Monday, February 6, 2012

Ryan Collins - Narrative Loserdom - Author Interview

My thanks to Ryan Collins for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways for an author interview about his book, Narrative Loserdom (from Journal One).

Author Interview

1. How did you come up with the title?
When the book started to take some shape, I compiled a group of words and phrases that I thought best represented the overall picture. ‘Loserdom’ was an easy choice because I had taken it from one of the chapter titles. For ‘narrative’, I drew upon a lesson from elementary school in which the teacher had us trace our hand and label each fingertip with a type of writing style (persuasive, descriptive, and so forth). Thinking back to that lesson, the narrative seemed most applicable when considering what to call this thing. Put together, the phrase ‘Narrative Loserdom’ beat out the rest in terms of representation. So there you are!

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Maybe not a message, but more of a way to approach—as if you have found a 16-year-old boy’s journal, if such things exist.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
This question elicits a sort of spasm in my eye as I respond "It's all fiction." More than my own, I would be extremely curious of a reader's answer.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
After a year-long editing process, giving an automatic “no” would be satisfying. Structurally, however, I may have added and deleted certain entries, or cut the story so that it didn't extend beyond the one-year mark.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
With respect to my eye spasm, remembering the details of adolescence—the faces, feelings, and backdrops. Particularly, the creation of surnames for 'real' people, according to ancestry and syllables, took a good portion of the ‘post-production’ effort. Whining too much would be blasphemy, though, because these processes were also some of the most enjoyable.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
As a writer, it helped me to recognize my affection for little moments of realism sprinkled into fiction.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
In elementary, grammar and reading were the most natural subjects. These, along with the slew of teachers (and my mother) who read aloud to me, fostered a need to create. Around third grade I remember writing beyond an assignment-a story about being a centimeter tall-and getting frustrated with myself for taking so long to complete it. I was undeniably attracted to the freedom that creation granted.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Without a doubt, F. Scott Fitzgerald. I have always admired the command he had over his subject, due in part to the autobiographical influence. I try to check my own writing against a similar baseline—making sure I have an intimate knowledge, or at least a large body of research, for whatever I attempt.

9. Tell us your latest news.
Well, Narrative Loserdom is soon to be an official Kindle book on Amazon, which is neat because I can finally shred the price by about two-thirds of the print edition. I am also in the process of setting up some sort of local book reading/signing, so that's sure to be an experience (due to my fear of public speaking).

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you, wonderful people, for enduring my long-winded (and perhaps narcissistically-inclined) explanations, and always for reading my stuff. I would also like to thank tributebooksreviews for this amazing opportunity of ideal proportions.

About the Book
Narrative Loserdom (from Journal One)

Book Details:
Genre: Young Adult, General Fiction

Publisher: self-published/CreateSpace
Publication Date: December 1, 2011
Pages: 204
Format: paperback & ebook
Price: $13.95 paperback & $2.99 Kindle
Buy Link:
Amazon, Kindle

Synopsis:
Justin Taggart doesn’t know anything (about being a loser). He likes girls and plays sports and has some friends. Unfortunately his fear of rejection outweighs his ability to deal with these well. Mostly there’s Sterling, the girl of his dreams who knows how to stop his heart by not knowing he likes her. Another thing is trying to get money with Adam, who’s rich anyway so it’s more about hanging out. As for Justin, he makes ends meet by mowing people’s yards with Adam, and sometimes by breaking into vending machines and selling late-night cable programming to peers (also with Adam). But it’s not like he doesn’t feel bad about it, since Jesus died for his sins. School is pretty terrible with all the work and practice, but there are a few people there worth mentioning. Anyone who picks up his journal will be in for something if they feel like getting through a lot of grammar and spelling problems. They’ll probably end up seeing that they shouldn’t have looked at it anyway, because this is someone’s private anthem of girls, grass, and loserdom.

About the Author
Ryan Collins

Ryan Collins was born in Texas in 1985. While attending Texas State University he earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a minor in writing, and moved toward a post-graduate degree in computer information systems. In the company of a few unpublished short stories, Narrative Loserdom represents his first self-published novel. Ryan works for a local communications company in Austin, Texas, where he resides with his girlfriend and pugs.

Connect with Ryan
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