Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ryan W Bradley's Would You Rather

Bored with the same old fashioned author interviews you see all around the blogosphere? Well, TNBBC's newest series is a fun, new, literary spin on the ole Would You Rather game. Get to know the authors we love to read in ways no other interviewer has. I've asked them to pick sides against the same 20 odd bookish scenarios. And just to spice it up a bit, each author gets to ask their own Would You Rather question to the author who appears after them....

I hope you have as much fun reading their responses as I did!! First up:

Ryan W Bradley,
Would You Rather...

Would you rather write an entire book with your feet or with your tongue?

My tongue, and it being me I’m not sure I need to elaborate.

Would you rather have one giant bestseller or a long string of moderate sellers?

I tend toward the “go out in a blaze of glory” attitude, so I think I’d rather have one giant bestseller.

Would you rather be a well known author now or be considered a literary genius after you’re dead?

This is hard for my ego to decide between. On the one hand I’d very much like to be considered a literary genius, though I find this unlikely. And if I’m dead I couldn’t really enjoy it anyway, so I’ll take the well known author now option, I want to soak that in before I die.

Would you rather write a book without using conjunctions or have every sentence of your book begin with one?

Not using conjunctions would change the tone of my writing quite a bit, I think, so I’ll go with beginning every sentence with one. I’m pretty sure I could make that work with some practice.

Would you rather have every word of your favorite novel tattooed on your skin or always playing as an audio in the background for the rest of your life?

It’s a good thing my favorite novel is short. I’d totally have it tattooed on me, small text though, and then as I got old it would just be a block of black ink.

Would you rather write a book you truly believe in and have no one read it or write a crappy book that comprises everything you believe in and have it become an overnight success?

There are days when I think I would happily sell out, but honestly, I’ve tried to write “commercially” and it just doesn’t work for me. I write what I write because it’s what I’m compelled to write, so I guess that has to be my choice here, though I’d like to pick money over integrity.

Would you rather write a plot twist you hated or write a character you hated?

I hate a lot of my plot twists and characters. I try to write things that make me uncomfortable. If I could only do one I guess I’d pick a character I hated, because my stories hinge on the people and their interpersonal relationships.

Would you rather use your skin as paper or your blood as ink?

Well, I am partial to being tattooed, so using my skin as paper doesn’t sound so bad. On the other hand I’m not much fond of bleeding, so having to tap into my blood to write with is not such a fun idea.

Would you rather become a character in your novel or have your characters escape the page and reenact the novel in real life?

I’ve been a character in my novel. Not sure I need to do that again. Could be entertaining to see them come to life as long as they keep me out of their dysfunction.

Would you rather write without using punctuation and capitalization or without using words that contained the letter E?

Too many words use the letter e. The lack of punctuation and capitalization (at least in my fiction) would bother my obsessive compulsive nature, but seems, in the long run easier to deal with.

Would you rather have schools teach your book or ban your book?

Well, having my books banned seems incredibly plausible. Though I’ve heard tell of Code for Failure being talked about in college classes, I even visited a class to talk about it a year ago. Both options are flattering in their own right.

Would you rather be forced to listen to Ayn Rand bloviate for an hour or be hit on by an angry Dylan Thomas?

Don’t think I could be in the same room with Rand, and being hit on is great for my ego. This one’s a no brainer!

Would you rather be reduced to speaking only in haiku or be capable of only writing in haiku?

I don’t mind being quiet, so I’d probably do all right speaking only in haiku. Most people wouldn’t notice anyway, right?

Would you rather be stuck on an island with only the 50 Shades Series or only the BLANK series?

Well, if I’m seriously stuck on an island and all I have with me is a book series, I’m probably going to get more use out of 50 Shades...

Would you rather critics rip your book apart publicly or never talk about it at all?

No press is bad press, right? I go into everything I do expecting people to dislike it, so I feel pretty prepared for bad reviews. On the other hand, getting no attention whatsoever is bad for my ego.

Would you rather have everything you think automatically appear on your Twitter feed or have a voice in your head narrate your every move?

No one would talk to me if all my thoughts got tweeted. And I have a pretty solid inner narrative going all the time anyway, so I’m pretty used to that.

Would you rather give up your computer or pens and paper?

Pens and paper. No hesitation. I could go without writing by hand pretty easily I think. You know, aside from my signature, of course.

Would you rather write an entire novel standing on your tippy-toes or laying down flat on your back?

Lying flat? That’d be tricky. Tippy-toes would be tough but more manageable I think. Until I’m crippled by arthritis or something.

Would you rather read naked in front of a packed room or have no one show up to your reading?

Sometimes reading in front of a crowd feels like reading naked. And not having any audience is bad for the ego. So...

Would you rather read a book that is written poorly but has an excellent story, or read one with weak content but is written well? 

Written well, hands down. Bad writing annoys me, and sets me into “editor” mode. When I’m reading for pleasure I want to read something I can get engrossed in and there’s way less chance of that happening with something that is poorly written.


Check back next week to see what Jessica Anya Blau would rather...
and see her answer to Ryan W Bradley's bonus question:

 Would you rather write a bad book that ends up with a great cover, 
or a great book that ends up with a bad cover?


Ryan W. Bradley has fronted a punk band, done construction in the Arctic Circle, managed an independent children's bookstore, and now designs book covers. He is the author of a story collection, PRIZE WINNERS (Artistically Declined Press, 2011) and a poetry collection, MILE ZERO (ADP, 2013). His novel, CODE FOR FAILURE was recently re-released by Civil Coping Mechanisms. In September, 2013 Concepcion Books will publish THE WAITING TIDE, a poetry collection homage to Pablo Neruda. He received his MFA from Pacific University and lives in Oregon with his wife and two sons. 


  1. This is the best author interview I've ever read, looooved it!

    And this: "I’m probably going to get more use out of 50 Shades..." I about died laughing ;)

  2. hehe. Ry, you are never subtle. Not at all.

  3. Every time he wrote "bad for my ego," I kept hearing the joke from Family Guy, the episode in which the man on the bicycle says, "And it's a great way to stay in shape!"