Episode 12 – Riley Tune – Paragon and Warper

Overview

Riley has written several books in two different genres – fantasy and superhero. He has spent a couple years working on improving sales and determining the direction he wants his writing to go, especially now that he has a son.

Book

Check out his books:

Favorites

He likes Marvel and Spider-man movies. Iron Man and Blade are some favorites also.

He likes Brandon Sanderson’s, Neil Gaiman, and Patrick Rothfuss fantasy. He recomends Artemis Fowl.

To top it off – he has had a book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble.

Website

If you want to find out more – check out his you tube – www.youtube.com/onewordatatime

His website is rileytune.com.

YouTube

Transcript

Stephen 0:47
Today, I talked with Riley toon, who has written in the fantasy and superhero genres. While he is looking at his next book and where to go with this series. He has a lot of insight into what it’s like to write for two different genres and writing his first books and getting them out there while still having a full time job. If you’ve been enjoying listening to all of these authors each week and learning about some new books, please take a moment to give a review for the podcast to Help others discover it and help these authors find their audience. And now here’s Riley. Okay, well, then let’s write. Let’s just get started. Riley, thank you very much. I appreciate you taking some time today for this. As we’re recording it, it’s the fourth of July. So here in the States, it’s a holiday and both of us are still working. So tell me before we talk about your book and your writing. Tell me a little bit about yourself, who you are, where you’re from your background, whatever you care to share.

Riley 1:50
Yeah, I live in North Carolina now. But originally, I’m from a very, very small town in Virginia. To give a little bit of context to it. My hometown as of 2018. I haven’t checked recently, but as of 2018, had less than 250 people in the town. So it was Wow. Yeah, very, very small. So when I moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, it was like coming to LA for me, it was um, you know, really, really, really big change. And I like it this far. Man, I’m more of a homebody. So writing is right up my alley and makes it very easy for me. But you know, outside of that, I have a little hobby, some big big video gamer. weightlifter, who before you know COVID happen. This used to workout pretty frequently. Pizza afficionado like there’s almost no type of pizza that I will not say no to.

Stephen 2:50
So it’s really a big pizza community.

Riley 2:53
Not not traditionally, but there are a lot of places that you can you can stumble across. Like if I’m driving and I’m looking for like one place. Oh, and I stumbled across a restaurant that serves pizza. I have an eight I’ll make a mental note to try that before I leave or at least get something to take home. Terrible, terrible, terrible.

Stephen 3:12
We had a friend that they came across a list of voted the best pizza place in every county in Ohio. Wilde’s goal was to visit all of them. That is a man I would like to hang out with. That is a good adventure to go on. So you mentioned video games? What video games do you like?

Riley 3:32
Once upon a time, I used to be a real big MMO RPG character of video game player back in what early 2000s maybe I should play a game called city of heroes.

Stephen 3:47
And played that with friends

Riley 3:48
nice nice. I played city heroes and city of villains for quite a while man I know about five years of my life was dedicated to that video game and I you know, I was there all the way up until they they pulled the plug on the game. But just context I’ve been a big superhero fan for for years before way before it was cool. So um, after after I got off of the MMO RPG fix I realized man you’re wasting it was I was spending a lot of money. I was spending real life money just so I could get the fake money to buy the fake items in game so I switched over to like, you know, PlayStation, Xbox and and I played both religiously now it helps me kind of kind of get a break from the normal lockdown life. I play almost anything except for first person shooters. Yeah, the only first person shooter I’ve ever been like somewhat good at is a game called Borderlands I was pretty good at that.

Stephen 4:47
I said but I loved that game.

Riley 4:49
fantastic game and it’s funny. It’s funny, really colorful, but like those war games and Call of Duty style stuff. as popular as they are. I wish I could play them but I just always end up in a corner. I’m getting really confused because I can see nothing but my hands

Stephen 5:04
are camping out, but not on purpose,

Riley 5:06
right? A friend of mine is like, Dude, this is just like real life. All you see is your hands around. I was like, I know. But it’s not that easy for me to correlate the two. So I ended up now that I don’t do it.

Stephen 5:17
Well, I understand I like some games, I don’t play as much anymore. I don’t really care for the modern FPS, run gun shoe. And, you know, that’s basically it’s just a constant deathmatch. And I say that, as I played Doom one night came out on a little laptop. So, I mean, I was, I can proudly say, was there at the very beginnings of FPS FPS history, I guess you could say, Yeah. You’re right. Um, so I assume you liked city heroes, you said you always like superheroes, that that helped lead you into some of your writing, because I noticed you had to series. Tell us a little bit about what led you into writing? And then I want to ask a bit about the series.

