Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Soapbox Spotlight: Ryan Nelson


I am so pleased to offer you another Soapbox Spotlight!  Today, I'm talking to Ryan T. Nelson, author of The Shadow Walkers series, of which Book One: The Shadows Birth has already been published for Amazon's Kindle.  A second title is anticipated soon.  Ryan is here to talk to us about writing, family, and his aspirations.

Love your author photo!  Tell us a little about yourself, Ryan. 

I am a 28-year old husband, and father first. After that, I am a student, writer, mechanic, motorcyclist and comic book fan. My family is very important to me, and my kids are some of the biggest joys in my life. And occasionally the biggest pains in my butt, but it happens.

How, if at all, has your upbringing influenced your writing?

My mother read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien to my brother and I when I was very young. I think [I was] four or five, but I can’t remember for sure. I do remember sitting on the living room floor and listening to her speak of Gollum and of Smaug the great Dragon, the Lake Men and the Elves and Dwarves, and I remember being fascinated with the entire idea of having a thought or an idea in your head and being able to translate it onto paper in such a ways as to make it something others would want to read. I started reading myself from there and never looked back.

What first attracted you to fantasy?

I always enjoyed the works of David Eddings, Terry Goodkind, Terry Brooks, Tolkien, Piers Anthony. I enjoy other genres as well, but I think the joy I find with fantasy is that there’s little requirement to strictly follow certain rules. In modern settings you are somewhat restricted by the technology of the era and so on. With fantasy, your imagination can be allowed to stretch as far as you can reach and create worlds the likes of which none have ever seen before.

Tell us about your latest work.

My most completed current work is Book Two of The Shadow Walkers Let Her Cry. The second book in the series puts Rhyven, Jade and Keyola against a series of difficult and dangerous situations where they must rely on each other to survive. And as Obsidian readies for War, magic spins out of control and a poison threatens to create a magical backlash that may kill hundreds of thousands. I may very well be that their growing friendship will be the only thing that can save them.

Can you share a little of it with us?

Rhyven Donough wants one thing in life. Revenge. After his home was destroyed, he vows to find and kill the man responsible. Thrust into a prophecy he doesn't care about, he is expected by some to deliver the world from a great evil.

Jade has been alone for most of her life, traveling from city to town, working when and where she could and helping those that need it along the way. Trained at an early age in the arts of the Assassin, she is a formidable opponent.

Keyola is searching for the rarest of ingredients to put together a counter spell for one of his own spells gone horribly astray. How was he to know that adding rabbit fur to that particular transformation spell would have such... interesting consequences?

So what does a boy seeking blood, a skilled Assassin and a Mage with a unique cosmetic issue have in common?

They're about to be set on a path that will lead, either to the world's salvation, or its utter destruction. A path thousands of years in the making.

They just don't know it.

Wow!  That sounds amazing!  Can you tell us about your main character? 

I say Rhyven is the hero of the story, but he’s less a hero by choice and more by default. He just so happens to have a personal vendetta against the ‘villain’ of the story so by definition his desire to destroy Obsidian makes him the hero. It will be up to the friends he makes later in the series to prevent him from sliding too far into the pitfalls that could make him a worse evil than Obsidian ever was.

What projects can we expect from you in the future?

Well, at my last check I had roughly 31 novels planned out where I actually had titles to go with them.  But I have a 7-book sci-fi series, an 8-book modern day detective series, an Urban Fantasy Trilogy and numerous other stories. The most likely to be completed and published first would be a Vampires & Werewolves kinda story written in first person from the perspective of a 323-year old vampire that has the potential to possibly destroy everything the Clans and Packs have worked for for centuries. This one is titled The Fifth Clan.

I have such a love for vampires!  I'll have to keep my eye out for that!  What do you believe contributes to making a writer successful?

I think that depends on what you define a success. For example, my biggest goal was to get my work published. That has been done, [so] by that definition, I am a successful writer. Others might think that success is measured by being able to quit your day job and make a living based simply off of the income from your writing. I guess that’s my next goal as a writer. I think success can really only be determined by the individuals views on what they wish to achieve as a writer.

Do you have any upcoming appearances that you would like to share with us?

No appearances myself but the first print version of the novel will be on display at this years MTV Movie Awards Celebrity Gifting Suite. Photos will be up on my Facebook page as soon as possible after the event.

What a thrilling opportunity!  How did you develop your plot and characters?

In pieces to be honest. The original idea came to me as nothing more than a character that could walk through shadows like doorways. This obviously has evolved into a very different view of the Shadow Walker in their powers and abilities. As I write, I keep notebooks for all the different possibilities and ideas that come to me. Some have made it into the stories while others have not.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Other authors say to write: just set aside time and WRITE. Others say to read: the more you read, the better your writing can be. If I could give one piece of advice to another writer, I would tell them find someone smarter than they are to edit their work. As the creator, it’s too easy to miss or overlook grammar mistakes and typos because you’re too close to the work.

I totally agree, Ryan.  As a matter of fact, I wrote a blog on it!  How do you come up with new novel ideas? 

Through flashes of inspiration. I don’t think that I have ever sat down and tried to come up with a new story idea. I hear a line from a song, or I see something on the street or a random thought pops into my head before I fall to sleep and I latch onto it and think “oh, that’s a good idea for a story.” ‘Meet Me’ was inspired by the opening line of ‘Stellar’ by Incubus. ‘Shining Stars’ was inspired by ‘Through the Glass’ by Stone Sour. My ‘Shards’ series was originally inspired looking at a Pyramid Collection catalogue and reading about a lead crystal figurine. So I guess I don’t come up with new ideas; new ideas find me.

 Well, thanks so much for being here today with us, Ryan, and sharing your projects with us!

My pleasure, Raynetta, and thanks for having me!

You can find Ryan at the following places:

You can purchase The Shadows Birth online at Amazon.

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