Interview with author Charity Ryan
Charity Ryan is the 18-year-old author
of the YA dystopian fantasy novel,
I'm thrilled to interview her!
Elira: Hi Charity, welcome to my blog! Congratulations on the release of your debut novel Red Aberrant! How did you celebrate?
Charity: Thank you so much! I took the opportunity to go live on Instagram to show the interior formatting to everyone, as well as answer a few frequently asked questions. I was also asked by my first-grade teacher to come back to the school I attended for four years before switching to homeschool. She had me read a book to the first-graders and talk about RED ABERRANT a little with the kids. It was the best to watch them look through the book, and I loved answering all the cute questions they had for me. One of my favorites was, “Did you really write this whole thing?”
Elira: What is the most exciting thing about being a teen published author?
Charity: I would definitely say one of the most exciting things as a published author is getting DM’s and emails from so many people telling me how much I’ve influenced them in a positive way. I’ve received at least 50 messages after publishing from teens alone, all telling me how I’ve inspired them to pick up their own WIP and get back on track. It’s such a positive spiral because it motivates me to know that I’m motivating others.
Elira: What made you want to become a writer? Did any author or particular book inspire you?
Charity: I’ve always been a writer to some degree, mostly due to all the books I read as a child. I would get so attached to the stories themselves, and I wished more than anything I could create something like that. I started playing around with writing at a really young age. It was never good writing considering I was only around 10 years old, but I like to think I’ve developed my skill a lot since then.
The author then that inspired me the most was Kristen Martin. I purchased her debut trilogy and read through them at a crazy speed, as well as soaked up all the writer knowledge she has out there on YouTube. She was the push I needed to get started and to stick with it, and I look up to her greatly to this day.
Elira: What exactly inspired Red Aberrant? Where does the idea come from?
Charity: The idea for RED ABERRANT actually came from a writing prompt. I was planning on writing a short story with a friend, and we had been looking through prompts that day to get the creative juices flowing. I came across a prompt that read, “People have multiple souls,” and decided to run with it. I’m the kind of person who needs to rant things out in order to understand them, how I’m feeling about them, or simply to get my own thoughts out there in a semi-coherent fashion. I managed to create the entire plotline (that has since changed massively) over text. I ended up asking her if I could keep the idea for myself, and thus RED ABERRANT was eventually written.
Elira: What emotions did you try to make your readers experience through your writing?
Charity: My favorite emotions to experience when reading are both shock and angst. I’d like to think I give my own reader very strong feelings of both. RED ABERRANT was a huge outlet for me, and whenever I felt distressed in a way I would turn to writing. Most people agree with me that the book is quite dark and resembles a sort of dark fantasy genre.
Elira: Who is your favourite character from Red Aberrant and why are they so special to you?
Charity: Although Hadley is the main character, I tend to favor Rachel most. I didn’t realize until I was finished writing the book that Rachel’s personality was a lot like my best friend, but the way she handles situations are most like something I would do. I relate to her the most, so I would have to say she’s my favorite.
Elira: What was the hardest scene to write?
Charity: Any scenes in which the action is toned down. It’s hard for me to incorporate important details into little scenes and make them interesting when not much is happening action-wise. Nearly every one of my beta readers agreed with me and thought the action scenes were where my writing really shines, whereas the toned-down scenes needed a little more TLC.
Elira: Would you personally like to live in the kingdom of Rhymori? Which one of your characters would you be? Or would be a whole new character?
Charity: Absolutely not. It’s not a super fun place to live—not with the colonies and the terrible government system. Again, I would most likely be Rachel. I relate to her the most and could see myself behaving in the same manner as she when presented with certain difficulties.
Elira: The cover of Red Aberrant is absolutely stunning. Tell us about the process of coming up with it.
Charity: I didn’t have too much to do with this part, actually. I found my cover designer @eightlittlepages through Jenna Moreci and her own video on her cover design. She offered a code to use for a percentage off, and I jumped on the opportunity despite the fact authors usually wait a bit longer before starting on the cover.
I sent my designer, Claire, one of the most important scenes in the book, and she turned the scene into a visual reality. She gave me three mock-ups, which were basically completely finished drafts. I only ended up tweaking a few things on the cover and there it is!
Elira: What were your favourite and least favourite aspects of the publishing journey?
Charity: My least favorite had to be the writing part. It sounds counterintuitive, but I made it really hard for myself. I’m a hardcore plotter, and I didn’t outline a single thing before diving into the writing of RED ABERRANT. I struggled through the entire draft but couldn’t wait to get to my favorite part which is the line editing. I loved critiquing my own sentences and details in each scene after I knew the broad-spectrum things were set to go. A dream of mine is to become a freelance editor, and it was so much fun to go through my own manuscript with my critique partner and pick apart all the little things.
Elira: Red Aberrant is the first volume of the series you are writing. Are you already working on book two, or are you taking a well-deserved break?
Charity: Currently, I’m planning the second book extensively. I took about 2 months off and can’t wait to get back into it! My plan is to outline and write both the second and third books one after the other, then take the second book from there and work to the publishing stage. Then I’ll have my third draft already finished and I can work on publishing it soon after.
Elira: What do family and friends think about your novel?
Charity: They absolutely love it and keep bothering me about the next one in the series. I hear things all the time about how I’m so mean for making X happen, or killing off Y. It’s honestly the best.
Elira: You learned a lot about writing thanks to Authortube. Do you have a favourite Authortuber and what would you say to them if you ever met them?
Charity: I think my favorite AuthorTuber has to be Jenna Moreci. I would tell her I love how she keeps everything cut and dry and doesn’t muddle anything for the listener. She's a great motivation for me and when I’m feeling creatively dry I always turn to her videos for inspiration.
Elira: Are you still studying? How do you balance studies and novel writing?
Charity: I graduated 2 months after the book’s release, so everything was done while I was still in school. Honestly, I wouldn’t take my advice on balancing school and writing at all! I was extremely determined to get the book done and often pushed school aside as a result. I wasn’t the best about it… I was also homeschooled and although I went to a co-op twice a week, it was easier for me to pursue my dream than the average Joe. I couldn’t imagine doing everything I did whilst attending public school!
Elira: What advice would you like to give to young aspiring authors like you?
Charity: Don’t rush it! I know it’s easy to do, especially when you have a goal in mind. I was stubborn about my goals and rushed a lot of the process myself. I got it done, but I could have taken much more well-deserved time in certain areas. It was something I knew I was doing but was too stubborn to slow down. Take your time and enjoy the ride.
Elira: Charity, it's time to get to know you better... ready? Do you google yourself?
Charity: I don’t do it often, but I have done it a couple of times! I do it mostly for my own curiosity to see what comes up, and which platforms need more TLC than others.
Elira: What's the one thing you can't live without?
Charity: Family and friends for sure. I wouldn’t be here without any of them.
Elira: Tea or coffee?
Elira: What would you do if you were the last person on Earth?
Charity: If I was the last person, does that mean there are still animals? Cause I’m down.
Elira: Which author would you like to invite for dinner and what would you cook for them?
Charity: I would love to have a chat with Stephanie Garber, author of #1 New York Times bestselling and internationally bestselling books Caraval, Legendary, and Finale. Also, I hate cooking so we would hit up Olive Garden for sure.
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Charity's book Red Aberrant
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