your New Book, it sounds and looks very intriguing! I am fine with change especially if it is a necessity , Change is good most of the time. Have a Great weekend and have a Blessed Easter.

  15. I am not a fan of change. I know it is a part of life. I lean on the Lord for strength and direction. Congratulations on your new book. Thank you for sharing your time and your talent. God bless you. Happy Easter.

  16. I’m not over the top about liking change as you seem to be, but I do like it. Many years ago, I worked as a temp and loved having different jobs, sometimes two or three times a week. I worked at a lot of fascinating places and learned so much. After being a business owner for 14 years, I retired for 7 years, and then at 63, I decided to get a CDL license and became a school bus driver for 5 years, quitting only because of COVID. Guess that would be considered over the top by some folks.

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