Skyler Rankin has been in love with writing since her teenage years when she used to write stories for her friends. After many years of writing non-fiction, she has turned her attention to the fiction stories that first enticed her into the world of writing. Currently, Skyler lives in Kentucky with her family and her fur babies, two cats, and a dog in her woodland cabin spending time working the day job, gardening and writing. In an interview with Woodland Media, Skyler said she was ‘born to be a writer,’ which she describes, with a slight smirk, as more of a neurosis than a career.
“What other profession do you know of where you can get paid to make up stories, write them as convincingly as possible, and share them around for entertainment purposes? I get to help people escape their everyday realities and dive into a good read. There’s nothing more exciting to me than coming up with a gripping story and finding that readers enjoy it.”
Skyler typed her first novel on a manual typewriter that was missing a few keys.
“Yes, it was a nightmare. A friend gave it to me to help me get started, and I thought it was the most wonderful gift I’d ever received. I had to keep moving the key caps around to depress the levers to type to keep from hurting my fingers. It was a pain, but it was still faster than writing by hand. It was more than just a typewriter to me. It meant someone else thought my writing was worth reading, and that made me happy.”
Despite having a lifelong love of writing, Skyler worked in education for more years than she wants to admit while keeping her passion on a back burner.
“Like most of my fellow indie writers,” she explained, “I work a day job while learning my craft in my spare time. In a way, writers are similar to struggling actors who work a day job while working toward their big breaks.”
With multiple writing projects in different genres under several pen names, Skyler is just now getting started in writing creepy suspense thrillers and mysteries. Why did she wait so long?
“I’ve been in love with mysteries since I was a kid watching Scooby Doo cartoons, and I grew up reading Trixie Belden, The Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew. I loved creepy horror films like Night of the Living Dead and vampire and werewolf movies with Bela Lugosi, Lon Cheney, and Christopher Lee. I lived for the next issues of comic magazines like Creepy and Eerie. In many ways, these stories were my first loves.
Even though I adored the genre, I was also intimidated by it. Why? I think it’s because of the meticulous attention to detail and the challenge of enticing readers to suspend their sense of disbelief. Unlike many other genres, these stories require writers to be mindful of minute details and to balance the real and unreal with a dose of science and plausibility. It’s a huge challenge. I really want my readers to be entertained enough to hang onto every word but still be surprised when secrets are revealed. I want them to finish the story thinking they never saw it coming but knowing it was also a logical, satisfying end to a terrifying ordeal. I still get intimidated just thinking about it, but I felt it was time to give it a shot.”
Skyler lives with her husband, daughter, dog, and two cats in a cabin deep in the woods where she finds much of the inspiration she needs for her books.