Carol Anita Ryan – Right Now Is Perfect

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Right Now Is Perfect: A Romance, an Adventure, the Unexpected Thereafter, is for anyone who has dreamed of finding a soul mate, ditching a career, and sailing into the sunset. It is also for those more practical types who would rather read about it. While vicariously sailing aboard a 36 foot yacht, the reader discovers some of the most isolated and beautiful islands on earth—the Marquesas, the Tuamotos, Tahiti, Moorea, Huahine, Bora Bora, the Cook Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Fiji, and New Zealand are the landfalls. The narrator and her free-spirited lover must adapt to living on land when the sailing adventure ends. Just when it seems they will live ‘happily ever after’ an unexpected development throws everything into question.

Tell us something about yourself.

I always wanted to be an anthropologist and/or travel writer, but to actually earn a living I decided on a career in Information Technology. I pursued other interests by traveling extensively whenever possible. One of my last traveling adventures is the basis for the memoir, Right Now Is Perfect. That story concludes with an unexpected diagnosis of primary progressive multiple sclerosis and the impact of progressing disability. Now I live in Northern California with my poodle, Napoleon.

What inspired you to write this book?

Sailing across the Pacific was such an adventure that I always planned to write about it. However, getting MS, becoming disabled (after a life of travel and adventure) really compelled me to write. First because I wanted to remember those days on the boat in the sun, and second because I had a pressing need to say something about making the most of what you have.

How did you choose the title?

For a long time my working title was: Don’t Wait. I loved that short and sweet title! But, others said not to be negative in the title. So, I thought about how to say the same thing positively, and that’s how I got the title. The subtitle sums up the whole story.

It’s a sailing saga wrapped up in a romance, with a surprise ending.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

It took me five years to write the book. First, I wanted to remember as many details of the sailing adventure as possible. That was fun for me, but it was too much of a travelogue for a reader. I had some major health setbacks during those years (which slowed down progress). Finally I started working with a writing coach, who insisted on making a story and being absolutely emotionally honest. Those were both good ideas!

I attempted to go with a traditional agent/publisher during the first draft. By the final rewrite, the publishing industry had significantly changed. I decided to self-publish. I had learned enough to hire pros for cover design, copy editing, etc. and do things the way I wanted.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I always enjoyed the communication of ideas, but doing it well is hard work.

Do you have any writing rituals?

No, I need some.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

While writing I tried to remember real names—to help with memory. Later, I changed some to names that felt similar on some pre-logical level. For some characters I had to go with real names!

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

By being very honest about my feelings (some of which I hadn’t realized before) I actually learned a lot about what happened during the period in which the book takes place. On a practical level, to make formatting for E-Books easier, I’ll write them using simpler formatting next time!

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?


What types of books do you like to read?

I like fiction that explores relationships and non-fiction that does that and teaches me about the world.

Who are your favorite authors? Why

Too many to mention. Thoughtful and good use of language, imparting truth of some kind. Engaging the imagination.

Are you working on your next book?

Thinking about it only!

What can you tell us about it?

It might be set in Fiji.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Work with people who value their time and yours.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

I wrote my book with a middle aged woman, probably a book club member in mind. I’ve been very pleasantly surprised to have rave reviews by men as well as women. I discovered that people respond to different aspects of the book, and not as I predicted. I’m very happy to learn that.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

I have a web site: with direct links to Smashwords (where all major E-Book formats are available) and Amazon (for the printed edition) book pages. On Amazon you can ‘Search Inside This Book’ and the book is also available on the Kindle.

I’m on FaceBook, and there is a Right Now Is Perfect fan page there as well.