Today I’m featuring Ryan M. Williams, who contributed to the Many Genres, One Craft book edited by Heidi Ruby Miller and award-winning author Michael A. Arnzen, published by Headline Books. Ryan tackles the topic of writing in multiple genres, which is tricky in itself given the various demands of each genre, and how writers can be typecast by readers. To keep his sanity and his readers happy, he uses pseudonyms. Fascinating!
Ryan has a rap sheet that reads like a small-time crook with a half-dozen aliases. As Ryan M. Williams, he writes the sci-fi Moreau Society series including Dark Matters and The Gingerbread House. Writing as Ryan M. Welch, he has authored mystery fiction like the Poe-inspired cat cozy novelette, The Murders in the Reed Moore Library. Other aliases include Tennessee Hicks (urban & dark fantasy), and R.M. Haag (horror fiction). His education includes a master of arts degree from Seton Hill University and the successful completion of the master class taught by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. He lives in Western Washington with his wife and son.
Do you know the ending to your mystery before you write it?
In a broad sense I might know, but I tend to follow my creative side and let the story develop as I write, so it’s possible that I might be surprised at the direction it takes.
What is your process for plotting a mystery?
I don’t create detailed outlines or spend an enormous amount of time planning out a book. I’ve tried that in the past, and found it basically killed my interest in the project. Sometimes I’ll write a couple paragraphs, a pitch or blurb, to capture the basic idea of the book but then I give free reign to my creative voice and write. With a mystery sometimes that means I need to cycle through the book, going back to write additional scenes, drop clues, whatever, in the earlier parts of the book but it is still done in a creative voice rather than in a critical mode.
Thanks, Ryan, for answering my questions! Check out MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT for his essay, “One Writer, Many Genres.”
Get Ryan’s ebooks at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ryanmwilliams