Interview with Crystal Ryan

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story that I ever wrote was a sort of a movie story. I was in the 3rd grade in the parochial school I attended and I was selected along with one other girl to make a short film story. I remember it was called, "My Trip to Candyland". Back then, at a mere 9 or 10 years old, it was quite an honor to be selected to do something like this in front of the entire class. I remember how great it felt to have my hard work acknowledged at such a young age. That one little event in my life, paved my way to writing stories and poetry.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember one of the first stories I ever read was called "Are You There God? It's Me Margaret." by Judy Blume. Growing up like I did, I didn't have the kind of relationship that most girls had with their mothers and I wasn't explained the "birds & the bees". The only knowledge I had on the subject of puberty I learned from my older sister, who wasn't informed either. Judy Blume had a series of books out and I read every single one of them. To this day, I can still remember how they made me feel.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
As I have written in my book, I grew up in a very small town in New England. Living in a small town for most of my life, you learn that there are secrets that people keep from one another to protect themselves. My siblings and I kept secrets very well. Because we lived in such a small town, we never wanted people to know the hell we were going through at home, and then again, we always lived with the fear of what my parents would do to us if we did tell people about those secrets that went on in our home. As far as influencing my writing, I learned at a very young age to journal my thoughts instead of sharing with others what was really happening in my life.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The latest book is "Triumph Over Tragedy", which is book two in the series "Crystalized". It is a continuation of my first book, "What Goes Around Comes Around" - A True Story of Survival. This books gives all the gruesome details of the abuse that my siblings, myself and my cousin suffered at the hands of my parents. It's a more in-depth explanation of the round about way I explained things in my first book. I took the constructive criticism from the readers of the first book and thought that wrapping up all those "unanswered questions" would be how the second book played out.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
This is such an easy question to answer for me. My greatest joy have come from the messages, emails, texts and phone calls from people telling me that I am an inspiration to them and I am the reason that they didn't give up. I actually had one person tell me that they were on the brink of suicide and they read my book and it changed their life. I was moved to tears hearing this from that person. All I really want to do is help and inspire people with my writing.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean everything! The support and love I have received from people I know and strangers is overwhelming. I have heard people say to me, "I'm your biggest fan" and ask for my autograph and I have to tell you, it makes me giggle like a little kid. It is such a joyous feeling to know that I have helped others by telling my story.
What are you working on next?
My third book, "Everything That Sparkles Isn't Crystal", is a more humorous and laughable look at life. In this book I will be sharing numerous stories on dating failures, men, and life in the fast lane! I am really looking forward to releasing this book so people can get to see the comedic side of my personality and writing.
Who are your favorite authors?
Judy Blume, John Grisholm, Steven King & Crystal Ann Ryan!!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Being alive!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I am not writing I spend my time taking care of my daughter, my home & my animals and plenty of cups of coffee with my friends. I also enjoy spending time with my best friend and discussing life in general. The things that we two woman have gone through in life is really a book all in itself! I am very fortunate to have the few but "tried and true" friends that I have.
Published 2013-10-23.
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