Mymcbooks Interview with Author Ryan Hill
Ryan Hill is a two-time graduate of N.C. State University, having earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication with a minor in English and a Master of Science in Technical Communication. He is also a film critic with the Carolina Weekly papers in Charlotte. His first book, a children’s illustrated story called J.P. Trouble, will be released on Mid-March 2012.
Ryan also likes Rocky movies, sharks, ninjas, zombies, pizza and reading. http://www.ryanhillwrites.com/p/about.html
I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog
Thank you for having me!
What is the last book you read? Driven, by James Sallis. It’s the sequel to his novel Drive, which was adapted into a terrific film starring Ryan Gosling.
What were your earliest memories of writing? I don’t know that I have one specific memory, but I remember in elementary school each year we had to do creative writing, and it was far and away my favorite time of the school year. That remained the case all the way through grad school.
What was your favorite children’s book? Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. I once took a sign language class and the final consisted of us signing a story of some sort. I chose Green Eggs and Ham. I am sad I missed out on the whole Walter the Farting Dog craze, though.
Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural? A bit of both. Writing has always been a part of me. I’ve also been fortunate to have wonderful parents who support me in whatever I do, no matter how crazy it is.
Are you working on a new book? I am. There are two more J.P. Trouble books waiting in the wings, and I am also working on a couple of Young Adult novels.
What inspired you to write J.P. Trouble and how did you come up with each character? Believe it or not, J.P. Trouble is actually based on a true story. My father told me the story of how he got his first dog, named J.P. Trouble, and it was fascinating. It happened almost exactly as it does in JPT. The first thought I had after hearing the story was I’ve got to make this a children’s book! To varying extents, the characters are all based off of the real people in the story. I’m not sure if Sally really was snooty, or if that was even her real name.
So you are a film critic with the Carolina Weekly papers in Charlotte. What film did you critic lately? The last film I reviewed was The Cabin in the Woods, which is an amazing horror film. It deconstructs the genre, and the horror film-going experience as a whole, in a way I never thought possible.
What is the most difficult part of writing? The most difficult part is the writing itself. It’s so easy to say “eh, I’ll do it tomorrow.” Next thing you know, three weeks have passed and you haven’t written a word. After that, it’s having the conviction to finish your story. So many writers, including myself, will abandon a project halfway through because of laziness or a lack of confidence in what they’re writing.
Do you write full time or do you still have a day job? Full time. I used to have a day job, but once the opportunity presented itself to write full time, I threw caution to the wind and decided to pursue my dream with everything I’ve got.
How do you react to a bad review and have you ever suffered from writer’s block? I’d like to say I don’t look at the reviews, but at this early stage in my writing career that’s very difficult. If I see a bad review I just remind myself that it’s their opinion, they’re entitled to it, and the only thing I can control is how hard I worked on the story. If I feel like I did the best job I could do, then I get over the review in no time at all.
I think every writer has suffered from writer’s block. I can’t remember who said it, but one author said that the best way to cure writer’s block is to change the weather in the scene you’re writing. It worked!
What do you hope that readers will take away from your book? My main goal with J.P. Trouble was to tell an entertaining story that most everyone can relate to. I think it was Alfred Hitchcock who said to focus on the story and let the audience come up with their own themes. That’s good advice, because (clearly) it makes you focus on story without getting so wrapped up in the theme you end up beating people over the head with it. That said, the theme I hope readers take away from JPT is everyone deserves a friend, regardless of if that friend has two or four legs.
Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with? Living authors? Christopher Moore is one. He’s my favorite when it comes to ridiculous, absurd fiction. John Green is another. His writing is amazing, and from his Youtube videos he seems like a fascinating person to be around. Maureen Johnson would be another, if only to see if she’s as eccentric/hilarious in person as she is on Twitter. Finally, I’d love to dine with J.K. Rowling. I adore the Harry Potter books, and can’t wait for her next novel to come out.
What author inspires you the most and why? Christopher Moore. He’s my favorite author, and the fact that he gets to write silly books with silly characters doing silly things gives me hope that I too will get to spend my life writing stories that are equally as silly and ridiculous.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.? A lot depends on what I’m writing. With a movie review, I typically see a film on a Tuesday night and have to get the review in by 10:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. With novels, I try to write at least 2,000 words a day. For editing, I work until my eyeballs fall out of my head.
What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read? I think if parents are encouraging their children to read then that’s a wonderful thing. As for the right books? I would say go for books that entertain and make children want to continue reading. Parents should also let their children pick out books themselves, then decide from there if the book is appropriate. When I began sixth grade all I wanted to read were Stephen King novels, and many times my mom would read them before me and decide if it was appropriate or not.
What advice you would give to new writers? Write. Write all you can. Read everything you can get your hands on so you can learn from those who came before you. Also, if you want to be a writer, be a writer. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s an impossible dream, because it’s not.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? Always try to find at least a few minutes a day where you can read something for enjoyment. Also, if you have children, encourage them to read as much as possible.
Thank you for this interview.
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My name is Ella Johnson. I started Mymcbooks to promote reading. As a former teacher, I know that making basic education fundamentals interesting to children can be challenging. Education can be fun, exciting and captivating for children with the right learning tools. So my goal is to “make learning interesting and fun” for the children while they learn, by introducing them to fun books with colorful and captivating illustrations.
In 2009, I start the giveaway program giving away free school supplies at random to 2 winners each year. I also started a monthly free giveaways for books and gifts.
August 2010, I extended the free school supplies from 2 to 5 winners at random on my blog and also give away 20 bags full of school supplies to familes in need at Chick-fil-A in Brandon, Florida during their family nights. And in 2012, I beat my that number and gave away a lot of school supplies to needy families. Hopefully, I can continue to do this each year.
In 2011, I started writing reviews on children’s books then giving these books away free on Mymcbooks Blog. I increase the number of books we giveaway free to help support parent. My goal is to give away as many as I can each year. This is also a great way to introduce parents to new books.
Mymcbooks blog is always looking for other ways to give kids free books. So I started Mymcbooks Birthday Library http://mymcbooksbirthdaylibrary.wordpress.com/
My goal is to giveaway at least 300 books to children each year.
Books Given in 2011: 315
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Read Interview about Ella Johnson, http://melangeofcultures.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/interview-with-ella-johnson-founder-of-memorable-children-books-gifts/ Interviewer: Nicole Weaver
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