Write Every Day
A Q and A with Ryan Berg
Ryan Berg’s No House to Call My Home recounts his experiences as a case worker with homeless LGBTQ teens in New York City. Berg is a Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging Writers Fellow and received the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature.
Name a childhood hero.
Simon Le Bon, lead singer of Duran Duran.
Name a work you wished you’d written.
They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell.
If you had to order your work by how successfully you completed what you set out to accomplish, what would that list look like?
I’ve written one book, so it’s a pretty solitary list.
Name a writer in history you would’ve like to have been a contemporary of and why.
James Baldwin. He was such an essential voice in the discussion about racial and economic justice and sexuality. Sharing space and conversation with him would have been a massive education.
Name a work of yours whose reception you’ve been surprised about and why.
Too early to say. My book came out two weeks ago.
Correct a misperception about you as a writer in fifty words or less.
That I may have written more than one book.
Name a trait you deplore in other writers.
Name your five desert island films.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Bullets Over Broadway, Y Tu Mama También, My Girl, Bridesmaids.
Name a book not your own that you wish everyone would read.
Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario.
Name a book you suspect most people claim to have read, but haven’t.
If you could choose one of your works to rewrite, which would it be and why.
I did rewrite No House to Call My Home. Numerous times.
Share the greatest literary secret/gossip you know.
Name a book you read over and over for inspiration.
When I was in college: The Safety of Objects by A.M. Homes.
Name the writing habit you rely on to get you through a first draft.
Roll your sleeves up and write every day for at least two hours. Don’t judge. Just do.
Name a regret, literary or otherwise.
I regret not fighting more for myself. Midwestern politeness can get in the way.
Name your greatest struggle as a writer.
Finding time to write.
Name a question you get about writing to which there really is no good answer.
Can you tell me about your creative process?
Name a question you wish you had been asked.
What’s your book about? [Ed.’s note: this question is never, ever asked.]