Monday, May 11, 2009

Interview with Darlene Ryan + CONTEST!

Darlene Ryan is the author of the YA novel Five Minutes More which was released April 1, 2009.
Keep reading if you want to win a copy of her book!


Are experiences in your novel based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

There’s a little bit of my own life experience in this book. A guy I went to school with committed suicide when we were teenagers. I still remember how shocked and sad and hurt we all were. He had moved away, but we all still considered him a friend. It didn’t make any sense. No one knew there was anything wrong in his life.

What sets Five Minutes More apart from other YA novels?

That’s a hard question. I think the fact that it’s written in the present tense will be different for some readers and intriguing for others. The book deals with some sad and serious things, but in the end it’s not a sad book—at least not to me.

What would you like readers to take away from reading FMM?

Most of all, I hope readers feel they got a good story. I don’t want a reader to finish the book and say, “Well, that was boring.”

In FMM, D'Arcy's father committed suicide. What would you say to someone in this situation in real life?

Please, please don’t do it. There are people who care about you and who will help you. Ask for help and keep asking for it until you get what you need.

D'Arcy's father chose to drive his car into a river. Why did you choose this form of suicide?

I read a news story somewhere, I don’t remember where now, about someone who committed suicide by driving into the water and it stayed with me. I’d never heard of someone doing that.

Why did you choose to write books geared toward young adults?

Even as an adult I like to read books written for teens. I think writing about teens is fascinating. There’s so much happening at that time in your life.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

One? There’s no way I can pick just one. I’m a huge fan of children’s writer, Robert Munsch. As far as young adult authors go, I like Kevin Major and Graham Mcnamee. Mcnamee’s Hate You is a terrific book. My list of favorite adult writers is long—LynnViehl’s Darkyn series is a favorite. I like Kim Harrison, Robert Crais, Tim Cockey, Harlan Coben, Kelley Armstrong and Kurt Vonnegut. If I could only pick one writer as a favorite it would be Vonnegut. He makes me think. He makes me laugh. I’ve been reading his books since high school. (And I’m not telling you how long ago that was!)

Are you working on any new YA novels? If so, can you tell us a little about them?

I’m working on a book about a bunch of street kids. The idea for that started when I read a newspaper article about a group of homeless people setting up a tent city on the riverbank. (You’ll notice things I read in the newspaper seem to stick with me.)

What are you currently reading?

I always have more than one book on the go at a time. I’m reading Amber Benson’s Death’s Daughter. It’s terrific. She’s very funny. (She was Tara, on Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.) I’m also reading Collage Unleashed because I’ve been doing a lot more collage work recently. And I’m re-reading The Right to Write, by Julia Cameron.

What's the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome to get to where you are today as a published author?

Aside from my friends thinking I was nuts? : ) The biggest obstacle was learning to be a better writer—working on spelling and grammar and story-telling. I know several people who had the first book they wrote published but I’m not one of them.


And now for the contest!

The prize: a copy of Five Minutes More

To be entered: Leave a legitimate comment on this post including your email address.

For extra entries:
+1 already follow or start following this blog
+2 get a friend to start following (no limits on how many you can do, but they all have to comment and tell me that you got them to follow me)
+2 link to this contest (sidebars are fine, just tell me what/where you did.)
+1 add me to your blogroll
+2 make a POST about this contest
+2 if someone tells me you referred them (no limits)
+1 Tweet about this with an @katiesbookshelf
+1 follow me on twitter

If you do something creative to get the word out about this contest that I haven't thought of already there could be some extra entries in store for you! Just tell me what you did!


Contest ends: May 31, 2009


  1. Great giveaway, count me in! I'm a follower. (:

  2. Wow second comment! Yippy! This cover looks really neat, I haven't even heard about this book yet! I am definately adding it to my wishlist if I don't win.

    +1 already follow
    +1 You are already on my blogroll and have been for quite some time! It's because you are an awesome blogger!

