Author Interview & Review: Ride On by Gwen Cole
We are big Gwen Cole fans around here so of course Ride On was on the top of our TBR. So after I got off the feels the feels train, I sent Gwen some
threatening DMs questions and tried to put my emotions on paper. Check out the interview and review below!
The law can’t help her. But one outlaw can.
In the near post-apocalyptic future, the skies are always gray and people are constantly searching for the sun. For teenage outlaw Seph, it’s the only world he’s ever known. With his horse, his favorite pistol, and his knowledge for survival passed down from his dead father, Seph knows it’s safer to be alone. But after a run-in with a local gang that call themselves the Lawmen, and having been wrongly accused of murder, Seph teams up with Avery—a determined girl whose twin brother has been taken by the same gang.
After living in a small, rundown town her whole life, Avery knows nothing of the Wild—the lands controlled by nobody where travel is risky. With Seph’s help, they track down her brother but quickly find the tables have turned and they are now the ones being hunted. With rumors of mysterious dangers to the south and a safe sanctuary to the west, they’ve only got one option, but getting there won’t be easy with the Lawmen on their trail. The only thing that matters in the Wild is how fast your trigger hand is, but Seph doesn’t know if his will be fast enough to save them all.
Interview with Gwen Cole
HOW COULD YOU? Ok, now that we have that out of the way, how would you describe the personalities of Seph and Avery? What are their personality traits and if you were to pack them lunch, what would you pack them?
I love making characters come to life. In my opinion is one of the best things about writing books. Seph is confident but humble with a dash of hidden anxiety. And Avery is optimistic but discreet and very loyal. If I were to pack them a lunch, Seph would definitely have a big bag of Doritos or Cheetos or something. He has no idea what junk food tastes like and I know he would become addicted given the chance. Avery on the other hand would have a very neat sandwich, probably made the same way every day.
What was the inspiration for the post-apocalyptic world Ride On is set in?
I still remember the moment when Ride On first started to become ‘something’. My husband and I were watching The Road (never actually read the book) and the whole setting was very captivating. This will be a spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the movie, but I can’t answer this question without it. At the end of the movie (YES, I’m about to tell you the ending), the father dies, leaving his young son alone in this terrible world. Then the movie ends! So I had a burning question: what happens to the son?! That’s the moment Seph was born into his world where the sun doesn’t shine.
Tell us about the hardest scene to write. What about that scene took the most effort?
The hardest scene to write is the scene I can’t talk about because SPOILERS, but I think you know which one I’m referring to. 😉 But the scene that took most effort was probably Seph and Avery’s first kiss because I wanted it to be perfectly them and I’m not the greatest at kissing scenes. So I hope everyone thinks it’s at least okay. 🙂
Side note: Gwen is wrong because she’s super great about writing kissing scenes. The intimacy she creates between her characters is off the charts!
Gwen Cole, you have made me a fan for life.
I mean, I kind of basically was after Cold Summer but Ride On just proves that I’m all in.
Seph and Avery are two characters who couldn’t be more different. An orphan versus someone who is family minded. An outlaw versus a law-abiding citizen. But not all is as it seems as we start to peel back the layers on these characters.
See, desperate times can change a person. When you’re living in a post-apocalyptic world that looks a lot like where we are headed (more on that in a minute), anything goes to stay alive. Seph and Avery are playing a high stakes game to stay alive day to day and I was on the edge of my seat while their POVs switched off. I happened to be on a plane during a particularly nerve wrecking scene and I wondered if the baby in the seat next to me was up to a chat about how Gwen Cole is basically a monster (she’s lovely but omg).
I loved the setting in the story. We know our world is headed toward a world without sun if we don’t get it together. Imagine the wreckage in this world. This isn’t an unfamiliar place. Creating a western like world felt right for the damage we do to our planet. Desperate measures and all that.
If you love SFF with a great set of relationship/romance plots, read all things Gwen Cole!
Author Bio: Gwen Cole
Gwen Cole writes Young Adult books and her debut novel, COLD SUMMER, will be released in the spring of 2017 with Sky Pony Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing.
She grew up in upstate New York, moved to Virginia where she did not graduate college, and worked a various number of jobs including pharmacy technician, meat clerk, ranch hand, and a receiving specialist at Target. She may or may not have written a number of books while working at certain jobs.
At the age of eighteen, Gwen played bass in a hardcore band and later married the lead guitarist. She can also play piano, guitar, and wishes she could play the cello. Her favorite place to vacation is Wyoming, where she gets to wear a cowboy hat and pretend she actually is one.
Gwen now lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and very large dog, where she longs to live in the country again.