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Interview with Ronan Cray, author of Red Sand

Red Sand Cover

Red Sand takes place on a desert island after the crash of the Princess Anne, a cruise ship of 1000 souls. The few survivors find themselves taken in by natives, only to learn those natives are survivors as well, survivors of much older wrecks. They live behind a Great Salt Wall, the only protection against a predator that lives on the island.

Sounds like an adventure story.

Officially, Red Sand is a horror novel, though it will appeal to thriller and mystery readers as well. I read a lot of the old masters like Robert Louis Stephenson, Melville, Victor Hugo, and Jules Verne. I wanted to produce a modern take on the old shipwrecked tale. The sense of adventure and discovery appealed to me, so I kept the horror to a minimum. There is one scene, though, you will not forget.

We can see the connection to Robert Louis Stephenson and Jules Verne, but it also reminds us of the TV show, Lost.

If you like Lost, you’ll love my book. Something on the island is alive and picking them off one by one. They encounter other survivors, but they have a secret of their own.

Stories like this usually depend on an interesting cast of characters. 

Each chapter follows one character, and we see events from their perspective. For the reader, this is an exciting way to collect clues, knowing more in some cases than the characters in the book. For the writer it was a nightmare. Maintaining a coherent plot with multiple perspectives and interpretations while keeping straight who-knows-what… challenging to say the least. But I pulled it off, and I’m proud of the result.

Sounds like it’ll be an exciting read. We can’t wait to get started.

I deliberately ended on a radical departure from standard endings. Readers have told me, “How could you do that to me?” in a bemused, appreciative way. So far, I’ve only received positive feedback on the ending. It will surprise you.

Can’t wait. Have you written any other books?

I’m completing my next novel now. Dust Eaters is a zombie adventure novel taking place in Manitoba and China. It’s larger in scope and size than Red Sand, and I think readers will enjoy it. I’m doing something a little different. I’m working with Crazy Robot Games to produce a video game based on the book for simultaneous release. We have our Kickstarter out now. Check out our video and play the demo here.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m well travelled. I mention that because it defines my writing. Not only do I take readers to exotic locations I’ve seen, but I include international characters, pull in folklore and customs from all over to drive the plot, and appeal to a wide demographic. I grew up in Alaska and Nevada, and lived in nine states. I spent a year in Russia, three months in China, toured the Middle East and all of Europe, and even visited Kazakhstan. I love travelling almost as much I hate travelling, a paradox I reconcile by writing about it.

We think we know what you mean. Do  you have a website where we can keep up with your travels and your writing?

Read my mind. Visit I ought to make you sign a waiver.

Do you use social media?

I tweet when I have something important to say, a thought to share, or a quote to remember. I’m also do the occasional twitter interview. Twitter: @ronancray

You can see photos of me and my adventures on Facebook. Like me! Facebook: ronancray

What does the future hold for you?

After Dust Eaters, I’m working on some screenplays. Then it’s a book about a haunted house! I like the idea of treading familiar ground, then twisting the hell out of it.

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