Today, I am very pleased to introduce you all to Ryan Krauter. He’s a lovely chap who has published an array of books. Be sure you check out Ryan’s website for more information on all his books.
What fact about yourself would really surprise people? –I maintain my superior physical form by using the treadmill and drinking Lite beer.
What scares you the most? –One day, when my time is gone here, that nobody would remember me or feel like I’d accomplished anything that would outlast me (other than my kids). That’s why writing is so rewarding; long after I’m gone, my books will remain. Whether anyone likes them is a different issue, but at least I will have left something behind!
Why do you write? –I write because, most importantly, it’s fun. I wrote two entire novels before I realized I could make them available to others through outlets like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I just enjoy creating something out of nothing, of being a producer and not just a consumer. It started out as me doodling and drawing pictures of ships, vehicles, and locations, and eventually a story blossomed out of it.
What motivates you to write? –Both good AND bad stories. When I read a great book or watch a wonderful movie, I think “Man, I am dirt compared to whoever put that together”- I’m not worthy, but I feel inspired to live up to that standard. When I read a bad book or see a real stinker of a movie, it works the same way. I think, “I can do better- time to fire up the computer!”
What books did you love growing up? –I read Ender’s Game in high school, long before it was popular to say you’d read the book. It was a great story that later encouraged me to write in the YA genre. I had a friend recommend A Prayer for Owen Meany. It was a wonderful book, with an almost complete lack of explosions, car chases, nudity and gunplay. It taught me that a great novel has characters that the reader identifies with. I also loved Starship Troopers; the book by Heinlein, not the movie. Now, I thought the movie was fun in its own special way, but the book was very deep, with intriguing ideas about service, duty, and the honor of being a full citizen with true ownership of their country. The movie took all of that out and replaced it with butts and breast shots. If the characters are compelling, the setting is much less important; the book could be about unicorn-riding leprechauns who hunt vampires, and if the cast was really interesting I’d read it. Hang on, note to self: write a plot outline for unicorn-riding vampire-hunting leprechauns. It might be the next big thing…
What do you hope your obituary will day about you? –His friends were grateful that the wake had an open bar.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? –It started out as getting published. I sent out my letters to agents, and even got a few requests for partials. Then one day an agent replied that, and I paraphrase, ‘my writing didn’t sufficiently interest him enough to offer representation’. I thought, who is this guy to pass judgment on everything I could ever write? So I went the indie route and published through Amazon, Createspace, and B&N, and never sent out another query letter.
Do you plan to publish more books? –Definitely. I write because it’s fun; it just also happens to appeal to a number of people who’ve purchased the books. It doesn’t feel like work, and I get down/jittery if I don’t get to write for a few days. It’s my way of relaxing, and I’m 50,000 words into the fourth novel of my military sci-fi series right now.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick? –History. I love old buildings, stories about how we got to where we are, how the world shaped up to be what it is today. I think there’s a serious lack of knowledge and interest in the average person about the past. Don’t people care about those who came before us, why we turned out the way we did? I’d love to have my own time-traveling DeLorean so I could check everything out.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? –Somewhere in New Zealand or Australia. A nice house with a super-secret command center deep underground and a big fireman’s pole to slide down to get there.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk? – I used to write on my laptop, but when it died I got an iPad. I’m by no means an Apple cheerleader, and would love to tell you all the things I don’t like about the device and the company. However, it serves my needs well for writing and is incredibly convenient to travel with. It is about an 80% replacement for a PC, at least what I use a PC for. I bought a word processing app and a bluetooth keyboard and have written my last 2 novels on it, then send it to my PC for editing and compiling.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you? –Well, while I’d love to quit my day job and write full time, the reality is that very few do that and live a comfortable life. I would consider my writing a success if people continued to buy novels and drop me the occasional e-mail or blog form like they do now to say they like my work. I want to create something people will enjoy reading, and while I don’t hold out any hope of supplanting JK Rowling on the bestseller list, I’d be satisfied if I learned that people looked forward to reading what I’ve written.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask? –A few of our founding fathers (Washington, Adams, the like) and I’d get their opinions on the foul political system that has evolved since their days. I’d invite Joss Whedon because, well, everything he’s done has been awesome, from Buffy to Dollhouse to Firefly and Avengers. The Marvel universe is in good hands. I’d invite George Lucas so I could ask him what the hell he was thinking about when he introduced midi-chlorians. My grandparents from my mom’s side, because they were such an integral part of our lives growing up. And finally, Bob Hoover, the air show pilot. Somebody should make a movie about that guy; I’d love to just hear him tell some stories for an hour.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax? –More dorkery here, but I spend it in front of my PC making 3D models. As an indie author, I have to do everything, from writing to editing (to tricking friends into helping edit) and even making the book covers. I used Sketchup and Twilight Render to build 3D models of the ships and items in the books. So, I usually spend some time every night working on the model for the next book cover. Again, it’s more rewarding than watching The Bachelor and I feel like I’ve created something. Plus, nobody else is going to do it, so I’m glad I enjoy the process!
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel? –I hope they find my books and characters enjoyable. I’m not trying to write Gone With The Wind. Every author has something they’re known for, and since I’m a lifelong sci-fi fan the choice was obvious. I describe my work to friends as ‘Tom Clancy in space’. I love the opportunities that abound in the sci-fi universe; you can write about anything, in any setting, and it’s ok! However, I didn’t want to write a book about how weird the aliens looked or how everyone coped with the time-dilation effects of extended near-light-speed travel. I wanted action and a good story that happened to take place in space, with authentic tactics and action. One thing I specifically went after was to give the characters a sense of humor. Too often, I’ve read books where every character is serious as a heart attack, and their personalities are a bit flat. Now, this isn’t a comedy, but I can confidently tell you that in real life people are funny! They say stupid things, make jokes about their friends, etc. I love how people like Joss Whedon or John Scalzi can create characters that deal with serious drama, then make a crack about how one of the male characters has a girl’s name, and then go right back to the drama. It doesn’t feel forced or fake, and real people are like that. I wanted the cast to feel like real people, and that included making them have a sense of humor.
Thank you Ryan!
–No, really, thank you, I insist!
Look at all of Ryan’s books!
My goodness Ryan, you have been super busy. That’s an impressive catalogue of books. Keep up the good work and stay in touch with all your news. Thanks mate. I’ll include an excerpt of one of your books soon.