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Lucy Turns Pages: Author Interview: Barry Ryerson

Author Interview: Barry Ryerson

1. Please introduce yourself (who are you, what genre/s do you write in, what books do you have out)

I’m Barry Ryerson. Musician, composer, lecturer, private pilot and martial artist; recently disabled with ME and neophyte to the world of writing.

Currently have just one book out: The Child of Fire and Earth, a middle grade fantasy adventure. Also working on a YA scifi where, decades after global nuclear war, magic returns to Earth.

2. What are your favourite books?

I adore the Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks; The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan; the Deverry Cycle by Katherine Kerr; and any and all Discworld books.

3. When did you know you wanted to be an author?

As a teenager, I tried to write a vampire romance. It was pitiful, so I gave up with it after just a few pages. Over the years, I’ve dabbled but never taken it seriously, starting a project only to give up mid-way through. It was only in 2018, after I became disabled, that I took writing more seriously. Alas, I’m now quite hooked on it and may well write several more books.

4. What is your favourite part of the writing process? What is your least favourite and how do you get through it?

My favourite is the actual writing. By then, I’ve usually plotted enough to know roughly what’s going to happen, but not to the point of being prescriptive. More than once, I’ve had to change entire sections of my detailed plan because the characters did something I hadn’t expected them to do. It’s exciting, it’s like reading a new book or playing Dungeons and Dragons, you never quite know what’s going to happen.

My least favourite, by a country mile, is marketing. It’s a never-ending trudge to keep promoting your work, pushing it as if it’s the greatest thing out there whilst your imposter syndrome makes you feel like a total charlatan.

5. What is your writing routine?

Plot. Plan out the rough outline of the book: how the main character's arcs progress, a short description of each chapter. When I come to do the chapter, I’ll often put several key points to happen in my plot.

Then, type. Often I’ll have some chilled out music, never anything with vocals. My time varies, as does my strength. My disability means some days I can type for a few hours, whilst others I’d struggle to turn the computer on.

6. How do you balance writing (and everything else to do with it) with the rest of your life?

Having everything cloud-based. Notes, outlines, manuscript, to-do notes, all are online, so I can work on most things whenever a free moment comes up, or at least plan what I’ll do when I get the time and energy for it.

7. What inspires you? How do you beat writers block?

I find that if I’ve got writers block, that just means I don’t know what’s coming up next in my story. To get around that, I think and explore through the situation as if I’m the character. For me, the best time to do this is first thing in the morning. That’s because it often takes me at least an hour before I’ve got the strength to get out of bed, so the only thing I can do in that time is think.

8. How do you keep consistent/write a lot?

I’ve found that I give myself rules. For instance, in my WIP The Magic Circle, each character has things they do or don’t do. Some swear, others don’t. Some use metric, others imperial. Planning it out helps me with consistency.

9. Does anyone read or edit your work before publication? If so, how did you find them?

I use Cassandra Chaput, a Canadian editor who I found on Twitter. She edited my first book and did a great job of it.

10. Can we have a sneaky look at your future plans?

The Magic Circle is due out around June 2022. There’s a link at the end where you can read the first chapter. Also planning the sequel to the middle grade fantasy, called Dragonstone, and further sequels to The Magic Circle. Aside from them, I’ve got a couple of other books stored in my head.

Now I just need the time to write them all.

11. Finally, what advice would you give to other writers (inspiring, those publishing and those published)?

Write. Doesn’t matter if it’s a shopping list or an epic saga. Just do it better each time. Learn the craft by a combination of study and doing. Make mistakes, embrace them, for that is how humans learn. Don’t ever be afraid to write, as the regret of not writing will be far greater.

The Child of Fire and Earth (Amazon UK)
The Child of Fire and Earth (Amazon US)
The Child of Fire and Earth (Audible UK)
The Child of Fire and Earth (Audible US)
The Magic Circle (Chapter One)

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