Interview with Ryder Hunte Clancy, Author of Mystic Invisible

30 Mar 2021

What can you tell us about your new release, Mystic Invisible?

A young adult fantasy set in the Highlands of Scotland, Mystic Invisible is full of magic, adventure, mystery, and a touch of angst. If you like to read about any or all of the following, then this book is for you:

Magical Realism, Coming of Age Tales, Contemporary Legend and Folklore, Allusive and Mysterious Settings, Witty Banter and Endearing Characters, and Scotland, in all its majesty!

I truly hope that my readers have as much fun consuming Mystic Invisible as I did writing it.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I actually never knew I wanted to be an author until just a few years ago. In fact, I pretty much despised writing throughout school and into college but I think that’s because I didn’t like being bound by certain topics or parameters. I recently came across a box of some of my really old school work – we’re talking probably sixth grade – and it was full of little stories starring characters inspired by folktales and Greek mythology. I’ll find little nuggets like that from time to time; stories I’d written throughout childhood and my teenage years, essentially my own tiny versions of fan fiction. So I think there actually was a bit of “author” in me all along, awakened by the heroes and characters I was currently learning or reading about. I think my inspiration was mostly gleaned from those figures and the authors that created them.

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

I feel like my top 5 list changes depending on the stage of life I’m in and what I’m going through at the time. But here are some pretty steady contenders, and they’re all based off of the emotional impact and sense of life-changing permanence they left with me: Ender’s Game, A Tale of Two Cities, The Giver, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Hunger Games.

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

Okay, I’m intimidated even thinking about this because everyone who comes to mind is super, mega big…and smart. I’d really love to get Suzanne Collins’ insights on a few things though, especially since she writes for the same age group that I do. Aside from the usual book and author banter, I’d ask her about her process for addressing the sensitive topics of humanity that are so prominently presented and well-written into her books. I believe there is a fine line there, especially in the young adult genre, when our readers are still fresh and budding but also extremely impressionable and destined for greatness.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love being able to see my work in the hands of eager readers. I climbed such a long, steep slope to get to publication so to be able to finally hand my book over to the world after all of the roadblocks and rejections has been extremely rewarding. It makes all of the sacrifice, sweat, and ugly crying worth it. I’ve also loved creating excitement around the Mystic Invisible world itself through my newsletters, social media, and website. The book is written, but that’s only the beginning. There are always games afoot!

What is a typical day like for you?

I have three small kids and several dogs, need I say more? Haha. I’m kidding… a little. Pre-pandemic, my day often looked like dropping my two older children off at school and then coming home and maintaining my house whilst keeping the toddler out of trouble and seeing to my other responsibilities in the community and within my church organization. I could usually get in an hour or two of writing time during the more quieter moments.

Now, it’s the constant chaos of directing my kids through online distance learning, breaking up fights, feeding everyone, cleaning up, feeding everyone again, dodging piles of laundry, answering book emails, curating and creating content for social media on all of my platforms, Zoom meetings with Calliope, the company I work for, and falling asleep slumped over my laptop late at night when I attempt to write. It’s a crazy phase of life and I’ve certainly learned the value of adaptation.

What scene from Mystic Invisible was your favorite to write?

I can’t say too much for the sake of spoilers, but one of my favorite chapters is towards the end of the book as things are wrapping up and conclusions are being made. It was one of those chapters that I wrote against a tight deadline and it came together surprisingly fast and well. There is a lot of subtle humor mixed in with the tension and discovery. It kind of caught me off guard which is why I think it’s my favorite.

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

I do. In fact, I have several:

#OneRightMove is something I came up with during one of the lowest points in my writing journey. Mystic Invisible had been out on sub for over a year and had even undergone a rewrite, but with no book deal in sight. We had lots of bites, but ultimately no offers. I was getting pretty down on myself and anxiety started to take over, so much so that I started to convince myself that my agent was going to drop me because I was such a failure. I kept thinking, “One wrong move. I’m just one wrong move away from this all going down the drain and losing everything.” It wasn’t until a dear friend and fellow author slapped some sense and perspective into me that my “One wrong move” mentality switched to “One right move.” #OneRightMove is all it takes to go from scraping the bottom, to soaring through the stars. So, keep fighting. Get out there, march onwards. Ask questions, lots of them, because if you don’t ask, the answer is always no. Always remember, “Success is often a matter of hanging on longer, when others have given up.”

Ryder Hunte Clancy is the author of the new book Mystic Invisible

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