Interview with author B. J. Rysewyk about her debut novel, A Widow’s Web
1) What is your Author name; use your Pen name if you have one.
B. J. Rysewyk
2) What inspired you to become a writer?
This is actually an amusing story. When I was a sophomore in high school, I remember sitting in my Geography class, and a friend I had just became friends with mention that a friend of hers (who had moved to another school because she moved out of the district) was writing a book. For most of the class, my friend bragged about it because she was so proud of her friend, as she should be. Of course, my prepubescent brain was highly jealous, and I remember thinking, “if this bitch can do it, so can I.” For the rest of the day, I ignored everything my teachers taught me that day and instead wrote on every scrap of paper I could find with book ideas, plot lines, character names, character arcs, the works. That was 2008? So, 14 years ago, I started writing and have never really stopped.
3) Do you prefer writing dialogue, action or other scenes?
I prefer writing action, battle scenes, and high adrenaline sections. However, dialogue scares the crap out of me. I can never come up with anything witty on the spot, so I often have to go back and add dialogue or switch it up because I’ll think of something more humorous down the line and then replace it.
4) How did you come up with your cover design?
My cover design was not entirely my idea. When talking to other authors, the one consensus they could all come to you was to trust your cover designer when it came time to design the cover. Keeping that in mind, I’ve told my cover designer, Ska. W. Barnes of AC Graphics that I wanted something like Charlotte’s Web. I told her it would be cool if the words were hanging on a web with some prevalent themes in the background or around it. This goddess of a person took my rinky-dinky little idea and gave me a Charlotte’s Web meets Venom love child. As soon as I saw it, I started crying because it was everything I wanted and much more.
5) What is the one thing you wish you knew at the beginning of your writing journey?
When I started writing all those years ago, I wish someone had told me just to write and not get ahead of myself. When I began writing at 15 years old, I thought, 'I’m going to write this book, I’m going to become this big author, and I’m going to have this massive success that everyone talks about.' Obviously, as an adult, I know that was a child's dream, and you have to work towards that success.
I also wish someone had told me that the first story you wrote, the first idea you come up with, is probably not going to be the one that succeeds, and that’s okay. Every thought, every paragraph, and every written story you do is merely a steppingstone toward success. And what’s great is every foothold you make, every steppingstone you lay down is another break in your house. So, by the time you’ve reached that success goal you’ve been working toward, you have this marvelous structure you’ve created with your bare hands, and you know that you’ve made it. You may not have made it in the publishing world, and again that’s quite alright, but you’re a success regardless of whether you’re a New York Times Best-Selling Author. You’ve accomplished something few others have; you can call it your own.
6) Where is your favorite place to read?
In bed. Unlike some readers, though, I’m not too fond of reading while sitting up. Usually, I’m either lying on my side with my phone or my book propped up against my pillow, or I am rolled over onto my stomach with the pillows pushed off the bed.
7) What book protagonist would you love to talk to if he/she/they were real?
This sounds cliché, but I would love to talk to the protagonist in my debut novel, Dante. Before becoming the female main character in the series, Dante was a roleplay character of mine for just over 16 years. She has helped me grow as a person; she’s taught me to speak up for myself, not take anyone’s bullshit, and embrace my flaws and quirks. So if I could talk to her, if she were standing in front of me, I would give her a big hug and thank her for everything she’s done for me.
8) Name one book that you have reread several times.
Night by Eli Weasel
9) If you had to write in any other genre, what would that be and why?
This has been on my mind over the last few months, and I am just starting a trial run in Romance. There’s a little romance in my debut series, but it’s not the main plotline like it would be for a Romance novel.
I love reading Romance, specifically Motorcycle Club Romance, so I love that people can find love so quickly; usually, it’s like the one for the rest of their lives’ kind of deal, the man being the heroine, the sappy cliché lines, etc. It’s been an exciting challenge for sure, but I am up to the challenge, and I’m excited to write it.
10) Do you prefer to read series or independent novels?
Series, especially if other characters are consistently in the picture, whose back stories have been vaguely described. I’m a curious cat, so I always want to learn more about the other characters and what they’ve got going on in their life.
11) If you could live in any “book world” what would that be?
Considering I read a lot of dark fantasy, I’d probably be one of those characters in a horror movie that dies in the first five minutes. But, if I had to pick the least menacing and survivable one, I would probably choose the world from Crescent City by Sara J Maas.
12) What is your best book memory?
So this is a book/writing memory: my dad is a Physician Assistant at an Emergency Room in North Carolina. Anytime I have a question about how the body would react to a situation, but I can’t find it on Google, I text him for the correct answer. Well, after I wrote A Widow’s Web, and it was sent out to the beta readers, my parents wanted a copy to read before I sent it off to the editor. Apprehensively, I gave them a copy of the book. My dad didn't start the book until after it was already at the editor's; he had another series he was reading at the time and wanted to finish before mine (which is understandable). So I get a text randomly one day, and he’s telling me that in a specific scene where the female main character, Dante, is in her assassin persona, and I talk about how she slices her dagger across an elf’s neck and blood splatters onto her face. In the draft that my dad had, I mentioned that his jugular vein splatters blood. Well, that’s not right. My dad texted me that it’s actually the carotid artery that sprays, not the jugular. Of course, being the smartass I am, I don’t say thank you; instead, I tell him this is precisely why I love him and keep him around. He responded with the smiling emoji with the sunglasses, being a smartass himself.
13) What is the name of your book/series? Tell me a little bit about them.
The Nightbane Series (the first book is A Widow’s Web) – this series follows the Nightbane Guild as they are forced into contractual employment to help and a 100-year war. What starts as an already tenuous relationship between the guild leader and the queen turns into turmoil and backstabbing. This series offers everything from spice to action-packed battle scenes.
14) Do you have a website? If so, what is it?
15) Where can we find and follow you? (Name your social media platforms.)
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/bjrysewyk
Facebook Group Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bjrysewyk
16) If there anything important that you would want my readers to know about you?
Just an author trying to follow her dream. Nothing too important. (: