Today we have Ms. Darlene Ryan, author of 5 Minutes More, visiting with an interview
1. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I’ve been writing for a long, long time. I placed third in a poetry contest in grade 3! As a kid I didn’t understand that people actually wrote books for a living. It wasn’t until I was at university that I considered the possibility.
2. What’s the best part of being an author?
One of my favorite things about being an author is being able to make a story turn out the way I want it to.
3. What’s the hardest part of being an author?
Wondering if anyone else is going to like the story.
4. What’s the most surprising part or being an author?
That some days I don’t feel like writing. (I do it anyway.)
5. What is your typical day like?
I start work after my daughter leaves for school. I check my email. Then I look in my date book to see if there is anything I need to do before I start writing, like research. I write for about an hour, then break for a snack and a cup of coffee. After that I work until lunch. I go for a walk every day after lunch—it’s great for sorting out plot problems. Then I write until my daughter gets home.
6. What inspired you to write Five Minutes More?
The idea for Five Minutes More has been stuck in my head for years, so long that I can’t even remember where the idea came from in the first place.
7. What is your all time favorite part of Five Minutes More?
I like the ending and I like the scenes with D’Arcy’s best friend, Marissa.
8. What was the hardest part to write?
There’s a scene near the end of the book between D’Arcy and her mom that was a lot harder to write than I expected.
9. How long did it take you to write and publish this book?
Years…literally. It took a long time to write because I could never get the story to work the way I’d envisioned it. The finished manuscript went to my editor over a year ago.
10. What are you working on now?
I’m working on an adult novel and another young adult novel.
11. What is your favorite part of writing?
The rewriting. (Honestly.)
Other : Fun Stuff
12. Why did you choose to write young adult novels?
I’d always liked reading them, even as an adult. I went to a workshop with Kevin Major—who is a terrific writer, by the way—and he encouraged me to finish the book I had taken to the workshop. That became my first YA novel, Rules for Life.
13. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring teen authors?
Read, read, read. Make sure you know basic grammar and spelling.
14. Anything you want us to know about your life in general?
I’m not as serious as my books tend to be. I love music although I can’t play a musical instrument and I can’t sing.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1
5 of your favorite books.
1. Love you forever—Robert Munsch
2. Hate you—Graham Mcnamee
3. The Darkyn novels—Lynn Viehl (Yes I know that’s a series of books. Is that cheating?)
4. Welcome to the Monkey House—Kurt Vonnegut
5. The Monkey’s Raincoat—Robert Crais
Love, hate, vampires and monkeys
4 things you can’t live without
1. Soy milk
2. My insulin injector pen
3. CD player
3 things your readers probably don’t know about you
1. I have two screws in my left foot.
2. I was chased out of Tianianmen Square by Chinese soldiers.
3. I make a great chocolate cake.
2 of your favorite YA authors
Kevin Major and Graham Mcnamee
1 other career you would have chosen if you weren’t an author
Artist or TV director. Whoops, that was two.