However, after my book made it to market, I realized that Social media not only is a wise idea due to the potential of reaching thousands upon thousands of potential readers; it also allows me the opportunity to network with authors that I would have otherwise not likely had the chance to meet.
This week’s spotlight is on one such author that I had the fortune to make the acquaintance of when he approached me about reading his work, Rushlight. If you haven’t read it yet – please do. It’s a very gritty piece of spec lit that I enjoyed highly and can’t wait to read further when he releases the second part (soon?).
So here we go:
An Interview with L.R. Ryan
RJS: Why did you decide to go Indie vs. Traditional publishing?
LRR: First, I want to say thank you, R. James, for inviting me here. You’re very generous to other authors, and I appreciate it
I’d been wanting to test the waters of Indie publishing for some time, because of the greater freedom it gives writers in terms of crafting the story, and the appeal of controlling the process—including the business model of getting a book into print.
So, when I was hired by a producer to write Rushlight as a screenplay, I negotiated the book rights in lieu of a higher up-front payment for the script—something I don’t think will fly in the future, as Indie publishing continues to produce winning projects.
Overall, the greater choices and opportunities afforded to writers make the Indie route very appealing, especially as we see options improve in creating the total package: art and design, editing and formatting, the elements that traditional publishing houses have always provided.
For me it was about the freedom to proceed on my schedule, and call the shots in bringing the book to market. I’ve enjoyed the process so far, though it’s still a learning experience.
RJS: Who is your favorite mainstream author and why?
LRR: Rather than a single favorite, I’d have to say that my literary interests were influenced by a number of authors, like Joseph Heller, John Irving, Zora Neale Hurston, and Ernest Hemingway--especially when I was a young man. Oh, and Harry Crews—sheer brilliance there! But there are so many great authors; it’s hard to choose a single one.
The common element to each of these writers that appealed to me was the strong focus on craft. They told great stories and told them well. You sense their love of words on every page and it leaves a lasting impression.
RJS: What obstacles have you found with your decision to be an Indie? What have you
done to overcome them?
LRR: The biggest obstacle I found in Indie publishing is getting every stage of book production right. You can’t just write a draft, fix one or two things, and hustle it out there; you’re in charge of everything and it all comes back on you if it’s not right. Traditional publishers have teams of people who edit, proofread, fact check, design, market, and distribute each book. In Indie
publishing you wear all the hats and have to bring in outside talent to perform all the necessary aspects of publishing your book. Try to do too much of it on your own—as I did—and mistakes creep in to cause you grief.
I’m fortunate to have a very talented graphic designer, Karin at K.Haggarddesign, who lent her talents to the book cover, and I’ve sought out a good proofreader to help weed out my mistakes and those of the transcription company that got past the final edit. We’ll have a new version of the book up soon. So that’s my advice, get professional help at each stage and really pay attention to the details.
RJS: What inspired you to become an author?
LRR: It started with a love of reading, which is probably true of most writers. I felt a connection to not only the stories, but the way they were told, the texture of words in a well-crafted sentence. There’s a feeling of intense satisfaction that comes when you get a sentence, page or scene just right.
And there’s a gut feeling about writing for me; if I skip a day that I’d planned to spend writing, I feel like I’ve cheated myself out of
something essential. There’s no other endeavor I feel that way about.
RJS: What are you working on now?
LRR: Right now I’m finishing up the revised draft of Rushlight, Part Two, which should be released fairly soon. I’m not putting a deadline on it, as yet, because I’m taking my own advice about making sure I have all the moving parts lined up before I put it out there for sale. I’m also working on a screenplay with a supernatural storyline about the migration of unrepentant souls—very spooky! And fun to write!
Again, thanks very much for the interview, R. James. I hope to see the second book in your Epsilon series soon.
Amazon book page: http://amzn.com/dp/B00G4EAH4A