Riley 6:07
Yeah, sure. So believe it or not, I kind of stumbled into wanting to know, by accident. So when I was in about 2000 2004 2005, I wanted to be an actor, which freaked my parents out, because as I said, we’re from a small place in Virginia. And for some reason, I thought, you know what, I’m just gonna move to LA and try to start acting. Parents hated the idea. And I was determined to do it anyway. And my mom told me, he’s like, hey, do you even know anything about acting, and I was like, No, outside of like, you know, the, the the money profits, that’s gonna come on the backend once I make it big, because that’s what they all do. I knew nothing. So I got this book. And I started it was like a self help book for, for people who want to be actors. And one of the sections in the book covered how to read a script. And I just found it very confusing. And I decided to help me understand how to read a script a little better, that I would try to write my own script. And once I wrote my own script, I remember I wrote a show called no show a script called to be a hitman, which was, it was the typical apprentice plot. And it was like this retiring Hitman and he had to train the new guy who everyone really liked. And he personally hated the zoo. And, and as I was writing this, the script that ended up just doing nothing with I fell in love for the for the, for the, for the feeling of writing, it made me feel very God, like, I was controlling this little world, I created it. And I didn’t want to give that up. So I scrapped writing and immediately purchased a young adult novels for dummies book. And, and that’s how it started. And it’s slowly slowly grew from there, I wrote, I wrote quite a few books that were just utter trash before I even tried to publish my first novel.

Stephen 8:09
So do you think that some of your books, you might go back and revisit screenwriting?

Riley 8:19
I’ve played around with it, I would like to, but I think it all depends on demand, especially where I’m at right now with, uh, with writing we’ll talk about a little bit later. But in my first few books were self published. And I did okay with those. And I have some stats and things like that. But now that I’m actively looking for representation for the next book, I finished, I think the, the screen options may come later on down the road. But the cool thing about it though, now we’re in an age where technology is at, at a place where you can do all this stuff on your own, like you can go and rent like camera equipment, and you have a couple of buddies and you can do a lot of special effects. So you don’t really have to have the big names behind it. So it’s, it’s out there if I want to, but it depends on how the schedule goes.

Stephen 9:06
Okay, well, that leads me to a few questions. Let me ask you this first. So I noticed like I said, You’ve got a fantasy series and a superhero series, I stumbled a dinner, I stumbled across the superhero one, which I thought looked really interesting. Now that you’ve been doing this for a while, you may have heard or been told, many of the times people say, Hey, if you’re going to write superheroes, stick with it, just write superhero. Or if you’re going to write fantasy, just write fantasy. And if you’re gonna start a series, write the series, get it out, finish it before moving on, but you kind of have not followed that. Do you feel you did that? Because that’s what you really wanted to do, or you just felt it had to be done or do you feel maybe you should have done it differently? or What was your thinking on that? Or was it just Hey, this is what I feel like.

Riley 9:59
If I could go back, I would, I would think I would do everything 100% the same. But the only thing I would change, I guess I wouldn’t do 100% the same is that my very first series, I would finish it, I would finish that first. So a little backstory. When I first started writing, I wrote this super cool story. This is when I first started writing, like with ambitions to publish, and not just like playing around, I wrote this simple hero story, called the Imperial lords. And I wrote it relatively quickly. One of my close close buddies at the time, we’re still friends. Now I gave him the book to be a beta reader. And every time I would follow up with him on how to like how he liked it, he would never respond to my text when asked for my calls. And when I finally like, cornered him in real life, I was like, do what the what the heck you’re saying is like you’re ducking my calls, like, you owe me money or something. Did you read the book? Turns out, he read the book and hated it, like he just really didn’t like. And so at that point, I was like, okay, cool, I’ll scrap the book, I scrapped that book, went back, I did a little bit more self help stuff, took some writing classes. And by writing classes, I mean, I looked at lectures on YouTube. And it’s, technology makes everything so easy, man. So, um, I scrapped that. And then I, you know, developed a little bit more at the craft. And at one point, I was in Barnes and Noble, and I was looking for a book to read. And I wanted something where the people in there could teleport, and the books that I did find I didn’t really like. And that kind of prompt me to write my first series, which was called Warper, which is just it’s a story about teleporting assassins. And I thought I was like, You know what, this is cool. But then also thought to myself, you know, if they’re assassins and they can teleport, their job is like freakishly easy. You get in, you get out and you leave. And so I was trying to think of a way to make this really hard for them. And I came up with the idea of what if these teleporting assassins are hired to kill an immortal, and that’s how that story kind of it kind of unfolded that way. And that book did, okay. But at that same time, I still had this idea for superhero story in the back of my head. And after I got a little bit more comfortable with, you know, getting reviews and learning what people like and just my writing style in general, I went back to that very first story that I scrapped, took a lot of ideas from it and put in some new ones. And then that story eventually became Paragon, which is my superior series. And that, that that very first book in the superior series has my husband my best selling book today. And it’s loosely based off for the first one that my buddy just said, was horrible trash. So the downside is that I’m a big fan of writing what I feel, and writing what I have fun with. And so sometimes that does get in the way of what the people want. As you grow a little bit in the industry, what for me anyway, when people liked the book, it’s great. But then they also assume you just have tons of time to write, and I have a day job. So I wrote Paragon. And then when I finally wrote the second book to Paragon, within a week, there were people leaving reviews, which I appreciate. But the reviews were like, you know, man, I can’t wait for the third book, hope you’re writing the third book. And I was like, man, I just got finished with this one, like, I have no idea where I want the third book to even go yet. So sometimes you do have to walk the line between walking I mean, writing what’s, what’s financially better for you and what the fans wants versus following that gut instinct and just want to write what you’d like to write. And because I like to do a little bit of both the very first book series, I have no idea when the third book in the trilogy is going to be done. Or when I’m going to even start writing it. It’s one more book left. But because I enjoy writing the superhero series so much, and I have this new project I’m working on, and the superhero series has given me steady income as a side business, I just haven’t had a chance to go back to that world yet from the first series, that will be the only thing I would change long story short, I would finish it up, knock it out the way.

