Starting the week right: the Illustrious Peep interview with Vanessa A. Ryan!
Vanessa, welcome to the Illustrious Peeps at Permuted Press! How did you come to be here, and what title should we be watching for?
I started looking up publishers that might like Horror At The Lake, A Vampire Tale, the first book in my vampire trilogy. I thought I’d see if Permuted Press liked it and they did.
I see you’re an actress, as well as an author. Do the disciplines ever inform one another?
Not so far, but I’d like to write a screenplay with a part for me in it.
When did the writing bug bite you? Before or after the theatrical muse took you?
The writing came before the acting. I had written three novels but lost two of them in a fire when I lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Eventually, I salvaged other copies of the lost works, though they were earlier versions of these manuscripts. I let them sit for years, while I pursued acting and the visual arts. Last year, I rewrote A Blue Moon, one of the lost manuscripts, and this year Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing published it. It’s a satirical urban fantasy/horror story. This year, I rewrote the second manuscript, a mystery titled A Palette For Murder, which is now being considered by another publisher. It takes place in Santa Fe and it doesn’t have any horror or paranormal elements in it. An earlier version of Horror At The Lake was the third manuscript salvaged, mostly intact, from the fire. I let that sit too, until last year when I started revising it. And now Permuted Press has acquired it.
What projects do you have going on right now?
I’m currently writing A Date For Murder, the second book in the mystery series. I’m also mentally organizing the second book in the Horror At The Lake trilogy. I have an idea for a screenplay, but that will have to come later. In between writing, I’m working on some paintings and going on auditions.
Since we’re (as I write this) closing in on the holiday season, do you find your writing productivity effected by the season?
Although Holidays are fun, I have a tendency to get the Christmas Blues, as I call them. Writing stops me from feeling melancholy, so I’ll probably be doing a lot of that, in between social events.
You rescue cats. First of all, thank you for that. Second, do you work with any charity in particular? Feel free to give them a plug here.
Some of the charities I support are the Wild Horse Preservation, the Cloud Foundation, Defenders of Wild Life, In Defense of Animals, Bold Visions, PETA, Greenpeace and other animal and wildlife charities. I guess you could say I’m a tree-hugger and an animal lover.
Every writer has a dream, whether it is money, or fame. What’s your dream?
My dream is to make a substantial living off my creative endeavors, to have people enjoy what I create and find themselves richer for experiencing it. I’d like people to remember my work and for it to be respected and well known. But I don’t need to be a celebrity, with people reporting on every aspect of my daily life. I think that would be horrible. I’m a very private person.
What advice do you have for up and coming writers?
Take a class in editing. It’s helpful to know how editors look at things. Get people, other than your relatives, to read your work before you submit it somewhere.
You can find Vanessa on the web, but I recommend: