AUTHOR: Ryan Hartung
BOOK TITLE: Lightning World’s Divide: Book 1
GENRE: Science Fiction
BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Lightning-Book-1-Worlds-Divide-ebook/dp/B00MVHZEEM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409265018&sr=8-1&keywords=ryan+hartung+lightning
Please tell us about yourself. I was born in Lincoln, Nebraska where I was pretty much raised for most of my childhood. I went to the University of Nebraska where I graduated in 2000 with a B.S. of Science. I then moved to Columbus, OH where I pursued a Ph.D. in Organic chemistry. In 2005 my wife and I moved to N.J. for three years and then transferred with my company to Tucson, Arizona and we’ve been here ever since. We have two little girls, a dog and a highly untamed hamster.
Please tell us your latest news. I just finished putting up my novel Spurious on all major ebook platforms and have finished World’s Divide Book 4 –Strength and I’m maybe halfway through writing Book 5.
Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? I am a part time writer. As of now my main job is paying the bills, but hopefully that’ll not always be so. I try to write a portion in the morning and the afternoon during the week, but on the weekend I’m a little more relaxed. I normally get some writing in on the weekends, but definitely not as much during the week.
When and why did you begin writing? I just feel like I have a bunch of good stories that I want to tell. I wrote a book around 2006, but it was horrible. I tried finding it again to maybe redo it, but it seems to have vanished with my transfer from N.J. to A.Z. So seriously I began writing two years ago and I haven’t looked back.
What inspired you to write your first book? I know it might sound a bit cliché, but I really had a dream one night that I thought would make a fantastic series. The first book is complete and I’m halfway done with the next one, but I really feel this series is the crown jewel of what I have right now and I’m sitting on it for the time being.
What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? When I’m not writing, with two little girls that really consumes a large part of my time, but I enjoy working out and riding my bike to work. I’ve been fiddling around with the guitar for the past 4 months and I lead a few songs here and there in church. I’m also trying to finish a hutch I started before the Tucson summer began, but that won’t be finished until we get out of the 90’s.
What are your thoughts about promotion? –Great question. That’s exactly where I am now. Some books are lucky enough to thrive on word of mouth alone or are just excellent stories, but not enough can be said about promoting your works. Even if a small to medium publisher agrees to publish your book, you have to do a tremendous amount of promoting.
Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it? Writer’s block is really something people say when they aren’t fully inspired. If you find writing at the moment to be hard, take a break for an hour or so, but you have to eventually just sit down and start typing. Eventually it’ll start flowing again. You can’t write if you don’t write.
Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it? The first unreleased book that I wrote, I wrote with a friend who has a professional job writing for a technical magazine. I learned more about him from grammar and sentence structure than I would have ever imagined.
What are your current projects? Like I said above, I’m still working through the World’s Divide series, which is getting more and more complicated as more characters and subplots are being added. The second project is The Purger Chronicles, which is a series of YA books following Kara Calderon as she finds herself marooned on a planet her very people doomed (I’m really excited about this one!)
How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.? I’m on twitter and Facebook, but my main website is ryanhartung.com. Pretty easy to remember and all of my other accounts can be reached through there. Plus there are free chapters of every book to preview.
What genre do you write in and why? I write general and science fiction stories. I grew up reading Stephen King and Fred Saberhagen and most of those are completely SciFi, but there are also so many good stories that are out there that take place in the real world. So for both of those reasons I like to dabble in both genres to an extent.
Tell us about the current book you’re promoting. The book series I’m currently promoting is my World’s Divide series of novellas. Each one is around 25k words, so they are longer novellas than many others. The series takes place in the present and follows three different teams set up by their governments to try and find ancient relics from the Greek gods of lore. An American team of archeologists unwittingly finds Zeus’ Lightning Staff, which leads to clues to finding many more of these powerful artifacts. At the same time, certain countries are preparing to go to war against other countries, with each set wanting to possess as many of the powerful artifacts as possible. I’ve made the first book (Lightning) available for free while putting the others out there for 99 cents. First of all I think they’re great for the price I’m offering them at and each book builds towards the next!
What gave you the idea for this particular book? I was actually inspired somewhat by a few Clive Cussler books I was reading at the time. I absolutely love the intro to all of his books, where in the past some random event hundreds of years ago is the basis for the story. Although I’ve taken a different approach to this series of books that was where my initial inspiration came from.
Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process? Outlining is a must! I feel that if I don’t outline later on I want to introduce something and then I have to go back and rewrite portions of the books that would otherwise be good to go. I still add parts in here and there, but outlining really gives me a sense of direction of where I want to go when I’m writing my chapters.
What comes first: the plot or characters? For me it’s always plot. The how’s and the why’s are what really intrigue me. Then I start to find characters that can bring those thoughts to fruition. I’ve always loved plot-driven stories so that’s probably why I like to write that way.
What do you do when you’re not writing? Well, I ride my bike to and work at least three times a week to keep in shape. I’ve been trying to teach myself guitar lately, which has been taking more time than I thought it would and I make rustic furniture as a hobby.
What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel? Endings, it’s always the endings. Like TV shows; you invest so much time into them and then the ending is absolutely horrible. There’s nothing worse than when a writer ends the story in some funky way maybe only five percent of their readership will enjoy. I could go on about that for a long time.
Describe your writing space. My writing space is either my desk at work, where I can have some quiet time on the weekends or is usually on a pad of paper. I don’t mind writing on the computer, but a lot of my writing is by the pen with either Daft Punk or some other music playing in the background that allows me to focus.
What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite?
My favorite thing about being an author is getting to write what I want to write about. It’s great to have a story and want to share it with other people. I’m not sure what my least favorite is, but it’s hard putting yourself and your work out there and trying to drum up support. Sometime it can seem so daunting you wonder if it’s worth it.