Interview with Ryan Stevenson

Mr. Stevenson, what was the motivation behind writing the " A Life Awakening" Ethan Elliot series?
To begin with, it was a series of conversations with people from various walks of life, along with friends that had experienced the emotional trauma of a relationship that didn't work out as hoped. Yet, as a spiritual individual, I believe that there is more going on in our lives than many may realize, and that's where Ethan's spirit guide, William, enters the story. In fact, William introduces himself to the reader in the very first chapter of Book One.
How do you approach cover design?
Cover design is something that has to be given a great deal of thought as it really is the calling card for the reader. When a reader walks through a book store or browses on line, other than looking for a story in a particular genre, the first thing that catches the readers eye is the books cover. So it's important to design a cover that will catch the readers eye while setting the mood for the story behind that cover. I took a great deal of time in searching not only for the right image to use, but even the font style is important since it's an integral part of the cover as well.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Technology has come a long way since I was in school. I remember a time when people used to carry paperbacks around with them, Today, people carry their Kindle or Nook or tablets and this technology has made it possible to have access to thousands of titles at the readers disposal.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Without question social media is a fantastic way to get the word out on a new book, and many authors heavily rely on outlets such as Face Book, Twitter, and Pinterest, to name a few. Friends and family, through word of mouth, can help at a local level. But ultimately authors today really have to have a well thought-out advertising campaign to get a new release out in public view. You can have the best product in the world, but if the world doesn't know about it, sales would be nonexistent.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Abilene, Texas, and like most places we call home, you can always appreciate a wide mix of individuals. I spent most of my childhood there before my family moved north to New York State. I have always been fascinated when talking to people from all walks of life, as everyone really does have a story to tell.
When did you first start writing?
I actually began writing back in Junior High School for our school's paper. I've always enjoyed reading and writing poetry, and an English teacher suggested I place several of my works in for review. It can be a great emotional boost to have written something that was considered good enough to appear in print--and I've been writing ever since.
What is your writing process?
I think I'm an emotional person at heart, and I draw inspiration from that emotional state. I also am inspired by personal conversations with people, as well as events that have taken place in my own life. The process begins with an event that has touched me in some way, and then it's my imagination that then takes over. What has worked best for me, both in the past, as well as currently, is first to create unique characters, and define how they interact with each other. And then comes the hard part--I commit to writing two thousand words at a sitting. I then let those words sit for 24 hours, then return to what was written the day before. That period of time then allows me to fine-tune the story line, and make any changes, if necessary, before proceeding.
What's the story behind your latest book?
A Life Awakening is a story about any of us--in this case, about Ethan Elliot, the main character. Ethan, like many of us, believes what he needs in his life is a companion that he wishes eventually to marry, start a family with, and live happily ever after. But events in our lives, along with a little help from our spirit guides, can set our lives on a course that we may never have seen coming. Without giving too much of the plot away in this interview, I will say that what Ethan thought was his true ideal in life, turned out to be anything but; and due to a series of events, Ethan's life will never be the same.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've always loved to write and like most authors you have to start somewhere. So Indie seemed to be the logical choice as it is nearly impossible to place manuscripts in front of agents or publishers. It's true of many things in life. If you have never been published, people don't want to take the chance on an unknown. So as an indie author I found it easier to shop my stories to smaller publishing houses and I would like to take the time to thank the people at REJJ Press for taking an interest in my writings.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Honestly, I have never used Smashwords previously, but after releasing the first of the Ethan Elliot series through Amazon, I felt that there had to be a way to enlarge the reading audience, and Smashwords was the logical choice. As I said earlier in the interview, technology has come a long way, and with so many outlets available today to Indie authors, I felt that Smashwords would be a highly viable outlet to reach readers that used devices other than a Kindle.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
What I enjoy the most is bringing my characters to life and then placing those characters into situations that every man and woman at some point it their life might find themselves in. It's making that very special human connection not only for the characters in my writings, but in the reader making a significant connection to events in their own lives. My greatest joy is from hearing from readers who say they sincerely were able to relate to many of the every day events as well as people that come in and out of our lives through the characters that I have created. It is an amazing feeling of accomplishment as well as pride in seeing readers have their individual aha moments and that is what I set out to accomplish through my writings.
Published 2014-12-09.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Asset on the Run: A Michael Brewer Suspense Novel
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 50,220. Language: English. Published: November 21, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
After an accident on the soccer field, Michael Brewer realizes that the accident has him with a strange, extraordinary ability, that he is reluctant to reveal. Certain government agents, with less-than-honorable intentions, have discovered his secret, and will stop at nothing to grab him and use his ability for their own purposes. His life is turned upside-down as he tries to keep one step ahead.
Obsessive Rage: The Sycamore File
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 43,760. Language: English. Published: June 25, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
The reader of Obsessive Rage will begin his journey with the Great Depression in Atlanta, and then be transported into the present time to examine a murder that took place more than eighty years ago--only to be confronted with a modern day psychopath. Medical science is still trying to understand the profound effect emotions can have on the human mind, sometimes with dire consequences.
A LIFE AWAKENING, Living My Life on My Terms, Ethan Elliot Series, Book Three,
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 136,310. Language: English. Published: July 25, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Living My Life on My Terms is the author's third and final book in the Ethan Elliot Series, under the overall title, A LIFE AWAKENING Failing in many relationships, Ethan finally examines the possibility of past lives, and his soul's true purpose in this life. He finally arrives at the point of true happiness. The reader will feel compelled to follow Ethan's example.
A Life Awakening: Moving On from Memories Past. Ethan Elliot series, Book Two
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 37,740. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
In the second of the Ethan Elliot Series, the author, Ryan Stevenson, unravels the events in Ethan's life that caused him to leave his home in New York and head to San Antonio to start life anew, as he did in Book One. In Book Two, William steps aside while Ethan relives his past relationship with Jennifer, with its highs and lows; then finally finds an unexpected new direction to follow.
A Life Awakening: Whispers from Within. Ethan Elliot Series, Book One.
Price: Free! Words: 12,540. Language: English. Published: November 27, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(4.00 from 1 review)
A Life Awakening is a chronicle about the troubled life of a young man named Ethan Elliot, as told by his spirit guide, William. In the first of this series, Whispers from Within, we join Ethan as he feels he finally has found his soul mate in his relationship with Jennifer. Little does Ethan realize that his entire world is about to be turned upside down.