Introducing Author Ryan Vallee
Ryan Vallee is a 36 year old Poet, husband and father of three kids. He grew up in Michigan and has lived there his entire life. He began writing in the 6th grade, on and off throughout high school and after. He went on a bit of hiatus until a year ago, when he picked the pencil back up and hasn’t stopped writing since.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Hi Ryan, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Ryan: Absolutely, thank you so much for having me.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Ryan: I am from Michigan, born and raised. One of two kids, raised by a single mother. Married my high school sweetheart. I have 3 wonderful kids. And grind away in the shipping department of a ladder factory.
Creative Talents Unleashed: So when did you fall in love with poetry or writing in general, when did you decide this life was for you? Tell us a bit about that discovery process.
Ryan: I remember writing very early, rewriting the lyrics of Guns-n-Roses songs. In 6th grade, I got an A+ on a poetry assignment, and it was entered into a school writing contest. It didn’t win, but that’s when I realized I might have something. I wrote some in high school and after, and gave it up for quite some time until just over a year ago, when a friend asked me to dig up some of my old work. That got the creative ball rolling again.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Why do you write, what is it that you’re trying to communicate through your work?
Ryan: I wish I had a poetic answer to this question, but I really don’t. It’s just there. It just comes out. My writing doesn’t seem to have a purpose or direction, but the best feeling is when someone tells you that they relate to it, or are moved by a piece.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Where does your inspiration come from, what might inspire you at any moment to write a story or poem?
Ryan: Relating to my last answer, I really don’t know. Probably any writer, or poet specifically, will tell you these things just swirl around your head. Sometimes I write for specific prompts, but mostly it’s a line or thought that pops up in the brain, and you build around it.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What was the hardest thing about writing your book?
Ryan: Promoting it, by far. You don’t realize what goes into it. Social media is a great tool, but it can be very time consuming. If this was all I did, it would be wonderful. But having a full time job, along with a family, it can be tough to balance. As a poet, you’re already up against the wall, simply because poetry doesn’t sell. Nevertheless, it’s been fun.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What was the easiest thing about writing your book?
Ryan: Actually writing it! 90% of the book were pieces I had completed already. But I had 3 revisions and I definitely used them. Reading back, there’s already some things I’d change or make different. It’s a blast to put together, something I’ll never forget, and of course, hope to do again!
Creative Talents Unleashed: There are many authors who say that in the process of writing a book you learn things about yourself. Did you learn anything in your book writing process about yourself, if so what?
Ryan: I think it gave me confidence. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that other people want to or enjoy reading what you write. And there’s a tremendous amount of talent out there. You may wonder if you truly fit in or consider yourself a peer of these other great writers. This really put it in perspective for me, and if nothing else, helped me believe I belong.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What in your view is the role or responsibility of a writer or poet, if there is any?
Ryan: I’m not sure there is any. The one thing would be to keep it real. Be yourself. Plagiarism is evil.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What are your ambitions as a writer, where do you hope to see yourself in say 5 years?
Ryan: My dream would be to make this a career. I know that’s a long shot, but we all dream, don’t we? More down to Earth a bit, I’d love to write another book or two.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Who is your favorite writer or poet? Perhaps you have a favorite quote from them that you would like to share.
Ryan: I love Bukowski. He’s like the people’s champion, you know? He speaks to people. I’m a huge Stephen King fan. And actually had a chance to chat with him at a book signing in Atlanta. Seems like a dream now lol.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What advice would you give to aspiring writers who have dreams of publishing or making writing a career choice?
Ryan: Never stop. Ever. Do you think I ever imagined I’d publish a book? No way. Keep grinding and good things will happen. And write, always. It’s a practice. There’s things I wrote a month ago that I think is terrible, but at the time thought was great. You continue to grow with each word.
A Poem From Off The Leash
You meant to say it
You misplaced the thought
It’s still there or
It’s crumbled to nothing that can save itself
From sinking through the floorboards or surfing
Any bit of breeze or
It was never there
I’m still waiting to hear it
I’m a million miles from where we were and I can promise
You there is no
Preface . . .
Feel me. That’s all I ask. I realize what I am. I’m not like every dog in the pen. I’m different. I’m off my leash. I may bark, may bite. But I’m just as quick to cuddle up to your side and wag my tail until you pet me. As much as I hate to admit it, all I want to do is please you. That’s probably an “un-artist” thing to say, but like I said, I’m different. Don’t open this book and expect to see the normal. This is your warning. I’m different, but I’m real. I spell things out in a semi-clever way. I’m not the best, I’ll never be the best. I’ll never win an award. But if I win your hearts, I’ll have accomplished all I need. Feel me. That’s all I ask.
Visit Ryan’s Author Page At: