I'm not big on about pages, and spewing out random details about my work and ordinary life. But, how about an FAQ? The cool kid's seem to like the Frequently Asked Questions page. So here's a Brief Bio of Ryan J. Pelton in the form of questions people often ask:
When we're you born? July 1, 1979, two months premature. I like to remind my wife, and family, that I'm a walking miracle, and they need to treat me as such. And I still need naps because I'm catching up on sleep from being a premature baby. It never works well.
Where have you lived? Born in Long Beach California. I lived in Southern California until I was twenty five. God punished me, and sent me to cold and sunless Western Michigan. A brief stint in Colorado (thank you Lord), and now Kansas City, Missouri since 2009. Go Chiefs!
You have a family? Married my high school sweetheart, been married since 2001. My wife is a saint for putting up with my shenanigans. We have three boys, girl, and a daughter in heaven. And a dog which lives in our imaginations.
Where'd you go to school? Long Beach Unified: Burcham Elementary, Valley Christian for middle and high school, Cypress Community College (1997-99), Biola Univeristy (1999-2001), go Eagles, B.A. in Christian Eduction, Calvin Theological Seminary (2004-2007), M.A.. School of Hard Knocks, daily.
I noticed the subtitle on your website, Hints of Hope. What's that about? Southern novelist Walker Percy, when asked what he hoped his books, writings, and lectures would accomplish, he said without hesitation: "Offer the world a hint of hope." I pray my life and work does the same.
Are you a Christian? Yes. I've been haunted by Christ, and a Grace Junkie, since 1996. I also started a new church and have been pastoring these fine people since 2009.
You have written many books. Are they all Christian books? No. First, I don't think books can be Christian. They don't have a soul and can't be in relationship with the Divine. Second, if you mean, do I write for Christian audiences, yes, and no. I started writing and publishing in 2011 with some books for my local church. They are written for leadership development, how to live the Christian life, and some other devotional stuff. Now, these books are available for public consumption, and many people seem to enjoy them. I also will be publishing some nonfiction for writers coming out in 2018.
What about your fiction? Are they Christian? No. See comments above. I've always loved reading and writing fiction. Since the third grade, I've been reading, telling, and writing stories, mostly for my own enjoyment. But in 2012, I started getting serious about fiction, and wrote some stories with a friend. Later in 2012, I participated in National Novel Writing Month, and completed my first novel. Since 2012, I've published four novels, two novellas, and some short stories. More in the works. I'm also writing some children's fiction under the name J.B. Ryan, and will be available in 2018.
Do you use pen names? Yes. Ryan J. Pelton (my name), is for my nonfiction stuff. R.J. Pelton is adult fiction, and J.B. Ryan is children's fiction and young adult.
What are you hiding? My time in a Texas prison was a long time ago... just kidding. Hiding nothing. That's why I'm open about my pen names. I sell books in the Christian, general fiction, and children's markets. They are very different audiences, and I don't want to confuse people. When people ask my name, I always use Ryan J. Pelton, or P-Diddy.
Why don't you write Christian fiction? See above. Books don't have a soul, and the ones I've seen, like Amish Romance or End Times silliness, don't represent the Christian community well. Some people are called to write for Christians only, I hope to expand my reach. C.S. Lewis said the first job of a writer is to tell a good story, that's what I'm trying to do. I hope my worldview comes through, but that's not the goal when I write. I follow the voices in my head wherever they lead.
How does being a a pastor help your writing? You have a front row seat to extreme pain, suffering, sorrow, and really interesting people. Pastors see the human condition in all its beauty and brokenness. And, of course, glimpses of redemption, joy, and transformation... what great fuel for telling stories, and writing books.
I heard you help writers. Is that true? Yes. In December 2016, I started a podcast called The Prolific Writer. I wanted to interview prolific writers, share my experiences, and give inspiration and tips, after writing and publishing fourteen books. The podcast has become way more popular than expected. We also have some other free resources on the site. Check it out if you are a word-slinger, or want to be...
Can you help me with my book project? Email me.
Can I talk to you about writing for us, speaking at our church, or speaking at our writers event? Email me.
What's the Hints of Hope Podcast? A lot of me talking about faith, life, culture, and art. And, interviewing interesting people, offering Hints of Hope to our world. Check it out.
Do you have a podcast addiction? I'm taking medication.
How do you get so much done? When you love what you do, the time seems to find you. Coffee and Diet Coke helps too. A wife who knows I'm a little crazy, added bonus. And I'm a robot...
Is that really you and Harrison Ford in the photo above? Yes, and my son Noah. My dad is friends with Indiana Jones and Han Solo. Really sweet guy!
Why do you have random stuff on your blog? I'm a curious guy. And leave me alone, I can do what I want, it's my blog. But you can expect articles on a variety of subjects, quotes, videos, and whatever else may crawl from my brain cavity.