Let's Welcome Ryan Decaria today! Tell us a little about yourself.
Hello. I’m Ryan Decaria, an author hailing from the great city of Ogden, UT. By day, I’m a technical writer, but by night, I’m an author of mad science YA, an avid board gamer, and podcaster. I’m co-host of the Meeple Nation podcast where we discuss the board game world. I love fantasy and science fiction, both, but I enjoy mashing the two together with mad science.
Your from Utah? I envy you. There is a lot of beautiful country in Utah. I just visited Zion National Park. Talk about breathtaking. What brought about the idea for this book?
I started imagining about a story where a teenage girl discovered her father was an evil mad scientist. I wanted this to be a modern story rather than a Gothic or Victorian era story, so the laboratory needed to be hidden or in a remote location. Her father needed employees, though, for his modern genetics laboratory, and those employees would have families. Once I started brainstorming what high school would look like in this town, I was hooked.
Sounds very original. Ryan, have you been given any helpful advice on your writing journey? If so, what?
The best advice I’ve taken is to always finish what you start, every single time. Don’t let the newfangled, flashy ideas get in the way of telling the story that was in your heart a short while ago. Learn how to get to “The End”. It’s a skill. Wrap it up. Share it with someone who cares about you. Then share it with someone who doesn’t.
I like that advice, "share it with someone who cares about you. Then share it with someone who doesn't". I always tell new authors to have someone other than their mom read it. Currently, what are you working on?
I’m working on the Sequel to Devil in the Microscope, planning for a release in the spring. I also have an epic fantasy in the works, as well as a graphic novel I would love to sell.
What has been the most difficult thing you have struggled with since you began a career in writing?
I would always chase the next idea and never get to the end of anything. You never had to share or submit something that wasn’t finished. It was a serious roadblock that I had to get over. Once I started finishing things, I started selling my work soon after. It’s still a struggle for me to stay on one idea until the end, but I find that it’s the most important thing I can do.
I struggle with that too. But I have found jumping around helps me think better, but I have to limit myself to three projects at a time, otherwise I would never finish anything. Tell us a little bit about your main characters
Anika knew one thing about her dead father. He was a scientist. Ever since she was little, she’s been fascinated with Chemistry, playing with Jr. Chemistry sets she would buy at garage sales. She won the science fair every year. Her world changes when she finds out her mother is a big fat liar, her father is alive, and he’s been searching the world for her.
Once she moves in with her father, things start to get weird. The Science Olympiad team at the high school under her father’s secretive genetics laboratory all seem to have a secret. They welcome Anika into the fold, hoping she might have the skills to save them from their parents.
Is there something you learned from writing your first book?
My first book was a middle grade story about a blind girl who goes to live at the White House, which will likely never be published. My daughter is blind, and while I was writing the story, I had to remind myself that making life difficult for my character was what made the book interesting. I’d always heard that you should get your protagonist stuck in a tree and throw rocks at her. My daughter thought I was being way too hard on that character. I think she might have been right.
I think a lot of us hold those first stories back. Mine is hidden away, never to see the light of day. Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I hope you’ll have heard of me again. I plan to publish 2-3 novels a year, so in five years, I’ll have 15 or so books out, hopefully a comic book or graphic novel, many short stories, and perhaps a board game or two. Hey, maybe I’ll have even given up the day job.
Wouldn't that be nice, to just be able to write full time. I am hoping to get their in the next few years too. Good Luck! Do you have people read your drafts before you publish? How do you select beta readers?
My first drafts I only read myself. After a quick polish, I share chapters with my writing group. After I have a complete draft put together, I share the book with a few trusted alpha readers. After cleaning up the book with another edit, I’ll share it with as many beta readers as I can find. I would love to have a long list of groupies eagerly awaiting my drafts, but for right now, I’m still seeking them out.
I don't have a problem finding people who will read my book early. But it's hard to find those readers who really find the faults, and catch inconsistencies. I have a couple really good ones, but I would love to have a few more too. Which do you find more challenging inventing the hero or the villain? Why?
For me, it’s the villain. I feel like I know my hero really well. I know what she wants and what she needs, and what she is willing to do to get both. Villains are hard for me because I don’t want them to be mustache twirlers with evil as its own reward. I think the difference is that I don’t spend as much time (in my head) with the villains as I do with the heroes.
Any last words you'd like to share with us Ryan?
Thanks for your time. I encourage anyone with the flare for creating content to stop hiding and make it happen. Share your work with people that care about you and ask for feedback. Thank them for it. Embrace it. Make your stuff better. Then share it with strangers. Ask for feedback. Thank them for it. Embrace it. Make it better. Keep going. You can make it!
Good Luck Ryan, it's been a pleasure having you on today. Don't forget to check out Devil in the Microscope. Happy Reading!!
Devil in the Microscope on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07452YTPY/
Devil in the Microscope on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35718498-devil-in-the-microscope