Morning all! Today we’re here to celebrate the preorder of THE YEAR OF LIGHTNING by Ryan Dalton with Jolly Fish Press. The book drops officially on January 12th, but I got a sneak peek (mwa ha ha!). Seriously, y’all, the book is a blast – you should totally check out the preorder links below (and the book trailer, too – it turned out great!). But, while we wait for the book to come out, I have an interview with Ryan to help you pass the time!
So tell me about yourself!
My name is Ryan, and I am Batman. Don’t tell anyone, please, it’s a secret. When I’m not writing, I like to cook and I’m always looking for awesome travel destinations. I’m also a musician, having spent a few years taking stage vocal training. I love Monty Python, comic books, tabletop games, driving fast, smoky scotch, and making people laugh.
What inspired you to write THE YEAR OF LIGHTNING?
The whole story started with one scene that popped into my head. I pictured walking by an abandoned house with no doors, no way in or out, and then seeing a face staring at me through the window. It felt so creepy and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I kept asking questions about why the person was there, how they got there, what they were doing and why, what kind of threat it might be to the town. As I answered the questions for myself, the story of THE YEAR OF LIGHTNING slowly took shape. It’s been described as “Monster House meets Back to the Future.”
Obviously the book centers on time travel – if you could travel to any era, which would you choose?
I’m going to cheat a little and add another fantasy element to my answer. I would travel into the past and jump into the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I’ve had a soft spot for that story ever since I was a kid.
I’m a major storm fan, and there’s something about lightning that is so intriguing to me – what made you include it?
Partly for the same reason–I *love* storms and lightning and have always been fascinated by them, so it was fun to feature them so prominently. I didn’t start THE YEAR OF LIGHTNING with storms in mind, but as I began developing it, they were a perfect fit for where I wanted to take the story. So little by little, they took center stage. I also liked the challenge of presenting something so dynamic and powerful in a book as opposed to a more visual medium.
Are you a pantser or a plotter? Did that help or hurt to pull off your plot twists?
Plotter, for sure. I use several types of outlines depending on where I am in the development of a story. As you’ve seen, I tend to write twisty plots with big casts of characters, and the only way to do them justice (for me, anyway) is to be organized and plan ahead. Not that I plan 100% of everything–I do leave some things to be created in the moment–but overall, I write much more confidently with a road map that helps me know where I’m heading.
Did you write any novels prior to this one?
I wrote a wide variety of things before THE YEAR OF LIGHTNING–short stories, humor columns, even freelance advertising–but this is my first novel. I knew it was my ultimate goal, though, so I spent years working on the craft and finding my voice before I took on the novel. When I felt ready, that’s when I picked my favorite idea and jumped in with both feet.
What’s next on your plate?
I’m working on my third draft of the sequel, THE BLACK TEMPEST. It’s currently in the hands of a few trusted beta readers and I’m eager to hear their feedback. I’m also in the early stages of outlining Book 3, and I have some big stuff in store! I always have side projects happening, too. Right now I’m working with a playwright friend on some geeky scripts for live table reads. I have a sci-fi board game in development and will hopefully be able to launch it within the next couple years. And just recently I released the book trailer for THE YEAR OF LIGHTNING.
Rapid Fire Round!
Tea or Coffee?
Fandom Weapon of Choice?
Favorite Ninja Turtle?
Cats or Dogs?
Pen & Paper or Laptop?
Laptop for writing, pen/paper for brainstorming
E-book or Physical Pages?
Physical, unless I’m traveling.
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrbfBF5jFHA
Barnes and Noble, preorder: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-year-of-lightning-ryan-dalton/1121750191?ean=9781631630507
Praise for The Year of Lightning
“A rousing mix of science and fantasy that will thrill young and old alike! Dalton blends wit and emotion and adventure seamlessly in a tale that keeps your pulse pounding.” –author Ryne Douglas Pearson (*Knowing*, *Simple Simon*, *Cloudburst*)
“Exciting plot, smart characters, and engaging prose: Dalton’s writing jolts straight to your heart.” –Ellie Ann (*The Silver Sickle*), New York Times bestseller
“With cheeky winks to classic time travel and a mind-bending central mystery, The Year of Lightning moves at a pace that lives up to its title and will keep your pulse pounding to the last page.” –Karen Akins, author of the *LOOP* series