Crafting Darkness and Light – An Interview with M. C. Ryder

M. C. Ryder discusses her journey from hobbyist to author, inspirations behind her books, and how personal experiences influence her storytelling in themes of love, hate, and redemption.

M. C. Ryder’s journey from a passionate writer to a published author is a testament to her dedication and ambition. Her stories, a unique blend of what readers desire and what she seeks in literature, reflect her commitment to crafting narratives that resonate deeply. Ryder’s mission is to push beyond her comfort zone, constantly evolving as she aims to inspire and start meaningful conversations through her work.

Ryder’s writing, characterized by its unpredictability, symbolism, and character depth, often explores themes of light versus dark, revenge, and redemption. Her books, such as The Darkest Side of the Moon and A Darker Demise: A Compilation of Dark Shorts, draw from her own life experiences and the complexities of human emotions. These elements make her characters relatable and her plots engaging.

In this interview, Ryder shares insights into her creative process, the inspirations behind her stories, and how her personal interests, like long trail walks and music, influence her writing. Her latest works, including How to Stand Up to Bullying, reflect her desire to address critical social issues and offer hope and understanding to her readers.

You have been composing stories, poems, and lyrics from a young age. What initially sparked your passion for writing, and how has your creative process evolved over the years?

As a young girl, I loved reading as an escape. When I couldn’t find relatable characters, I decided to craft them myself. Short stories grew in length as I pushed myself with word count and story depth. As I learned more about the craft, I would experiment. I didn’t always finish what I started before moving onto a different story. The type of stories I crave are harder to find. The only way I know how to find stories I want to read are to write them myself with unpredictability, layers of symbolism, character depth, and ones that teach a valuable lesson everyone can learn from.

Your book The Darkest Side of the Moon features a high school protagonist who encounters a mysterious new student. What inspired this storyline, and how do you develop your characters to make them relatable to your readers?

What initially inspired the storyline was a dream I had in which I depicted in the beginning of the story. As an avid reader, ideas helped craft the storyline further in which I was daring to take risks to make the plot a bit unpredictable. Taking my own life experiences and applying them to my protagonist allowed the development of my characters to be relatable to readers.

A Darker Demise: A Compilation of Dark Shorts delves into themes of light versus dark magic, revenge, and redemption. What draws you to these darker themes, and how do you balance them with messages of hope and salvation in your stories?

What draws me to darker themes is things that happen in everyday life. There is always a struggle between love and hate. Hatred is easy. Love is hard because of vulnerability. With that concept in mind, I crafted each short story where each character learns how to let go of hate and find salvation in love. A lesson everyone can learn.

In All I See Are Dark Clouds, you explore a vampire character struggling with guilt and seeking redemption. How do you approach writing about supernatural elements while maintaining emotional depth and realism?

In All I See Are Dark Clouds the main theme was grief. What I managed to craft around my supernatural world was elements of real life in how to move on after tragedy. Many who suffer tragic events don’t know how to find the light at the end of a dark tunnel or they think they don’t deserve happiness. We are not always fortunate to know why certain life changing events happen, but often times it’s essential for our growth.

How to Stand Up to Bullying addresses a critical social issue. What motivated you to write this book, and what key message do you hope readers take away from it about understanding and addressing bullying?

Everyone experiences bullying. What motivated me to sit down and write the book was due to a lot of individuals, family and friends, being bullied around me and feeling powerless. Writing to me is a form of therapy. I originally had no intentions of actually publishing it, but when I reread what I wrote, I felt it was an injustice not to. What I hope readers take away about bullying is everyone wants to be seen, to be heard, and to be loved. Understanding the true nature of bullying is the key in how to overcome this critical social issue

You mention enjoying long trail walks during Autumn and appreciating music with deep lyrical meaning. How do these personal interests and experiences influence your writing, particularly in setting scenes and developing themes?

Going on long trail walks allows me a time out from reality where I can embrace the quiet and strategize plots and scenes. Listening to music also allows me to visualize scenes playing out. There were many times where I would face uncertainty in the direction I was going and take a break. The right words in lyrics had the power to inspire just as taking a walk allowed time to plot away from the computer scree

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