Interview with Novelist Paul W. Ryan (Rage, Moonstruck)

Paul W. Ryan started writing at the age of seven when life was simpler and his stories really didn’t have to make much sense.  As a young person, Paul read anything he could get his hands on, from cereal boxes and sweet wrappers, to the Encyclopedia Britannica and the business section of the local newspaper just to get his reading fix—the kind of kid who would steal issues of ‘Playboy’ and proofread the articles for inconsistencies. If you are interested in reading more of his work, you can find his full catalogue in the books section of his website

monstersHis novels can be found on at and also at

Interview with Paul W. Ryan:

Matthew Toffolo: What is the general theme and tone of your novels?

Paul W. Ryan: I tend to write across a few different genres, ranging from Science Fantasy, Dark Thriller, and Satirical Urban Fantasy. My tone varies slightly from novel to novel, but overall I like to keeps a little darker. I like to create a varied host full of interesting characters rising up against seemingly insurmountable challenges. With Moonstruck, the underlying theme becomes a sort of existential crisis for both warring races who soon question are they merely the pawns for two bitter, jealous gods.

In Moonstruck, expect high-stakes action, conflict around every corner, futuristic sci-fi warfare, and a galaxy-sprawling rivalry from the dawn of time, which will continue on this world and the next.

MT: Why should people buy your novels?

PWR: I like to keep my novels full of fast-paced action, high-stakes conflict, varied characters, and a gritty tale where there is no way of knowing which characters are safe. Expect to see the best elements of fantasy and science-fiction merged into one with a hint of space opera thrown in for good measure.

MT: How would you describe your novels in just two words?

PWR: Science Fantasy. 

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

PWR: Star Wars. The original three, of course. Empire Strikes Back used to play every Christmas here for some odd reason!

MT: Was being a novel writer something you’ve always dreamed of doing?

PWR: Honestly, no! I wasn’t born with a quill in one hand, and page in the other, but I did grow to love the art form. After dabbling in it as a hobby for over ten years, I decided it was time to begin releasing my work.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel? Have you read a novel more than once?

PWR: Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. That or the early Horus Heresy series novels.

MT: What motivates you to write?

PWR: The motivation comes from just being excited about things in the world or that go on in imagination and my wanting to capture these thoughts and put them onto the page. I honestly spend far too much time daydreaming and letting my imagination run wild. Once I start hearing my characters’ voices in my head, I just have to get their words onto the page.

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

PWR: Hunter S. Thompson or Kurt Vonnegut. I can only imagine the crazy stories both of them would tell.

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

PWR: Music and travel. When I was younger, I wanted to be a rock star. Now I’ve traded the guitar in for writing and now spend my days shredding first drafts, sweeping away piles of unfinished manuscripts, and banging my head on the keyboard fruitlessly instead.

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

PWR: Don’t sit around waiting to begin your novel ‘when you have the time’. Set aside even 20-30 mins a day where you can write 250 words. There’s always time to write. Do it first thing in the morning. Write while you are sitting in traffic. Write on your iPhone while you’re waiting outside the cinema for your friends.

Forget the romantic notions of ‘waiting for your Muse’ to do the hard work for you. Little by little. Write 250 words a day, and that’s over 90,000 words by the end of the year.

Look at the project in small chunks. That, and remember, your first draft is always going to suck so edit, edit, edit!


Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.


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