Stephen 14:06
Okay. And that I love that because I think a lot of people are in the same situation. And they feel like, Ah, you know, I’ve got to do this, or I wish I could do this. And it’s sometimes you have to just take your life as you have it right and do the best you can. Um, you did mention that you were hoping to pursue some traditional publishing as opposed to stay independent. Are you going to just go that route? If you can, or are you going to do hybrid? Or what’s your thinking there? And why are you looking to switch that a bit?

Riley 14:41
I would like to do hybrid. So I say that because the first the first issue I have with being strictly traditional is I don’t the the publishing world is kind of funky. And sometimes if you get an agent, they may not want to revisit that previous series because you know, they don’t have the rights to that and there’s still high level stuff of Amazon, and a lot of paperwork and blah, blah, blah. But despite that, this superhero series I’ve created, I have a lot of ideas for the for that story how I want it to unfold. So I’m the third book in this series, I’ve already plotted it out, I just have to write it. But I have ideas for prequels and spin offs, because of this universe has been slowly evolving into this, this thing that I didn’t even expect to happen. And a lot of times you interact with readers who may leave your review, and they may love the actual story, but then they’re curious about what happened in this character, what are they doing, and slowly, but surely, you start to get ideas. So even if I did Lana traditionally, let traditional agent, I would still have to do the indie thing, specifically for the superhero series, and does still give me the freedom to do what I want, once you sign a contract, traditionally, I guess, and, and you get an agent, and you have to answer to like these publishing houses and so forth. A lot of the creative freedom, you get kind of kind of ventures off, you kind of have to do what standard and makes people money. And a lot of extra hands get put in the cookie jar, so to speak. So I would I would do a mix of both. But the traditional Avenue is, it’s merely just because I would have to do a little bit less of the footwork. So when you’re indie, and you probably know this, too, you have to do the writing, you have to have a whole little team under your belt someone to do the cover work unless you do it yourself, someone to do the editing unless you do it yourself. Formatting once again, unless you do it yourself, marketing, audio book stuff, working with Amazon on the back end, like there’s a lot of actual footwork on the backend outside of the writing. Hopefully, if you get an agent, a lot of that stuff is taken off your plate. Now some stuff you do still have to do like you still have to mark a little bit until you get a big name and things like that. But it does take a little bit off your plate and give you a little bit more room just to write and enjoy the process.

Stephen 16:58
Got it? Okay. So we’ve kind of talked about publishing and your writing and mentioned the book a little bit. Let’s maybe even backtrack a bit. Tell us about the books what what they’re each about, because you’ve got two different series. Tell us what they’re the storylines are a little bit get, so people would know.

