Monday, June 8, 2015

Author Interview

So I have been incredibly absent - a two-month absence from blogging, which I haven't had for two years - but I am studying for my Step 1 Board exam. It is the 29th, so any spare prayer-time you have between then and now that you'd like to direct towards me learning everything I need to know before that time...I'd be immensely grateful. :) (I need the prayers, badly.)

That said, I have briefly returned to blog-world to interview an old writing friend who is preparing to enter the insane world of published authors. :D We used to beta-read for each other, back in the World Before Medical School, and I am excited to see her preparing for the next step of authorship! 

Without more adieu, please welcome Christi Ella Ryder.

1.) Tell us a little bit about what stage of the writing life you are currently in.
I've been writing for about twelve years, and in that time I've written many short stories, novellas and novels (most of which will never see the light of day). I focused my time and efforts in learning all I could during this time and really dialing in my personal style, recognizing my strong points, and learning how to work with my weak points. Within the last year, I finally started feeling comfortable and confident in my writing. I got a writing mentor, who taught me many things and finally said that my WIP (at the time) was good enough to pursue publishing. I am currently in the editing stage and hope to begin the publishing process this summer.

2.) What is your purpose in writing?
I've always enjoyed reading romances, but I noticed fairly early on that there is a severe scarcity of clean romance novels. I always struggled to find something good to read that was wholesome but also piqued my interest. So, when I got tired of looking, I started writing... at the time it was almost as good as reading. Since then it's become one of my passions.
I hope that my books give Christian ladies (or anyone looking for a clean adventure/romance novel) something new to pick up and enjoy without fear of profanity, substance abuse, or sexual content.

3.) When do you write best: time of day? Type of weather? Amount of sleep?

My most productive writing comes late at night, when I've been mulling over the next scene all day, the house his quiet, and I can just listen to the click of my keys as I type... quiet weather is best (if there's thunder or lightning, I'd rather be outside experiencing it). And of course, on those nights where my excitement to write overpowers my exhaustion. :)

4.) Would you call yourself a Christian author? Why or why not?
While I write clean romance with strong morals, I try really hard not to push a lot of Christian theology. I want my stories to appeal to anyone who is looking for a clean romance, Christian and non­Christian alike.

5.) How does what you believe affect what you write?

My strong Christian faith has definitely shaped my writing, and while I know sensual romances will attract the crowds, I also know that using my words to glorify God is worth so much more than wealth and fame. Because of this, I write what I believe needs to be written, instead of what the majority of people want to read.

6.) How long does it usually take you to write a novel?
It really depends on the novel, but normally somewhere between 8 months and 1 year.

7.) Do you have a particular style or do your stories tend to each have their own?

I've been told I have a very distinctive style, which I guess is good if you like my style. :P Otherwise, there's probably no hope for me!

8.)What are 10 of your favorite books? How have they influenced you as a writer?

Ishmael, Self Raised, and The Hidden Hand by E.D.E.N. Southworth inspire me to shoot for amazingly complicated plots.

Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer reminds me that the best stories have funny parts, too.

Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris taught me how to form realistic bonds between my girl and boy characters that are not romantic or awkward.

The Viking Quest Series (5 books) by Lois Walfrid Johnson showed me first hand that even though it's fiction, it can still change lives.

9.)What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from reading? From writing?
I love to travel, and reading give me not only the ability to travel to nonexistent places, but also back in time or into the future... it reminds me that there have been real people with real struggles and real joys who walked this earth thousands of years ago, and also will for many years to come. It gives me a glimpse into what I cannot see with my own eyes and what it all too often forgotten about completely.

As for writing, I've really learned how to think differently – both more broadly but also to pay more attention to the details at the same time. It's taught me the importance of character, dialogue, body language, and most of all it has improved my spelling and typing capabilities! ;)

11.) If you wrote an autobiography, what would you call it?
Haha, this one threw me for a loop... “Sampling Life” I guess. I go through life trying this, trying that, learning new things, and then quickly moving on. It's hard for me to stay focused on things for a long time, unless it truly captures my interest. I've done everything from elk hunting to Ukrainian egg decorating, and I wouldn't trade either of those experiences (or the ones in between) for the world. I plan to embrace life by trying anything and everything that I have the opportunity to try... at least once, that is. :)

Christi Ella Ryder lives in the country with her dogs and her books.  She's a jack of all trades, picking up many new hobbies, learning everything she can and storing the knowledge away for future dates.  Although she loves to travel, she spends a lot of her time at home, homeschooling her younger siblings, learning homemaking skills from her mother, and entertaining herself with reading, writing, sewing, photography, and watching movies.  

To learn more about her, check out this interviewthis interview, or her personal blog. She can also be found on FacebookGoogle +Twitter, and Goodreads

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