Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Dracula Lives by Robert Ryan @JGBookSolutions

Welcome! Thanks for taking this time for a short Q&A and allowing me to host you so readers can find out a little more about you and your work.  How did you start your writing career?

I had always been pretty good with words, so I started dabbling in writing, sending off occasional short stories that would get rejected. In my heart I had always wanted to write a novel, so I finally decided, “You know what? If my short stories are just going to get rejected, I might as well write a novel. At least I’ll be getting something rejected that I really wanted to write.” Then Amazon came along with their self-publishing program, and I jumped on it.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

I have to mention two things: First is keeping all the research and things I want to include organized so I can quickly find it. I’ve tried Scrivener and all kinds of methods, but I still spend far too much time searching for some juicy thing I want to include in the book, whether it be some unknown fact or some bit of information that needs to be included. I mean, if you’re a horror novelist writing about something mysterious going on in the ocean, and you read somewhere that toxic waste has started creating mutated fish, where do you file that information? I’m forever tweaking the way that I file to try to make finding stuff easier. As far as the actual writing, although I enjoy the entire process of weaving a tale, the hardest part for me is description, where you have to describe things accurately to make the scene richer for the reader. So depending on what you’re writing, you have to accurately describe something that you don’t even know what it’s called, so you have to do the research. Here’s an example from my novel, Dracula Lives. Among other things I was trying to capture the Gothic feel of the haunted castle movies I love, like Fall of the House of Usher with Vincent Price. I wanted to have the eccentric owner of the castle going down a dark passage with his guest, and, to give them more light, leading them along with a candle in one of those fancy candleholders. But you can’t write: “He led them down the gloomy passage with one of those fancy candleholders.” So you’ve got to look it up. I did and found out they were called chamberstick holders, and that’s what I went with.

Do you listen to music while you write?

No. I tried it but I would get too caught up in the music and couldn’t concentrate on the writing. I need peace and quiet when I’m writing. I know Stephen King listens to music while he’s writing, but I just can’t do it. The thing about writing is that everybody develops their own way of doing it. I’ve tried a lot of different ways of going about it, based on well-meaning advice in books and articles about how to write, and though you might occasionally glean a helpful nugget, there simply is no one-size-fits-all method. You have to decide what works for you. Here’s an example. One of the biggest issues that’s eternally debated about how to write a novel is: to outline or not to outline? Jeffrey Deaver, one of the most successful writers of thrillers, when asked if he outlines, said, “Absolutely.” Michael Connolly, one of the most successful and critically acclaimed writers of crime novels (featuring Harry Bosch) says he never commits as word to paper before writing the novel. All of our brains are hard-wired to process information a certain way, and you have to decide what works for you.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Perhaps that I have a great sense of humor.  I guess the stereotype of someone who writes horror is that they might be rather morbid or grim, but I dabbled in stand-up comedy years ago, and love to laugh and make others laugh.

What is your favorite color?

Blue, but I also like orange when it’s the wrapper on a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Favorite meal:

Cheeseburger and fries.

I agree!  For me a Hamburger is the perfect meal.  Lol!  Chocolate or Gummy Bears?

I loves me some chocolate. I could eat a whole bag of Hershey’s miniatures or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I don’t eat the whole bag, because it would be wrong on so many levels, so, with a twinge of sadness, I force myself to stop, even though I am lusting to have more.

Title: Dracula Lives
Author: Robert Ryan
Published: May 30th, 2016
Genre: Horror
Age Recommendation: 12+ 
Where is the line between movies and real life? Perhaps there isn’t one.
In Dracula Lives, Amazon bestselling author Robert Ryan once again takes us where no one should ever go.
Deep in the wilds of New England, a man who worked on the 1931 Dracula still lives. Haunted by the experience ever since, he has built an exact replica of Castle Dracula and become obsessed with bringing the movie vampire to life. But when one sets out to make monsters, there are risks—as Adam Quinn is about to find out. A lifelong fan of Dracula and the classic horror films from Universal Studios, he is invited to the castle. It’s a horror lover’s dream: the chance to find out what it was like to work with Bela Lugosi, Dwight Frye, director Tod Browning, and all the others. But dreams can turn into nightmares…
The castle awaits. Enter freely and of your own free will.

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Mr. Ryan was born and raised in the D.C. where tourists don’t go—a land of soul food and Scrapple.
He lived directly behind the neighborhood movie theater, and his mother took him to everything from the time he was barely out of diapers. When he reached the ripe old age of about six, he couldn’t wait for the Saturday creature features. Atomic mutants running amok, the monsters of Ray Harryhausen, Roger Corman’s Poe films, and the unabashed frightfests of William Castle were among the early influences that warped his writer’s muse into a breeding ground for—to borrow a line from Morbius in Forbidden Planet—his “Monsters from the Id.” In Castle’s The Tingler, when Vincent Price told us all to scream because the Tingler was loose in the theater, you better believe he screamed. On the literary front he soon discovered Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Bloch, among others, and followed the trail they blazed into the “ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.”
It seems he has always been drawn to scary stories.

The severed hand hitched its way up the stairs in its relentless drive to kill the person it was directed to kill.

The hand was not human. It was a webbed humanoid thing. Long, scaly fingers with inch-long, needle-sharp claws deftly hooked into the carpet covering the stairs, again and again, until the hand flopped onto the landing. It scuttled across the Persian rug to the closed wooden door of the bedchamber. Catlike, the hand used its claws to dig into the wood and skitter up the door. The instant it reached the top, it released its grip and began falling. With a precision that spoke of long practice, it broke its fall by grabbing the handle. The maneuver turned the handle and jostled the door open a crack.
The hand dropped noiselessly onto the rug. Righting itself, it squeezed through the crack and scrabbled across the floor as though possessed. Clamping onto the wooden bedpost of the canopied four-poster, it wriggled up and flopped onto the bed.
The sleeper lay face up, under a satin sheet pulled up to just below the neck.
A few feet away, a tall man dressed in black stood beside the bed, watching the scene unfold through a pair of oversized goggles. A large glove on his right hand mimicked the movements of the beast with five fingers.
The hand clawed its way across the sheet with deadly purpose. Seconds later, it reached the exposed neck and clamped down.
The sleeper’s eyes shot open.
The tall man dropped his gloved hand to his side. “Cut!” he said.
The hand from some alien world squeezed harder.
The sleeper’s eyes widened in alarm.
“Cut, I said!” The tall man yanked off the glove.
The sleeper struggled to pull the hand off, moaning in pain as the tugging only made the maniacal thing tighten its grip.
After an intense battle the tall man managed to pry the hand loose and toss it to the floor. Its fingers twitched erratically for a few seconds, then made a wobbly effort to crawl back to the bedpost. As the man bent to grab it, the hand fell over on its back and lay still.
Looking back at the sleeper, the man saw spots of red where some of the claws had pierced the flesh.
Annoyed, the tall man stared at his glove. “We shall have to test it again. All must be in readiness for our guest. There will be no time for retakes.”

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