Read on for a terrific interview with Ryan O’Riordan, author of the new young adult book, Overcast, which is the first in a sprawling six-book series set in modern-day England. After the interview, be sure to enter to win a paperback copy of this terrific book!
What is Overcast about?
The book is about Rebecca Connor, who hasn’t been dealing with the disappearance of her older brother, Ben, very well. She has imagined an alternative world where they’re secretly detectives who solve crimes, all so she doesn’t have to deal with her grief from losing him. One unexplainable night, this world overwrites reality. Rebecca knows that it can’t be real, but now people are expecting her to know how to rescue her brother. She has no idea what to do, so she teams up with Freddie, a boy she knows has something to do with the “overwrites” that are happening.
How did you get the idea for this book?
Kind of a combination of things all came together. I had always wanted to write a series about young detectives, who get around the country and the world without their parents ever finding out. I also like the idea that they would be a group of people who knew of each other but wouldn’t necessarily be friends. I had also become intrigued by how indifferent everyone is to new technology like iPhones, eReaders, hard drives -- things that we remake constantly and make our own, but are fallible and instantly capable of loss as though the data that made them ours was never there. I loved the idea of adapting this to reality, where all you need to change the world was to press different information onto it.
Is this your first book? If not, what else have you written?
This is my first full-length book. I have always been writing, as far back as I remember. I know that’s a cliché, and what most writers say, but I never haven’t thought of myself as a writer. I still don’t think of myself as an author, though. I think you have to sell a lot of books before you’re willing to call yourself that!
I don’t think I ever didn’t write, but it was last March when I started writing for Overcast. I thought it was a risky idea, not what the publishers would traditionally go for. But I thought there would be a big market for it, and that people would get a real kick and semblance out of the story. I would say to anyone who wants to start writing that the hardest part is just to begin. You can come up with as many different plots, characters and ideas as your heart will allow, but until you actually start typing, you don’t know how it’ll fit together.
Why did you decide to write a book in this genre?
I think there’re so many brilliant ideas in young adult novels that get overlooked. It’s a brilliant medium, attracting a broad following, and you often find there are more good ideas for teenagers than there are in adult fiction, which tends to become bogged down in its own pretentious sense of purpose. You know that in young adult, the action’s going to begin, the story is not going to be some metaphoric dream, and you’ll hopefully go on a wild ride with some interesting people. Young adult tends to be something you can talk about and get excited about. My experience with adult fiction is that it’s often more of a psychological journey.
Do you plan a sequel or future books?
I started another series about vampires around the same time. That’s called “The Seasons” and is a quadrilogy, for which I’m currently writing the second book. Overcast is part of a six-book series called “The 01:23 Bardo.” I have a good plan mapped out for the other books. Book 2 is already finished and online, which delves even further into the story. I’m hoping to get Book 3 out early in the summer.
Do you have a website? How can we order this book?
I have a tumblr blog at Ryanoriordan.com. Overcast can be ordered for almost any eBook format -- Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, SmashWords -- and a paperback version, which is beautiful but pricey.
Ryan O’Riordan has generously offered to give a paperback copy of Overcast to one very lucky US or Canadian reader! To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, March 4, 2012.
CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner: daveshir2005!
a Rafflecopter giveaway