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Skyler Rankin has been in love with writing since her teenage years when she used to write stories for her friends. After many years of writing non-fiction, she has turned her attention to the fiction stories that first enticed her into the world of writing. Currently, she lives in Kentucky with her family and her furbabies, two cats, and a dog in her woodland cabin where she gardens, does crafts, and of course, writes.
In an interview with Woodland Media, Skyler said she was 'born to be a writer,' which she described, with a slight smirk, as more of a neurosis than a career.
"What other profession do you know of where you can get paid to make things up and spread them around? I get to make a living putting my imagined ideas on paper. In essence, I get to help people escape their everyday realities and dive into a good read. There's nothing more exciting to me than coming up with a gripping story and finding that readers enjoy it."
Skyler typed her first novel on a manual typewriter that was missing a few keys.
"Yes, it was a nightmare. A friend gave it to me to help me get started, and I thought it was the most wonderful gift I'd ever received. I had to keep moving the key caps around to depress the levers to type to keep from hurting my fingers. It was a pain, but it was still faster than writing by hand. It was more than just a typewriter to me. It meant someone else thought my writing was worth reading, and that made me happy."
Despite having a lifelong love of writing, Skyler worked in education for more years than she wants to admit.
"Like most of my fellow indie writers," she explained, "I worked a day job while learning my craft in my spare time. In a way, writers are similar to struggling actors who work a day job while working toward their big breaks."
With multiple writing projects in different genres under several pen names, Skyler is just now getting started in writing suspense thrillers and mysteries. She also writes YA paranormal books under the name Skyler. Why did she wait so long to delve into suspense, thrillers, and mysteries?
"I've been in love with mysteries since I was a kid watching Scooby Doo cartoons, and I grew up reading Trixie Belden, The Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew. In many ways, mystery and suspense were my first loves. Even though I adored the genre, I was also intimidated by it. Why? I think it's because of the meticulous attention to detail mysteries require. Unlike many other genres, good mysteries require writers to be mindful of minute details and to balance revealing those details in such a way as to conceal them in plain sight. It's a huge challenge. I really want my readers to be entertained enough to hang onto every word but still be surprised when secrets are revealed. I still get intimidated just thinking about it, but I felt it was time to give it a shot."
So Skyler is giving it a shot, literally and figuratively, with her new series in the works. The series focuses mostly on murders set against the backdrop of the Kentucky bourbon industry. She's not saying for now how many books will be involved in the series and chooses instead to focus on the story and allowing it to unfold in however many volumes it may need.
Skyler lives with her husband, daughter, dog, and two cats in a cabin deep in the woods of eastern Kentucky where she finds much of the inspiration she needs for her books.