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A Conversation with Ryan Young: Award Winning Author and Iraq War Veteran

1) Hello! Please introduce yourself. What is your Author name; use your Pen name if you have one.

Ryan Young

2) What is your genre and what drew you to it?

Paranormal/Supernatural Thriller. I’ve always been fascinated by the paranormal/supernatural and stories that push the boundaries of the imagination. I like to think that there is more to life than meets the eye. I also like stories that keep you guessing until the very end. When I decided to write my first book, I knew I wanted to combine these elements to create a story that was original and all my own.

3) Which character of yours was the most challenging to write and why?

My main character, Daniel Jefferies. He was the first character that I created, even before I knew what type of story I was going to write. The old adage is write what you know, so I began writing him as a version of myself. The challenge was to create an original character and breathe life into him, rather than just create a reflection of myself. It’s almost like being a parent. You raise your children and while they become like you in many ways, they eventually grow up and become their own person, unique in their own right. That’s how I feel Daniel evolved as a character throughout my writing process.

4) Do you prefer writing dialogue, action or other scenes?

I prefer writing dialogue. I feel it’s the most expressive and allows you the greatest freedom to present a picture to your readers where none exists.

5) How did you come up with your cover design?

I hired a cover designer on the platform Fiverr. She gave me access to her Depositphotos account. I picked a few images that I thought encapsulated the spirt of the book. I then provided her with a brief description of the book, and she did the rest.

6) What is the one thing you wish you knew at the beginning of your writing journey?

I wish I knew that I was going to self-publish my first book from the start. For the first two years after I finished my manuscript, I attempted to go the traditionally published route. I still hope to be traditionally published someday, but I’ve learned so much more about the process by doing it myself. I learned how to find and hire an editor, a book formatter and cover designer. I also learned how to put my books on all the popular platforms (i.e. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Apple Books, etc.). These functions are traditionally carried out by the publishing houses, and they charge a premium for them. I believe that having this knowledge will serve me well on my journey as an author on whichever path I end up taking.

7) Which book villain would be the hardest to defeat?

The Langoliers from the Stephen King novel of the same name. They are vicious littler buggers, and they scared the crap out of me when I read the book. The characters in the book didn’t defeat them, they only managed to escape them.

8) Name one book that you have reread several times.

Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, The American Revolution’s Lost Hero. I’m a big fan of Revolutionary War history, particularly the years leading up to the war in the city of Boston. I even managed to tie that time period into my book.

9) What is one book that is currently on your To-Be-Read list?

A Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I’m actually about 350 pages in, but that’s only about 25% of the book.

10) If you could live in any “book world” what would that be?

Since the universe also includes books, I would say Star Wars. I’ve really been enjoying the new series on Disney+. I’d love to be a Mandalorian and wear that armor!

11) Villain, hero or “show steeling” side character? Which would you be?

I would be a side character. They always seem to be the most interesting and have the best lines.

12) What is the name of your book/series? Tell me a little bit about them.

The name of my book is The Shepherd’s Burden. It’s the first in a trilogy. The second installment, The Shepherd’s Duty, is also complete. Both are currently available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play and Apple Books with links to each on my website. I’m hoping to release the final installment, The Shepherd’s Sacrifice, in the spring or summer of 2023. The series tells the story of Daniel Jefferies, a former soldier from Utica, NY. Plagued by tragedy at home and abroad, he comes to find that he has been chosen for a purpose that transcends life and death. In his new role, he will be forced to confront his past and an uncertain future as he fights to save those he loves from a dark fate.

13) Do you have a website? If so, what is it?

14) Where can we find and follow you? (Name your social media platforms.)

@ryanyoungauthor on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

15) If there anything important that you would want my readers to know about you?

I currently live in the New England area with my wife Christina and daughter Emily, cat Goalie and dog Bear. I’m a big Patriots and Bruins fans. My main goal is to become a full-time working author and keep enjoying life to the fullest!

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