Friday, February 1, 2013

A Pathway to Publication by Ryan Hunter

I asked talented author, Ryan Hunter to join my blog today and tell us about her road to publication. Ryan has been both traditionally published and self published, but I believe her story of overcoming self-doubt strikes a chord with us all:

Ryan's Pathway to Publication:

When I started writing, I felt alone. There were no networking groups online, no support groups where I lived. I had no one to call and talk to when I felt weak or overcome with doubt. It was like I had this secret addiction and I couldn’t tell anyone about it, because … what if I was no good?

So, I wrote in private. I hid my finished work, scared of what people would think if they knew I not only talked to myself but recorded the communications on my hard-drive. I had self-doubt and fear and a stark lack of knowledge concerning anything to do with plotting or characterization.

My plots fell flat, my characters weren’t real and yet I pushed myself and even ventured outside of my comfort zone long enough to order a couple of books on writing. I prayed they arrived in an unmarked, brown box so nobody would know what I’d become involved in. Because if they knew, they’d ask what I was writing, if I was published, if they could see it … the list went on, reasons to be terrified.

I finally gained enough courage to “come out of the closet” and admit I was a writer. I sought help from a bestselling brother-in-law and instead of asking me if I was crazy, he actually encouraged me to pursue my addiction. He’s helped me nonstop, critiquing my work, recommending self-help writing books and most importantly, helping me be able to say with confidence, “My name is Ryan Hunter, and I’m a writer.”

That confidence changed everything about my habit. I started to attend writing conferences, great therapy for a newly proclaimed writer. I even stood up and read my opening page in front of one class, the effort making me shake so badly I spilled water all over everyone else’s first pages .… The experience taught me great things like: it’s easier to just let the world know what you’re doing than to let nerves make you look like a fool.

That’s when I entered my first writing contest through Writer’s Digest, earning honorable mention on a short story I later turned into a novel and published as Robyn Heirtzler.

I went on to publish two novels under that name and two more as Ryan Hunter. The first two were through traditional publishing because that’s the way things were done. Ebooks weren’t around yet, seriously, I’d just barely gotten my first email account. But things changed: the publishing industry, electronics and my name. I decided to take the challenge and the responsibility of self-publishing my next two books (in a completely different genre than my first two, one reason for my pen name).

It’s more work with publicity and the whole reinvention process so people realize I’m still me, but I don’t think I’d change it. I’ve had a good response to my work and look forward to creating the next two books in the One United trilogy, the follow-ups to inDIVISIBLE.

Bio & Links:
Ryan Hunter is the author of inDIVISIBLE, a dystopian that’s being hailed as a modern-day 1984; and Premeditated, a YA suspense. She’s a wife and mother of five. She’s an avid runner, blogger and baker.
Facebook: facebook.com/authorryanhunter
Twitter: @ryanhunter45
Blog: authorryanhunter.blogspot.com

Awesome, Ryan! Thank you for sharing your story!

2 comments:

  1. Ryan, I can relate with so much that you have said here. I know I felt that way when I first started writing. Thank you for sharing it so we know we aren't the only ones! Thanks, Amy for the great interview subject!

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  2. Ryan is very talented. She was a critique partner of mine when I lived in Cedar City. But we all have those dreaded times of self doubt, don't we?

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