Saturday, October 11, 2014

Interview with Amazon Top 10 BestSelling Author Nicholas Ryan

Nicholas Ryan
I won Nicholas Ryan's twitter contest and my prize was a phone call from him. After that phone call I was so intrigued by him that I started reading Dead Rage. Now I have never read a zombie book in my life and well...his book changed that.
Nicholas Ryan is terrifyingly brilliant and he was nice enough to do an interview with me.
So Enjoy!!
What made you want to start writing zombie books?
I was always a fan of the action adventure genre. That's the kind of book I always enjoyed reading. But over the years the genre seems to have lost its place - become diffused into lots of other sub-genres such as historical adventure and techno-thrillers. So I decided the best place for me to be was writing zombies. I saw it as a way of including the action and adventure elements I loved, with an included element of horror
What is your next project?
My next project is an epic zombie novel that covers an outbreak in America. The story will unfold through a narrative and then a series of interviews (along the same lines as World War Z) except the interviews will be with the men and women who fought the war against the zombies. I've had amazing research help from retired and active military combatants across America and I'm 50,000 words into the book already. It will be my biggest project, and it's a blast to write! I mentioned World War Z - it's the seminal book in the genre. This book I am writing will only be similar in terms of the use of interviews to tell the story. Even the interviews themselves are written in a totally different style.
How do you prepare yourself to start writing? How do you get in the zombie mindset so to speak?
Writing for me is a job, and I rely on routine. I start work each morning at 9am and I write until I have 2000 words written. If I had to wait for inspiration… I'd never get anything written! For me the truly difficult part is coming up with a unique and interesting idea. Once I have the concept, the writing itself is just a function. I don't edit my books, I don't even re-read them. I think I have a good enough sense of story to know what works. Once the book is finished I leave it in the hands of proofreaders to find the typos, but I very rarely will change anything substantial in a story. Re-working a book over and over just wrings the energy and vitality from it. I always focus on telling a good story. People will forgive average writing if the story is great. They will not forgive a bad story, no matter how brilliant the word choice of the author was.
What is 1 piece of advice that you would give to an up and coming Indie Author?
Learn to be a good story teller. Study the work of other authors and try to understand what makes their stories so compelling to read. I would also encourage other writers to ignore the rules. There are no rules! The key to success, I believe, is to find a unique way to tell an interesting story. Then you have to learn to market! There are some very average books around that have become huge bestsellers, and some outstanding books that never see the light of day. The real key to success is being willing to learn about your audience and find the best way to reach them.
What is the last book that you read
All the books I am reading at the moment are non-fiction military books! It sounds dry and boring, and sometimes it is! But I'm researching my next zombie novel, and I have to do the homework if the story is going to read with authenticity. I just finished Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab which was an outstanding tale.
If you could describe Nicholas Ryan in one word, what would it be? 
Do you see any book signings in the near future?
Living in Australia makes book signings largely a prohibitive proposition. There are a couple taking place in Australia, I understand, but they are literally thousands of miles away. And I really don't see what the fuss is all about! I can't imagine why anybody in their right mind would line up to talk to me, or to my alter ego, Jason Luke. I'm not interesting. I'm not a celebrity. Authors should be like film directors: we create the worlds to entertain readers (or viewers). We're not the main attraction - it's the work (the book or the film) that should demand attention. I'm not interested in celebrity at all. If fans want a book signed, I'm very, very happy to do it.
Would you rather be Zombie or Human? (sorry my son has to know)
I would rather be human! I don't imagine being a zombie is a lot of fun. I love my life! I've got a wonderful girlfriend and a job I really enjoy. Apart from the three vicious chickens my girlfriend owns who are plotting to kill me, life is very good!
If you come move anywhere in the world where would you move? (Again if too personal let me know?
Viv and I really want to come to America to live. If not the USA, then France. The advantage of France is that we would be close to so many European countries and cultures. The advantage of America is that it has Harry Potter World (Vivien is an enormous fan of the books) and it would be great for my writing. Every book I write is set in America, It makes sense to aim to live there (in a quiet little town - not a big city!)
If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for
A book to reach the Top Ten worldwide on Amazon. The best I have done so far is #61 and #92!
2) A chance to have a long uninterrupted talk with someone like Stephen King about writing and the art of crafting a compelling story.
3) To see one of my zombie novels turned into a film


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