Ryder Islington author of Ultimate Justice begins her tour of blogs today with a book review by Peg Herring her It’s a Mystery to Me blog. But first, Ryder answers some questions from her nosy publisher.
What is one of the nicest things a critic or fan has said about your work?
One reader said that she was a little scared to go to sleep after finishing the book. And another said it was “creepy good.”
What makes your writing different from your peers? What kind of reading experience can you give your audience?
Every person on earth has their own story, goals, problems, history. My characters do too. There is a sub-plot for every character, and I love to know for myself, and to demonstrate for the reader, why each character makes the choices she or he makes. I love the psychology of what makes people act they way they do, what makes them tick. Sometimes I find it yucky—try understanding why a child molester does what he does—but I also find it meaningful. Generally, people are not all good, or all bad. I try to find the bad in my heroines and the good in my villains. Again, try finding some good in a child molester. I bring that up because it is part of the plot for book three. It’s already haunting me!
How do you create your “world?”
For me, this is so much fun! Once I have determined a geographic location, I create my own town. Let’s face it, who would want to do all the research required to depict a real city, when we can make up our own? First I make a few notes on what I know I need. For Ultimate Justice, A Trey Fontaine Mystery, I knew I wanted a small town in Louisiana, near a river, with a sheriff’s department and courthouse—things I need for my story. Then I make a map, placing necessary buildings, homes, etc., where they make the most sense. Trey Fontaine’s mother is a real estate agent, so she was able to get that big ranch style home outside of town. Russell Coleman is a black man in the South with limited education but middle-class income as a result of being on the job for close to forty years, so he has a nice house, but not in a neighbourhood full of nice houses. I loved developing the park, and the Cajun neighbourhood.
Abject failure in several other genres put me on this road. I had written women’s fiction, romance, Western, and historical. Both plots and characters were boring. Then one day I found myself due to go to a critique group without a single page to submit. After daydreaming for a short while, I came up with what if that worked for me. I did a quick two pages and headed off to group. The response was amazing. “Why have you been writing all those other stories? THIS is what you’re supposed to write,” my group told me. And it happens to be something I know very well, having been educated and employed in the field of law enforcement. The more I wrote, the more fun I had and I knew this was it. I have other ideas that create the same feeling in me, but first I need to get this out of my system!
Who or what has been your best teacher when it comes to writing?
Published writers were definitely vital to my success. I joined a critique group that included several published authors and they taught me so much more than books ever could. And then there was Zetta Brown and Leslie Brown, my editors. I learned as much from these to women as I did from all the books I ever read on the subject.
And then there is Christine Fairchild. This woman is so kind, generous, and patient. She writes, teaches classes and runs a blog at www.editordevil.blogspot.com I have taken several of her classes and can’t even describe how much she taught me, and helped me. I try to keep track of what she’s teaching and when so I can post it on my blog. I want every writer to hear of her. She’s that good.
Do you preview your work to reader groups or fans?
This is something I want to do. So far, I’ve only introduced characters and setting on my blog. With permission from my editor, I’d like to put a couple of chapters from book two up on my blog, when the script is ready.
Where can we find you on the Internet?
I blog at www.ryderislington.wordpress.com and I love to hear from readers so I make my email public. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org
For the full interview with Ryder, stay tuned for the return of our free newsletter The Modern Reader! It was gone for a while but now it’s back! Quarterly issues will come out April 30, August 31, and December 31.
Meanwhile, follow Ryder on her tour of the ‘Net and learn more about her and Ultimate Justice!
Ryder’s Blog Tour Schedule – January 2012:
Monday 16th Peg Herring – Review: Ultimate Justice, A Trey Fontaine Mystery
Tuesday 17th Nancy Hinchliff - Article: Psychological Drama
Wednesday 18th Savvy Authors at www.savvyauthors.com – Article: Giving Your Characters Character
Wednesday 18th Alex C. Telander – Article: The Other Character: Setting
Wednesday 18th Nancy Lauzon – Review: Ultimate Justice, A Trey Fontaine Mystery
Thursday 19th Marilyn Meredith – Article: What Inspired Ultimate Justice
Friday 20th Christine Hughes – Article: Creating a New Genre
Friday 20th AuthorIsland – Article: Writing Mystery and Crime
Saturday 21st Kathleen Kaska – Article: What is Voice?
Sunday 22nd Komal Mansoor – Article: Think Big for Success
Monday 23rd Bigi – Article: Revisions
Tuesday 24th Liv Raincourt – Interview
Wednesday 25th Pandora (Dora) Poikilos – Article: What Writing is to Me
Thursday 26th Lori Cronwell – Article: Publishers and Agents and Editors, Oh My! The Horror
Friday 27th Nicole Morgan – Article: Developing the Story Behind the Book
Saturday 28th Pat Brown – Article: Creating Diverse Characters
Sunday 29 Kat Duncan – Article: Including Violent Crime in Your Writing
Monday 30 Kayelle Allen – Article: Curling Up With a Good Book
Tuesday 31 Mona Karel – Article: Creation of a Mystery Writer