A portentous storm brewed in Muir Woods, slyly inching its way towards the sleeping island. The wisps scattered into hiding, sensing the darkness that was fixing to devour the light. The impatient thread of fate, crept around the ancient trees, slipping through the deep shadows; the sweet scent of smoke and hellfire, a warning of the coming battle.- the Witch
Meet the Author- the Witch
the Witch, ryen lesli, bleeds twisted YA/NA fantasy, along with dark and violent poetry. The exquisite pain of ripping her own heart out, again and again…is only matched by the taste of someone else’s tears. She wants you to fall in love with her characters just so she can break your heart.
Her long awaited book, River, was recently published and is available on Amazon now!
Ever since seventeen-year old River can remember, she’s always had the real sense that she is in the wrong place—that she is wrong. Because of this, she battles a constant restlessness that consumes her. Running is the only thing that helps. Another reason, she knows she’s wrong? She can see the light around a person. Everyone gives off energy and somehow, River can see a bit if it. She knows when someone’s good or bad.
She just doesn’t know what a blurry light means, like the light around the creepy new kid, Wicked. Upon seeing him, something inside her breaks open; a crack along some forgotten wall that frees a painful wave of raw emotion and faint visions. And emerald-eyed boy that River doesn’t remember but knows she should.
After Wicked reveals his violent, supernatural side, River’s world explodes and everything she thought was real, fades away. Taken from her life in Georgia, River is forced into the dangerous, but beautiful, self-sustaining-power-filled-live-in-the-trees-like-Robin-Hood Fair world that has been impatiently awaiting her return.
What Inspired You to Become a Writer?
the Witch was inspired to write when she discovered it was easier to communicate in the written rather than the spoken word.
Being painfully, tragically, poetically shy, I found out early on the beautiful power that words can have on someone. It has always been easier for me to write rather than speak.
This drive to write hit her at an early age.
What are Your Goals as an Author?
the Witch doesn’t believe in basing her goals on dreams. Instead, she calls her method a battle plan.
The Witch doesn’t believe in having ‘dreams’. They are nothing more than a pretty myth that may or may not happen depending on fate’s mood. Instead, I have a battle plan.
She’s published the first of a ten-book series, and she continues to work away on her fantasy world.
I have ten books in my The Beginning of the End series. But because I am so extra, I am also writing the books that lie within my world, the ebb. A forgotten daybook, two stolen portents books, and the four tomes of the history of Earth. Oh, and the sexy Brotherhood Codexx for my badass Warriors.
The real goal is to make you fall in love with her world as much as she has.
I want you to become so immersed in my ebb, that you and I will begin a love-affair that will endure through the years to come. Your innocent love will fall violently into mindless hate, for I want you to fall in love with my characters…just so I can break your heart.
What Genres do You Write?
the Witch is focused on River’s world right now. Her chosen genre is YA and NA fantasy. She also dabbles in what she calls “wicked poetry”.
The poetry chose me, and fate brought RIVER, and the ebb to me in a nightmare once…and she has been with me ever since.
She does hope to write in other genres one day when she purges herself of River and her world.
One day, if I’m still breathing when this is all said and done, I will write naughty love-stories.
Traditional vs. Self-Publishing
the Witch is publishing her work through Kyanite Publishing, an indie publishing company, so she gets the best of both worlds.
She does advise looking into traditional publishing if you can. This option has built in marketing and publishing help so you have less stress throughout the process.
Well, if you go the traditional route, and you land an agent, they help you with ‘your author platform’ and whatnot. They know people, etc. Everyone should try the traditional route at first. If you can land an agent, that is ideal.
Not everyone is meant for the traditional route though.
If your queries are constantly being sent to the slush pile, and the cruel rejections are keeping you prisoner on the ground, then you should look into a publishing house or self-publishing. With a publisher or self-publishing, you better be ready to work your ass off, though. What it all comes down to, really, is how bad do you want it?
What Publishing Advice do You Have for a Newbie?
Getting your work published is a battle. You need to make sure you’re prepared for what’s ahead of you.