  3. Thank you Korianne for the compliment about the cover of Five Minutes More. I like it too. All the credit goes to the very talented people at Orca.

  4. Great contest! Count me in!

    I already follow.


  5. I already follow :)

  6. This sounds like a good read. Also, been wanting to read Amber Bensen's book, but haven't been able to get it yet. Good to hear that it's terrific. :D

    I'm already a follower and you are on my blog roll.


  7. I'm following :]


  8. Great interview, I'd love to read this one! I'm already a follower.


  9. Your review has got me hooked.I am now a follower.

  10. Great interview! Ick, suicide. Not a fan but it sounds like an interesting read.

    +1 I'm already following you!
    +2 It's on my side bar!
    +1 you're on my blog roll (lower right hand sidebar)

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  11. +1 I already follow. :)
    +2 I put a link here:
    +1 You're already on my blogroll here:
    +2 (maybe) I included a link in this post, does that count?

  12. Please inlcude me in your giveaway.

    I am a follower.


  13. I would love to play please. I am a follower.


  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Hello Katie. Well I'm up early going blog wild! lol. I'll soon be going out of town for a few hours and then it is back to the computer.:P

    You've got a great blog here and this is an awesome contest.

    +1 I'm following you

    +2 I have a link to this contest in my sidebar here:

    +1 You are on my blog roll.

    +2 I posted about this contest here:

  16. Hey, it's Voguedotcom off bookarmy.
    Awesome blog :) I'm officially a follower.

    Count me in for this competition as well. It sounds like a really interesting read that I can really relate to. I've got a friend that tried to kill themselves a couple of years ago. Fortunately they did not succeed, but it's still something upsetting.

    It's great that you managed an interview with the author as well.

    You're doing really well :)

  17. Interesting interview. Suicide is a subject I feel respect for but I like to read about it.

    +1 I've started following
    +2 linked to my sidebar
    +1 I follow you on twitter


  18. I am a follower

  19. Please enter me!
    +1 just started following :)
    +2 posted on my sidebar at


  20. I would like to enter.

    +1 started following this blog

    +2 link to this contest on my sidebar

    +1 add me to your blogroll

    +1 Tweeted about this with an @katiesbookshelf

    +1 following on twitter - bridget3420


  21. I'd love this.


  22. I'm glad that something beautiful came out from such a tragic event in your past.

    I was referred to this site by my friend Llehn and I will be signing up as a follower so it's 4 points to her.


  23. I would like to read this book. Suicide is a very important topic to discuss, even though most teenagers take it like it's some sort of joke. Just glad I haven't had anything like that happen to me.

    I'm already following your blog.

    I posted the link on my sidebar at


  24. I am already a follower and you are on my blogroll! Thanks for hosting!


  25. I posted a link to this on our site.. Hope that's okay. If not let me know. Thanks!


  26. This book looks amazing! I already follow, and thats all i really have time to do right now is leave a comment but I hope that I can get a good chance.

    Great Contest!


  27. I'm interested in the book about the homeless kids. Great interview!

    I'm already a follower.

    paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com

  28. I would like to enter, please.

    +2 I posted this on my sidebar at

    +1 I now follow.

    +2 I blogged about this contest at

    +2 I was refereed by Readaholic


  29. Hi! I just discovered your blog (through Orca Books). Enjoyed the interview and look forward to reading more. Will follow.


  30. This book looks really good!!!

    I'm already a follower, I now follow you on twitter (I'm thebookcellarx), and you're already on my blogroll)

  31. I would love to win this book! I really like the cover!!:) Thanks for holding this contest!

    +1 I'm a follower:D

  32. Hi all,

    i hope to join the discussion soon

    hopefully i can participate in some lively discussions here!

    i hope i get to know you all soon!


  33. hi everybody

    I just thought it would be good to introduce myself to everyone!

    Can't wait to start some good conversations!


    Thanks again!

  34. Hello man!

    It is my first time here. I just wanted to say hi!