Word of the week: atychiphobia – noun – defined as “a persistent, abnormal, and unwarranted worry of failure.” - Phobia Source
Indie Author of the Month: Please Come Meet . . . Ryan Day
When Writer’s Beat member Ryan Day asked in a Writing Help & Issues thread, “Why isn’t my [indie published] novel selling?” . . . well, I simply had to take a look.
And discovered something rather interesting, indeed!
(Paraphrased from my review on Amazon)
Ryan Day’s Heart-Shaped Holes is structurally well written with an intriguing premise that grabs the reader straight from the get-go. It’s also laced with some dark and gritty humor that made me chuckle.
Initially, I’d previewed the first chapter, and was completely hooked from the moment the main character had envisioned some bizarre metaphorical happening that ties into the later going-on. There are some gruesome parts, though nothing written for the sake of being gruesome and not truly described in detail, and the main character’s revelation and development at the end is absolutely perfect.
Usually, indie author books prod awake my “inner editor,” and thus I end up putting them down. Heart-Shaped Holes, though . . . was definitely not one of these. It’d managed to keep my “inner editor” quiet throughout its entire length, which actually made for a wonderful reading experience.
But, I digress.
Allow me to introduce, here at the Ether of my Imagination . . . Ryan Day!
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I started writing Heart-Shaped Holes a few days after my nineteenth birthday (this is where I point out I hate admitting my age in case it damages people’s perceptions of my work). I was kicked out of school at sixteen, but it never bothered me because I always knew that I was going to make a living telling stories, yet three years down the line everyone around me was moving on with their lives while I was moving in circles. That birthday was a wake-up call telling me I had to start working hard on my writing if I was ever going to live up to my own expectations. The three months that followed is still a blur to me. The next time I remember taking a breath was when I put down the final word of the first draft.
I always thought I would be a horror writer, and I suppose that’s how people would define Heart-Shaped Holes. But it’s not the horror of monsters and nightmares, rather the horror of looking in the mirror and realising you’re not the person you always thought you would be. It’s something everybody has felt at some point in their life, and that is what makes it scary. Because you don’t have to use your imagination.
I’m somewhat reluctant to admit that the easiest part of writing this story was getting into the head of the protagonist, simply because he’s me. He’s me if I was ten years older and wanted to be an actor. He’s me in ten years if this writing gig doesn’t work out. So I suppose that’s the reason I chose to write this story, it was an opportunity to confront my atychiphobia and self-destructive narcissism while also seeing if I had what it took to write something longer than twenty pages.
So that’s the story of my first book, which sat in my computer gathering virtual dust for two years until a close friend suggested I try self-publishing online. Since then I’ve self-released another e-book, a short story titled Impossibly Happy. I have no idea what will come next - I have another novel gathering virtual dust and several other projects on the go - but my guess is although this is the first time you’ve heard of me it certainly won’t be the last.
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