Geetanjali Mukherjee

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How I Write: Authors on Their Writing Process - Ryan Troske

Today's interview is with an author who is also a biologist, working with sharks and other sea creatures: Ryan Troske. 

1.         When did you first start writing?
I’ve always been the creative type, whether that be through writing, drawing, or music, and have had a very active imagination, but I never seriously considered writing a book until a few years ago.  I kind of just randomly decided to give it a shot and went for it.  I came up with a random idea, and it slowly built from there, not only turning into one full-length novel, but a four-book series.  So ultimately, I didn’t start writing until a couple years ago.

2.         What are your books about? Are you self / traditionally published or hybrid?
I have a few series I’m working on.  My first published novel, The Rising, is part of my Supernaturals series, which falls into the YA/urban fantasy genre.  If you like superheroes of any kind, X-men, Percy Jackson, or anything of a similar nature, then this series will be right up your alley.

A second series I’m working on (currently titled The Telkuhryn Chronicles), is more of a YA/epic fantasy.  I like to think of it as a mix of The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia.

A third series I’m working on is my Survival series, a post-apocalyptic / dystopian thriller geared more for adults or NA.

Currently I am self-published and, at the moment, am unsure which avenue I will take when I’m ready for my next book to be published.

3.         What led to your love for literature? Any favorite books / teachers / writing mentors?
I believe my active imagination plays a big role here.  I love movies, but there’s nothing quite like a good book.  A few of my favorites are The Count of Monte Cristo, The Hobbit / The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.

4.         What's your writing process like? Do you outline? Do you write by hand / type / dictate?
When I have an idea for a book I start with something simple: writing it down.  I outline to a degree, but probably not like most go about it. I write out the basic plot and build on that, over time adding more specifics and building scenes. I make tons of notes on my phone of random ideas that come to me throughout the day, building on scenes I already have, or completely new ones.  When I sit down to actually write I typically aim for 1500 words a day. Sometimes it’s less, sometimes it’s more. It varies on the chapter/scene I’m working through and how well thought out it was ahead of time. 

5.         What's your editing process?
I do a number of rewrites and self-edits, as well as use the help of beta readers, before handing things off to an editor.

6.         What did you find most / least useful in learning to write?
As the old idiom says: practice makes perfect.  Whether you’re working on your book, or something completely random and irrelevant, write, write, write.  Reading is another component which will help tremendously.  The last couple years I’ve tried to read a book each week. 

7.         Who or what inspires you? Where / how do you get your book ideas?
I write about what I enjoy watching or reading myself.  As far as the exact ideas, they’re kind of random and just come to me.

8.         When in the day do you usually write? For how long?
Daytime, and there’s no set length of time. I aim for 1500 words a day, regardless of the time it takes to get there.

9.         Do you have a writing routine / schedule? Any specific rituals?
Majority of the time is spent writing in my home, but I love to get outside and write, whether it’s at a local park or even simply in my own backyard.  For me, being out in nature helps get the creative juices flowing.

10.      Describe your desk / writing corner / favorite writing spot.
I just moved into a new place, so I don’t have a designated writing spot yet.  The back patio may be a hotspot.  There’s also a nice park nearby.

11.      Do you listen to music while you write? What kind of music?
Typically, no.  It ends up being more of a distraction than soothing.

12.      Do you ever get writers' block? What are some ways you get around it?
Of course.  Who hasn’t?  Sometimes you just have to fight through it.  Other times, take a break and come back to it later.  Everyone has their own ways to relax and clear their head.  For me, some of my favorite methods are reading, playing guitar, sports, or even video games.

13.      Do you now, or did you ever have any day jobs? Did they add to or detract from your writing?
I’ve had a number of different jobs.  Writing is more of a hobby right now, but I’d love to be able to turn it into a career.  The idea of working from home does sound good.

14.      How do you make the time to write?
My job is contract work, so when I’m not on a boat in Alaska, I’m home with lots of free time.  Even when in Alaska, I usually have a good amount of down time which I use to get some writing done as well.

15.      How much marketing do you do? Which platforms are you most active on? 
I’m still trying to get used to this aspect of being an author.  The main avenues I’ve used thus far are Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.  There are also a number of advertising sites I am in the process of using.

16.      What's the most fun aspect of marketing? The most challenging?
The most fun part is probably making connections with different people from all across the world.  The hard part is getting your name out there and reaching people in order to put your book in their hands, or on their screens in this technology-crazed world.

17.      What project are you working on now?
I am currently working to finish up The Recruit (Supernaturals Book 2), as well as the first books in a couple other series I hope to complete: The Outbreak (Survival Book 1), a dystopian/post-apocalyptic journey; and The Lost Book of Behlkrumor (The Telkuhryn Chronicles book 1), an epic fantasy adventure.

18.      What books do you like to read? What are you reading now?
I love fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, crime & legal thrillers, and others.  I’m about to start going through the Jesse Stone mystery series.  Should be quite a journey; 14 books with another to come out next month.  I’ve seen a few of the TV movies, so I’m looking forward to the reads.


I am a biologist who spends time out on the Bering Sea working with all sorts of fascinating creatures. Seriously. I collect, maintain, and distribute data for scientific, management, and regulation compliance purposes in the Gulf of Alaska and the Eastern Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands.  When I’m not tangling with squid and wrestling with sharks, I enjoy watching and playing sports of all kinds, playing guitar, and of course, writing, which I hope to make more than a hobby instead of "that thing I tried one time."

Supernatural - The Rising

To many, the idea of super powers is illogical; an absurdity reserved for the likes of Hollywood and overactive imaginations.

They are wrong.

Ethan is just an ordinary teenage boy—infatuated with sports, music and, of course, girls.  That is, until a horrific car accident changes his life in ways he could never have imagined. 

Waking in the hospital, Ethan discovers he now has the ability to read others' thoughts, and even more perplexing, move objects with his mind. 

And he's not the only one.

Seeking guidance and control, Ethan finds himself immersed in a world of individuals with their own unique special abilities—A world of Supernaturals.

But not all can be trusted . . .

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