Happy Friday, Knights! I know the weekend is almost here but before you dive in, I’m excited to have L. Ryan Storms on the blog today! Her book, A Thousand Years to Wait releases at the end of the month and she’s here to talk a bit about both ATYTW and her life!
Keep on reading to learn more about the mind behind the book!
All About L. Ryan Storms
You wrote a book! That’s pretty awesome. Why don’t you tell us a bit about what inspired A Thousand Years to Wait?
I’d been thinking about writing a witchy story for a while, but didn’t really know if I had it in me to write an entire novel. (At the time, I’d just finished one novel, but it was loosely based on my own past, so I almost felt like I cheated somehow. After all, I was working off of memories more than creating my own story.)
The night that Hurricane Sandy swept through our area in 2012, I was so amazed by the sheer force of nature, by the violence of it, by the helplessness of the situation that I just wanted to write about it. Here I was, relatively out of harm’s way in a solid brick house in eastern Pennsylvania and it was still terrifying. What would it be like to face a storm like that in a remote village? In a little cottage? As a woman all by myself? And that became the opening scene for A Thousand Years to Wait. (Ironically, that scene was also cut long ago during the revision process, though there’s still an echo of it in the first few pages.)
As for the actual story? I love stories about strong female characters. Give me a protagonist I can root for and I’m happy. Give me someone who has their own issues, but takes on the world anyway. I love a flawed hero! (Or heroine!)
Introduce us to your main character!
Moreina di Bianco (or Reina) is an 18-year old who has been living on her own since her mother’s death three years ago. She’s Healer in the village, and she’s proud of what she does. She’s a little nerdy, very practical, extremely independent, and generally likes to fade into the background. She’s comfortable that way.
Which is why it’s difficult for her to accept that she’s been chosen by a talisman and a thousand-year-old prophecy to save the entire kingdom from a usurping general.
Walk us through a day in the life of L. Ryan Storms.
Hooboy. This varies from day to day depending on what crazy activities my kids have and what my work schedule is. I have two kids, ages 9 and 13, so we’re into a lot of extra-curricular activities these days. I also work part-time at a library and my schedule changes based on the library’s needs on any given week. More often than not, I’m running from one place to another and don’t really get a chance to sit down to write until late afternoon or even sometime after the kids are in bed.
Between dance three nights a week (the kids, NOT me), piano (also the kids, though I did take lessons for 8 ½ years…), STEM Scouts, art club, science fairs, doctors, dentists, orthodontists, ophthalmologists, and vet appointments (for the dogs and cats, not the kids…), there always seems to be something eating up the day.
Lots of aspiring authors out there. Any advice for them?
Never. Give. Up.
Publishing is a crazy business, but there are so many paths to success. Don’t listen to anyone who says you must do “this” in order to be considered a serious writer, or tries to tell you you’re not a real writer unless you do “that” every day. What works for one writer doesn’t necessary work for another. Find what works for you and go with it.
And know that writing is a long-game. It’s not a quick path, but if writing is in your blood like it’s in mine, you’ll only be content if you keep crafting that next story, whether it’s in your head or on the page.
I know asking someone’s all-time favorite book is a loaded question so what’s your current favorite read?
Oh so tough! There are so many amazing authors out there. Right now, I’d have to say I really adored reading S.A. Chakraborty’s City of Brass, which is actually adult fantasy, not young adult. She’s an amazing author who sucks you into the story so completely. I haven’t read the second book yet, though it came out a few months ago. Soon!
For young adult fantasy, there are a handful of authors whose work I can sing praises for! I really like Elly Blake’s Frostblood series. I love Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes series. Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom were both really dark, fun, and gritty. Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer and Muse the Nightmare were both So. Well. Done.
Believe it or not, I do read books other than fantasy, and my current favorite women’s fiction book is one by my friend and author Jean M. Grant. Will Rise from Ashes captured my maternal heart so completely. I highly recommend this one to my friends with children. You can’t understand a mother’s determination until you are one and that book just rips my heart right out of my chest! (Which is what a good book is supposed to do, of course.)
Alright, the ultimate question: why should we read your book?
I don’t suppose you’d buy the reasoning, “Because I said so.”
Hmm, no? It’s okay, my kids don’t like that reason either. I loved writing A Thousand Years to Wait. It was a ton of fun to get into Reina’s head and see her determination and her insecurities along the way. If you like magic, and science, and nature, this is your kind of book. If your best friend is a horse, this also might be for you. If you’re a fan of books with young women who can change the world through wits and will, it’s a book that was written for you.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Determined. Empath. Introvert.
What is your most embarrassing memory?
Did you not just see the ‘introvert’ answer above? I relive every awkward conversation I’ve ever had just about every night before I fall asleep.
