Interview with Ryan Armstrong, Author of Oleander: Memories Are Deleted in Space

25 Aug 2020

What can you tell us about your new release, Oleander: Memories Are Deleted in Space?

There is interstellar travel that leads to the discovery of aliens. You will find artificial intelligence, corruption, and violence in the novel. Oleander has a strong female lead, Emily. The core of the novel is based in science which is explained to the reader. The central theme is: our loved ones create feelings inside us that never go away, that last forever, even when memory fails us or is stolen from us.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I have loved reading since I was a kid. I’ve always written poetry, and I eventually wanted to write a novel. Oleander is my fifth book. The catalyst for me writing a novel came from being upset about a specific situation and wishing it had turned out differently. I realized in writing books that I get to determine how things turn out.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

1984 by George Orwell
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask

I’d probably ask Cormac McCarthy onto the show. I would ask what he thinks is the greatest threat to human existence in the next fifty years.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Holding a finished paperback in my hand. I also love it when I hear from readers through reviews or emails.

What is a typical day like for you?

Lately? Write. And I help with the kids while caring for my wife, who is ill. She always comes first.

What scene from Oleander: Memories Are Deleted in Space was your favorite to write?

The epilogue, last scene. It’s short, but it captures the central theme of what the novel is trying to express.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

I’m a Christian, but I write gritty fiction. Life isn’t clean, neither are my books. As a Christian, I try to be sacrificial and put others first. When I succeed at doing this, I find I’m happier. I often fall short.

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