Riley 17:17
Yeah, so I have been I’ve always been a fan of the anti hero. I don’t know why. But I’ve always been a fan of the guy who kind of he does the right thing, but he takes a weird path to get there. And I never realized that about myself until I started watching those ridic movies from Vin Diesel. Oh, yeah, yeah. Vin Diesel’s the same guy and every movie but I don’t know why but those those Riddick movies, I was like, Man, this is like this guy is cool. Like he’s clearly met the good guy, but he’s doing the right thing. And I feel like that gave him a little bit more of an edge. So that’s kind of like what I like to write about. So and in Warper, the first book I wrote, I mentioned, teleporting assassins that were hired to kill him immortal Memorial. And the The story takes place from the center character who is the apprentice. So the actual contract in the book is not actually even he is he’s still learning. The contract but learns belongs to his his teacher, who is a very well known figure. That’s, the people assume he’s in assessment, no one’s actually like, seen him or caught him. And he’s teaching, teaching the main character like, you know, hey, this is what you do. And this is the process for, you know, killing and things like that. And then he’s going out to do recon. Something happens to him, he never comes back. But now this plot is already afoot, things are put into motion. And now suddenly, this apprentice who was just learning how to really teleport well, and to get over that hump, he’s suddenly the main person in this big plan to kill this mortal. And the only problem is that while he is cool with the teleporting part, he has an issue of killing, he’s not comfortable with it doesn’t like the sight of blood, the whole thing. But you know, when the story starts, he’s not even supposed to be in this role. So we see how everything unfolds as he learns to come to grips with the thing that he’s literally born to do. And it’s not a profession he just fell in, but it’s something he has to do. And as the story continues to unfold, they find out everything isn’t what it seems, and as a lot of lies and treachery and you know, the whole thing that spans throughout the book. And I really enjoyed the process writing it, I just enjoy this world more for the superhero series I have. And in the superhero series, once again, it’s a person who’s a little bit of an anti hero. I always like the classic style comics, like you know, the tights and the and the capes in the in the kooky names and things like that, because that’s what I grew up on. And everyone was clearly a hero or villain so and the world that I created almost Everyone does either or, you either you’re a hero or your villain. And usually people just do what their family did. And they all go to the schools to learn. But I was trying to avoid the whole, you know, Harry Potter ish x men if you know, kids in the high school thing. So my story kind of picks up when they’re finishing school, and they’re going on their internships, and after their internships, they kind of decide if they want to be a hero or villain. But the main character in this book, he is a, he’s kind of a halfbreed. So his mom was a hero, his dad was a villain. They ended up at odds with each other, and they kind of fell for each other. And the result was our main character in the story. Now, because of his origins, most people don’t like him. They call them things like halfbreed, and spawn and abomination. But he is unusually powerful, I thought it’d be cool to make an Opie character, and then try to find a conflict that he can solve just by being the baddest guy in the room. And so he’s constantly trying to prove to one side that he’s not a hero, and the other side that he’s not a villain. Neither side really wants him, but neither side really wants the other side to have him. And so he goes on his internship anyway. And as he’s going through his internships, for some reason, this serial killer emerges, who was killing other people with powers, and he is suddenly found himself in a position that, you know, maybe the only person that can stand up to this guy who’s taking everyone down, is the hero the nobody wants and the villain that everyone assumes he is. And that story kind of just turned on its own and became really successful. And to this day, I don’t even know why. I didn’t expect it to take off as it did. And then just almost overnight, I realized I sold a lot of like books and audio books, and then suddenly, I was like, wait a minute, I’ve got to pay more people than I thought I would and things like that, because I do. I do audio book. And the way that you have to pay for audiobook, you can either pay up front or you can split the royalties. And I usually pay upfront, but this time I say, you know what, let’s split the royalties, because I didn’t expect to get that many royalties. And yeah, I ended up paying my audio guy way more than I would have I just paid it for. Well, that’s a good problem. It is until you run the numbers.

Yeah, it was it was it was quite a bit. several, several 1000 more than what he would have been what he would have made.

Stephen 22:30
That’s good, though. Because I know there’s a large uptick in audio. And I know there’s demand for good audio book. Actor voice actors. Yeah. So you know V, like doing it and made the money then you got somebody that will probably come back.

Riley 22:49
Yeah, that’s true. And especially right now with COVID. Man, people can’t really travel and stuff. The audio book game is booming right now.

Stephen 22:56
Yeah. And that’s another thing Joanna pen talks a lot about. So you know, check some of her stuff out, you’ll probably find a lot you like in there. Nice. So the other series, the fantasy one? Oh, what’s that about? A little bit? That’s the one with the teleporters. So it’s only two. Okay, okay, I’m sorry. Okay. So you’ve got these two series, you’ve got your books? What plans do you have for the next book? Are you looking for a third for each of them? Or are you looking at something completely different.

