Welcome to Five Question Friday featuring novelist Ryan Schneider. He's a great writer and a great guy. Enjoy!
Q. Tell me about the books you’re promoting.
The books I’m promoting are the first five of an ongoing series titled THE GO-KIDS. It is an epic saga of Parker Perkins and his friends Sunny, Bubba, Igby, and Colby. They meet under rather auspicious circumstances and things go from bad to worse and then to straight up bizarre. Parker soon finds himself with the weight of the world on his shoulders and the lives of his friends in his hands. Little does he know that he will soon become the most despised person on the planet. And he is only 13 years old.
Q. How did you come up with the idea for this series?
I didn’t choose this story; the story chose me. Back in the summer of 2004, I had a dream about a boy who was flying. He was soaring through the clouds at sunset. I didn’t know who he was at the time. But a phrase I’d never heard before was implanted in my mind, even after I’d awoken: GO-BOY.
I didn’t know what to make of it.
Three days later, a title popped into my head: THE GO-KIDS.
Again, I didn’t know what it meant. But the Olympic games in Athens were starting, and due to the time difference between Athens and California, the live coverage of the games went on all throughout the night. So I was up late one evening during the first day or two of the games, and I was thinking about the dream, about the boy flying, about GO-BOY, and about THE GO-KIDS.
Then it happened.
It was as if the entire story was downloaded into my brain.
I turned to my computer, opened a new Word doc, and began typing as fast as I could. I essentially had the entire story, including the characters and their names and relationships. I could scarcely keep up with it, it was coming so fast.
Five hours later, I had nearly 18 pages of stream-of-consciousness plotting.
After a few hours of sleep, I awoke, printed, and re-read the 18 pages. Then I began writing. For the entire two weeks of the Games, I stayed up almost all night, writing writing writing.
That was eight years ago.
Today, five books in the series have been completed, and I am polishing Book 6 presently. There are more to come, though I don’t yet know how many. Perhaps three.
Q. Do any of the characters symbolize someone or something in real life?
You’ll have to tell me. To me, Parker, Sunny, Bubba, Igby, and Colby are real people, complete with traits and quirks and flaws and hopes and dreams. I’ll take the Hemingway Clause on this one, for it was Papa who said, “I take credit for everything in my writing, even if I didn’t know it was there.”
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
Ah, the essential question to pose to a writer. I grew up reading CS Lewis and Stephen King. Studying for my degree in English Literature exposed me to all the greats among American and British writers, everyone from Emily Dickinson and Mark Twain to Wordsworth and Coleridge etc etc.
Today I tend to read primarily contemporary fiction. I love science fiction and recently enjoyed Tanya Huff’s VALOR series. I like Chuck Palahniuk for his satire and originality. I also recently discovered Chuck Klosterman, who wrote DOWNTOWN OWL and THE VISIBLE MAN, among others. Both books are excellent but THE VISIBLE MAN is a book I think about often and would like other people to read.
When I began writing THE GO-KIDS, I wanted to do some market research in the YA genre, and at the time HARRY POTTER was gathering momentum. I borrowed the first two books from my mom and read them just to see what all the fuss was about. I quickly became a fan, and have read the entire series thrice, and seen the films, of course. So J.K. Rowling must be included as well, for she has given the world a beloved story with wonderful characters. Such a phenomenon is a rare one.
Q. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one book, what would it be and why?
It would be I THOUGHT I WOULD BE RIGHT BACK; HOW TO GET OFF A DESERT ISLAND – AN ODE TO WILSON by Chuck Noland.
Thanks for the interview, Ryan! Below you'll find the covers for THE GO-KIDS books as well as a full bio on Ryan. Click here to follow Ryan on twitter, click here to follow his blog, click here to buy his books on Amazon, and click here to buy his books on Smashwords.
Ryan Schneider Bio
I am a husband, aspiring father, writer, and novelist.
I write fiction. I will make you think and feel. That is my job.
I write in many genres. I try to write stories I would enjoy reading.
My work is sometimes dark and heavy, sometimes light and fun, even romantic.
I am happily hard at work on Book Six of The Go-Kids series, the epic tale of a thirteen-year-old boy named Parker who has the weight of the world on his shoulders, and the lives of his friends in his hands.
I earned a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of the Pacific, where I was a college newspaper staff writer and film critic, as well as co-host of a radio show. I then studied screenwriting and independent producing at UCLA.
I have written and published five novels, a collection of short stories, a dozen screenplays, and many essays. I also co-produced a 35mm short film.
I am also a commercially-licensed pilot with multi-engine and instrument ratings. I have flown various aircraft: Cessna 152, Cessna 172, Piper Arrow and Piper Seminole.
I live happily in Israel with my wife Taliya. Taliya is a singer/songwriter and musician. Her music has been likened to Enya, Yanni, and Sarah McLachlan. Taliya plays guitar, piano, and flute. She was awarded a Guinness World Record for recording her original song "Flower Child" in 15 languages. She has toured much of Europe and the United States. She has written and produced two albums and is currently in the studio at work on her third album.