An Author Interview with O’Cyrus

O’Cyrus is an author, poet, and writer. O’Cyrus published his first book titled, “Sacred” (poetry) on October 31, 2022. O’Cyrus has six books set to release throughout year 2023 with one graphic novel set to release in the second quarter of 2024. For more information about O’Cyrus, please visit his website at https://www.ocyrusink.com

Where are you from?

Originally born in Boston, Massachusetts. As a child my siblings and I moved around several times due to my father serving in the Military. We call it, “Military Brat” which just means growing up in a Military household. With that said, I can’t claim any place in particular, however, my wife, Melissa, would swear I am from Georgia since I spent many years there.

Why do you write? 

I want to touch the souls of readers in a world where social media has redirected the eyes off a book and onto their cellphones and computer screens. I want to touch those with my stories and change their perspective on life and fulfilment. My poetry is aimed to have me reach my hand in your bodies, grip a hold of your soul, and bring that soul into my world to allow everyone to hear the stories of many who want to help make life happier. I write stories that I would want to read and hope that others would lose themselves in like watching a movie in the movie theater. I write because I love the art and creativity of storytelling.

What do you write about? 

What an awesome question! I’d like to first start with the genres I write which is poetry, children’s books, graphic novels, and young adult suspense/thrillers. I’ve also written a romance book, but I wouldn’t say that’s my go to like the other genres I’ve mentioned. As for what I write about, it depends on the genre. Poetry, I write from the perspective of those who I have encountered throughout my years who I feel have stories worth sharing to the world. Children’s books I like to write adventure stories with a hint of suspense. I also tend to write my stories as though everything is happening in real time. For example, if you go out with your family to the amusement park I would write the adventure in a way that happens from start to finish like watching a movie. My graphic novels verge more on adventures as well with many action sequences. My young adult suspense/thriller stories verge more on psychological thrillers like mystery books.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I’ve been told my writing style is considered, “pantser.” For those who may be unaware what that means, it simply means the writer writes without much to prepare for outside of a plot. For example, let’s say I want to write about a coconut that is trying to locate it’s family because that coconut fell from a coconut tree near the ocean and was washed, but washed up on another island. Now I’d take that coconut, and turn that coconut into a character, let’s say the coconut is a young 7-year-old boy who was in the coconut tree sleeping with a coconut that were siblings. That night they were sleeping, and a group of human teenagers went to that tree, shook it until a coconut fell, but due to the ocean’s current the teenagers ran away meanwhile the coconut stayed in the sand and thus washed away. Now the plot is for the character, to get back home. I don’t think of other characters, nor gender, names, or much of anything as I will simply go where the story takes me.

What are obstacles that come in the way of writing? 

Well, I work full time in the Military so, that along with parenting comes with its own challenges. For the most part, I try to do things between 3am-6am as many days out of the week.

What’s the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work? “Wow! I didn’t expect that to happen at all!”

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since childhood. Maybe 5 or 6 years old, however it was off and on, but the idea to really hone in on my writing continued to present itself to me consistently since childhood.

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?

This became a reality in late 2021 when I was home on parental leave and was reading stories to my children and thought, “you know, I would love to read my own books to my children,” so I told my wife literally the next day, “babes, I’m going to write a children’s book.” She was caught off guard but supported me. About 2 weeks later I wrote the book, then hired an illustrator which was my sister who is a professional illustrator, then hired an editor and thus the bug to write stories has been ever growing since.

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?

3am-6am is the time where I will help keep my home maintained since my wife does a great deal of maintenance with our home while I am at work. I will also take about 30 minutes to read a chapter of a book. Recently I’ve been reading Manga’s. Generally, 4am-6am is writing time which could include research of areas I’d like to write about. Then from 6am-7am I will exercise. Afterwards I would get ready for work, write my wife a good morning text, and that’s my morning cycle.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Hmmmm…I’d say I have to use a specific type of keyboard to type my stories. The type of keyboard that each key on it sticks out like a typewriter where I can physically feel each key press into the keyboard. None of that flat keyboard mess where the button is so flat I forget where the keys are and ESPECIALLY not using a keyboard that have different keys in different areas of the keyboard. That gives me anxiety.

How long does it take to write a book?

Depends on the genre. Children’s books could range from one day to two weeks depending on if the book is a board book for ages 0-3 where the page count is generally ten pages or if it’s a picture book for children ages 2-8 where the page count is roughly 24-32 pages. Now if we’re talking poetry books, I’d say 3 months maybe even 4 months. Graphic novels can take me 4-6 months to write just due to me also sketching my scenes out before hiring an illustrator.

Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?

Write, write, write! I also highly recommend reading books specifically under the genre you as the writer have an interest in. I used to hear, “to become a better writer, it is important to read all the time,” but that’s not necessarily true in my experience. I know that I love images in my stories much like going to a restaurant and the menu has images of the food they have. Take that same logic, go to a restaurant, and go to order from a menu that doesn’t have any images, just words. I lose my mind because I feel I need pictures to help shape my story. I say all of this because yes, it is important to read as much as possible, but knowing what to read will excel how much more you read because you have an interest in it. So, in short, write and read daily.

What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story? Sometimes I’ve stumbled on how to open the story but HANDS DOWN the most challenging part of creating a story for me is the ending. Writing the ending. As I mentioned earlier, I am considered a “pantser,” which means I don’t know what the ending of my own story is until it happens. Because things are so situationally based with my writing style, I am often writing several endings until my wife picks out the best one that makes since for the story.

What do you think makes a good story?

Plot easily and the outcome of the plot. I don’t think having action in a story just to have action in it has any value unless the action occurring is specific to the situation of the character. Fighting just to fight doesn’t make sense to me. Fighting because the character was placed in a situation that led to that fight to me has far more value. A good story is one that flows from beginning, middle, and end. It’s very difficult to do even as an author myself, but if you believe in your stories than others will also.

What does your family think of your writing? 

They love that I am living through my gift as a writer and progressing with that. My wife, Melissa, has been instrumental in supporting me. She spent many mornings sleeping by herself because I woke up so early to write. She means everything to me. My son also loves that I am a writer and I love when he comes downstairs and says, “Papa, are you working on your story?” My parents and siblings are overjoyed with excitement for me as well.

Do you see writing as a career?

Oh yes! Without question! This is what I want to do for the rest of my life is tell stories whether in books, movies, or even in theatre.

Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers?

Thank you everyone for supporting me and for those who are new to my content. I am grateful for your time, and I hope you that we grow together, and my audience expands. I want to touch the souls of the world with my storytelling. I don’t have a social media account, but I do have a website as for those who want to stay connected with me. www.ocyrusink.com      

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Officially, I called myself a writer in November 2021.

 My website: www.ocyrusink.com

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