Author Interview: Ryan D. Meier

Tell us something about your book.

            It’s fun epic fantasy. I wrote Shadows of Creation to be a fast-paced adventure with a mix of mystery, flawed heroes, and an ultimate evil.

Who is the ideal reader for your book?

            Shadows is appropriate for both the adult and young adult, and I can comfortably say it appeals equally to both. My intentions were to develop characters that would connect with readers of all ages. Two of my protagonists are young magical apprentices who embark on their adventure during their own coming of age.

My other two protagonists will resonate with my adult readers. Brenn, a mercenary with a complicated past, struggles with his mental health while Asrai, a Wood Elven Princess, deals with inheriting power and fighting corruption within the two Elven races.  

Share the best critique/review of your book.

  • Fantastic!!!   5-star

“I loved this story and look forward to more. It has everything that good fantasy needs. Magic, evil villains, good guys will some flaws, a little romance and a cool world. Highly recommend!!!”

  • 5-star:

“This is one of my new all-time favorites. I can’t wait for the second book. Wonderful world building and great characters. I would re-read this like I was the childhood me reading Harry Potter until the books fell apart.”

What inspired you to write it?

            My wonderful children. Shadows is the first full novel I ever attempted to write. Personally, I loved epic fantasy as a teen – the Dragonlance Chronicles (and many other novels written in the world of Krynn), Lord of the Rings, and a lot of other epic fantasy classics.

            I wanted to write something that I could share with my children now, rather than having them to wait to read my work. My oldest is 14, youngest is 7. I love sharing my story, but it’s extra special to share it with them.  

What message would you like readers to take away from your book?

            Like all great fantasy, I want my readers to feel hope. Life can be challenging, and the odds can feel insurmountable. Sometimes, or a lot of the time, we torture ourselves underneath an avalanche of fear and guilt. So do my characters. I want my readers to live their journey, and find solace in their own.     

How long did you write the first draft? And how long did the editing and re-editing take?

            I wrote the Shadows manuscript in 5 months and then sat on it while I wrote a second novel. Given this was the first novel I ever edited, I worked on a routine and eventually got into a rhythm. I’d say the editing process took 4 months.

Can you share your writing rituals/habits/process?

            I’m always trying to synchronize my routine, but I tend to fall into the category of a binge writer. Although I have a word count expectation per day, I find that I go through stretches where I fall short of my goal, and then eventually catch up with a very productive period.

            I’m a tea drinker and can’t sit down to write without a cup (black tea with a touch of honey). I heavily plot (my outline for my current WIP is 20 or so pages long) and tend to be a basket-case around release day. Yes, I now consider that part of my “process”.   

Who was your first literary crush?

The Elven princess Laurana Kanan. I never crushed on celebrities, but Elven royalty? Slight, pointy ears? Now we’re talking.

Did you imagine yourself as an author in your teens?

Yes, I’ve always been fascinated with storytelling and the creation of a world, plot, and characters that weave together tight enough to put a reader in a trance. I’ve had so many books leave an imprint on my soul, I hope to do the same for my readers.

What was the first book that made you fall in love with reading?

            Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Weis & Hickman. I fell into the world of Krynn and I’m not sure I’ve fully returned.

Did a book ever make you cry? (Which one?)

I’ve read/listened to Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings 4 times and cry at the same scene every time (for those initiated: The Tower). When it’s time for me to re-read it, I look forward to crying again.

Do you sing under the shower? Or to your plants?

            Never in the shower, but in the car? Oh, yes. Queue my air drums (I’ve never been very good at the air guitar).

Do you like to cook? What is your specialty?

            I love to cook but I’m a far better sous chef to my wife. I can follow a recipe, but she cooks by feel. It’s inspiring.

Do you have a pet?

            MANY pets! We have two dogs, 4 cats, and a snake! Each with their own unique personality. To be honest, they are more family members than pets.   

What is the most romantic thing you ever did?

            The first Valentine’s day with my wife I was stuck working late. By the time I got home, she was already asleep. I had bought a dozen roses earlier in the day, and had been sitting on her engagement ring for a few weeks. I placed it into the center flower and woke her up. She didn’t realize at first, but when she did it was a yes.    

Do you believe in love?

            Yes, and I’m reminded every time I look at my wife.

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