Meet Ryan Hill
Q. What authors have you read that inspired you to write Barking Madness?
RH: There are so many writers that have inspired me, Ken Follett, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Cormac McCarthy to name a few, but Christopher Paolini has been my main inspiration for putting pen to paper. He wrote his first book when he was 15, so I figured, “Why can’t I do that too?” It was much harder than it sounded though, and when I was finished with my story, there was a lot of editing that needed to be done. After writing my final page, however, my feelings of accomplishment were unlike anything I had experienced before.
Q. Out of all the characters within your debut novel, Barking Madness, which ones were the hardest to create? And which were the easiest?
RH: The hardest character to create was Michael’s father. I wanted to make him a jerk, but not your typical alcoholic jerk. I also wanted the reader to have some sympathy for him, but in the end, I still don’t know if I was able to gain him any sympathy and give him a soul. His actions may have been just too…unforgivable. He was a bad person and worse father. The easiest character to create was Rosetta. I knew what I wanted out of her the moment I started writing. So, with every scene that she was in, I felt more comfortable as a writer because she was so easy to incorporate into the story.
Q. What inspired you to start writing your debut novel?
RH: I came up with the initial idea for Barking Madness in 7th grade. From that point on, I was always writing down ideas for my storyline. By the beginning of 12th grade, I felt that I had enough to expand on the story. Other than my inspiration from other authors, I knew deep down that I wanted to create fiction. I saw writing as the easiest way to break into the fictional realm, so I started to write. It took lots of self-encouragement to keep going, too. Before senior year of high school, I didn’t want to tell my parents about my writing endeavors in fear that they would disagree. So, my own motivation is what encouraged me. I would also like to mention that I did have a few remarkable teachers that inspired me to be creative, independent, and to think outside the box. I was very secretive about my novel.
Q. What kind of books do you enjoy reading when you have the time?
RH: I really enjoy a great story and, also, good science fiction. As a kid, I loved the Goosebumps series, as a teen, I enjoyed the Twilight series, and now I just enjoy an entertaining read. My tastes are varied. I loved Pillars of the Earth, World War Z, and Lone Survivor. My tastes can be eclectic and the range between each story, vast and refreshing. I never get tired of variety. Survival horror, such as, The Road, is one of my favorites and, also, an amazing genre, so if the two are combined, then I’m bound to love it.
Q. Are there any YA authors out there that you would say are your role models for being a published YA author?
RH: Stephenie Meyer is definitely my young adult role model. I read her Twilight series in middle school, right before the movies came out and ruined them. I remember how obsessed I was with finishing those books. It was like entering a whole new world. If I could somehow recreate the magic she released, then I would be the happiest man alive.
Q. Using only three words how would you describe your writing?
RH: Spooky, dark, heartfelt
Q. Having read your novel, Barking Madness, I was instantly lured deep into your lead female character’s life. How would you describe this character of yours?
RH: I wanted Rosetta to be the typical new hot girl. Although it’s hard to say what’s typical of a new girl, because they’re all so different, I would say most people have an image in their heads of what a hot girl should act like. Rosetta, for example, is gorgeous, flirty, and self-absorbed and, for me, that’s the image of the typical hot girl…the girl you will never get. So in your head, or in this case Michael’s head, you have to make her out to be something you don’t want. In my book’s scenario, Rosetta was good looking, everybody liked her, and so I had to make her undesirable from a personality standpoint in order for her to fit the common image of the typical hot new girl. Of course, I wanted to flesh her character out, so as the story went on, I turned the girl who had it all into the girl who had nothing. Whether this made the reader sympathetic to her as a character, I don’t know, but it did make her appear more real. I don’t believe anyone is that one-sided, which is why I made Brittney, another character like Rosetta, an alcoholic, and Chloe, the other popular girl, suicidal. Everybody has their own problems whether they show it to people or not. I really wanted the reader to get far into the psyche of my character Rosetta, and it was fun doing this. Her character change from beginning to end is also very drastic, which is a part of growing up.
Q. The ending of your novel leaves readers wondering what will happen next. What are your future plans for the characters from Barking Madness? Will readers see a book 2?
RH: I don’t plan on continuing this storyline any further. I’m looking forward to having my editor refine it and get the word count down so that it can, hopefully, be a bestselling standalone novel. The story does have a HEA but Michael and Rosetta’s future will remain a mystery.
Q. What are your future writing projects, if any that you wouldn’t mind sharing with us readers?
RH: I definitely plan to continue writing fiction. I find the real world to lack happy endings, and I love happy endings, so nothing real world focused. I like crazy topics too. For instance, Barking Madness is about a werewolf. I would like to remain on the wacky side of things.
Q. Who would you say is the craziest character within your novel? And why?
RH: The masked man is easily the craziest character within my novel. Despite him being the cause behind Rosetta’s psyche out of whack, he also lacks a motive. Yes, he says he’s there for Rosetta, but to do what? At first, it’s to kidnap her, and then it’s to kill her, and then, again, it’s back to kidnapping her. He also lacks direction when dealing with Michael. First, he wants to kill him; then he lets Michael push him into the fire (basically forfeiting his own life), then he goes back to attacking Michael saying something along the lines of, “I worked too hard for this. I’m not letting you take her from me.” But if this is how he felt, then why’d he let Michael push him into the fire??? His lack of commitment towards any one thing is disorientating to the reader. Well, at least I hope it is, and I did this to further show how mentally deranged he is as a character. Showing up, almost out of nowhere, with a huge chip on his shoulder towards every character, he doesn’t make much sense. And the reader doesn’t necessarily have to understand his motives entirely. All they have to know is, he has a connection with Rosetta. His motives seem clear, but at the heart of things, they really don’t make much sense. He just shows up to f*** s*** up, and it’s strange, but it’s meant to be strange because he is a mentally unstable character.
Q. Where can readers find you online and find your brilliantly well written novel to buy?
RH: My book is off the market, currently, because I have signed with a publisher, and it is getting edited. I have been told that it will be back up and for sale August 18th.