The Fire that Byrnes
S V Byrnes currently lives in the southwest. For the longest time, he hated reading and writing. That all changed in college. After a series of dreams that made no sense, S V Byrnes started to write down what he could remember, and that was the basis for his first book, which is still a work in progress. In his free time, he likes to cook, read, enjoy some whiskey and a cigar. And if it’s car related, he’s a fan. S V Byrnes looks forward to continuing the writing journey for as long as possible.
Where did the idea for Withdrawal come from?
It was a story that Mark (my co-author) had started some years before he and I met.
How did you meet your co-writer?
We worked together at a big box store. One day, while chatting he was showing off a book of his that he’d just published the previous week or so. I mentioned that I had started writing, but knew basically nothing about the process. I told him I thought it would be cool if we worked on something together. To be honest, I thought the suggestion would get swept under the rug as I had absolutely zero experience. I was wrong, and I’m thankful for that.
Are there any books in the same genre as Withdrawal in the works?
I do have one that I’m working on. I wanted to take something in the same realm as Withdrawal but put my own spin on it, so to speak.
Which words or phrases do you think you overuse or have read that have been overused?
For me personally, it would be anything pronoun related. Mark was reading over something I’d written and in one paragraph was like thirteen pronouns. We jokingingly refer to it as "pronoun hell."
Who are your favorite writers?
Brad Meltzer, Mark A Smith, Jon Verdon, Melissa Sell (seriously - I love the way you paint a scene. As a visual reader, it’s like I’m watching a movie rather than reading a book.)
How do you pick your character names?
It depends. Sometimes I just pull random names out of my head. Other times, it could be something like a president’s first name with a scientist’s last name. For example, one of the characters I’m building for the rest of the Withdrawal series - my favorite drummer, and he share a first name.
What is the number one thing you need the most help with when writing?
Damn, that’s a good question. I would probably say sentence structure. I have the horrible habit of repeating something when it’s not necessary.
How has your writing changed over the last year?
I feel it’s gotten better. I went from just writing to only writing when I’m feeling it. I can be more descriptive now and use fewer pronouns - the trick was figuring out what word(s) to use to mention a person without using their name or a pronoun.
What is a typical writing day look like? Are there snacks? Do you listen to music?
Always music. I’m even listening to some right now! Usually a cup of coffee, and I’ll eat beforehand, but tend to pause to grab something to snack on.
Have any of your real-life experiences affected your writing?
To a degree, yes. Things I’ve dealt wi
th or the knowledge that I have helps in the sense that I can ‘relate’ to the character or situation better. Some of the things that a character or two do in Withdrawal - A Change of Season (book two) are in an area that I’d spent some time in while in high school, doing things that I have done, so I feel like it adds to the realism of the overall story.
Who would you love to co-write with on a book?
If we’re talking about people that are still above ground, it would be Brad Meltzer. His book The Tenth Justice got me out of a reading slump. I own just about every book he’s written. If we’re talking about people that are no longer with us, it would be Edgar Allan Poe all the way. He, in a sense, paved the way for the whole mystery genre. His work might be old, but I absolutely love his stuff.
Are you a planner or a panster? Both?
Most definitely both. But, it depends on the book as well. For Withdrawal, Mark and I stayed in constant contact, emailing and texting each other ideas and notes about once a week to make sure we were on the same page. As for most of my works, I tend to just have the idea in my head and I start writing from the start, making changes along the way if needed.
Have you ever been inspired by a movie or a particular song? If so, which?
I can’t say that I have. However, my nephew and I were chatting once about the town he lives in. He was describing to me one of the main roads that cut through said town. I searched it, as I was curious about what it looked like, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I needed to incorporate it into a story I’ve been working on when the mood strikes.
Do you have any lucky items you use for inspiration?
I’m not sure if it counts, but even though I have many coffee mugs, there’s only one that I use while writing. I’ve had this mug for something like thirteen years. It’s literally lasted longer than relationships.
What is the one thing about writing that makes you procrastinate?
Man, that’s a tough one as well. It’s usually when I’m in my head and in doubt about what I can do. I get into this ‘all my writings suck, why do I even do this?’ for about a day, like once a month. Then I remember that if it was easy, everyone would do it, and I think about the effect books have had on me - how they’ve helped me beat boredom, anxiety, and so much more.
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