You need to think of the publishing world like…you’re driving a truck up an oil-slicked mountain, crawling with blood-sucking zombies, horrible bears and the occasional nun, while fire falls from the heavens. Your gas light is on, and you have a whiny toddler beside you, making you wonder for the hundredth time, why you ever let your baby-daddy talk his way into your panties. It’s kinda like that, so…how do you navigate that scenario?
You have to keep working away at it. You can’t give up if you want to see your hard work published.
The answer is, you close your eyes and f–ing drive.
What Does it Take to be a Writer?
the Witch believes the most important characteristics of a writer are imagination and patience.
An insane imagination, with the patience of a chunky tabby cat.
Rewarding yourself for your efforts can help you along the way.
Hershey Kisses and Clos de Bois helps.
She also recommends writers develop a thick skin. Writing comes with pain and tears, and you need to stay prepared for that.
I believe that a writer should have masochistic tendencies. See, a writer has to be able to take criticism, whether it’s constructive or hateful. If even the slightest rejection takes you to your knees, you need to grow up. This industry is vicious, brutal, only the strongest can find their footing. How much pain can you actually take? Seriously. You need to ask yourself that.
What Makes the Writer Life Worth It?
The best part of being a writer is you get a little control over your readers. You’re taking them on a journey, and you control what that journey entails.
I will make you see what I see. I will make you hear what I hear. I will make you feel what I feel. There is seductive power in that, one I crave.
What do You Find Most Challenging?
According to the Witch, the most challenging aspect of a writer’s life is getting people to understand it’s a job. Many people don’t respect that this is your priority.
Getting the people in my life to accept that my writing takes precedence over them.
What Advice Would You Give to Aspiring Writers?
the Witch commands you to write if you want to make a career as a writer.
Stop reading this interview and write. Get off social media and write. Make a place in your home for you to drown yourself in your story and f–ing write!
Nothing else matters if you don’t get words on paper (or screen).
We can’t read it if you don’t write it. What are you waiting for? The perfect time or opportunity? Time is a sadistic b–ch and the opportunity only happens to those brave enough to steal it. You. Should. Be. Writing. Rightf—ingnow. No excuses. Just—write!
Which Authors are Your Favorites?
From an early age, the Witch realized she enjoyed the darker side of life. After raiding her mom’s library for forbidden books, she discovered a love for Lawrence Sanders and Jude Deveraux.
My mother had an extensive library, one I was forbidden from entering. I would always sneak in and steal a book. I greedily consumed Lawrence Sanders, Jude Deveraux and Sidney Sheldon like my life depended on it. Books that were way above my understanding or maturity level. But my favorite book of all time is The Seduction of Peter S by Lawrence Sanders, which I first read when I was in the sixth grade. It’s a fascinating book about prostitution, with dark humor and gritty crime. I carried that book around till it fell apart. That and A Knight in Shining Armor, by Jude Deveraux.
What Projects Currently Consume You?
the Witch continues to work away at the rest of her series. River is out their for the world to see, but there are many more books coming.
RIVER is released while FATE, book 2, waits impatiently in the shadows. She has vowed to take RIVER down, but then…there is the third book, whose name I cannot reveal yet for it will be a shock to my readers. She is eyeing both RIVER and FATE, knowing full well her own identity will create a beautiful chaos.
To keep up with what the Witch plans to seduce us with, you can check out her website.
Famous Last Words
the Witch also commands you to work on building your author platform if you want to be an author.
My experience started out terrible. I painfully discovered the important of my ‘author platform’ too late. Something, I had no knowledge of. When I first tried to sell RIVER, my social media presence was tiny. I had no patience for it because I was too busy writing my second book. I had no idea how crucial it was until I started querying agents. If you have no idea what an ‘author platform’ is, then go read my blogs, SWEET SUBMISSION & DOMINATE at RyenLesli.com, where I tell you exactly what it is and what to do.
She recommends Twitter to get your platform started.
Also, if you’re a writer, get your a– on twitter. Not only will you find great friends in the #writingcommunity, there are daily word prompts that help you work on your writing, along with various writing contests where you can actually land an agent.
Most importantly, enjoy the process.
And lastly, enjoy your lonely journey. Revel in every hard-fought, bloody step. You are trying to build something…something that will last long after you leave this earth. Make it count.
Has the Witch set fire to your writing desire? Check out more author interviews to get more motivation.