Riley 23:29
So as of right now, I want to do something different. But also, I’m definitely doing the third for the superhero series, which is just my I call them my icon series, because that’s what the, the people inside of the books, their superpower, they’re called icons. And people have no powers are called voice, but it’s kind of like a slur. So you don’t want to say it to people in public. So um, the point is that I actually outline the complete third look for the icon series, which hopefully should be done maybe mid next year. Because Because I have no social life, really. And that was before COVID, I can actually write a book really quickly after I outline, and I can probably knock out a good 100,000 words, and maybe about a month and a half. So it doesn’t take long for me to write it. It’s just like the editing process. That’s where, when the red ink comes out, that’s when it gets kind of funky. So I have the third book outline for that, I just need to start writing that one. The book that I am currently working on is the one I want to shop to an agent. I’m actually going to write that one first. Because, you know, if I’m being honest with myself, it takes time to get an agent. So the time that I’m sending out query letters to agents and waiting for responses back, I could easily be writing that third book in the icon series. So my like, that’s a good plan. Yeah. And that’s also going to keep the money rolling in. So as I’m getting rejected from from agent after agent, I can still be making money off of the icons In regards to that first one with the teleporters going, I have no idea when I’m going to write that one. It makes me feel bad to a certain degree, I just don’t have, I don’t have the time for it. And I just don’t, I don’t want to go back to that world here because I enjoy what I’m doing. Which is, which is sad for the people who who may be looking for it, but it’s, I gotta write what I feel, man. Otherwise, if I force it, I’m just not going to enjoy it.

Stephen 25:27
And that’s, you know, lesson for everybody. I know, there’s a group of people think that think out there, you know, what’s the big hot thing, let me write it. And I’ve also heard a lot of people feeling burnt out. can’t even get up the energy to write. You know, a lot of times it’s because the writing something they really don’t care about that rarely not passionate about,

Riley 25:49
and I think that’s gonna, that’s the only hiccup that I would see in the traditional space. Now, I haven’t done a tremendous amount of research, but historically, you can see it like when, when Harry Potter was really big. Almost everybody who had a laptop was trying to write something about witches and wizards and things like that. When Twilight was really big vampire books were just popping out of thin air. Even 50 Shades of Grey, everyone was getting into that to that genre of writing. So um, you know, they want you to write what’s what’s big in the industry right now. And luckily for me, superheroes are really big. Thanks, Marvel. I appreciate the movies, right? Because people get teased for this stuff way back when I saw that first Ghost Rider movie, it was horrible compared to what they’re doing now. So, like, superheroes are big now. So that’s why I’ve gotten lucky. But you know, I kind of have to strike while the iron is hot. But that’s that’s the thing that I do worry about if I do some reason Landon agent is be having to write something that I really don’t have a passion for. And that’s when things go into a head.

Stephen 26:54
Right? So So what are your favorite Marvel or DC or any superhero movies? I’m,

Riley 27:04
I’m torn. Because I grew up liking DC. I grew up, you know, Superman, Batman flash, the people that were easy access, because I wasn’t I was in the small town of Virginia. I didn’t have that many options. But as I’ve gotten older, I really, really like Marvel. I like Marvel, because they’re like their heroes, but they got like real life problems, like Spider Man can save the world or help save the world. But he has a hard time paying that rent, stuff like that. You know, Iron Man, filthy, rich, fancy, fancy suits, horrible drinking problem, and he’s a dick, you know, stuff like that. So I really really liked the Marvel movies, the ones on Marvel characters, but the ones I have actually really liked. I’ve always enjoyed the Marvel Spider Man movies. I’ve really liked the Tobey Maguire, the first one and the second one got kind of weird near the end. You know, that scene where he’s walking down the street dance into the music and he’s got the same yet no. Yeah, that was that was a telltale sign that it was horrible for me. So I really liked the Spider Man movies. I’m not a huge Spider Man fan. But Tobey Maguire movie did it for me really like that. And I really like the new Spider Man movies. The ones in the middle. I kinda, I really didn’t do didn’t like that. I really, really enjoy the Incredible Hulk but hate the movies. Yeah, I really wish they could make a whole movie but contract stuff. They can’t do that one. Believe it or not, I am not a huge fan of the Ant Man movies. Not a fan of the first truth or movies. The first Iron Man movie I will say is probably it’s probably gonna be my favorite because it’s the one that kind of broke us into it. And then blade, believe it or not, I feel like those blade movies still hold up pretty well. The first blade coming back he is. I kind of I have mixed feelings about that though. Because, you know, Wesley Snipes, at one point was in conversations to play blade because he’s, he’s old, but you know, he’s relatively healthy and he can still like you know, do the fighting and stuff like that. And Marvel was in conversations with him just because of the fan following. But then um, the story I read anyway mahershala Ali called up Marvel, because you know, he is who he is. You can just call those people up I guess so got his agent to write and they said Hey, man, he wants to get in this Marvel movies that he’s heard you’re doing blade and next thing you know he’s blade. So um,

Stephen 29:35
I heard that there’s a possibility Wesley Snipes might still be like the mentor character might still be in it or I saw that

Riley 29:44
and I’m hoping I’m hoping that they do find a role for him as just like a nod to the to the original fans.