Oh, but I have a good one that’s writing-related! When I was first querying agents and hadn’t really yet gotten the hang of it, I did one very important thing you are NOT supposed to do. I commented on an agent’s appearance. I still cringe to this day. To be fair, she said something on Twitter about her very curly, unruly hair. As someone with completely stick-straight hair, I am envious of such gorgeous hair, so I mentioned something about it in the query.
I think I was trying to show that I was paying attention on Twitter, but that didn’t really matter and it came off as a huge creeper move.
So, I die a little of embarrassment every time I think about it.
What is your Hogwarts house?
I’m a Gryffindor with strong Ravenclaw leanings who is married to a Slytherin and has Hufflepuff and Gryffindor children. (I like to keep things well-rounded.)
Your characters are sent into the Hunger Games. Who wins?
Quinn D’Arturio. (And no, I won’t say why.)
A famous movie producer wants to make your books into movies and they want you to cast your characters. Which actors/actresses make the cut?
I am so bad at naming actors who are in the right age range for this since I don’t watch a whole lot of television these days. I don’t know all the young names! I will say this much, though. Visually, this is always along the lines of how I pictured my three main characters:
Reina – I don’t know who this model is, but she was as close as I could find when it came to how I pictured Reina…Forgive me for any copyright infringement. I claim no rights to this photo.
Quinn – Diego Boneta is fairly spot-on as to how I’d love to see Quinn portrayed. (He doesn’t have the stubble in this photo, but some of the others I’ve seen scream Quinn to me for sure!)
Niles – Haha – Ryan Gosling is too old to play Niles now, but if you can suggest another actor who can give this look, you’ve got it.
You just won America’s Got Talent. What’s your talent?
Radioactive space rock fell from the sky and turned you into a superhero/villain. Tell us your new name, describe your powers, and what does your costume look like?
My name is Mama Earth and I have the ability to convince the super-wealthy to invest heavily in clean energy and sustainable practices. Also, that they’ll go above and beyond to protect the most vulnerable communities around the globe, providing clean water and medical services where needed most. The world will change for the better, carbon emissions will drop to zero, solar energy will be cheered, impoverished communities will be lifted, and greedy money-hungry power-grabs will be a thing of the past.
And I’d do it all in my pajamas.
This morning you woke up with the ability to time travel to only one time period. Where (or more accurately “when”) would you go?
Wait. Am I visiting for a while or am I stuck there forever? I’m too much of a germaphobe to want to live in the past, but sure would love to see some of it. (I also had to really think hard on this one because anyone who has ever read Outlander wants to answer 18th century Scotland. Admittedly, this was the first thing that came to mind.)
Honestly, though, history is really bloody and full of war and disease. I’m not sure I want to spend more than a day visiting. So if I have a day, let’s go to Ancient Greece. I’ve always been fascinated by the culture, the religion, the day-to-day life and because it’s so long ago, we don’t know nearly as much about it as we do when it comes to more recent history.
Coffee or tea?
Peach tea. Please don’t judge me, other writers.
Too much caffeine doesn’t work well with an anxiety disorder, so I stay away as much as possible. (The ban on caffeine does not extend to my love of chocolate.)
Best ice cream flavor ever?
Anything with chocolate and peanut butter. Moosetracks? Chocolate PB swirl?
Your theme song/personal anthem?
Counting Stars by One Republic.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Mahatma Ghandi
What is one piece of advice you would tell everyone?
Never be afraid to chase your dreams. You’re the only one who can.
About the Book
by L. Ryan Storms
Series: The Tarrowburn Prophecies #1
Published on April 30, 2019 by RaineStorms Press
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Prophecies are meant to unfold on their own—they can’t be forced into fruition. Or can they? When a war-torn kingdom is on the cusp of falling to a usurping general, a young healer who doesn't believe in magic is called upon to help a prophecy transpire. She must embrace the magic...or lose everything.
At eighteen, Moreina di Bianco is a young healer who believes in medicine, not magic, even while possessing a second sight she can't fully explain. So when the Faranzine Talisman chooses Reina to reawaken an ancient magic and end a war, she must reconcile her beliefs, unlock the talisman’s secrets, and harness the magic within.
Reluctant to accept help, Reina agrees to allow two determined escorts to accompany her on her journey for truth, but each comes with a mysterious past of his own. Her estranged childhood friend, Quinn D’Arturio, left their village years ago and only recently returned, harboring dark secrets behind a solemn exterior. And despite his status as a perfect stranger, a dashing captain by the name of Niles Ingram is quick to fight by Reina’s side at whatever the cost. That someone she’s only just met would give his life for hers is a sobering realization of the ever-present danger Reina has jumped into.
There’s just one problem with Reina’s two companions. They, too, are featured in the talisman's prophecy - as potential suitors. But what woman wants a suitor, let alone two, when she’s tasked with defeating a usurping general, ending a war, finding the true king, and rightfully seating him on the throne?
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