National Smile Power Day with Author Ryan Jo Summers

Today is National Smile Day. The significance of that got me to thinking.

A smile can be one of the most quickly observed feature on a person, alongside eyes and hair (according to studies and polls). Personally, I’ve always been self-conscious of my smile. All my school pictures show more of a forced grimace as the photographer tried in vain to get me to flash my pearlys. There are few photos in existence that show me truly grinning. Blame it on years of coffee and tea or blame it on my malformed choppers, it’s just not something people will notice about me immediately. Well, perhaps the lack of a big, beaming smile.

That being said, how does it transcend to my characters? Writing romance, there has to be a quick, initial attraction and eyes and hair only go so far. I tend to believe the heroines will notice a smile—or lack of a smile—before they can tell what the hero ate for breakfast or shampoo he showered with.

With few exceptions, my heroines are strong, independent women. They are successful business owners and career gals. They don’t need no stinkin’ man! They might, however, want one if he has a pleasant, heart-racing smile. My heroes are normal guys. They tend to come from blue collar occupations, are devoted to family and their lady love, and oftentimes are lower than the heroine in the pay scale. So what does he have to offer her?

Well, himself of course! Some of my ladies find themselves stuck in some precarious situations and the hero comes riding to the rescue, armed with a disarming smile to quickly earn her trust. Some ladies are content in their station in live and when ‘this guy’ shows up to interrupt her status quo, his charming and polite smile can melt her defenses.

Of course, there are also the other kind of smiles, you know the kind: sardonic, strained, mocking and others. I am guilty of using those in both real life and print, because I tend to be sarcastic and stressed a fair bit of the time. (No, really, it’s true) And I enjoy using a less-than-adoring smile between characters (not necessarily the main h/ h) to create some cool tension.

Used properly, a smile can irritate, upset, cause dread, warm the heart, establish trust, and cement bonds or a host of other emotions. Smiles are a catalyst to create an emotion—positive or negative. Think about that next time you meet someone and flash ‘em a grin.


Tossed together by happenstance, fleeing for their lives and falling in love under the Caribbean sun as paradise turns deadly.

Upon The Tide Final

New York Fashion designer, Piper Kincaid, just wanted a pleasant visit with her cousin down in Florida. That was before she and handsome beach bum, Kade Wyatt, become the targets of a
gang of robbers and killers.
     Kade simply wanted some fish for his pet seagull. Now he and the lovely exec from out of town are caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse. He’s busy concentrating on Piper when he should be focusing on keeping them alive. 
     Fleeing for their lives aboard Kade’s houseboat, ‘The Hightide’, they experience risk, surprises, mystery and romance during the Great Caribbean Boat Chase. However, the biggest surprises are waiting for them back at port.
Upon the Tide now available at Amazon.
ryan summers
Ryan Jo Summers is a North Carolina author who specializes in writing romances with a twist. Love stories blended with inspirational, paranormal, suspense or time travel–or several at once. She also writes non-fiction for regional periodicals. Ryan’s dad is a songwriter and his aunt wrote poetry so she claims she came by her writing skill honestly. Apparently it’s in the genes.


Her hobbies include bird-watching, houseplants (50 ish and growing), poetry and yard work. She loves to gather with friends, hike in the forest with her dog, paint ceramics and canvas and work on wiggly word find puzzles. She lives in a 1920 cottage with a menagerie of pets. Living in the mountains, she dreams of the shore and frequently uses the water as scenes for her stories.
More about Ryan Jo can be discovered at:

7 thoughts on “National Smile Power Day with Author Ryan Jo Summers

  1. Christine Hart says:

    I can totally relate to not loving your own smile. I always thought I was an oddball on that one. I think it translates to my characters smiling less and looking into each other’s eyes more often.

    • mj says:

      I’m not fond of my smile, either–I have a gap between my front teeth that puts Lauren Hutton’s to shame. I had it airbrushed out of my author photo. ::gasp::.

  2. Tema Merback says:

    A smile means everything to a romance. How many times can a hero and heroine lock eyes? I get bored with just that, but a teasing, sardonic, or taunting grin can change the pace and spike the attraction.
    Tema Merback
    Writing as Belle Ami

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