Stephen 29:52
Yeah, if nothing else, heck even put you know have them in suspended animation or you know like show it for some future t All

Riley 30:00
right, I would like that. I would like to see them remake Ghost Rider because I think that it was cool for the time the first one anyway, but then it got kind of funky. I know they did it for the TV show and enjoyed them on the TV show Agents of SHIELD.

Stephen 30:15
So a modern version of Ghost Rider

Riley 30:18
Yep, I really enjoyed that character um, Marvel has they’ve earned a lot of my time and dollars even the movies that I really didn’t like I show up to anyway just so I can so I can keep everything going like I didn’t like any of the Guardians of the Galaxy, but I’ve seen them all it’s

Stephen 30:33
yeah a family where we like those I like the light hearted humor and comedy if you took

Riley 30:39
out we have this argument in my house if you take out group and I’m a wise isn’t a rocket if you take them out the movies it’s not as fun for me. Right? Yeah,

Stephen 30:51
well group is Vin Diesel. So you know, a lot about him. We know

Riley 30:55
like him, cuz it’s the same voice. Yeah, the the Inhumans TV show that Marvel messes up to? No one’s above it.

Stephen 31:10
So besides movies, I’m growing up now. What are your favorite like books? And what are your favorite authors? What’s inspired you for your writing?

Riley 31:19
Yeah, I have a unique blend for them. One of the writers, right? Yeah, it is because it helps you get a little bit of a feel for everything. Brandon Sanderson is a big a big fantasy guy that I really enjoy. I use I like his high fantasy a little bit more than like his urban fantasy. But he’s a cool guy. And also he is the the person who taught the lectures and I’ve watched on YouTube.

Stephen 31:44
Oh, yeah, those are good.

Riley 31:46
They are fantastic, man. And um, I think it’s cool to they’re putting out there for like free. The whole the whole course. So I really enjoyed those. Anything almost anything Brandon Sanderson does. I am a big fan of Neil Gaiman Believe it or not,

Stephen 32:03
I only I love Neil Gaiman.

Riley 32:04
He has such a unique twist on things that it’s like, I can only imagine what the brain what the brainstorming is like in his head, because a lot of the ideas that the stuff that he writes, if I had to think about it myself as a man, that’s not going to be a good story. But then he writes it and it comes out fantastic. One of the first books I read from Neil Gaiman, it was the graveyard book. Have you read that? or heard of that?

Stephen 32:28
Yes. With the little kid. Yeah. And all the ghosts.

Riley 32:32
Yeah, it’s from what I understand the way he described it is it’s The Jungle Book, but in a grave, and it was, it seems like man, that’s not going to work. But it’s a fantastic book and not overly creepy because I read that when I was young. But those books are great. I like him. I like Pierce Brown. He, he wrote the red rising series. One book that I’ve been trying to get into, and I just, it was a real slow burn for me. So I kind of just stopped was the Patrick Rothfuss book. Was that the Name of the Wind?

Stephen 33:06
The wind? Yes, that’s actually one of my absolute favorites. I thought it was slow. Also, that’s why everyone keeps telling me just the time Riley Well, I it’s weird. I I almost put it down. I persevered. And then, like clicked and I started just devouring it. Actually, the same thing happened to me with American Gods. I had Oh, yes, very good one. I never saw that TV show, though. I’ve watched part of it. It’s pretty good. I just don’t watch a whole lot of TV anymore. It seems sorry.

Riley 33:41
No, no smart avoided if you came in because the news was

Stephen 33:45
very spiritual. I think it’s more just a matter of limited time and things I’d rather prioritize. So yeah, that makes sense off. But in my What? Yes, the book was amazing. So there you go. People should read all those. I might

Riley 34:00
I might have to go. But I’ll revisit name and the wind down because another thing that was bothering me with that one, too, when I realized it was a slow burn, I kind of looked into I was like, you know how many? I know it’s a series of sorts, how many are out there that I’m going to have to took my fancy because reviews can only be but so wrong. And like he had a ton of reviews. But the time frame in between those two, it’s well, it’s so broad.

