Where reading is a way of life

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

4 Year Blogoversary Celebration + Interview with Rysa Walker + Giveaway!

Don't forget to enter the other giveaways going on!
Day 1              Day 2                 Day 3

Today on the blog I have Rysa Walker, a very lovely lady that I had the pleasure of meeting at UtopYA in Nashville this last summer! Rysa is the author of the Chronos Files, with her latest release being Time's Edge (which I wholeheartedly recommend!)

Welcome to the blog Rysa! So happy you are here! To start off, why don't you tell us about your latest project.

I'm currently working on the final book in the CHRONOS Files series, still untitled. It's due out in September, so I need to be finishing up the draft fairly soon. And I'm simultaneously hashing through the plot for the second novella, which comes out in May, but because of publishing schedules for the full-length books, that will actually be written last. It will be from Prudence's perspective, and I have a feeling it's going to be…shall we say interesting…to write.

What do you think is the hardest part about writing time travel?

Keeping everything straight is probably the hardest part. A close second would be trying to explain things to people who take it rather literally—or perhaps I should say linearly. I need to just point them toward the little clip of the 10th Doctor Who (played by David Tenant) where he describes the nature of time. I remember watching that episode when I revising the first version of Timebound—back when it was still Time's Twisted Arrow—and screaming, "Yes! Yes! That's it. What he said!!!" I wanted to reach into the TV and hug him, although admittedly that wasn't the first time. #10 is definitely my favorite Doctor.

What's a typical day look like for you?

Get up far too early and drive the kids off to school. Come back and handle correspondence and social media until my brain is sufficiently caffeinated to write. On a good day, I get in a few hours of writing before the kids come in. Put on the headphones after they get home and try to write a bit more before dinner or chauffeur duties to soccer, piano, etc. Exercise. Maybe get another hour of writing in before bedtime.

In my ideal universe, kids would go to school at night. I'm much more creative in the wee hours of the morning. My kids are also night-owls, so this whole up-before-dawn thing was clearly invented by someone from a different species. I consider it an act of war, but haven't been able to pinpoint who's behind it, so I'm reduced to just shaking my fist feebly. Or home-schooling, but every time I even think about that, I decide that the fist-shaking is a much wiser response.

What made you decide to become a writer?

I don't think you decide to become a writer, or at least I didn't. It's something you do because it's part of who you are. It's kind of like being a reader. I never decided that—once I had the tools, it was just part of my personality.

I did, however, make a decision to write professionally. That was helped along tremendously by winning the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. The grand prize was almost exactly what I made in a year of teaching, so that was my cue to take a leave of absence…which morphed into a leave of (hopefully) permanence.

What books have you read in the past that were inspiring to you? Especially when you were a kid?

This would be a very, very long list. When I was a kid, I literally read whatever I got my hands on. My parents weren't really readers, so I got a lot of books from one of my grandmothers—everything from Louis L'Amour westerns to Barbara Cartland romances. I was always drawn more toward speculative fiction, even as a kid, but I didn't find most of the children's books in that genre until I was much older due to an understocked library and the fact that my grandmother wasn't into ghosts, demons, space aliens, and so forth. There were a few exceptions—she did have a couple of romance books that included time travel and those stick out in my memory. And the library had a book called Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson (repackaged later as Somewhere in Time). No one else got a crack at that book for a very long time, because I kept rechecking it until I got my own copy.

I encountered Tolkien's work as a teen, Watership Down, by Richard Adams, and also Stephen King, Robert Heinlein, Madeleine L'Engle, Douglas Adams.

What is your favorite moment in history?

It's more of an era than a moment. I geek out over pretty much anything dealing with the Progressive Era, and also the Gilded Age. Things were changing very rapidly—technology, social customs, politics—and women were beginning to step into the public sphere in larger numbers.

Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?

I play a mean game of Galaga and also Scrabble. I enjoy cooking, as long as it's creative—let's just say that my creations can be hit or miss. ;) I also know just enough Photoshop to be dangerous. Family members don't trust me with their photos because I've been known to be…creative.

What book have you read that you think should get more hype and recognition than it does?

It's definitely not YA, so I often avoid mentioning it in interviews, but Frank Bardessono's The Kindness of Ravens was excellent. On the YA front, I think Marie Lu's Legend series is much better than many of the other dystopian series out there, but it never quite reached the same height. And in terms of indie authors, there are many, many that I'd love to see get a wider audience. David Estes is one. I also just read the first book in an excellent series by John Corwin, Sweet Blood of Mine, and have added more of them to my Kindle. And there are others, but I'm blanking right now.

If you were able to time travel yourself, where and when would you visit?

It's no coincidence that Kate travels to the 1893 World's Fair and, in this last book, to New York in the 1870s. Those are the first places I'd go if I had a CHRONOS key.

What is one tip you could pass along to beginning writers?

Read where you write. You can also flip that around: write where you read. If you are going to write YA, you need to know the field. I've spoken to two writers in the past year who read only literary fiction. One is currently writing a paranormal romance and the other is writing a YA sci-fi, because they feel that they'll stand a better chance of "making it" than with literary fiction. That's probably true—but if you don't enjoy the genre in which you're writing, if you're just "slumming" in order to make a buck, the readers can usually tell. If you only read literary fiction, you probably need to stick to writing lit-fic. And if you don't read YA by choice, you probably need to write for adults.

What is the most important thing you've learned so far on your own journey?

Trust that little voice inside that pushes you forward. It's usually more insightful than the dozens of voices pushing you back.

         Thanks so much for visiting us today Rysa! To wrap things up,                share one random fact about yourself.

I am addicted to Inner Peas.

People look at me very strangely when I sweep my arm across the shelf and pull *all the bags* into my cart. (In my defense, my two teen boys will eat an entire bag in one sitting.)

I'm also addicted to chocolate and coffee, but I have multiple suppliers for those addictions that fortunately do not necessitate a special trip across town to Trader Joe's.

RYSA WALKER grew up on a cattle ranch in the South. Her options for entertainment were talking to cows and reading books. On the rare occasion that she gained control of the television, she watched Star Trek and imagined living in the future, on distant planets, or at least in a town big enough to have a stop light.

Timebound, the first book in the CHRONOS Files series, was the Young Adult and Grand Prize winner in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. A CHRONOS Files novella, Time's Echo, is now available exclusively on Kindle, with an Audible version scheduled for release in early June. Time's Edge, the second book in the series, is scheduled for release in October of 2014.

For updates, check her website: www.rysa.com.

And NOW, for the giveaway!

One lucky winner will win a signed copy of Timebound, Time's Edge, and an ecopy or audiobook of Time's Echo! (US only)
Enter below and GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Fantastic interview! I've got my fingers crossed for this giveaway. Allons-y! :)

  2. I completely agree with Lauren, this is an AWESOME interview. Both the questions and responses are fantabulous :) And a huge THANK YOU to Rysa Walker for mentioning my name, I'm shocked and honored!

  3. Love the interview. Rysa is quite funny!! Love her books!!

    1. She is very funny, and I so agree with her on so many things! Thanks, Karen!

  4. Best friend is huge Rysa fan and she's on my wishlist

    1. That's so cool! I'm obviously a huge fan too! And I can tell you, Rysa is just as lovely and funny in person!

  5. The best thing about Time Travel is experiencing a new life in a new place.

    1. I know right? I think it would be so cool to see what happens in the future, and to watch the past unfold right in front of you! Too bad there's so much danger involved...

  6. The best thing about Time Travel is learning first hand how people live(d) and speak/spoke instead of only imagining it through reading.


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