RWB: My favorite piece in the collection is, perhaps, “After Dark.” About which I have two questions. Looking back on this essay how do you feel about the larger questions you raised about your writing career? I feel it’s rare for writers, especially of the “indie” variety to talk candidly about the struggle and desire for success as a writer, the thoughts of writing for success versus writing for the art or the catharsis.
BT: I love this piece as well, which doesn’t sound right does it? Anyway, I definitely think differently at night, bigger, more grandiose, and while I’m not sure how anyone achieves success, some of it is lightning in a bottle for sure, I know I want it, even if I’m not sure how I would define. I know it’s not about money necessarily, though I do want more of that, or selling lots of books, which would be great, nor even about fame, which would have mattered more to me in the past. Success for me is about something else, it’s about opportunity, doing more, more cool stuff, and having more people who want me to do things for them or with them. It’s so fucking cliché, but I really would write no matter what, there’s no choice for me anymore, but digging that feeling of catharsis doesn’t have to have anything to do with wanting have more opportunities to do really cool things with cool people when and how I want to do them. What I would add here, is that this is something that scares me because it would potentially involve living a life I have no experience with that maybe I really want even more than I think, and that’s hard to fathom, and that’s unknown and to embrace it is to potentially not only embrace change, but disappointment.
We also want to thank Ryan for his very kind shout-out in the interview he recently did with TBWCYL, Inc. favorite Barry Graham at Third Face.
BG: when the world ends in 2012, as the mayans predicted, and the next species takes over the earth and digs up America 1,000 years from now, what literary journals/indie press publications will they be restoring, reviving, and immortalizing, and why?
RB: Most certainly McSweeney's, which even at its most pretentious are always an artifact to behold. Fence, Caketrain and Annalemma will be there. I think the breadth of Ken Sparling's work will have an exhibit in a museum of Earth literature. I think more than a single press it could be about individual canons of small press writers, like Sparling. Ben Tanzer is quickly building an empire of words as well. There are so many, really I could add more to this on a daily basis depending on what I'm reading at the moment.