Welcome to my Author interviews! As a new feature on my site, once a fortnight I will delve into Twitter to show you what these clever people can do.
This weekend I’m talking to Ryen Lesli, aka the Witch, and we’re celebrating the release of her novel River, her new romantic dark fantasy, about a girl with powers she doesn’t understand an longing for a world she doesn’t know exists…
Ok, easy one to start that requires only silly answers to break the ice, what is your favourite magical creature?
Ohh, this is an excellent question! One of my favorite magical creatures is a Pegasus. My obsession for them has bled into my 10-book series, The Beginning of the End. My Pegasuses are called Beauteese, and they have a velvety black coat, with thick, black-feathered wings and glittery black hooves. Instead of smelling like a horse, they have a perfumed scent, one that’ll give you a haunting sense of Déjà vu, and leave you longing for the past. If you happen to capture the attention of a Beauteese, it will become bonded to you for the rest of your life.
What is your current WIP and what excites you the most about it?
RIVER is my debut novel and she’s finally sneaking into the light June 14th! What I’m so excited about RIVER is that it’s told River’s 17-year old voice. This is her point of view, not mine. How she talks, how she acts, how she thinks. And in order to stay true to her, I had to break the literary rules of what defines ‘Young Adult’ in today’s market. From River’s colorful cursing, to accepting herself, to facing the violent death of her father, to fighting with her bitch of a mother, to her sexual awakening with one Warrior, while accidentally falling in love with another Warrior. I write about those dark, taboo subjects that teenagers are forced to battle every single day. Some of the scenes will shock you, while others will have you laughing so hard, you’ll start crying, only for those tears of laughter to turn to tears of sorrow. I wanted to make you—my reader—feel River’s emotions as if they were yours. You will remember her and her incredible story.
What do you do when you get writers block?
Writers block sends me to my bed—which is my favorite place in the whole wide world. I’ll bury myself under the covers and get relaxed. Right when I’m at the point of falling asleep, I’ll think of the scene I’m struggling with and let it play out by itself. Sometimes though, I’ll fall asleep before I have a chance to figure out what’s supposed to happen, so, when I wake up, I do the second best thing, which is blast In This Moment while I sit back and eat candy. #theWitch always has candy on hand.
What’s been the most challenging thing about being a writer, and the most rewarding?
Every writer has to be a bit of a sadomasochist in order to work in the literary world. That spirit-crushing pain that chokes you when no one will take you seriously because you haven’t made the NYT bestseller list yet or are well-known. Even though you spent thousands of lonely hours bleeding your story, all the while, fighting against imposter-syndrome, self-doubts and the people around you acting like your writing is just a hobby and nothing more. But what makes that unending pain beautiful is when you make someone laugh or cry from a book you wrote.
What advice would you give to writers out there?
The literary world is fucking brutal and if you can’t take rejection, or being told your writing sucks, you’ll be forgotten before you were ever remembered. Don’t ever stop fighting for your story. I had well over five hundred rejections for RIVER. That’s a lot of negative energy. I was shoved to my knees again and again, but for every rejection I was stabbed with, I sent out three more queries just in spite of them. You are the only one who can tell your story, so claw your way out of your self-doubting-rejection-hell and finish your book. We’re all waiting to read it!
You can find Ryen on Twitter casting spells and being an unquestionably seductive minx.