Ryan Woods is more than a talented writer. He is a husband, father, son, friend and a damn good baker. 🙂 He has recently had a his first book published, but he has had some amazing poetry published. The man is a genius with words. I first met Ryan on Facebook a few years ago and became fast friends. Many a times I have been left drooling over his yummy baked cakes / cookies that he has posted about. Every time I see a yummy treat that has been recently baked, I beg Ryan for a cookbook! LOL Maybe some day. Ryan lives in England with his wonderful family and pets.
Born on Halloween night, during the Mother of all thunderstorms, Cinnamon Paige fittingly came into this world with a bang.
Fast forward almost thirteen years, and that quirky, somewhat misunderstood pre-teen, with a taste for horror movies, graphic novels and heavy metal, awaits the arrival of her thirteenth Birthday, never in her wildest dreams realising that she will be sharing her special day with a bunch of zombies; literally.
At Cocoa Loco, the confectionery shop owned and ran by Cinnamon’s parents, business is good, but due to a Voodoo curse, Black Magic and milk chocolate are to collide in a roller coaster ride of events that will see Cinnamon, her parents, their faithful Siberian Husky – Duke, and her friends Robbie and Todd, along with former Scream Queen – Stella Scream, fighting for their very lives.
Luckily, Cinnamon isn’t your average teenager. With a head for remembering information (albeit sometimes useless), and a love of high powered crossbows, a showdown between the living and Un-Dead residents of Summer Meadows is in the offing.
Will the living triumph over the Un-Dead?
Find out, as you read through the pages of Cinnamon’s journal, and come face to face with Un-Death by Chocolate.
Available on KU, KINDLE (3.99) and PAPERBACK (13.99)
From Ryan’s Author page ….
About Ryan Woods
Ryan Woods hails from the North West of England, though his ancestors, and his heart, lie in Ireland. A lover of horror since an early age, in both literary and cinematic forms, he is also known for his dark, unforgiving poetry.
Seeking inspiration for his stories from a variety of sources, including food and folklore, a number of his tales have had a culinary twist, most notably his novel/novella The Journal of Cinnamon Paige, Un-Death by Chocolate and his short stories What’s Your Beef? and Revenge Is A Dish Best Served With Chicken Fried Steak, And Country Gravy.
His poetry can be found in several collections, and his short stories can be found in a number of publications, from anthologies to magazines, including Devolution Z Horror Magazine, which featured his cryptid tale The Highland Thing in their Bigfoot Special Edition in December of 2015, notable for being his first published piece of horror fiction.
He considers himself a purveyor of “less is more” horror, relying on his character driven brand of horror to entertain the reader, rather than resorting to shock tactics, though he is not averse to giving literary birth to tales and characters that may make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, or have you looking over your shoulder; or leaving your bedside light on at night.
With sequels to The Journal Of Cinnamon Paige, Un-Death by Chocolate wandering the corridors of his mind waiting to escape, a collection of his short stories in the pipeline and a collection of his dark, bittersweet poetry also being nurtured, he hopes that the literary candy that he offers is to your liking, and he hopes that you have a sweet tooth.
Enjoy the sugar rush.
Ryan also answered a few questions for the post …..
- Did you grow up reading a lot?
- The short answer is Yes. The longer answer is Yes, with my first introduction to horror being James Herbert’s The Rats. From there I was hooked on horror and soon discovered Stephen King, Dean Koontz and many other authors who would inspire and entertain me. Books to me, like many people, became a form of escape.
- Did you have a favourite book growing up, and do you have a favourite book now?
- Once again James Herbert’s The Rats was an early favourite of mine, followed some years later by Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers (probably an unpopular choice, as not many people seem to like this book). Both of these books would be superseded by Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz, which remains as my favourite horror/speculative fiction book to date.
- Did you always want to be a writer?
- Not at all. Like most kids, when I was young I wanted to be something glamorous and exciting (not that being a writer isn’t both those things), which initially was an astronaut, then I wanted to be a stuntman, followed by wanting to be an actor, but I’m way too shy and introverted to have ever become an actor. Being a writer seemed the natural progression, allowing me to enjoy that same kind of escapism whilst being able to enjoy the relative privacy of hiding behind my laptop.
- What do you think you would be doing if you didn’t start writing?
- I’d probably be stuck in some totally unfulfilling job, with an arsehole of a boss and dreaming of how I could break free from the monotony of the rat race.
- Do you think that there are any topics that are off limits to write about?
- For some writers this is seemingly not the case, for me however I would never write about graphic cruelty to children or animals. To hint at it, in context, is OK but I would never glorify abuse towards children or animals. Nor would I write about rape/sexual abuse in any graphic manner. Extreme horror is just not my cup of tea. I’ve read some, and frankly I wasn’t impressed.
- Who inspires you? Who are some of your influences?
- There’s nobody in particular who I would cite as an inspiration to me (without sounding arrogant), other than any author who is able to weave a story that captivates my imagination. It seems trite to mention the likes of Stephen King or JK Rowling, but their unprecedented success is inspirational. With regards to influences I don’t really have any. I like to think that I write my own kind of stuff without it perhaps being a watered down version of someone else, but the Odd Thomas character created by Dean Koontz probably influenced my desire to write what I like to call less is more, character driven horror.
- What does a day of writing look like for you?
- In all truthfulness there is no such thing as a typical day of writing for me. It’s never been a 9.00 to 5.00 gig. With a wife, two kids, and three dogs to contend with I fit in writing as and when I can, and when inspiration strikes. Ideas present themselves to me all the time, sometimes late at night when I’m led awake in bed, and when this happens I will grab my phone and try and do some development on the idea whilst it is still fresh in my mind. I’m kind of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of guy.
