Gift cards are how I keep track of how much I spend on books a month. If I added $20 to my gift card, once that balance is gone, I am done buying books for the month.
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Why yes, he is on my swag wall. Thank you Ryan!
I really should put my pictures in frames so they don’t age.
If you know me (and if you don’t, you’ll learn quickly) you know I’m a huge Ryan Winfield fan. You can find my reviews for Jane’s Melody here and for South of Bixby Bridge here. His books amaze me. I just bought the first two books of the Park Service Trilogy: The Park Service, Isle of Man, and in October I will be one of the first to grab the third, State of Nature.
I felt so lucky when Ryan agreed to answer some questions for us over here on my blog. (You will not find an author more in touch with their fans than Ryan in.)
After he said yes, I felt the pressure and had to research all of his other interviews/podcasts. I didn’t want you all to read the same questions that he has already been asked in other interviews. I’ll let you be the judge of the questions I asked, as for the answers? Those are fabulous. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
He is humble, talented, and the “hot author”
as I’ve affectionately named him.
In His Own Words:
Q: That first moment when you found out Jane’s Melody made the NY Times Best Seller’s List, what went through your mind?
Disbelief. I woke from an evening nap, stumbled into my office, and checked my email. I clicked the link that took me to the list and saw JANE’S MELODY at #7 out of all fiction books, print and eBook combined. I had to rub my eyes to make sure I was reading it right.
Q: What is a phrase or sentence from one review of any of your books that stands out to you, that has stayed with you or really touched you, affected you somehow?
I received an email from a major New York literary agent at 4 in morning and he said he had been up all night reading “South of Bixby Bridge,” and then “Jane’s Melody.” He said he was “blown away” and wanted to send me a “fan letter”. I’ll cherish that message for some time. I’ll also cherish the many messages from readers who are moved by my stories to somehow reexamine their own lives. I never intend that when I write a story and it’s a very humbling thing to read.
Q: You’re standing on top of a mountain, the world is at your feet, you have that feeling that you can do anything at all. What would you do?
That’s a great question. The answer is exactly what I’m doing and I’ll tell you why. When I was considering taking the plunge to write fulltime, I set a goal to climb Mt. Rainier here in Washington. And I did. After a treacherous night of climbing, I stood at 14,400 feet and watched a perfect sunrise. I felt very small and very capable at the same time. It’s a kind of humble wonder to stand up there, and I could see my path in life laid out below me and how, despite the uncertainty at times, it seemed perfect from such a height. I came down committed and never turned back.
Q: From mom (She is a Ryan Winfield fan too.) What advice would you give to someone who has always wanted to write, but talks themselves out of it?
Just write. Words are free and you must practice the craft. Write, write, write. That’s the advice I give myself. I have so many writers reach out to me and want to discuss marketing or advertising, but they never seem interested in the craft of writing. And that’s the only thing I’m interested in. So my advice would be to write often, take classes to learn the craft, and be very slow to publish.
Q: I have my own thoughts on this, but what do you think it is about your writing that draws so many of us to your books?
I have no idea. I’m honored that so many readers have embraced my work. To me, writing is a very personal process and I’d rather write something that I’m proud of and have it flop than write something I’m not proud of and have it sell well. It’s always an act of trust in the universe to let one of my stories be published.
Q: What would Trevor Roberts (South Of Bixby Bridge) tell us about Ryan Winfield?
I think he’d say I’m cruel for dragging him through hell again and again. And hopefully that I honored him and his story in the end.
Q: Last but not least, because I promised you it was coming, how do you stay modest as a NY Times best selling author who women go ga ga over? (See my review of Jane’s Melody to find out how I came across Jane’s Melody. You’ll see where the question comes from.)
Well, you see, it’s easy because I think there’s a tragic flaw in me that won’t allow me to ever truly feel worthy. Some kind of imposter syndrome that likely goes back to childhood neglect. Am I loveable and all that stuff? But I can’t regret the past because it’s made me who I am. Plus, that New York Times designation won’t write the next book for me.
Thank you so much Ryan! It really means a lot to me that you took the time to do this.
Re: the last question – We all think you are amazing. The book world would be missing a bright light if you weren’t here to share your stories with us.
Now I have to share what I told Ryan about why I think his writing draws so many of us to his work.
I think it’s the heart you put into your characters and their journeys. We can feel that coming through. You can feel the emotions through the words. It’s a special gift. A lot of people can write, and there are quite a few people who write excellent stories that I love, I buy every book they put out, but not everyone has the courage to put the kind of emotions into their stories that you do, to give us that emotional connection to the characters we are reading about. I’m trying to figure out how to word this part, it’s as if you dig a layer deeper taking a book from excellent story to one that we are completely invested in emotionally for the whole ride, more reading from within the story than from outside looking in at the characters if that make sense?
I honestly think that is the difference. Reading as if you are inside the story vs reading as if you are an outsider looking in on the characters’ lives and that my friends, is what gives us that “book hangerover” for lack of a better term, that complete emotional investment into the characters and storyline of a book.
Ryan is giving away an autographed copy of Jane’s Melody to one of my readers. (He just keeps getting better doesn’t he? If he keeps this up, he won’t just be my favorite author, he’ll be elevated to favorite person… period.)
*NOTE* I switched from Google Comments because you don’t get notifications when someone leaves a comment to Disqus. You comment that you left on the google comments app is still valid toward your entry in the widget above. 🙂 And Ryan did see all of them.**