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Interview with Zachary Ryan

Q.1 Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
A. I’m loud, outgoing, but I sometimes get super shy around people that I don’t normally know. It’s weird because I’m a bartender. I’ll go out with my boyfriend and his friends, and I’ll have mini panic attacks when meeting new people sometimes. It’s strange because I have such a big personality.

Q.2 Do you hide any secrets in your book that only a few people will find?
A. Yes, I call them Easter eggs as you will. I don’t like basing my characters off of real people, but I’ll put little fun facts in each of my characters related to people in my life.

Q.3 Where do you get your ideas?
A. I get them from music I listen to, weird situations I think in my head, or even from my novels and wishing they ended differently.

Q.4 What advice do you have for writers?
A. To be completely obsessed with your body of work. I think if you aren’t fully into it, then the readers won’t be fully into it. You have to think your body of work is God's gift to the world, but you need to be open to some criticism to make your work better. I look at my work as my children, and I want to see it grow and be the best that it can be.

Q.5 If you could invite one person to dinner, who would it be and what would you cook?
A. Kelly Clarkson. She’s my musical idol, and I would just love getting drunk and talking to her about the most random things. I would have wine and steak.

Q.6 If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
A. Slow down on wanting to publish. I wrote a lot of books and self-published a lot of books that I wasn’t the proudest of. Also, to be honest with yourself because I felt after I came out of the closet my books became more authentic.

Q.7 What are the most important magazines or websites for writers to subscribe to?
A. See, I don’t follow any magazines or websites. I just feel like if you’re a writer you should find your own voice. I think those websites just tell you what the trends are or how to write in a box. I don’t believe writing should ever be in a box.

Q.8 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
A. Making sure it doesn’t sound in authentic.

Q.9 How do you select the names of your characters?
A. Honestly, I get them off of Instagram people I follow or movies I watch. I went through a Teen Wolf phase. I have a book called, How Are You Feeling today, Theo Cody. Theo was the character’s name and Cody Christian was the actor’s name.

Q.10 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
A. I do read them, and if I get a bad one, I try to ignore it. I got a really, really bad one before. It was legit saying I was a joke of a writer and should never write again. After I got that, I just let the other ones roll off my back.

Q.11 Does your family supports your career as a writer?
A. They support it, but they don’t understand it. They will buy my books and be proud of me, but they aren’t writers or readers.

Q.12 What do your fans mean to you?
A. Haha, fans. I don’t think I have any. If I do, then thank you so much for supporting me.

Q.13 How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
A. I’ve written 48 books. I would say the follow up to High School Queens is my all-time favorite novel I’ve written. It’s the blend of sassy and seriousness I was looking for.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
A. I get weird cravings for each of my books. I’m writing a book right now, and all I want is Chinese food.

Q.15 What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
A. Someone read my novel and got a quote tattooed on them. I legit almost cried.

Q.16 What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
A. Scamming you. I think when you sign up with a publishing house, and they promise to do all this for you, and they don’t. I think it’s disappointing when you see they put all this effort into someone else’s novel and not giving you the same satisfaction.

Q.17 Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
A. My friend Erika edits my novels. I find someone who I can bounce ideas off of, and I enjoy that so much. I think anyone who will let me talk to them for hours about my books.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
A. I would want to meet James Baldwin or F. Scott Fitzgerald. Those are two of my favorite authors, and I get a lot of inspiration from them.

Q.19 What is your favorite book and why?
A. I have a top three. Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Fangirl by Rainbow Rodwell. I love the characters in the books because they’re flawed, and I’m more into character-driven novels than plot-driven.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
A. It’s been a lot of ups and downs with not finding a publisher, then really bad reviews, then books not doing as well. I’ve also had highs of people saying my book inspires them, getting signed by a publishing house, and being able to get people to want to interview me.

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