- Do you have a favourite place/time to write?
- The simple answer to that is no, not really. Unlike some authors who have their “office/writing den” you’ll usually find me sat on the couch writing, trying to ignore the various distractions. I don’t want to have to lock myself away in a room to write. I enjoy the company of my family too much, albeit a bit of a distraction. It’s always nice to have someone around to bounce ideas off.
- How do you think the Classics inspire today’s young authors?
- I think that many of the authors writing today are influenced in their own way by the likes of Poe and Lovecraft and Stoker, but the really talented ones are those that can take inspiration from the Classics and give them a modern twist and stamp their own authority on the Classic mythos. Whilst horror has evolved, and in some cases mutated, it is nice to see that many authors still look to the Old Masters for inspiration. They knew how to weave a tale without turning it into an orgiastic debacle.
- If you could live in ANY book for a day…Which book/character? Why?
- We’re once again coming back to Odd Thomas. One of the things that I loved about Odd Thomas was the love story element of it between Oddy and Bronwyn “Stormy” Lewellyn. I would dearly love to be Odd Thomas for that one fateful day in Pico Mundo and be able to save Stormy. If that makes me sound like a romantic sap, so be it.
- Tell us about Cinnamon Paige. How did you come up with her and her story?
- Now you’re talking Tina. My favourite subject to wax lyrical about. As with many of my story ideas I often come up with the title first, and then the idea for the story will develop from there. That was kind of the scenario with Cinnamon Paige and Un-Death by Chocolate. Initially she was to be called Paige Turner (a little literary play on words), but there was already a character in existence by that name, so I decided to drop the Turner, make Paige her surname and gave her the Christian name of Cinnamon (one of my favourite scents). So, that was the protagonists name sorted, next for the story. My favourite horror icon is Zombies. I’m one of those weirdos that would actually welcome a Zombie Apocalypse. So I decided that I wanted to write a story with Zombies at the heart (or brains) of it. But, I also wanted to explain how the Zombies came to be, as some zombie novels didn’t seem to bother going into the background of the outbreak. You may or may not be familiar with the chocolate cake by the name of Death By Chocolate? Well, I figured as Zombies are the Un-Dead lets make it Un-Death by Chocolate. So then I had to put all the ingredients together so to speak, including why people were eating the chocolate from Cocoa Loco (Cinnamon’s mum and dad’s chocolate shop), dying and then coming back from the dead with a bad case of the munchies. A little bit of Voodoo was the final ingredient needed for the brown stuff to hit the fan, and on this occasion I’m not talking about chocolate.
- How long did it take you to write her?
- If I’m being honest with myself it took a lot longer than it should have done, but real life got in the way and The Journal of Cinnamon Paige, Un-Death by Chocolate was side-tracked for some time. I can’t give you an exact timeframe of how long it took me to write, but let’s just say that I’m not the most prolific of writers. I see the daily word counts that some authors churn out and it makes me feel somewhat inferior.
- Any future books with her planned?
- Absolutely. It was always my plan for The Journal of Cinnamon Paige, Un-Death by Chocolate to be the first in a series of misadventures to befall Cinnamon. I currently have ideas for the next two instalments in the series, with the immediate sequel being called The Journal of Cinnamon Paige, and the Death Metal Messiahs,which is about Cinnamon’s run in with a Death Metal band by the name of Cannibal Wedding who are all demons. I am currently working on this. And the follow up to this will be The Journal of Cinnamon Paige, and the Graveyard Ghoul, where Cinnamon discovers that a spate of grave robbings is down to the fact that a Ghoul has taken up residence in the local graveyard.
- Do you Facebook and/or Twitter?
- I have both a Facebook and Twitter account. Though I used to be more active on Twitter, these days Facebook seems to be the social media platform where I spend most time. If you look for @ryanwoodsauthor on either platform that’s where you’ll find me.
- Do you have a dream co-writer?
- I’ve always found the concept of co-writing somewhat strange and alien to me. I’ve always wondered exactly how the two authors go about the joint creative process. That being said, I have been talking to a fellow author recently about collaborating on a joint short story collection, each of us individually creating six short stories with a thirteenth story being co-written between us, so that should prove interesting. With regards to a dream co-writer I’d have to say anyone whose creative thought process is akin to mine and who understands where I’m coming from.
- What advice would you give today’s authors?
- I’m probably not the best qualified to give advice, but I’d say write what you want to write and be true to yourself. Don’t try and write what you think you should write. Write what you love. If you don’t love what you write, how can you expect anybody else to love it? I could have placed The Journal of Cinnamon Paige, Un-Death by Chocolate with a publisher long before I did, but none of them shared my vision of Cinnamon Paige, and I wasn’t willing to change her to fit into who they wanted her to be. She’s my creation. My baby. And I wouldn’t change the way that I wrote her no matter what. I breathed life into her, and in return she breathed life into me.
- On a funny, personal note…When is the cookbook coming out?
- Without finishing this enjoyable interview on a sombre note I’d have to say that’s something I’ll have to come back to at some point in the future. Since my illness, food preparation has made me feel physically sick, so much to her chagrin my wife now does all the cooking. I hope that at some point in the not too distant future I will enjoy the process of cooking and baking again, and perhaps we’ll finally see The Bearded Baker cookbook.
On a final note Tina I would like to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to share a little bit of my writing journey with you. It has been a privilege and a pleasure.
Thank You Ryan for everything !!! My thoughts and prayers and love are with you during this fight that I know you will win!! You have lots of books and stories still in you that need to be told to the World.
Take Care everyone. Take care of each other …….