Saturday, July 12, 2014

Author Spotlight: Ryan Gladney

Introducing speculative fiction author Ryan Gladney and his novel Nine Lives of Adam Blake. (and his really cute baby!)

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

My name's Ryan. My debut novel, Nine Lives of Adam Blake, was released earlier this year. I have a 10 month old son, a wife, two cats, and we're currently - like, as I type - in the process of moving into our first house, which is super exciting.

2. When did you start writing, and why?

I've always been a writer. When I was a kid I used to modify the endings of my Dr. Suess books, thinking that the blank flyleaves at the end of books were meant as invitations for readers to add their thoughts. I'd grab crayons and write these addendums to books like Cat in the Hat and The Butter Battle Book. My mom helped. Some of them were pretty good. As far as "why" - I don't know. Writing is just something I love to do and sometimes even feel like I have to do.

3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?

I write novels. I can't imagine myself ever becoming a real serious blogger because I don't want to exert my creative energy on anything but fiction. I think of myself as a sci-fi writer, but I'm realizing that my final products really don't categorize as sci-fi very well. My ideas originate from musings on science, but my writing tends to focus much more on characters and relationships. 
I enjoy what I write because I write mainly to please myself. Ideas and characters pop into my head, and if I feel compelled to tell their stories, I try to do so in a way that would please me as a reader, and make me proud as a writer.

4. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?

My latest book is Nine Lives of Adam Blake. In the first scene, the main character dies, and upon death finds that his afterlife is his own life, lived over and over again. He makes different choices, chooses different paths, and tries to understand why he's trapped in this cycle of life-after-life. Eventually he wonders what awaits him on the other side of death when he finally dies for the last time.
I'm in the very early stages of my next novel, which is kind of a futuristic, technocratic dystopian thriller mixed with a Beverly Lewis-style Amish coming-of-age story, if that makes any sense.

5. "Welcome To My Worlds": Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.
The “world” of my book is our world, present day, mainly in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at this bar called the Triple Rock Social Club that’s primarily known as a punk venue but that I’m more familiar with from these dance nights they used to host. The only difference between our world and the world of the book is Adam's bizarre experience of the afterlife.

6. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?

My main character is Adam. He doesn’t start the book in a very likable state – he’s a borderline alcoholic with a job he hates and an ex-girlfriend he won’t leave alone. But over the course of many lives, Adam comes to understand himself, his purpose, and his values. You’ll see Adam as a child, an old man, a disembodied spirit, rich and world-famous, penniless, happily married, lost and suicidal, and plenty in-between. The Adam who begins this journey is very different than the guy at the end of the book. I like him for his passion and commitment to those he loves, and for the curiosity with which he explores his many lives.

7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.

How about this - The first idea for Nine Lives of Adam Blake came from that pretty universal human fantasy: How would you live your life differently if you could do it all over again? I remember daydreaming along that line of thought one day and just sort of getting lost in the idea and the implications. How would such a phenomenon really manifest itself? How would I explain it? What would be my assumptions and priorities if I happened to wake up tomorrow and I was a child again? What would I do with myself on a mundane, day-to-day basis? And, what sort of mechanism could have possibly caused this bizarre occurrence? I thought it would be fun to write a story about a guy experiencing this and discovering the answers for himself.

8. Blog/site links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Nine Lives of Adam Blake is available at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple | Smashwords

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