Welcome back to the Colorado is for Writers interview series! Every other Tuesday, I talk to different Colorado-based authors about their work and their connections to this beautiful state. Last time, we kicked things off with Jeannie Mobley, and today I’m thrilled to welcome Amy Kathleen Ryan to the blog!
Amy is the author of several young adult novels, including ZEN AND XANDER UNDONE, VIBES, and the Sky Chasers Trilogy (more on that series in a bit). Her books have received multiple starred reviews and appeared on more than one best-of list. Let’s get to know Amy!
Transplant, from Wyoming via New York City. I grew up in Jackson Hole, just south of Yellowstone National Park, and it was the perfect place to be a kid, but the town started to feel very small to me, and I decided I wanted to see other parts of the country. After college, I lived in Vermont for six years where I went to graduate school for an MA in English Literature, then I went on for an MFA in creative writing in New York City. I met all kinds of different people in New York, and I met my husband there too. He’s a born and bred New Yorker, but I somehow convinced him to come out west with me. I wanted to be near my family again, and Colorado seemed the right mix for us, with the mountains nearby, but lots of technical jobs for him. It’s been a great choice for us.
Please tell us a bit about your book(s), published and/or in progress!
My next book coming out is called FLAME, and it’s the third in my space saga, the Sky Chasers Trilogy. I’m terrible at describing my own books, so here’s the copy my publisher is putting in the catalog:
Waverly and the other members of the Empyrean have been scattered. Their mission to rescue their parents didn’t go quite as planned, and now they’re at an even greater disadvantage: trapped with their enemies on the New Horizon, trying to find a way to survive. Kieran has been pulled under Anne Mather’s wing, but is she actually trying to make peace, or just using Kieran to build her own power? Meanwhile, Waverly is taken in by one of the adults who wants to work with her to bring Anne Mather down—but the more Waverly cooperates with him, the more dangerous her position is, and the more at odds with Kieran she becomes.After setting out from the Empyrean on his own, with only a vague strategy to guide him, Seth is a fugitive aboard the New Horizon. He’s doing what he can to challenge the power of Anne Mather, but is badly hurt, and getting sicker. And all the while, unknown to him, the terrorist Jacob is making plans of his own…
Will Seth ever be able to see Waverly again? Will his health hold out long enough to help her topple their enemy? And will Waverly find a way to unite her friends before they fall? Nothing is sure and every moment is a risk in this explosive finale of the Sky Chasers series.
I wish I had a cover for FLAME to show you, but it hasn’t been finalized yet.
What’s the view like from your favorite writing space?
Since I had children, I can’t work at home. It’s too loud and there’s too much to do! So instead I go to various coffee shops where I’m surrounded by people and noise. Somehow all the chaos around me helps me focus inward, and I can get a lot done in the short amount of time I have. I don’t have a favorite place; rather I enjoy the variety of going to different settings, especially now that I’m moonlighting as a housewife, and I don’t get out much otherwise!
What’s the best thing about being a writer in Colorado?
The other writers in Colorado! I was sad when I left New York City, which has such a vibrant literary community. There were always wonderful readings I could go to, but even better, I had made lots of very talented and wonderful friends in New York, and I thought I’d go back to being an isolated writer again when I moved out west again. I had no idea how many writers there would be in Colorado! I’ve met some absolutely lovely people, and have cultivated some nice friendships with them.
The people here are really great. Thank you so much, Amy! A New York writer transplanting to Colorado and writing in coffee shops–I heartily approve. 🙂
Readers: Have you ever relocated and found yourself to be less isolated in your new community than you expected? Please share your story in the comments!