Name Lee Ryder
Where are you from Live in Massachusetts now but I’m originally from Alden, NY a small farming community in Western NY and that’s where my heart remains.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I grew up in a small town and that really shaped who I was. I learned a lot about helping your neighbour and the importance of family. I met my husband of 21 years when I was 19 years old at Putt Putt playing Star Trek Pinball; we recently found the exact same game in a theme park in New Hampshire this year. It was like a sign to us that we were meant to be together. We’ve been married 21 years this July. I have 3 children and one angel. Alex, Nathan, Nicholas (our angel) and Sarah. I also have 2 furbabies Marbles and Storm who are our naughty, (yet loveable) cats.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My latest news is that I just released a new horror story that’s really a nod back to when I was a kid reading horror comics, (I still do) The story is called Carnival of Darkness and it’s not straight up gory horror but a nod back to the psychological horrors of the 70’s and 80’s (think Dark Shadows meets Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt)
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I actually began writing in elementary school basically because I had to or suffer bad grades. I’ve been an avid reader my whole life and voraciously read books back to back. I grew up across the street from a field so there wasn’t much to do. I didn’t care, reading could take me all the places I dreamed about. Writing was the next best thing to being there.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I never considered myself a writer till my 2nd book came out. I used to and still do write fanfictions (I know that it’s a taboo among some but I love it) Even then I didn’t even think of myself as an author then. Although that is arguable considering the 100s of notebooks in my basement full of stories.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It was actually kind of a strange thing, I listened to a song one of my best friends from high school wrote and produced and that same night I had a dream. The song was Judgement Day by Doreen Taylor and that night I had the dream which became Broken Earth. I picked up a pen and began writing and I’m still writing that series.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Not really, I write whatever I dream. I have lots of books about dreams. Most of them are.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It was in my dream and is part of a bible verse I read. Isaiah 24:19 – 20 19The earth is broken asunder, The earth is split through, The earth is shaken violently. 20The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard And it totters like a shack, For its transgression is heavy upon it, And it will fall, never to rise again.…
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That we need to treat our world better, we need to do good things who maybe are not so good. We need to lead with love and not with hate. Family is important. I grew up with strong family values and good morals taught to me by amazing parents
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The book is really set in a part of Buffalo that was run down. I would see it on the side of the expressway when we would go to my husband’s father’s house. They were tenements had to have been 10 stories tall burned out all the windows broken covered in graffitti. That’s where Jess lives in my mind.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
The first books I read were the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I loved them and read them over and over. I had a high school teacher that influenced me and encouraged me to keep writing. There were actually a few who loved my stories and poems. I even have one in the school yearbook from the year before I graduated. I think a good mentor would be Michael Reisz, I’ve gone back and forth on twitter with him a few times and if you don’t know what he writes. He’s the head writer for shows on Freeform TV like Shadowhunters. I also met Mr. RL Stine last year, it was an incredible experience, truly he and I spoke for a few minutes and he asked me about my writing and even wished me luck with it. I’m hoping to see him again this year; he’s scheduled to be there.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I really love indie authors, they have such a cool grasp on the world whether it be Becki Brannen’s Breathless series that shows you true love can be a fairytale in real life. Or Christy Sloat’s books which grab you and pull you down a twisting turning rabbit hole till the very end. There’s also Raebeth McGee Buda and her book Saying Goodbye Without Saying Hello, it’s a beautiful story that pulls at your heartstrings. I am also a huge fan of Scott Prussing, his take on vampires is fresh and exciting. I love Cassandra Clare, and Sherrilyn Kenyon they both write incredible stories and have really awesome characters that come and go throughout and yes one of them is my book boyfriend. I am also a huge Harry Potter and Hunger Games fan, I can’t put those books down no matter how many times I’ve read them. Never underestimate an Indie book though, that’s my best advice sometimes they are some of the best ones!
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Oh my gosh, there’s a few. Kellie McKay, who is technically family in everything but blood. She’s been there from the beginning helping to feed me ideas helping with editing with names with it all. Raebeth Buda, who edited my first book and second book and helped me develop good characters. Sarah from Sprinkles on Top Studios really is wonderful she helps with covers and motivates me. Candice, Lisa, Stephanie, my street team…Last but not least one of my biggest cheerleaders Angie Brennan. She’s been promoting promoting promoting and really has her finger on the pulse of the author industry.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Not really, yes it is a business for me but for me I don’t see it as a career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I actually like where the story ended and it gave me plenty enough room to continue into the third book.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I liked writing poetry getting it out on paper I was bullied a great deal in school and it was a creative outlet that was at least healthy for the situation I was in.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This is from my upcoming Christmas story The Christmas Angel
Every year my family puts an elaborate display of Christmas lights the day after Thanksgiving. It’s the brainchild of my father whose favorite holiday by far is Christmas. He told us he used to love driving around the neighborhoods with his parents and looking at everyone’s Christmas lights when he was a kid. It was their holiday tradition. So he decided that he would build the biggest, most beautiful, lighting display that anyone had ever seen.
