Friday, August 26, 2011

Behind The Words // Ryne Douglas Pearson

Ryne Douglas Pearson is a screenwriter, author, and whackjob. The good kind of whackjob, though, one who doesn't do it for the bodycount. He's in it for the entertainment value, pure and simple.

I met Ryne through late last year and our online friendship (no, Mom, not *that* kind of 'online friendship') has definitely evolved. First we were flagrant enemies (no, we never were). Then we were embittered and silent (nope, we didn't go there either). Finally, we were making plans to go to Disneyland. (Not yet, but a guy can dream) So, what do you say, Ryne? Are you up for that?

Ryne is an accomplished writer, having written a book that became the movie 'Mercury Rising' ('Simple Simon' is Ryne's book; he'll like that I know this) and also the screenplay for 'Knowing' with Nicholas Cage -- a movie that I can say I enjoyed so much I've watched it repeatedly despite the storyline's lack of bacon. He also has a back list of novels longer than my left leg (my left is longer than my right, by about three inches, most of you should already know this) and his current books keep popping up on Kindles everywhere.

I think of Ryne as a working man's writer. And by that, I don't mean he just puts sentences on paper, day in and day out. In his own words, he pounds the keys until something happens. But he does it diligently, nearly every day I would imagine, and in the end, he has a story woven, with characters, action, depth and mystique. In many cases, a story that delights and inspires viewers and readers all over the world.

For this guest post, I asked Ryne some big things, some little things, some personal things -- and in a style all his own, he ignored them completely and went his own direction. I liked that very much. 

Let’s see. You want to know about me. First off, you should know I lie constantly. My real name may not even be Ryne Douglas Pearson. But let’s go with that to make things easier. Second, anything I say may be an absolute falsehood, offered only to make you wonder even more about my veracity—or complete lack thereof. Thirdly, and lastly, even my assertions that I lie, and have been lying to you, may themselves be lies. I may be the most honest person you have ever come across, yet my feigning of dishonesty will make you doubt that. Fourthly, and thus breaking my promise that the previous point was the last, if you look me in the eye I will, without hesitation, summon my driver to place a shaded partition between us.

Now, shall we begin? You wanted to know a bit about my writing. Have you heard of The Catcher In The Rye? Not mine. The Exorcist? Again, not me. My writings can actually be separated into two types—novels and screenplays. I have written and published eight novels so far—Cloudburst, October’s Ghost, Capitol Punishment, Simple Simon, Top Ten, The Donzerly Light, All For One, and Confessions. I have also published a short story collection, Dark and Darker. On the screenplay side of things, the movie Knowing was based on my original script, and I have done uncredited work on films such as the remakes of The Day The Earth Stood Still and The Eye. I am in the process of releasing three new novels this year, in addition to several short stories.

My fave part about Ryne's desk? A toss-up.
The Wizard of Oz set pic. Or the number 2 pencil. 
Where does this magic all happen? In my cave. That’s what I call my office. It is a mysterious space hidden on the side of my house, filled with dark bookcases and the faint scent of old soda. Occasionally a dog will wander in and stare at me. Occasionally I will stare back. This can go on for hours. When the human/canine staring contest ends and I actually get to writing, I often listen to music. Gregorian chants. Whale songs. Kenny Rogers. Normal sort of stuff.

You want advice? Tips? Do not spit into the wind. That’s the best I got. If you want something writer related, there are two piece of advice I always try to follow. One is, Don’t get it right—get it written. And the other is, Write like you’re gonna burn it.

What is my writing technique? Simple—put butt in chair and bang the keys. It’s not magic. It’s work. Anyone who tries to tell you there’s a ‘technique’ to finishing a book, or story, or screenplay is selling you something you don’t need. SIT DOWN AND WRITE.

What is my favorite snack food while writing? Apples, bananas, and bacon.

Who is my favorite boy band? Backstreet Boys.

What is the weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten? Cricket brownies.

Now you know everything about me. Or do you?

To be frank, I know a little bit less than before. But the stuff that I do know, I know well. Seriously, thanks so much, Ryne. It's a fantastic privilege to have you stop out here in The Reaches! Your humour makes this series richer and your candour adds so much value for all readers and writers who come in out of the rain on our porch. Find Ryne at his website, or on Twitter. He'll lead you astray from there.


