I review things that I watch, read and play. All sorts of things. What will you find here? It’s a mystery.

I also like to write exhaustive Let’s Read posts taking apart academically surveying genre fiction on a chapter by chapter basis.

19 thoughts on “About

  1. James

    So, I’m trying to figure out this website. It basically seems to me that it is Mystery Science Theater 2000 for books and you’re the heckler silhouetted in the third row. I thought to myself. Who is this guy who thinks he knows more about writing best selling novels and movies than the people who wrote best selling novels and movies? So I come to the About section to find all the amazing works you must have done to put yourself on Mount Olympus so you can look down on the peasants below and find… nothing.
    I feel like you lose a lot of credibility when you are just a face in the crowd and aren’t down in the arena yourself showing us how its done.

    1. ronanwills Post author

      I’m continuously confused by people who roll up here wondering why I don’t have Official Writer Credentials or something.

      This is a blog where I talk about books (and other things) for my own amusement. I have an audience of maybe 150 people on a good day. I’m not claiming to be some kind of expert, and I’m baffled why anyone would get the impression that I see myself as one.

      1. James

        That’s perfectly valid platform. Everyone loves a good joke and satire. Anybody can have an opinion.

        It’s true. And it’s fair. I don’t fault you for that. What I’m saying is just state that up front. It makes you more approachable and feel less like an internet troll. If you can pull it off in a humorous and self deprecating way, it makes you more endearing and makes me want to listen to what you have to say. For example:

        “Hey guys. Just let me establish my credentials here, before you get too far into this thing. I’ve never published any meaningful work. I got my degree in blah blah. And let’s be honest. My taste for storytelling outweighs my ability to tell one. This is a consumer perspective. Like you I’ve grown up listening to stories my entire life and we just know instinctively what works and what doesn’t. I’m not saying I could do better, I’m saying /they/ can do better. This is basically mystery science theater in blog form. Those who can’t do, teach, those who can’t teach, heckle.

        So, with my credentials established. I hope you enjoy the blog.”

        Then I’m going “oh, this isn’t some literary nobel prize laureate coming in and taking everyone to school. It’s a pretty funny guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously and is putting his opinion in a funny way that isn’t coming from a holier than thou position. Excellent. Next page please.”

      2. James

        Let me just state clearly.

        You are doing nothing wrong.

        I just feel like the voice that you are projecting is one that /feels/ like it’s coming from a place of “I could do better.” I want to come at this from the stand point of getting more viewers to come to your blog and stay there.

        Did you know that if you google search “Wizard’s First Rule chapter 1” your site is the second hit. It’s on the top 10 list, and that’s really amazing.

        And here’s the thing. I agree with a lot of what you’re saying. It’s true that Goodkind’s prose is purple and full of shoe leather. Guardians of the galaxy has themes that are played out. We know.

        The original manuscript for Wizard’s First sold for $275,000. The most money ever paid for a fantasy novel by a first time writer. Guardians of the Galaxy has made how much?

        I guess I’m saying it might be interesting in the middle of pointing out all the flaws to have a frank discussion of why these things were successful and what that speaks to about our culture and society today.

        You’ve got some really great stuff here. Honestly. I mean that. I read the blog posts because I saw a pretty incisive mind that was able to pick out and identify things that worked and didn’t worked. It’s honestly why I came to the About page. I wanted to check out what this guy has under his belt.

        With that said. Maybe you should take a crack at it. You’ve obviously got some writing chops and a decent platform. I think you can really make something creative that works.

        If you wrote a book, I’d buy it.

  2. Bruno

    Reading you blog, it appears that we have similar taste concerning fantasy novels. Thus, I would appreciate if you were to post a list of recommended fantasy novels or something. There is so much crap out there, help would be appreciated in finding something worth reading.

    1. ronanwills Post author

      I actually don’t read a whole lot of fantasy outside of what I review or write about on the blog, so I’d honestly struggle to come up with a list.

      1. Bruno

        Maybe I’m just getting too old for this kind of things. It’s like superheroes. There is so much potential in the concept. But what do they do with it? Super dude fighting super dude. The end.

        Then maybe you can suggest an author, or somebody who can point me in the right direction?

        Anyway, really entertaining blog.

  3. lewis.rosenberg56@yahoo.com

    I see that most of your reviews of fantasy stuff are negative. I am just wondering why you continue to put yourself through the torture?
    I have a strange kind of relationship to fantasy novels. I know the writing is trash but I have some kind of pull to read them. I plough through them at rapid pace and then feel guilty about it. Do you experience something similar?
    Really enjoying your blog by the way.

  4. Someone

    One of my friends insisted that I read TNotW. I really hated it and for the most part agree with your evaluation.

    One thing, though. The books aren’t Harry Potter – they’re Circle of Magic. Not the Tamora Pierce series, the Debra Doyle series. It’s like Rothfuss read the first book and said, “This is cool, but all that, like, struggling at learning stuff? So totally stupid. And making real friends is \ overrated. Also being punished for doing things wrong. And power interfering with learning abilities.”

    I’m not saying those books were great, because they weren’t. But they were interesting, fast, and had much more interesting characters. If they had been written for someone older than eight, they would have had a lot more room to develop.

    Anyway, read the first book of that series and tell me Rothfuss didn’t see it too.

  5. Desdichado

    You saved my mental health with your Let’s Read TNoTW, after chapter 78 I couldn’t stand it anymore, and your let’s read was a lot more fun than the book itself.

    Keep it up mate.

  6. Noah

    This is absolutely brilliant. A couple weeks ago, I was looking for a review of a Sanderson novel and, man, did I find yours hilarious, almost asphyxiating. But then I lost your blog into the abyss of the internet, never to be found again. Until today! Bookmarked 🙂

  7. Kyle

    I love your work – every time I need to smile or hear some astute words I discover a new post that sends me into thoughtful contemplation and/or rib-cracking laughter. Keep up the awesome 😀


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