Interview with Ryan O’Neil, author of “Plain Old Kirby Carson”

Today, “This Blog Blank” interviews Ryan O’Neil, Indie Publisher, and author of Plain Old Kirby Carson (available for sale now)!

This Blog Blank: So we may as well get the good stuff out first. Tell us about Plain Old Kirby Carson. What was your inspiration for writing the story?

Ryan O’Neil: The first incarnation of Kirby was almost 20 years ago. The inspiration at that time was to tell the story of the loner rebel that no one understood.  The story was your basic “you can’t judge a book by its cover” that was going to teach all of the closed-minded people a lesson. The original title was One Way Eyes. I am SO glad I let that one rest for a couple of decades (LOL). Kirby mellowed with age and is now a fun tale with hopefully a few lessons to be learned.

TBB: When I fall in love with a book, invariably it’s when I can get lost in the descriptions – when it becomes real – sound, image, etc. Other people I know skip the descriptions and go straight to the dialogue. As writers, we are fortunate in being able to get lost in worlds we create. What causes you to get lost when you are writing a book?

RO: I tend to get lost in a good powerful moment. Hopefully there enough of those moments strung together to make the book stand something that I can’t get away from.  I know it’s really good when I’d rather write then eat bacon.

TBB: There are “character” writers and “plot” writers (among other types). Which are you?

RO: I’m a character writer. Believable characters can make a rather unbelievable storyline come to life.

TBB: I hear writers all the time say that they “write for themselves.” Whom do you write for? Why?

RO: In the case of Plain Old Kirby Carson I wrote for my blogging friends. The original draft was a series of blog posts that took off with my blog friends. It was a lot of fun to entertain them with this tale. Outside of Kirby, I definitely write for myself. I love writing horror / thriller stories and I think if it makes me cringe or nervous to be alone then it will surely have that effect on someone else.

TBB: I find some writers plan their work in fine detail, others pretty much wing it. Which group do you fall into?

RO: I always have a basic idea of the story that I want to tell, but I’m generally winging it. I’m a winger.

TBB: Name something you wish you’d written.

RO: I would say The Stand by Steven King. I think he is brilliant when it comes to creating characters and that novel had it all; a great story and amazing characters.

TBB: What do you like most about your writing? What do you want people to take from it?

RO: I hope that they walk away entertained. Life is full of everyday drama and frustration. My goal is to give my readers a break from the everyday and find themselves entertained.

TBB: Let’s pretend I was in a MFA program, about to graduate and embark on a career as a writer. What advice would you give me?

RO: Is it too cliché to simply say “Don’t do it”? Find another career and make writing a hobby. Work hard at the hobby and have fun with it, but don’t count on it to pay the bills.

TBB: I imagine, that like a lot of writers, you’ve been reading most of your life. What changes have you seen in fiction that move you, or anger you?

RO: Had I been asked this question five years ago I would have said Self-Published authors. I hated it and it angered me with the trash that was being put out. Today, it’s self-published authors that I love. It’s fantastic the amount of amazing work that is put out. It’s very exciting!

TBB: What part of writing do you like the most? The least?

RO: I love the process of creating characters and new worlds. The part I dislike the most is when all of the creating is done and the editing begins. The working and reworking begins to drive me crazy.

TBB: Who is your favorite character, and why? (Yours, or someone else’s.)

RO:Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I wanted to be him so badly and create my own world … and be able to eat it all!

TBB: What do you want potential readers to know about your writing?

RO: Simply that it is fun! Whether it is the childhood tale of Kirby Carson or the thrilling horror of The Masters County Chronicles (to be released on 2012) it’s all meant to be entertaining! 

Ryan ONeil was born and raised in Upstate New York, but it was the hustle and bustle of Long Island and the love of a pretty woman that beckoned him to pull up roots and move away from home. When not sitting in traffic he spends the majority of his days as an Information Technology Engineer. His free time is spent with his wife and two extremely energetic children. He is a fanatic baseball fan (GO YANKEES!!!) and has a passion for bacon, barbecued meat, and 80’s glam rock. On random Saturday nights he can be found co-hosting the top rated comedy entertainment talk radio show, Annie & Burl Live!

Growing up as an only child he often had to rely on his wild imagination to entertain himself. It was this imagination that helped him to develop a keen and humorous sense for storytelling. He has written several short stories for assorted blogs and writing forums. It was during one of these blog posts that the inspiration for his first novella, Plain Old Kirby Carson, was born.

You can support Ryan, and read Plain Old Kirby Carson by clicking the book cover:


  1. Ryan O says:

    Thanx Bill! This was a lot of fun! Cheers!

  2. Ryan, my pleasure. Thanks for being the first vict … er, guest.

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