More About Me...
I'm not big on about pages, and spewing out random details about my work and ordinary life. I've done some of that on the front page of this site. But, how about an FAQ? Here are some of the common questions I get often:
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. This excuse has not worked 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 a cold and sunless world called Western Michigan (2004-2007). A brief stint in Colorado, thank you Lord (2007-2009), and now Kansas City, Missouri since 2009. Go Chiefs!
Do you have a family? Met my wife senior year of high school. Been with this lovely lady since 1996, unless you count the brief breakup that lasted one semester of college. I thought it was mutual until two days later when I changed my mind. She relented after I convinced her of the emptiness she'd experience without me. We got married June 2, 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.
What do you do on this blog? I write about what interests me, things I'm curious about, stuff I'm learning, and stuff I find funny. Humor is very subjective.
Are you a Christian? Yes. I've been haunted by Christ, and a self-diagnosed 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? Seventeen and counting. 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 six 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 have a middle grade book available as of July 1, 2018.
Do you use pen names? Yes. Ryan J. Pelton (my name), is for my non-fiction stuff. R.J. Pelton is adult fiction, and J.B. Ryan is children's fiction and young adult. These are open pen names, and easy to find. These might change, I'll keep you posted.
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 non-fiction market, general non-fiction, 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, or MC Shaved Ice.
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 and bridge different audiences and communities. 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.
Starting two nonprofits (churches) has also been invaluable for understanding people, leadership, business, marketing, fundraising, entrepreneurship, and I could go on and on.
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 many books. We also try and help people build businesses with their words through education.
The podcast has become way more popular than expected. Check it out if you are a word-slinger, or want to be. And, I run an indie publishing company since 2012, called Rock House Publishing. We are always looking for new writers and people needing helping in writing and publishing.
Can you help me with my book project? Email me.
Can I talk to you about coaching, consulting, writing for us, speaking at our church, or speaking at our writers/leadership/business event? Email me.
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!
- How Do You Write (Podcast)?
- Sample Chapter (Podcast). I read a sample chapter of one of my books, The Boardwalk.
- The Prolific Christian Writer (Podcast)