Book Nerd Interview
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 In the company of a few unpublished short stories,Narrative Loserdom represents his first self-published novel.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.
Tell us your latest news.
I’m currently working on a script for a video game, but hope to put together a short story sometime this year.
Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
Definitely Fitzgerald and Updike. Both of these guys seemed to have lived through their stories in some way especially the former. There is something to be respected there, I think, and for whatever story I find myself telling, I try make sure the experience or knowledge is there.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I suppose Losersom is the first proper release, so in 2009…which means 23?
For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Narrative Loserdom, how would you introduce it?
It’s the journal of a 15-year-old boy, messy as it is.
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
There are a few other ideas kicking around, but only ideas! As for Narrative Loserdom, I always envisioned a trilogy.
Do you have a favorite quote that you keep visible in your work environment to help inspire you?
Nah, but sometimes other book quotes cross my mind, and I may think I want a paragraph to lead up to a line that sounds like one of them!
Did you learn anything from writing Justin and what was it?
Not anything new, but the process of conjuring high school adolescence brought a forgotten mindset with it.
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Hmm, tough one. There was that donkey from Animal Farm, Benjamin, who seemed to have great insight into the reality of his situation. Provided he could talk and be understood by any of my characters, I would love to see that interaction for a number of reasons.
What is the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
The Great Gatsby. The title character’s internal flaws, combined with his achievement of ‘The American Dream,’ were relatable and inspiring, respectively, to me as a teenager.
Love you Forever by Robert Munsch has to be one of my favorite children’s books of all time. I don’t believe there are too many books that can inspire such an emotional response in me.
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
Any rendition of “What have you been up to?”; excluding this interview, of course.
Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
Somewhere quiet after a good night’s sleep.
If you could be any mythology creature, what would you be?
Any sort of immortal humanesque being.
What’s the worst job you’ve had?
A tie between fast food and warehouse receiving.
What is the one, single food that you would never give up?
When was the last time you cried?
So personal! For the record, I’m not the ‘sensitive writer’ type. Machismo aside, remember that children’s book I mentioned? Around last Christmas it got me good.
Where can readers stalk you?
Facebook and Goodreads and Twitter! Here are the links:
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.
Ryan Collins’ hilarious fictional journal of teenager Justin Tagger, titled Narrative Loserdom: (From Journal One) is one of those feel good stories. The narration takes account of Justin’s personal experiences about friends, school, work, homework, and the best part, girls. His youthful attitude lands him and his best friend Adam into a lot of trouble that are written in details in this journal. Fictionally written between July 2001 to July 2002, Justin also writes about the girl he is in love with but feels she don’t even know he’s alive.
I thought it was a bit strange that a teenage boy would keep a journal but it was just a treat to read. A lot of the journal entries made by Justin come close to reality which made the book difficult to put down because of how people can easily relate to them.
The humor contained in this book/journal is extremely wonderful. I don’t know how many times I found myself smiling at all the shenanigans that Justin got himself into. The writing style truly captures the mind of a teenage boy. Through the journals, we get a true feeling of Justin’s character. The book is cleverly devised and Ryan’s witty ways of telling a story will make him an author to look out for.
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