Hello readers!

Today I have a very special guest joining me! Whoa! Please welcome Rysa Walker, author of The CHRONOS Files series, and her upcoming book, The Delphi Effect. Before we get this interview started, enter for a chance to win an advance reader's copy of the Delphi Effect signed by Rysa Walker! To get a chance to win, leave a comment, click like, and share this post! That's it! The winner will be picked randomly between August 29th to September 5th. Okay, back to the interview!

Rysa, thank you so much for joining me today for an interview.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

Hi, Dylann!  Thanks for inviting me!

I’m a reformed college professor who now writes science fiction.  Both of my series, The CHRONOS Files and the upcoming Delphi Trilogy, are published by Skyscape. My books are technically YA, but I realized early on that the vast majority of my readers are well beyond their teen years.  I live in North Carolina now, with my husband, two youngest sons, and a ninety pound golden retriever who thinks he should be able to sit in my lap while I type.

What were you like at school? What was your favorite/best subject?

I was a very early reader, and I had my nose in a book pretty much non-stop after age four.   I grew up in a very small town where there was little to do if you weren’t into sports (and I wasn’t), so books were my escape.  

My favorite subject was probably history, but it really depended on the teacher.  My least favorite, then and now, was math.  I usually made As and Bs, but I hated it.  My kids know that if it’s a math question, they need to go to dad. ;)

 

Which writers inspire you? Do you have a favorite book?

So many writers inspire me that it’s hard to pick just a few.  For me, it’s more about the characters and the story.  I’ll occasionally be reading (or listening) to a book and I’ll be struck by a turn of phrase that I really like, but the determining factor for me is whether I get so pulled into the writer’s world that I’d rather stay there than go play with my own set of characters.  A few writers who have managed that in the past month:  Jeff Wheeler’s Kingfountain series, an upcoming book by P.K. Tyler (The Jakkattu Vector), and Melissa Olson’s Boundary Magic series, which has been keeping me company in the car.  Admittedly, I would listen to Kate Rudd read the dictionary, but Boundary Magic has been a lot of fun.

Also Stephen King.  Yes, there are a few of his many books that I haven’t particularly liked, but even then, I still come away in awe of his fantastic knack for characters.

And J.K. Rowling.  Always.

What made you decide to become a writer? Why do you write?

I’ve always been a writer--just not a novelist.  As a college professor (history and government), I did a lot of academic writing.  Before that, I wrote plays for community theater.  I’ve been writing something since I was a kid, so I think it’s just in my blood.

 

What have you written?

I’m best known for The CHRONOS Files, an upper-YA time travel series.  The first book, Timebound, won the 2013 YA and Grand Prize in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards.  There are two additional books, Time’s Edge and Time’s Divide, three novellas, and a variety of related short stories.  And as of this summer, there is also a CHRONOS Files comic series, Time Trial, which has been a blast to help create.

The Delphi Effect, which debuts October 11th, is the first book in The Delphi Trilogy.  I’m very happy to say that it’s been chosen as one of this fall’s Junior Library Guild Selection for high schools.  The series is kind of a mash-up of X-Men and X-Files, with psychic powers, government conspiracies, and a dash of romance.  

Most of The Delphi Effect takes place in the DC and Baltimore area, with key scenes set in Havre de Grace and nearby Port Deposit, Maryland. So I was very excited to see that Hallowread was happening in Havre de Grace this year!

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I average one book, one long novella, and a couple of short stories per year.  My books are pretty hefty, though -- not Diana Gabaldon-hefty, but still 400-500 pages on average.

What’s the hardest part about writing? The easiest?

The easiest is the commute, combined with the freedom of working in my pajamas.  The hardest is blurb and synopsis writing.  You spend months writing the book and they expect you condense it down to a few paragraphs--or worse, a single sentence.  It’s like trying to shove a giant marshmallow into a drinking straw.

 

What does your writing process look like?

It’s not a very regular process.  My characters need time to gel in my head, so I’ll often go a few months where I’m not writing every day.  I’m still working--reading background materials, taking care of marketing tasks, and generally letting the story build in my subconscious until it’s TIME.   And then I start freaking out about my deadline.

Be honest, how much coffee do you drink?

Too much.  For a more precise answer, see the question below about the desert island.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If you do, how do you overcome it?

Yes. I get it pretty regularly, usually in the middle of a project.  It almost always means I haven’t been listening to my characters and they’ve gone on strike.  I have to go back to the beginning of the book or novella and read or revise until I figure out what I did that pissed them off.  Then I rip that section out, apologize profusely, and bribe them with wine and chocolate until they forgive me.

What artists are on your writing playlist?

It’s a very wide group.  For one thing, I often write while listening to Pandora and they slip new indie rock songs into the list on a fairly regular basis.  But here are a few that I especially like: 

●Rorie Kelly - a wonderful indie artist I discovered via twitter.

●A Fine Frenzy

●The Jody Grind - a now-defunct band from the 1990s headed by Kelly Hogan.

●OK-Go

●Vampire Weekend

●Various Broadway soundtracks

How do you feel about the world of traditionally published vs indie world?

I’m lucky to be able to keep one foot in both.  My publisher, Skyscape, has done an incredible job promoting the main books in my series, and they’ve been wonderful to let me self-pub the novellas.  It’s really the best of both worlds for me. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read at least as much as you write.  Most importantly, reread the books that you love to figure out why you love them, why they made you smile, or laugh, or cry.  And when you get discouraged--and you will get discouraged--don’t quit.  As Ray Bradbury said, “You only fail if you stop writing.”

Do you have any quotes that inspire you, if so, what is it?

I’m always inspired by the words of the Dalai Lama.   This is one of my favorites:

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Website:  http://www.rysa.com

Blog:  http://www.rysa.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/timebound

Twitter:  @rysawalker

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/author/walker

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/RysaWalker

 

Fun questions time!

If you could meet any one of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?

I would love to sit down and have a long chat with Katherine, the grandmother (and former time traveler) in my CHRONOS series. She would have some fascinating stories to tell.

If you could live in any other time period, when would you live?

Hmmm….my first instinct is to go with the Progressive Era, since I find that period really interesting.  But as a female, I would be very constrained in terms of what I could do and where I could go.  So...I’d live in the future.  Maybe around 2092.

You’re stranded on an island and can bring three items with you, what do you bring?

My laptop, a solar-powered battery charger, and a kiloton of coffee.

Someday, I want to ___________(what?)

Live at the beach. 

Are you a listener or a talker?

Depends entirely on who I’m with and what kind of mood I’m in.  Like many introverts, when I’m with my tribe, I can be excessively chatty.  But if I’m in a group of people I don’t know, I tend to hug the wall and just eavesdrop...never know when you’ll hear something worth working into your next book.

What was the last song you played on your Ipod?

I was in a Wicked mood this morning,  so I played several songs from that soundtrack.  I think the last one was “No One Mourns the Wicked.”  I’ve seen the play three times and I’ll go again next time it’s within easy driving distance, even though my family has now reached the point where they think I need an intervention.

Published by Dylann Rhea