Interview with A.R. Silverberry

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting with A.R. Silverberry on my YA Author Spotlight page. He kindly gave me his permission to post the interview on Authors to Watch so I could share his work with my readers. Wyndano's Cloak has received incredible reviews and has been the recipient of several awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Award.

Tricia: Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

A.R. I’m a licensed psychologist by day, working with children, adolescents, and adults. I’ve been writing seriously for about fourteen years, and published my first novel, a fantasy adventure for children, in 2010.

T: Can you tell us about Wyndano’s Cloak and the challenges your main character, Jen, faces?

A.R. Jen’s worst fear is to be torn from her family. She’s up against an enemy who commands armies, ghouls, geists, and other unspeakable horrors. Jen soon finds herself far from home, with only the clothes on her back and a mysterious boy who she is not certain she can trust. Her only chance is the magical Wyndano’s Cloak . . . if she has what it takes to use it.

T: That's a fascinating premise. Can you describe the world you’ve built for Wyndano’s Cloak and how the unique setting is important to the story?

A.R. The tale unfolds in two worlds. In one—technologically like Renaissance Europe—magic exists. Fire flickers within the stone walls of the Rose Castle; Wyndano’s Cloak imparts shapeshifting powers to the wearer; and Naryfel, the story’s villain, can weave a maze of fire with the flick of her finger. In contrast, the Plain World is dull and rainy, and magic doesn’t exist. Having grown up in the Plain World, Jen is bound and determined to hold onto the fairy-tale life she finds in Aerdem.

T: Where do you find inspiration for your work?

A.R. Everywhere! Through a writer’s eyes, everything is character. Why does that person leave dried up fennel in an otherwise green garden? Why do birds congregate on that old fence? Does someone sprinkle crumbs nearby? Why does that man wear a scarf on his head, while that woman wears a sombrero? I carry around a notebook and record interesting places, speech idioms, body types, you name it! The idea for Holes came when Sachar saw a pair of tennis shoes fall from a freeway overpass. The smallest detail can become the basis for an entire novel.

T: How do you feel the rise of the indie author has changed the face of the publishing industry?

A.R. We’re in a revolution. Indie authors have taken a share of sales, and a growing number of readers are loyal to indies. Agents are now mining indies for talent, and foreign and movie rights have sold for a number of self-published books. Publishing has become democratized and open to all. Creativity flows when what is published is not controlled by a handful of editors and houses; we’re seeing a lot of talent we would not see in the old system, and they are producing some very original work. But the writing profession has also taken a hit. Fewer advances are available for serious authors to work their craft. The proliferation of people writing without knowing how to write may downgrade some readers’ perception of indies. Downright hostility toward authors pervades the Amazon Discussion Boards, to the extent that authors were chased out of there. Where it’s all going is anyone’s guess.

T: Your website is stunning. As an author, do you feel that a strong online presence is necessary?

A.R. Thank you! I was fortunate to find Novel Website Design and Diane Whiddon. She understood the feeling of my book and my voice as an author. A website or blog is an important part of an authors brand. It’s your calling card. Readers need to have a clear idea what kind of stories you write. This will be communicated first through the site’s graphic design. After creating a website, authors need a presence on Facebook and Twitter to drive people to their blog or website. It’s significant, Tricia, that we met through a Facebook group!

T: Is it difficult to balance your day job with your writing career?

A.R. I’m fortunate in that I set my own hours as a psychologist. I write in the morning, and see my clients in the afternoon and evening. The challenge for me is to not get pulled into social media and book marketing. It takes a lot of self-discipline! I try to commit to a certain amount of writing time daily. I don’t care how many words I write. That approach doesn’t work for me. But if I put in my time, I know that I’ll make progress.

T: Any advise for other authors?

A.R. Treat your writing like a job; suit up, and show up, otherwise little happens. Write what you know. It’s a cliché, but you really can’t do anything else anyway. What you write arises from your unconscious, and insists on coming out. You might as well cultivate it. And if you don’t, your work may not ring true.

T: That's great advice! What’s next for you? Can you tell us about your current writing projects?

A.R. I’m working on a novel, part survival tale, part spiritual journey. In it’s current form, it’s for adults, and has touches of fantasy. After that, I’ve got several novels in mind, both for children as well as adults. I’m also looking forward to collaborating with my wife on some projects.

T: Where can we find out more about your work?

A.R. My website includes a bio, reviews, synopsis, news, blog, and a cool trailer for Wyndano’s CloakFacebook page and Twitter (@arsilverberry) are great places for people to follow what I’m doing! Below are links to where my book can be purchased.

eBook edition:

Limited first edition hardback:

T: Thank you so much for speaking with us about your work. I wish you the best of luck and look forward to reading your next novel.


  1. Thanks for re-posting this, Tricia! What wonderful site this is. Lots of great books and authors for readers to enjoy!


    Writing as AR Silverberry

  2. Wonderful to have you. Looking forward to visiting with you again.


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