Ryan Sherwood about ... Revenants
interviewed Apr 2009 by Sarah Rudd
Thank you for agreeing to this interview. We loved Revenants for all its darkness and foreboding and as this is the first of a series for you, well, we thought weíd start the bandwagon rolling!
Revenants is the story of two brothers who somehow through becoming enemies in death, are raised again as the worldís first undead to fight an eternal battle over the souls of Man. What made you want to write something this dark?
I never thought long about it being dark, I just pondered a few hard to answer questions of life and the afterlife; ones that can be attempted to be answered through fiction. I just wrote what I thought was right and let the characters be who they had to be. Not to mention, of all the series Iíve read and seen the darker ones are the best. Probably because we all struggle and through our strife we can identify with and root for characters we want to see pull through. Plus I really wanted to bring something new to the Ďvampireí world. Since Bram Stoker, not a whole lot has changed. I thought I could give it a shot.
You previously wrote Hold the Light, which is also about life and death, although in a very different way. I guess you could say that there is a certain preoccupation with these two themes Ė any reason for that?
Hold the Light lead into Revenants, in a fashion. I try to really push myself to what I hope would be a new or different kind of tale; the books just happened to be themed somewhat similarly since I thought there was more to be told after Hold the Light. Yet there is nothing more final and nothing that hits home harder than death. Everyone can identify with it in some way, because each person thinks about death on their own terms and how it will be for themselves in particular, giving the stories a different feel for each reader.
I suppose the themes of your novels lends itself to asking the question about your own personal views about death and the existence of an afterlife Ė do you have any specific views, or are you just trying to make sense of the world around you like the rest of us?
Iím no different than anyone else, Iím just trying to make sense of the world and what could be beyond it, as well as what lies beneath and the spaces between. There is still plenty to ponder and discover. The most interesting is to play with new thoughts to challenge the old.
Ezra is a very unusual name, where did you come across this and why use it? Does it have any special meaning?
Itís from the Bible. Ezra means ďGod helps.Ē He was a prophet of the Old Testament and wrote the Book of Ezra. The Biblical Ezra led a group of Jews returning to Jerusalem from the Babylonian Exile in 458 BCE. He gave them spiritual direction. I felt the name fit with the character as I researched this story.
You released both books initially as E-books Ė would you recommend this route to other aspiring authors?
I would suggest it as an option. Itís a really tough trek publishing fiction today and if a story is out there to be read than some of the battle is fought. Not all, but some. Each author is different in their desires but for me, I like having both ebooks and print novels. Options for all readers.
Where did your passion for writing come from?
Itís all Iíve known. Iíve been writing and drawing from my earliest memories. Iím from a family of artists, writers and musicians and friends of the kind as well. I grew up a jock/nerd. I started on the basketball team but ran home to play Magic the Gathering afterwards, or read Stephen King, or comic books, or watch sci-fi/fantasy/horror shows. Nothing has ever struck me quite like a great story. Itís an amazing sensation when a story seeps into your soul and becomes a part of you.
If there was anything you would do differently about the whole writing/publishing exercise what would it by and why?
Iím not sure. Iíve got so much more to learn and hopefully much more to do. All I want is the opportunity to get my books out to as many people as possible, and if I can accomplish that, maybe I can answer that question better in the years to come.
Do you have a day job? (and if so, what it is?)
Yes I do have a day job. Iím a graphic designer. I also design book covers. Iíve designed covers for Cyrese Covelli, P.G. Forte and my covers.
Is there a Mrs Sherwood and any mini-meís running loose? This isnít a chat-up line, honest!
I do have a fiancťe, Cyrese Covelli. Sheís a writer too. Currently sheís writing the Witchlock series, a young adult fantasy/paranormal tale thatís garnering some amazing attention. Her books always seem to cause a good stir and rightly so.
What would you do (honestly) is you suddenly became a millionaire?
How many millions? Money isnít what it used to be. In truth Iím a simple guy. Iíd save a bunch. Iím middle class and not flashy so I wouldnít change a whole lot, but I would be feeling much better about retiring. Iíd probably take a vacation too; I havenít been on one since I was 15. I would also like to start something to help struggling artists. And, of course, I would be writing a whole lot more and promoting my books.Read our full review of Revenants by Ryan Sherwood