1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I’ve been writing little stories since I was little. I then started writing poetry at 15. I wrote and completed my first novel at 17. I’m the type of person that always wants to be writing because if I’m not, then I feel like I’m the noun of the word writer instead of verb. I feel like a fake. I also create my own deadlines because I like to get distracted very easily. I’m twenty-nine, I currently live in Chicago with my boyfriend. I’m the general manager of a bar, and yes, my true love is Jameson.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
I had been writing these depressing. coming-of-age books for five years, and I just wanted to write a good ole fashion bitch book. I love the idea of scandal, backstabbing, and lying. it’s probably why I won biggest gossip in high school.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
I think to not care what people think about you, and not to rely on your mask you show the world too much. I think life truly begins for anyone when they are their true selves. It happened to me when I came out at 23.
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
I think high school is interesting time period. People think it’s the end all be all for them. I look back at high school, I loved my time there, but it wasn’t my ground breaking moment. High School is supposed to be happy memories, not define you as a human.
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
I think Danielle. I think she’s the only one that to me is interesting. I feel like some of the other characters make stupid choices, and I’m like why. Danielle makes mistakes, but she owns them. She’s also a ruthless girl, and I feel like she would be fun to have a conversation with. I think I would ask her if she regretted anything she did in the whole book series.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
I would like to say Instagram, but I feel that’s a lie. I get likes on likes. I don’t think people are ready to read my stuff. I think social media isn’t a great place to get readers, or maybe it’s just me. I feel my sales haven’t changed when I post anything.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
I think you need to be delusional obsessed with your book, but be open to take criticism. I think it’s sad when you’re not passionate about your novel. You have to annoy your friends with it. You need to be willing for criticism because that’s how you grow. That’s how you’re able to make this book you’re in love with better.
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
I just finished another coming-of-age novel. I’ll be editing that soon, but I’ll be actually writing a spinoff series to The High School Queens trilogy. You’re the first person I’ve told. I don’t think my publisher knows yet, either.
About the Author
Zachary Ryan grew up in a black-and-white box in Maryland, before moving to Chicago to start a new life. There, he found that he was accepted for his misfit status—and learned that it’s perfectly normal to spend your twenties feeling lost and confused.
After a disastrous sexual encounter, Ryan stumbled on a group of true friends, or “soul cluster,” that he connected with. Through his writing, he hopes to help other broken souls out there find comfort amid the chaos.