Hello Scribblers! J Monkeys here. Happy Saturday. Today I’m thrilled to bring you an interview with author Ryan Hill.
Thanks for being with us today, Ryan. Have you thought about writing something that is completely different for you? Perhaps writing in a new genre or just taking a story someplace that you haven’t done before. Everybody has a genre they feel most comfortable writing in. Children’s literature is a great avenue, since it allows me to be silly and ridiculous with my writing. That said, I think it’s important to “stretch your muscles” and get out of your comfort zone as often as possible. It’s the only way you can grow and improve.
What is the most surprising thing that has happened in your writing career? The most surprising thing is that I actually have a writing career. Words can’t describe the sheer joy I get from knowing this is what I’m doing for a living.
What would you do if you couldn’t be a writer any longer? I’d like to say I can’t imagine doing anything else, but that’s not true. I can imagine doing lots of things: paratrooper, taxi cab driver, watersports enthusiast, dog trainer, candle maker, or Elvis impersonator. I just can’t imagine actually WANTING to do anything besides write.
Author Jane Haddam says that anyone who seriously annoys her gets bumped off in her next book. How do you incorporate your real-life experiences into your stories? For J.P. Trouble, real-life informed the entire story. It’s based on my father’s first dog, who was actually named J.P. Trouble. My dad told me about how he got the dog 11 years ago, and I immediately knew it would make a great children’s book, so I set about writing it. Cut to 2012, and that book is finally a reality.
I was in graduate school at North Carolina State University when I first wrote the story, and previous drafts kind of got lost in the hustle and bustle of life. Once I decided to write full-time, the manuscript was resurrected, I sent it off to Warren Publishing, an independent publisher in Huntersville, N.C., and the rest is history.
I chose Warren because it’s located in North Carolina, my home state. Honestly I never gave a lot of thought to going for an agent or big house publisher. I wanted J.P. Trouble to go somewhere that people would really care about the story and champion it, and Warren has done just that.
What was your biggest mis-step in your writing career so far? Waiting so long to pursue writing full-time.
What is your junk food of choice? Pizza. Definitely pizza.
What’s the most dangerous or risky thing that you’ve done? I’m not much of a danger mouse, but the riskiest thing I’ve ever done is to pursue my dream of becoming a full-time writer. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was the ONLY decision.
For more information about J.P. Trouble or other writings by Ryan, check out his website. Thanks for taking the time to be with us today, and good luck with your book!