Friday, February 15, 2013

An interview with Trace Broyles

Trace I've frequently been asked where I got the idea for Ryder on the Storm and in the past I have given general explanations for interviews but then my good friend Brian Bigelow asked me to elaborate.  I actually had to ponder the appropriate way to explain how Storm and Ryder came to be.  When I was first asked about Ryder's origins I came up with a token response that oversimplified the journey.  It was, I supposed, a satisfactory response.  So, here is the whole story.

I had been writing an epic fantasy novel (ESTELAN if you are curious) but I was reading a series of paranormal romance novels (okay, several series in a row, call it my guilty pleasure).  The job I held at the time was not a good fit for me so I daydreamed more than I should have.  It was during a particularly enjoyable mental excursion, in conjunction with The Doors station on Pandora, that I got an inkling to write my own paranormal romance.  I received a phone call that jerked me from my reverie to deliver some papers to a coworker.  Fortunately, my coworker is one of those who supported my writing - and even egged it on!  We chatted briefly about my vague ideas for a story and she urged me to pursue the concept further.  Before I left her office I'd already named my first two characters - Storm and Ryder.  The idea of a subliminal message from my Pandora station was not lost on me.  I spent the rest of the afternoon outlining more of the tale and even started the first draft of my first chapter.  Continuing to mull my options as I prepared dinner, helped my children with their homework, and even as I read to them at bedtime, it was with little difficulty I completed the first chapter and half of the second that evening.  At that point, Ryder and Storm were in my head.

There were a few things I knew would (and would not) occur in RYDER.  First, no heavy vampire or werewolf usage.  Yes, they were the fad of the moment and yes, vampires are routinely viewed as sexy and desirable but I wanted something different.  Hence the Seer and the Immortal.  Second, I did not want to name a place.  I lived in Seattle at the time and I'd seen what befell the small town of Forks, Washington.  Once a quiet town in the middle of scenic Washington rainforest, it had become a mad tourist destination for droves of people fascinated with a book series.  I do not know how natives truly feel about the change, I am sure the tourism benefits their local economy as it tends to do, but I have always preferred creating my own places independent of those we all know.  Finally, I wanted to make something that would be easy to read, easy for those people commuting to work on the bus just like me and for parents who want an escape but can only read in snippets, just like me.

Within a week I had half of a novel, more words than I'd written in such a short time in years.  It was easy.  A little scary even but I couldn't shut their story off.   Storm needed a mother figure, somebody who truly looked out for her but not quite a mother.  Somebody quirky and intriguing but with much more depth.  Trin Sullivan was born and with her, a legacy that I could move forth in many directions.  The character of Lucian came to me next, while listening to another The Doors song, I am sure you can guess which one.  I wanted a character who had a darkness to him, a contrast to Ryder, the stereotypical bad boy.  Of course, Lucian would have to be tamed by a small woman, somebody meek in appearance but only to hide her inner strength.  Enter Sophia Bedeaux who, of course, would not make her appearance until LIGHT MY FIRE.

I will not give away any plot twists but suffice it to say, I like to be a little sneaky with things. There is some misdirection and of course, I did not clarify everything so that I could leave openings for the subsequent books.  In less than a month I had a full first draft of RYDER and a partial outline for FIRE (I wrote the first draft of FIRE for NaNoWriMo 2011).

And that is the full story of where RYDER ON THE STORM came from.  I could tell more about how little sleep I got in that month, how many chapters I erased and re-wrote, and how many characters were nixed or moved to subsequent installments of the EMERALD SEER series, but, those are boring stories in comparison to reading the series.  If intrigued, please stop by and grab a copy - ebook or paperback - and enjoy!

About the Author
Ms. Patterson graduated from Miami University with a degree in psychology and a minor in criminology.  She spends her days like most super-heroines waiting for the clock to strike five so she can escape into her imagination once again to pen another bestselling novel.
Be sure to check out her amazing paranormal EMERALD SEER Series.
You can connect with Ms. Patterson via and via @booksbyviolet on Twitter.

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