Stephen 34:24
Wait, the third one everyone keeps telling him to write and he hasn’t seen

Riley 34:32
and I don’t want to fall in love and and wait a decade for the next. But it’s in my audio book collection because I actually don’t do a lot of reading, mainly for the same reasons that you don’t do a lot of TV I got a lot of stuff going on. And it’s easier for me to you know, listen to an audiobook during my commute or when I’m working out or if I’m cleaning the house, things like that. Trying to parent you know, all that fun stuff because I have a two year old so he’s kind of just along Going around. Yeah, no, terrible, I’m fine. I remember that. He’s just just bopping around. So it’s easier for me to listen to him to audiobooks. And I used to have a ton of them because back in the day, and my back in the day, I mean a couple years ago, or any of your books on audio.

Stephen 35:16
I do listen to some audio books. There’s a couple I go back to quite often. One is odd Thomas by doing Dean Koontz. Okay. I’ve never actually read the book I read, I got a copy of the audio book and the guy reading it, the voice is great. So I ended up going out and getting the whole series. I love those TV shows, or a movie a film. There was a movie with Anton. Yes, Jen or whatever his name was a guy that played checkoff in the new Star Wars or Star Trek movies. The one that got crushed by the Toyota and died, unfortunately, yeah, the movie had some issues that it was almost not brought into the states and it’s okay. It’s not too awfully bad. It could have been worse. But the book is amazing.

Riley 36:08
And then that’s how it always happens. Um, so many books that you just really like and enjoy them and make them move in and like horrible. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the the Artemis file. Artemis Fowl series by Anne Cofer

Stephen 36:21
is in fact, we’ve got three of them sitting right here two of which are audio books, and we watched the movie The other night. Oh,

Riley 36:30
God, so like, I loved the series. Well listen to the whole thing. quite frequently I kind of branched off because now he has books out with his other relatives arms. I don’t want to ruin the book for you. I mean, ruin the rest of the series. But he has he has not what other foul relatives that are that are doing things. So um, when I saw that they were making a movie I was like, Oh, this is gonna be awesome because it’s a fantastic the very first book was really cool because I liked it because most of the book takes place just in the house. And, and and fantasy it’s kind of hard to see stuff like that. There’s another book has a similar thing. The whole story takes place on a wall. I just really huge long wall where people live on now. But for the Artemis Fowl when I finally saw the trailer, I was like, wait a minute, that’s, that’s not what happens in the book. But I know, usually movies kind of branch away from from the book. So I gave it a little bit of a little bit of leeway. And it came on Disney plus it was free. I got about 15 minutes and I was like, You know what, I can’t do it. I kept finding so many things that they just said, you know what we’re doing what we want to do. Take our money writer and enjoy it.

Stephen 37:40
The books look good. And they’ve like I said, we’ve got three of them here on our shelf ready to read. I didn’t really care for the movie. I was disappointed because the trailer looked good. Right now. My 12 year old stepson loved it and thought it was a great movie. But we have a hard time getting him to actually read. Most of the time. The best we can do is like trade paperbacks for comics.

Riley 38:02
Gotcha. Now the books are fantastic, man, if you want a nice funny to read really good characters, too.

Stephen 38:09
That’s often mentioned my wife definitely wanted to read those. She she discovered some new Scottish Highlander type stories and read one book in like two days and has been reading the second one this weekend. So

Riley 38:27
nice. No, I’ll definitely I’m gonna look into the autonomous ones though.

Stephen 38:32
I love the well, I love the first three. And for me, it went a little downhill after that. I think he didn’t have plans for like a seven book series, but it went well. So it feels to me like he kind of wrote the rest of them to get a longer series because it was doing so well. And people wanted it. But I didn’t get the right feel. That’s Oh, sorry. Go ahead.

Riley 38:56
I think that’s a common Crux that people hit when they when they have like contracts to listen to and to like, what if the book is very, very popularly usually, okay, well, I don’t want to just throw this money away. And the powers that be aren’t gonna let you do it. I think I’m Ready Player One. I don’t know if you saw the movie, but already book.

Stephen 39:16
But I did both.

Riley 39:18
Yeah. And they weren’t they actually weren’t that bad from each other. They they got a little bit from the book, but nothing too crazy. But when I read the book, and then saw the movie, I felt like it was intended to be just a standalone novel. I felt like it wrapped everything up. It ended well and then it kind of just skyrocketed and took off. And next thing I know hey, there’s a second Ready Player One book coming out. And I was like, Well what what’s he doing that for? he wrapped it up pretty good. I don’t see a reason why I What else can happen and so now I feel like they’re trying to force all of the next level stuff in there just because it was very successful and nostalgia is a real big thing. Right now, so they’re gonna really try to cash in on that one. And I’m just gonna, it’s gonna be terrible.

Stephen 40:06
Well, we’ll see. We’ll see. I do have another question i, you have a YouTube channel, do some videos for writers tell us a little bit about that.

