Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Author Lea Ryan: Fixing A Flawed Story

It’s fun to meet ‘new-to-me’ authors and learn about their writing. Today I’d like to welcome just such an author, the delightful Lea Ryan, who is here to talk about her latest release, LAIR OF THE WHITE WYRM.

Here’s a brief synopsis of LAIR OF THE WHITE WYRM: Sometimes when you run from your problems, they follow you.

Eric Duncan wants nothing more than to be an ordinary, sane guy. He believes he can escape his troubled past by leaving home. However, the voice in his head, that of his dead friend Benjamin, fights him every step of the way. 

Eric finds his new home is a place filled with secrets far darker than his own. A monster prowls the grounds, and it wants to keep him close. 

He will discover that his inner demons aren’t the only things he should fear. In order to confront the wyrm and survive, he must also face the worst parts of himself.

Now, here’s Lea.

Have you ever read something so brilliant and flawed that you just wanted to fix it? That's how I felt last year when I read Bram Stoker's final novel, LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM.

The story is about a young man named Adam who moves to Derbyshire at the request of his uncle. Strange things start happening at his new home. Children are attacked. The wealthy Edgar Caswall starts psychically assaulting a local girl named Lilla. There’s an infestation of black snakes and other wildlife weirdness, and let’s not forget the giant, carnivorous reptile prowling the area. 

cover thumbnailWhat I liked about the book was the dark quality of the storytelling and of course, the worm itself. Lady Arabella is Stoker's shapeshifter, who turns into a murderous snake-like creature. However, there is also a very human side to her. She lives among the other characters and even sets her sights on Edgar Caswall for marriage. 

Unfortunately, the plot was scattered, almost like Stoker took a few books and wrapped them into one. We have different storylines: the monster, Caswall versus Lilla and Mimi, and other various subplots that didn't seem to connect. There was also some use of a racial slur, which was more prevalent in certain time periods. I wasn't about to carry that over, especially because it didn't even have any bearing on the story.
I tried to keep the general creepiness of the original setting. The characters in Stoker’s WORM all lived nearby one another but in different houses. The worm dwelled specifically in an area called Diana’s Grove. I changed up the setting a bit, using an apartment building called Ducat Tower. It has a scandalous past because all really interesting buildings do. I wanted to keep the characters close and cozy. It also has a grove in which the wyrm enjoys hanging out.

The protagonist in my LAIR OF THE WHITE WYRM is named Eric. I gave him a deeper personality than I remember Stoker's Adam as having. Eric is essentially running away from his problems by moving to a new city. The death of his best friend left him scarred, and the only way he feels like he can move forward into a better life is to start over. 

Isabella is my Lady Arabella equivalent. Like Arabella, she is as involved with the people around her as much as anyone else. She has the monster issue, of course. My goal was to amplify both sides: the monster and the human. There are moments when she seems almost entirely human and others in which the evil crushes her humanity completely. She spends some time between the extremes too. Her physical changes can be by degrees, depending on how badly the wyrm wants to come out and play.

When I wrote my LAIR OF THE WHITE WYRM, I tried to bring the best of the original book along. I really loved the concept, and I hope I did the monster justice. 

Lea, thanks for guest blogging. It’s interesting how a story can lead to another story with endless possibilities. It sounds if you did indeed do the monster justice.

LAIR OF THE WHITE WYRM is available on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble

Now for a bit of background on Lea. She lives in Indiana with a husband, two kids, two cats and a dog. She peddles weird stories about the paranormal to the masses. Lea is quite handy with a Playstation controller, suffers from a very annoying chocolate allergy and often blogs about movies and writing. In addition, she’s highly amused by people who talk about themselves in the third person. 

For more on Lea and her writing, visit her blog or her website

Have you ever read a story and then created your own interruption of it? Thanks so much for stopping by today.


  1. Interesting that you wanted to the the characters a better story to play in. I confess, I never read Bram's Lair, but your story sounds interesting. I like your thoughts on Isabella's humanity levels. A lot of good fodder for an intriguing Story.


  2. Lea, thanks again for guest blogging. Your story does sound intriguing. Wishing you much success with your writing.

    Sia, thanks for stopping by.

  3. Mason - Thanks for hosting Lea.

    Lea - What a fascinating idea - to write a new story based on wanting to fix another one. I'd honestly not thought of doing that before but how creative! I've certainly read stories like that, that were brilliant but flawed. Maybe I should try fixing one... I wish you much success.

  4. @ Sia & Margot Thank you! I really enjoyed that project.

    @ Mason, thank you so much for hosting me! I appreciate your time and the use of your cyberspace.

    : )


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.