If you followed his Letters to DFW or Supposedly Fun Things… Essays and Reflections Inspired by the Non-fiction of David Foster Wallace then you'll be familiar with Ryan's passion for David Foster Wallace and may well find his collection of revised essays Supposedly Fun Things just the thing to tide you over until next year's critical works about Wallace.
Ryan agreed to a little chat about his passion for writing, for David Foster Wallace and the nexus of the two, Supposedly Fun Things. Enjoy. (It's long, so make sure you click on read more if you're reading this on the front page)
Nick Maniatis - Thanks for joining us, Ryan! How about we start with a little introduction about yourself?
Ryan Blanck - I am a high school English teacher (and newly appointed department chair) at a charter school north of Los Angeles. I've been teaching for 14 years in a variety of public and private schools. I am a husband and father of two girls, ages 7 and 10. My daughters are incredible dancers and voracious readers and freakishly smart. My younger daughter wrote and published a book last summer; it's nice to have a child following in my footsteps. My wife is a "retired" teacher who stays home with the girls.
I've been writing for about ten years; writing seriously for about the last four. My Letters blog played a big part in getting me focused and motivated in my writing. Supposedly Fun Things is my third book.
Aside from teaching HS English and writing, I also teach an online creative writing class and am the part-time youth director at my church. In the little free time I have, I have taken up the sport of curling.
NM - Writing for about 10 years? How did that come about?
RB - I've sort of always been a writer. In elementary school I would write very lengthy and very imaginative stories. But it really started in earnest in college. Some friends and I had aspirations of writing and producing a magazine, but it was hard to do when we had no money and very little time to do so.