Name: Ryter Rong
Where are you from: I live in Los Angeles, California
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc :
I grew up in Mesquite, Texas. My grandmother asked me to look into our family history and try to find our Native American heritage. I did genealogy for over twenty years and there didn’t seem to be any Native American heritage. The further I delved, the more I realized we had almost everything else in us, but not Native American. I ordered DNA testing through Ancestry.com and my results came back. Based on my results and the things I have found in libraries and online about my family history, I decided to write historical fiction books. I based them loosely on my own family history. And the tests proved that there is no Native American in my heritage. There was a mixture of many things. My book that came out June 2015 is based off the 27% Irish and the 2% African found in my DNA.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I am currently working on the sequel to Ireland Calls My Name. Many people have fallen in love with one of my supporting characters and want to know her story. So the next book is about Naomie.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
As soon as I could put words on paper. Before that I was making up stories as a toddler.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was born a writer. I have never NOT considered myself a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I have been told I write cinematically. It’s like watching a movie in your head as you read.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I just played around with the words until something could describe my main characters quest in one short burst of words.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. White people were slaves in this country, too. It doesn’t lessen the fact that black people were slaves. I would never want to do that. I just want to make people aware of what many whites went through, as well.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
A good portion. It took me two years of research to write this book. I wanted the setting right and the legalities correct.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Both, along with history.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Margaret Mitchell and Nicholas Sparks. I also look to C.S. Lewis.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Grave New World by Brian Bowyer.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Brian Bowyer and Mercedes Keyes.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
My book about Naomie. I am also working on a book about overcoming depression with my fiance’. He battled it most of his life and it was difficult for us to understand what was wrong. Being with someone who is battling depression for two years can cause you to develop depression yourself. We are both getting help and so grateful for medications to stabilize moods. We feel a book about both sides would be beneficial to those suffering.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Me. If I didn’t support myself, this never would have been done. I had to believe that I could write this book. I had to discipline myself to research and put pen to paper. There are many others who have supported me. Too many to mention. I would leave out so many names and that would be fair. So we will just leave this answer as is.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. Wholeheartedly. Does it pay the bills yet? No. But it is my career none the less.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not one word.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
No. I was born this way.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Yes. It is a continuation of my series. Naomie was a Gypsy in the mid 1600’s. Many people are unaware of the torture they suffered. The things they had to overcome. The strength the carried and carry today. I want to enlighten the world to their plight.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes. I am easily distracted. That is my greatest challenge. I would assume it is the greatest challenge for most writers.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Nicholas Sparks. His books are easy to read and you feel like you are there. It’s a very simple form of writing. You feel like you can smell the apple pie cooking and see the checkered tablecloths. I love the simplicity. I don’t have to look up big words and use deductive reasoning. I just read and get lost in his books.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Yes. I travel all over the world with my fiance’ doing book signings. I am taking a break from the signings though, as I battle depression. I am going as a supportive fiance’. That way I can go back to the room and rest when my anxiety flares up.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Mercedes Keyes. She is magical with her words as well as her skills as a cover artist. She is such a blessing to me.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The last ten pages. I didn’t want to say goodbye to my characters. It took me months to write them. I was finally able to complete the book when I decided to make it a trilogy. We didn’t have to say goodbye. We only said, “See you later.”
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned about the persecution of the Irish. I had no idea they were slaves who came over on many of the same ships as the African slaves.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Stick with it. Keep writing. Don’t give up. All the same things people told me. All the things that I thought were useless words of advice. They were actually the best advice.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy the ride. And don’t worry. You will get the chance to read Naomie’s story. I am working on it. But I need time. The research is brutal.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Humor. Humor makes me laugh until I cry. And my fiance’. He looks at me in a way that melts my heart and makes tears well up in my eyes.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I can’t name just one. I want to meet all of my ancestors and hear their stories. I want to see what is real and what was just put on paper.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
She loved…(family, friends, people, animals, writing, life. ) I just want it to say…She loved…
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Painting, drawing, modeling.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music:
Breadsticks and alfredo from Olive Garden. I don’t have a favorite color. It changes with my mood. And I love 70’s lite rock. I enjoy most music, but that would be my favorite.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Died. If I were not a writer, my heart would have ceased to beat in my chest.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website?
If so what is it? http://ryterrong.com/