Ryan Casey is taking the publishing world by storm. But he’s still a normal Northern boy at heart.
Ryan Casey is good at giving advice
“Do you want a tip? Not a personal tip or a money tip, I can’t give those.” He takes his time and is thoughtful, searching for the words. “We’re our own harshest critic. It’s okay to think that everything we write isn't so good or that we’re wasting our time. If you really believe in something you should go for it.”
These are wise words coming from an author, fresh out of university. He’s comfortable, laid back and honest, making him seem like he’s been in this world for a lot longer than his 21 years. “I do everything an average 21 year old does. I hang out with friends, I get up late, I procrastinate, I drink. So probably everything I shouldn’t do really.”
What he also does is write. With his latest book, Dying Eyes released recently, you realise he’s only just at the beginning of his journey
Sitting at a table he’s completely laid back, wearing jeans, a t-shirt and a warm coat. Very tall and dark haired, his blue eyes stare constantly into yours, excited when he talks about his passion. “I don’t believe you’re either born a writer or you’re not. In my case, I always felt that I wanted to tell stories. Whether that means I was born one or not I’m not sure but I’ve always wanted to do it.”
His degree in English and Creative Writing kick started his career. “I was 18 when I first took writing seriously and started working on a novel. It’s hard when you’re working on your first one, you hear all these myths. But I just got the story down and it turned into a full length novel, which is pretty cool.”
What’s also cool is the fact that he’s sold thousands of books, which he can’t quite believe. “If you’re on about how many devices are my books on, it’s in the hundreds of thousands which is crazy.”
He’s not complacent. This is a guy who truly loves what he does and is willing to put a lot of work in
“I like to get 2000 to 3000 words a day done in a week. It sounds a lot. As long as you put the time in, it’s surprising how much you can get done. Even if you’ve only got half an hour, it’s still half an hour.”
Motivation should be his middle name. He’s intelligent, driven and believes in what he does. But surely there must be days when the words just won’t flow? “Dean Wesley Smith gave me some good advice. He said, ‘just write the next line.’ It sounds so deceptively simple, but once you write the next line, you just start flying.”
He’s certainly going to fly with the release of his latest book, Dying Eyes. A classic crime story, this tells the tale of a girl who is found murdered in a well-known prostitution hotspot in Preston and no one knows who she is. “The more things that are pieced together, the more sinister and suspicious it all becomes. It’s just this big web of secrecy and lies.”
He counts Chuck Palahniuk and Stephen King among his inspirations. “Chuck was always someone who made me think wow, I’d love to have written this. And Stephen King is just a great storyteller.”
Over Christmas he’s going to take a break before launching into a number of projects in the New Year. He says that time is flying for him. “In 5 years
I’ll probably be sat here and it’ll be the same sort of circumstances but that’s fine with me. I’ll hopefully be in a place of my own, still just having fun writing fiction.”
He constantly surprises with his quick comebacks, some of which are hilarious. I ask if there’s anything he would change about himself. “Probably my ears. No, sometimes I can be overly critical of my work.”
I then ask what his greatest weakness is. “My arms. Or my ears again.” This is a man whose personality is just as strong as his talent.
At just 21, he can’t have many regrets. He has his whole life ahead of him.
“I just believe in moving forward. You know those smaller things in life where you just have a good laugh with your friends? Those little moments are the best ones. It sounds cliché but it’s true.”
Ryan Casey is definitely a name to watch out for. It only seems fitting for him to leave by giving some more words of wisdom. “I’m trying to think of some really good advice now. You know, everyone gets those down days. And there are some tough ones as a writer, because it’s quite a solitary way of working. But then you get the good days and they’re usually enough to pull you through the tougher ones. You’ve just got to remember them.”
You can follow Ryan on Twitter here.