And so he did. Year after year he would dress up as Eddie Santa’s number one elf and talk to the people who would visit our display. He told me that seeing the smile on the children’s faces as the strolled around our yard drinking hot chocolate was his favorite thing in the world.
In the years following our whole family took part in making the display something truly special. My twin brother James would dress as a caroler and walk around playing his guitar singing Christmas carols. My mom and I would dress as elves and hand out cups of hot chocolate and little bags of cookies. For a few hours every night there was a little bit of magic in our little town.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Tenses, past present, writing in first person, editing but that’s what I live for the challenge.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not really, I like to be local, I do mostly MA and Buffalo NY where I grew up however I would absolutely travel somewhere else if invited
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Sprinkles on Top studios did the first book cover and helped me out with the second because I didn’t know how to put it together. She’s a wonderful gal and I would HIGHLY recommend her to anyone who needs a good cover.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Keeping the characters and their backstories straight in my head. That and the doubt…that never ending doubt…
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned, that being an indie author is VERY hard and there’s a lot of competition. I also learned that my mother loves my stories and if they get her seal of approval that’s all I need!!
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
Oh I’ve got that all figured out. Jennifer Lawrence is Jess, Ian would be played by Alberto Rosende, Vanessa Stacie would play Mollie, Lucie is patterned after my own daughter when she was young her she would be young and blonde with blue eyes ideally. For book two I would say that Matthew Daddario would be a good Aaron, Katherine Macnamara would make an excellent Duchess….
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t let anyone tell you you cant not even yourself. If you tell yourself you can’t then you won’t be able to see past that ugly word.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for all of your love and support. Without you guys I wouldn’t know where I would be today. I am so humbled when someone says I loved your book, it means the world to me.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
At this point in time I’ve got a few going Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron and Cassandra Clare’s The Clockwork Princess.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Yes I actually do, there is a book by Dr Seuss called In a People house. I read that book to my Mom, that was the first book I read all by myself. My mom was so proud she took me to school the next day and had me read it to my teacher and to my class. I was the first child in my class to be able to read.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
When I remember my son, I cry he passed away from SIDS in 1999. It was a very hard time in my life. However he was and we donated his heart valves and 2 other babies lived because of him. I like to think he picked out my daughter for me. She is so funny and bubbly and comes out with Sarah’isms. She’s 14 and comes out with new ones every day Like who in the heck decided to send all us kids back to school in July, don’t they know we don’t want to even THINK about school! *about the back to school displays at the stores*
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I’d love to have a sit down with Ian Somerhaulder and his wife Nikki Reed. I love the work they’re doing for the environment and they are both so very well spoken. They would be fun to sit and talk about where we are as people and how we can change to make the earth last and protect the world we live in and even how to achieve peace.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Above all, she was loved. Love is one of the most important things we forget about. God told us Love, Love, LOVE one another….he wouldn’t have said it three times had he not wanted us to understand that love is very important.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I am an avid crafter and artist. I love to paint, create, draw, drink a little wine, have a campfire and just enjoy my family. I am also an accomplished musician. I play trumpet, French horn, a little piano, recorder, pennywhistle, and a little piano. I’m also walking all around the house singing sometimes it drives my husband crazy, but he’s used to it after twenty one years.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Shadowhunters, Vampire Diaries, Originals, CSI, CSINY, Criminal Minds, NCIS, NCISLA, Reign, any shows about ghosts (I grew up in a haunted house) So I can basically make it look like an accident and deal with the paranormal outcome! hehehe
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Swedish fish and Chocolate Pretzel M&M’s NOT together. Cherry Pepsi. I love love cheesecake and a good glass of white sweet wine. My all time favorite color is purple.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Co. mpete more musically, performed on broadway whether it be a lead or in the support cast I wouldn’t have cared. I love singing
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website?
If so what is it?Here’s all my stalker Links I love hearing from my fans so please please don’t be afraid to message me.
I’ll even follow you back!