Riley 40:17
So YouTube was another, another random fork in the road for me for me to determine if I really liked it, or if it was something that I didn’t have the passion for. So I thought when I started my YouTube channel, and I haven’t put a video up in like maybe a year, parenting man, life takes a hold of you. And you don’t have that time for some things. But a lot of the YouTube videos I found were pretty Like, comment. So um, you could see the same people or the same conversation, the same topic being discussed by like numerous, numerous people. And so it was really hard to put out original content. So even with some of the videos, my goal was to give, give information to the people who needed it. And to make it as quick as possible. It was a small YouTube channel, I wasn’t doing it to try to like, get big or get famous, I wasn’t trying to get like, to the point where hopefully I can get like ad revenue dollars. So I didn’t have to be over 10 minutes, it was just quick into the point giving them some references and my points of views. And even given them a little giving the people who look at the videos, a little bit of insight onto things that some people kind of, kind of hide from from the world. Like one of my videos was just talking about, like, you know how much money I made from a book, versus how much money I had to spend to get the book published. Another book, another video thing was talking about, you know, the benefits of doing audio and how much money you can make, even if you spend a lot up front. And a lot of a lot of book tubers is what they call them, our author tubers, I don’t think they give those kinds of details, um, one of my books through a lot of greys and poems and and requests got put into a Barnes and Noble store. And I thought that was really cool. A lot of indie authors don’t have that luxury. So I made a video talking about that and the steps that I took that other people can take. And, and most of the feedback has been pretty cool. Like every now and again, even though I haven’t put a video up in like maybe a year or a little bit more a little bit less, I’ll still get a random subscriber who subscribes to the channel. And that makes me feel like you know, even after all this time, two years or so, these videos are still holding up well, and some people are still finding good information for what I’m putting out. I ended up stopping mainly one because I got I get very busy now between writing the daytime job parenting gig, that became very busy. But then also, I felt like I was getting to a point that I was going to be putting out videos just to put out videos, you know. And if you follow a lot of booktubers that have monster monster followings a lot of times what they do, they’ll put out almost the exact same video, but they’ll just, you know, tweak a little bit here, tweak a little bit there and put them up three months apart. And it’s the same thing for the most part, my top 10 favorite blah, blah, blah, or my top 10 least favorite blah, blah, blah. And it just becomes very apparent to me. And I didn’t want to do that. And then I have met other people who are in the the YouTube space that are kind of small. And they ran into the same problem. But instead of just taking a pause on it like I they shifted so and went from being strictly for writers to now maybe as writers and do it yourself tutorials or maybe now is focusing towards writers and book reviews, or maybe nameless writers and daily vlogs and how I apply my makeup, things like that to stay relevant. And I just didn’t want to spend the energy on on trying to just stay in the landscape to get clicks and things like that. So same reason I didn’t venture into the podcast world because I assume podcasting takes a lot of little work on the back end. And I just want to I just want to write man. I just keep it easy.

Stephen 44:08
Well, I love that you’re trying these and that you’re realizing this is what I don’t want to do or not and things like I’m publishing now I want to look at traditional. I think a lot of authors sometimes get stuck, like oh, I have to do this. And like you said, it shows you know this is not a good video. This is not a good blog post. This isn’t a good book or story. Because you know they want to write romance. But this is military sci fi because it’s hot. You definitely can show and I’ve seen that myself. Not for myself, but you know other people as much easier to analyze other people. Oh, yeah. Okay, so Riley, tell us one more time what naming your book is and where we can find you online.

Riley 44:58
Yeah, my very, very first series if you’re if you’re looking for a more of the high fantasy style, Cloak and Dagger assassins type thing you can look at Warper it’s going to be Warper origins and you can find that at Riley tune com that’s RILUY to you in E COMM And if you’re more into the urban fantasy, if Marvel and DC is your thing and you’re interested in jumping into a world where superheroes run around day to day, heroes and villains clashing with a little bit of political awareness and social standings, you can look up Paragon and icon story. And the second part of the book is called omega and icon store. And that can also be found at Riley tunes,

Stephen 45:40
calm rate. Well, Riley, I appreciate you taking the time. It’s really been great talking to you. Hopefully I can follow up in six months or a year and find out how things are going your writing and how things have progressed. I’d love to talk to you again.

Riley 45:54
Yeah, man. Fingers crossed. Let’s Let’s hope for the best man. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me, especially on a holiday.

Stephen 45:59
Hey, yeah, most of my family is still asleep. So it’s all worked out. Well. Cool deal, man. All right. Well, hey, I appreciate the time, Riley. All right. Thank you so much, man. Thank you. Enjoy your holiday and have fun with your son. Thanks. Bye bye.

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