Next up, we have an interview with Ryan DeBruyn. He wrote the tremendously popular Equalize recently for Mountaindale Press. Ryan is a new author from Canada and is currently a student studying Electrical Engineering. He is six months away from graduation and leads a very busy life. I’d like to thank him for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. Without any further ado, here’s the next LitRPG author interview!
When did you first start writing fiction?
I started writing fiction when I was around twenty years old. I was deep into fantasy novels and wanted to write something as encompassing as Lord of the Rings but similar to Harry Potter. No I don’t think that’s impossible, or that I bit off too much. Ok, I never finished it so you could be right …
I did write some chapters in the world and still do hope to one day return to that story and finish it. I just got caught editing chapters before I had a finished book so unfortunately, I didn’t get very far.
What kind of books do you enjoy reading? Paper or eBook?
If I could afford every book in paper and had my own house that would be my preference. The aesthetics and feel of a paper book are just so amazing. I own quite a few in boxes in my parent’s basement still and when I buy my own place, I hope to set up a small library, and continue adding to it.
That being said, I still love the kindle. When I was overseas in Germany there were very few books that were available in English, and if they were available, I had already read them. Kindle was just becoming an option at that time and my parents purchased one for me. Then it felt like I could order any book anywhere in the world and I thought that was pretty damn cool. It was like the future showed up and I was holding it in my hands.
What’s your favourite under-appreciated novel?
I don’t know if it is underappreciated but I still use names from it today. Actually some names in book one are from this series. Mark Anthony has a series called the Last Rune and it was one of the first books I read that transported a present-day human to a whole new world. I loved the concept and while now I do see things I think could have been improved upon, I did really enjoy the story and the magic that was created. Also the entire world being medieval when the two MC’s came from present day Earth was a blast.
Of your books, which is your personal favourite? Why?
Since I only have the one currently, I will say that book one Equalize is my favourite and truthfully usually the first book in any series ends up being my favourite. I live for that sense of discovery, when the author breathes life into a new world that captures my imagination for a few days, I truly don’t think there is a more enjoyable moment for me in a book.
That being said I read the Harry Potter books in order of three, two, and finally one. Unfortunately the books themselves were a gift and book one was sold out everywhere. I was a new fan to fantasy at the ripe age of eight and my mom wanted to foster my love of the genre and reading primarily. So, she did her research and heard about Harry Potter. Can’t blame her for thinking order didn’t matter, because honestly, I am just as large of a Hogwarts fanatic either way! This all to say book two may be my new favorite once it’s finished! 😊
You can make one LitRPG book (not your own) a movie. Which is it and why?
Great question, and I think I would make Tao Wong’s, System Apocalypse into a movie. I love his series and I find it to be the pinnacle of the Post-Apocalyptic genre. Then there is the scriptwriter side to me who would want to keep it low budget and the first few books centre on one town with a devastated population. Few visits into a shop and mythical races aren’t too hard on a budget … I hope.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I can’t think of anything to write.
Of course I believe in writer’s block, but I think for me it has always been a state of mind. I have battled depression most of my life and I think it is very hard to sit down with your own thoughts when you can’t stand a single iota of yourself. I think people far more skilled than me have already written on what its like to suffer from depression and I was lucky enough to find my way out of that dark place. Besides, I learned some valuable lessons in where that ladder exists in my mind to help climb out.
Quick side note from learning about me, and that is if you need help make sure to go out and get it. Depression is only embarrassing if we let it be.
Are you an outliner or pantser?
I have outlined book two and in a way during book one I knew where the story was going to go. I had the milestones and the ending in my head the whole time. However, I did write each chapter rather loosely. I guess this would mean I mostly flew by the seat of my pants. I found that this let me explore the characters a bit more and have some more moments of fun in the book.
However, book two I am trying a new method and have outlined it chapter by chapter. This should help me be more concise and find appropriate places for that same fun more easily, without going off track at all. I don’t actually know but I am excited to try something new!
What is your writing process like?
For me I find that big events in my story are in my head. As I write towards them, I discover things that I think would be absolutely amazing if included. I also find that feedback is a huge help for me. So I absolutely love the beta reader and editing process for the developmental steps people point out. My first book wouldn’t be anywhere close to what it is, without the fantastic team at Mountaindale Press.
How many hours a day do you write?
Usually one hour a day, but if I find I am on a roll that will morph into two hours etc. I think I am at my most productive for writing when I am on vacation. I know that sounds weird but being able to sit in a stunning locale and write knowing that afterwards I can go and enjoy a place I have never seen before. Just gets the creative juices flowing!
Share a photo of your workspace and tell us about it?
My workspace is a laptop computer and it moves around with me wherever I go. It is old and the battery doesn’t work anymore, and it is probably time to replace the unit, but I haven’t done it and I mean it still works. It’s old and holding on for dear life and honestly, I have personified it now, so it’s sticking around. What shall I name you?
I usually like to sit in an armchair by a window with the fire lit if I have that luxury. Then I sip my tea, juice or beverage of writing power and get to work!
Who are some of your favourite authors of all time?
Patrick Rothfuss, is still my number one, but I do want him to release book number three sometime soon! I love Dakota Krout’s style and humour in his books. I love, J.K. Rowling as already mentioned. I would want Cosimo Yap’s way of weaving political struggle and controversy together. I would love to be able to build characters like Vasilly Mahanenko. Finally, I would love to write fight scenes like Tao Wong.
I could probably continue but this interview would never end!
Where do you get your ideas?
My head, duh!
Sorry I couldn’t resist. Well I think this particular idea has been brewing for a long time just in many different forms. I loved the premise when I connected a game world into the history of it. I think the premise of creating an Earth that has a history different than what we are told in school is something I love doing. I like the idea of adding magic back into our current lives!
What are your thoughts on how VR will affect the future of humanity?
Honestly, I just hope it gets created and exists with the level of realism described in the LitRPG genre. I mean I know I would live in those worlds. I think the really interesting and fun part about some of the books that focus on VR games being created in our present-day world is that the gamers are making money off video streams and the like. That parallel to Youtubers and Steamers today is pretty amazing. I think if you were to create a VR system that the market would take over the world. Celebrities would be from video games not Hollywood, etc.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I think since my book is fantasy based, I don’t have to do as much research as I might have had to in other genre’s. That being said I do pull heavily from my everyday life and read articles on subjects in the book as they come up. However, because I write as I go, I find that research usually happens as I reach a point that needs it.
First video game memory?
Breath of Fire III, Ryu transforming into different dragons! That game was legendary in my mind and I just loved everything about it. Breath of Fire IV was great too! Unfortunately it hasn’t had any good remakes made on it in a while, at least that I have found out about!
What can fans expect from you next?
Book two! I am already hard at work on book two and have it fully outlined. Right now, I am editing the first ten chapters and then plan to write forward as quickly as I can! It’s been pretty hectic with school and book one release but book two is my next project.
Anything else you would like to add?
I know the first edition that we uploaded had some issues with the tables. We made a fix to that and have uploaded a new version as of February 26, 2019. I apologize but it was our first time dealing with windows depicted as tables. We have learned and know what to do next time!
Mountaindale Press is an amazing team and if you are looking to publish a book, I encourage you to get in touch with them. They are a family and I truly think anyone accepted is lucky to have them! Check out the website for Mountaindale Press.
Finally if you haven’t read my first book and reading this interview hasn’t dissuaded you. You can find the book on amazon. It has Kindle Unlimited, Kindle eBook, or a paperback option.
In addition, I love feedback, so if you read my book and found mistakes, or think you found something I foreshadowed and just want to chat. Please feel free to shoot me a message on Facebook here.