Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Spotlight is on Ryssa Edwards!

I’m Ryssa Edwards, and I’m in the Sunday Spotlight today . . .

Do you believe in ghosts?
I believe in ghosts because I know the worlds I write about and read about in books are “real” in some sense. If I can believe that a vampire or a werewolf is real, why not a ghost? I think all of us—whether we call it call it ‘daydreaming’ or ‘planning’ or just ‘someday’—have the ability to travel to a realm where things aren’t quite as solid as this reality. In that realm, ‘ghosts’ are quite real. In fact, we’re on their turf. 

Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?
I’ve had the gift of working with two amazing editors in my career as a writer. One of them is local. She’s a freelance editor who goes through my work with her ever-present pencil. The other editor is Silver Publishing’s in-house editor. Working with these two people has been a mentorship in being professional, creative and insightful in my writing. 

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
I have a very set writing schedule so that I make the most of my time when I’m not at the day job. On weekends I write in the  mornings, usually from six until about eleven. Then I take a break and write again from about two to five. During the week, I write at lunch time, and I take an early morning break, for a total of about forty minutes a day. 

The Stand by Stephen King
What books have most influenced your life?
This is a tough one. Probably one of the first books to influence my writing life was Stephen King’s The Stand. When I read it, I had a cold. It was completely terrifying to read about a world-wide flu epidemic while I was sniffling my way through the book. For the first time I felt the power of a writer to make a reader feel something, believe something. After reading it, I became haunted by the idea that maybe I could do that some day. I didn’t believe it back then, but it started me on the path I’m on today. 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
You know how on Star Trek or Lost in Space, when something really, really important happens, they have to press a whole lot of buttons to make things right? Well, when I was little, I was a total sci-fi junkie. And the people in sci-fi books pressed buttons at important moments too. So, I wanted to grow up to be someone who pressed a lot of buttons. I thought that would be really cool. Well, here I am. Pressing a whole lot of buttons. How funny is that?

Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?
I’m a total morning person. I love the feel of early morning. It feels like things are brand new, and we get to start again. If I could live my life between the hours of . . .oh. . . one in the morning to about nine in the morning, I’d be in paradise. I can tell because whenever I’m on vacation from the day job, I sleep when I want, which is usually in the day. 

Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?
The writer I idolize is Anton Chekhov. I love his short stories. I’m slowly working my way through his collections. His incredible talent in capturing the details of everyday life in very short stories is stunning. When I grow up as a writer, I want to be Chekhov.

What is the next big thing?
My next big thing is a male / male vampire novel. I’m currently working on an Archangel series. When I’m finished with the fourth novella of the series, I’ll be moving on to a romance / adventure vampire novel. I’m really excited about that project. It’s about five months in the future. 

Do you play games? What kind?
I love computer Solitaire. I do it when I’m writing and I’m stuck. It helps to “unstuck” my mind because my computer plays a mean game! My winning percentage is about six percent. I’m pushing for seven percent this year.

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

Usually my characters stem from my plots. It starts with a situation that captures my imagination, and then I start wondering, ‘what type of person would do that’? Then the character emerges, and that ends up driving the plot. I don’t have a set formula. I wish I did!

Now it’s your turn. What question have you always wanted to ask your favorite writer? I’ll share mine. It’s for Stephen King:
Dear Mr. King, you know that way cool typewriter in Tommyknockers that writes stories for you? Where can I get one? How much? 
What’s your burning question?
You can keep up with my releases on my blog:


Valerie Mann said...

The Stand is in my top two list of best books EVER! Ive read the bridge and unabridged versions several times. I just watched (and DVRd, should I get the hankering to watch again) the miniseries of The Stand that came out back in the 90s. I think that book is epic and raised the bar for the horror genre as well as bringing horror to non-horror loving fans in a way they can enjoy.

In my Hey You book, there's a character like the devil, called the Nocent. I picture him as a Randall Flagg guy, because they're both contemporary demonic personalities. I didn't realized there were so many similarities until I watched the miniseries in early April. So, I guess Stephen King has influenced me, as well.

Question for an author (not my favorite but one I've wanted to ask): Dear Nora Roberts ~ do you ever sleep?

Valerie Mann said...

Okay, and for an editor to have that many typos in such a short comment is criminal. I'm chalking it up to lack of caffeine, which I intend to remedy post-haste. :D

Ryssa Edwards said...

Valerie . . .The Stand is an amazing book. Randall Flagg is one of my all time favorite bad guys. And typos. . . hey. . that means *IF* a writer happens to have a typo in their manuscript. . . you'll totally understand, right?

Samantha Gail said...

LOL! Make mine a double-shot latte with a splash of coconut:)

JM said...

Ha! I try not to read King because he freaks me out. I did read his book on writing though, and it was fabulous.
Great post. And I LOVE your cover. Very cool!

Valerie Mann said...

Samantha ~ I'm camping, so half and half is the only thing I have. But you're welcome to it. ;-)

Yes, Ryssa, I'm a forgiving editor (Maureen, quit laughing). If writers didn't make mistakes, I'd be out of a job. LOL And I agree with JM...very hot cover!

Ryssa Edwards said...

@Samantha. . I like mine with a shot of espresso. Turbo-charged!

@JM. . . Stephen King can be a little freaky. I loved his book on writing too. . .it's on my bookshelf.

Thank you both for stopping by

Maureen said...



I always loved King until Tommyknockers...when he offed that wonderful beagle, I decided enough dog torture... People torture I'm fine with. Don't mess with the dogs.

What question would I ask? Deanna - Is there any fairy tale even you won't sully?

Ryssa Edwards said...

@Maureen. . . it's been a while since I read Tommyknockers. . . all that stands out for me is the self-writing typewriter.

Well, Deanna--is there?

Thanks for stopping by, Maureen

kathleen said...

It's nice to get to know you a little better, Ryssa. I like the way you describe your desire to write something a reader can feel or believe after reading The Stand. That's how a writer is born.

Congrats on your upcoming release!

Ryssa Edwards said...

@Kathleen. . . I'm excited about the release of Dreaming of a Kiss.

Thanks for stopping by!

Barbara Elsborg said...

OOh Stephen King - I've had to put his books in the attic - best place to keep me and them safe. I still have nightmares about Gerald's Game. Not that I've ever - stopping now.

My question to Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Why can't you write faster? If I visited with my whip - would it help?