  1. Ryne (if that's your real name), you forgot to say you like the word ASSBAG! LOL, this was hilarious, and I love your cave. What a bloody mess, no wonder you're a genius!

    And I somehow suspected you were a Bieber fan, even though you're trying to pass yourself off as a true country lover (sic) with Kenny Rogers.

    Thanks J for exposing Ryne (or whatever his name is). Great fun!


  2. You're releasing THREE novels?! Wowzas, you are such a hard worker. I can't wait to read them. I'm curious as to whether you can beat your dog at a staring contest. And curious as to whether you lied about The Excorcist not really being your work. And curious as to when you and Jason will get matching tattoos.

  3. Anyone who's anyone shares a respect for Bieber. REPRESENT!

    I love how you phrase things, Eden. "Thanks for exposing him?" Now, come ON, was that intentional? The only thing we saw was some high level documentation of a secure facility. And some dust

    OH! That was actually Ryne's desk?! My bad. I thought it was a movie set of a highly destructive evil super genius.

  4. Ellie, Eillie, Ellie.

    Ryne and I ALREADY have matching tattoos. I'm just not saying where, exactly.

  5. Ah! I love learning more about my favorite Hampire! (inside joke with myself about Ryne's assertion that he likes bacon more than the rest of us...)

    Hey where can I get that K-tel compilation of Gregorian chants, whale songs & Kenny Rogers? That's mood music if ever there was some!

    Enjoyed this peek into the mind of @RyneDP -- it made me smile and wonder...

  6. I love Ryne (if that is even his name!), he is just mad... and he likes bacon so that's even better. My kinda person :) But I could be lying... maybe I hate Ryne, and bacon... I guess we'll never know ;) (just kidding, of course). I have to say I did laugh out loud about the dog staring contest. The dog is probably just hoping you'll look away so he can grab your bacon :)
    I love your introduction too, Jason :)
    What I really want to know is, has Ryne agreed to take you to Disneyland?

  7. "The Hampire Strikes Back" -- Ann, I bet Ryne has his script for this sci-fi flick nearly complete. If he doesn't, he should be writing it.

    K-Tel -- boy, that reference brings back memories, Ann. I spent most of my lunch money on those compilations. Yes, I was in grade school when those were already a joke on television.

    Maria -- I've asked the question of Ryne (publicly, no less) and now it's up to him. He can either reject or embrace the idea of DisneyLand with this crazy "In The Dark" writer.

  8. I vote Ryne and Jason go to Disneyland together and film it for YouTube! LOL

  9. The one thing that struck me about Ryne’s work (and I’m talking primarily about the movie: Knowing) is how every bit of dialog, every scene, every situation, makes perfect sense. Although the plot may be extraordinary (it is Science Fiction) all his characters react and interact in very realistic human terms. This is rare in most modern movies (just watch ‘Cowboys and Aliens’ or the movie ‘2012’ and it’ll prove my point). It’s not often I can go to a major studio Sci Fi movie and not stick my tongue out like a dead fish and roll my eyes.

  10. This begs the biggest question, Mark. Do many fish actually have tongues?

    You're right though -- science fiction is tough to get right because the devil's in the details and everything needs to come across as rational, including character reactions and dialogue. Tough to do.

    I say, generally speaking, a story should have one (or maybe a second) reach for the viewer or reader. Any time you ask the audience to extend disbelief past one major obstacle (say, light speed space travel or time travel) then everything else has to be completely rational. Otherwise, it threatens to overwhelm common sense.

  11. i.e. in the opening scenes in 'Transformers' Sean Lebeof's(sp) charactor cracks a joke after he witnesses (for the first time)a giant alien robot rip apart his home, and then nobody in the entire freakin city seems to notice any of this! BTW, fish do have tongues...

  12. Yes, Mark, so much is done for simple titillation of the audience, pandering to them in order to sell tickets...or copies.

    And, I knew that about fish (or rather SOME fish). I'm like a lawyer, Mark. I never ask a question unless I already know the answer. ;)

  13. This reminds me of a proverb I heard once. "Confucius say man who sit on tack will get point."

    I didn't say I knew WHY it reminded me of that.

    I like bacon.

  14. It's an effective writing ritual. Start the morning by sitting on a tack. You'll pop right into action on the word processor if it means you don't have to sit on a pointy object any more.

    Bacon IS good, Ryan. I concur.


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