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I Really Love Tragic Stories

Zachary Ryan Author Interview
Zachary Ryan Author Interview

Playlist follows two people with a tragic past that help each other heal and find a way forward. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Romeo and Juliet were the biggest inspiration for this novel. I really love tragic stories, and I wanted there to be some beauty in it. I wanted this novel to matter.

Your characters are wonderfully emotive and relatable. Were you able to use anything from your own life to inform their character development?

I always will add an Easter egg or two of my own life into a novel. But honestly, I create this characters from so where in my brain, and I follow them around. I find out things they do as the reader does too.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Love, lost, self-worth, and how to work on overcoming tragedy. I think we all can easily get consumed into the darkness. I wanted to make sure people could
Come out of it.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have a book coming out called Camp Afterlife. It’s another coming of age LGBT novel. It will be out October.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

Music had always gotten Sarabeth through the struggles of her life. When she sat behind a piano, it was her at her purest form. Too many tragedies caused the once overused piano keys to collect dust. She was no longer the singing canary that her father always called her.Sarabeth didn’t know if she would ever be able to use her voice again, but then came Logan, who sat next to her in their English seminar; the cocky guy with his own fair share of tragedies that he was trying to run away from. Can these two help each other break free of the scars that imprisoned them, or would they end up like Romeo and Juliet?


Playlist by [Zachary Ryan]

Zachary Ryan’s book, Playlist, is both heartwarming and sad. It follows the life of Sarabeth Bryant as she navigates college after the death of her father. Apart from her grief, Sarahbeth struggles with nightmares about an assault she is not sure happened. Yet amid all this chaos, she nurtures supportive friendships and even manages to meet someone she thinks could be the one.

Like all protagonists, Sarabeth endures great adversity, and at some point, we even think she won’t make it. But somehow, though scarred, she pulls through, even in the face of shocking plot twists. To call her story tragic is an understatement – it is truly gut-wrenching.

And since it is told from her perspective, it is hard not to get entangled in all the emotions of the book. In this regard, the author does a good job of making it personal and relatable, even if the dialogue sometimes isn’t. Some of the characters exude a coherence and clarity that you don’t expect from someone who has just experienced major trauma.

This is a potent and emotional contemporary coming of age romance novel with an ending that is not at all predictable. The author goes to great lengths to develop and deliver poignant and stirring themes. He particularly puts a lot of emphasis on grief, identity, self-worth, and healing. As such, the characters in this book are fully fleshed out individuals who battle with their demons and try their best to choose themselves.

This is quite refreshing considering that most authors usually follow a unidimensional approach to their character development, refusing to acknowledge that both light and darkness can exist in the same person. Using this multidimensional approach allows the author to create real, complex characters that anyone can relate to. It also makes the story more beautiful and validating. Interestingly, the author pairs this depth with a light writing style that makes the story easy to read. A lot happens in just 200 pages yet you don’t feel overloaded with information. Playlist is a passionate ballad of the heartache we all feel.

Pages: 207 | ASIN: B093YGMH97

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