Why I Wrote This Book (and 5 Reasons You Should Read It)

As you might have heard, I wrote a book, but I probably haven’t told you why. It’s been just over two months since the release of ‘The Education of Ryan Gregori,’ so now is as good a time as any. Turns out, I got more out of it than I expected, and you might too. . . 

Why Did I Write It?

The old adage says “write what you know.” Well, I was 25, stuck in bed for a week after surgery to remove a rotten appendix, and getting uncharacteristically down on myself. I mean, really, my life was over, wasn’t it?

I’d always entertained these grand ambitions of being a world-renowned novelist, yet there I was—halfway through my twenties, my organs were rebelling against me (dramatic, I know), and I hadn’t written even a word of my first novel.

Let’s not talk about the novel I wrote when I was 14 (shudder), or that one I started when I was 17. . .

Yep, that’s me at age 25. . . so young. . .

I felt like the clock was ticking. No writer ever got their start in their 30s, or 40s, or 50s, right?

Ah, the naïveté of youth. . .

In any case, I took the write-what-you-know advice literally, and decided a proper memoir was in order. I had a pretty tough transition into my twenties, and when I told people about all the crazy stuff I went through, they generally listened with rapt attention.

Against doctors orders, I clambered out of bed and hobbled across to the computer, where the first lines (long since scrapped altogether) of ‘The Education of Ryan Gregori’ were written.

It took six years of writing, walking away, and writing again. I moved three times, got married, and bought a house. My life changed dramatically from those first words to The End, and so did the novel.

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Revenge is better with a side of bacon. . . 

Somewhere along the line, it turned into fiction. Though Ryan starts and ends the novel in places that mirror my own life, throughout the great majority of the book, he decided to make his own decisions, become his own person, and tell his own story.

I’m glad he did.

But I still haven’t answered the question: Why did I write it? What kept me coming back to this book after months and—in one case—years away from it?

I started it because I didn’t think I could write about anything else convincingly. I finished it because I found I had something worth saying.

I realized I believe in self-love as the remedy to almost everything.

I realized I believe in the beauty of the mundane—that simple pleasures can be extraordinary.

I realized I believe we can be more than the sum of our experiences.

And I realized not everyone believes or knows these things.

Ryan and I had to learn these lessons the hard way. Some people never learn them at all.

Don’t misunderstand. ‘The Education of Ryan Gregori’ is a novel. It’s meant to entertain and give new perspectives—to allow readers to see the world through someone else’s eyes. It’s not message fiction. I’m not trying to ram a philosophy or a moral down peoples’ throats.

But I think there’s some wisdom in there. So if you’ve been considering reading it. . .

5 Reasons to Read my Novel

We all get a little lost sometimes

As much as we might wish there was one, life doesn’t come with a definitive how-to manual. We all make mistakes along the way, and when we’re at our lowest point, it’s easy to feel isolated—like no one else has ever gone through this experience before.

Not true. If you’ve ever struggled to understand your place in the world, Ryan’s story will speak to you. It’ll also remind you: It gets better.

It’s good to feel

Perhaps the greatest gift of humanity is our ability to feel. Constant bad news cycles and the drudgery of the day-to-day can desensitize us, turning the world into a drab, colorless place.

Add a dash of longing, love, betrayal, grief, humiliation, desire, redemption, and hope? You’ll be seeing in technicolor in no time! All of this and more is on offer with TEORG.

When we see ourselves in others, we get a different perspective

Shared emotional connection—a sense of empathy—is what connects us to one another. I challenge you to read this book and not see a current or former version of yourself reflected in the pages. Seeing the way others in similar circumstances handle a situation gives us a fresh perspective on the troubles in our own lives.

Even more, it reminds us we’re not alone.

It’s pretty good!

People have been saying really nice things! I’m obviously biased, so I’ll leave it up to you to check out some of the reviews TEORG has received on Amazon. A quote from one of my favorites reads:

“. . . A love song to self-acceptance. Ryan’s voice is honest and raw and completely relatable.”

In addition, I can share a couple stats I’m proud of. Readers enrolled in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program have churned through over 6000 pages, and through a combination of sales and free promotions, TEORG has already made it into the hands of nearly 1200 readers!

Taken all together, I think I can say people are liking it! You’re people too, right? It stands to reason, then, you’ll probably like it as well.

We can overcome our adversity

Being 19 years old (Ryan’s age at the beginning) was tough! Being 25 was tough. Writing this novel was tough, and at 33, life is still tough sometimes! Look, we all face adversity all the time. I’m not going to say it’s distributed equally—one person’s mountain is another’s mole hill—and there are real problems in the world that people face every day.

But with resilience, determination, and a willingness to change, there is little we cannot ultimately overcome.

This book will remind you of that in a million little ways, and maybe even give you the encouragement you need to keep moving forward.

But. . . This is LGBT Fiction. What if I’m Not Gay?

I’m glad you brought that up! No matter how you identify, I wrote this book for people to read. The themes are quite intentionally human and universal.

Remember, this came from a write-what-you-know perspective, and I am proud to be an out gay man. But I’m also proud to be a member of human society. Yes, it’s LGBT fiction. But it’s also Coming of Age fiction.

It’s a story about a kid struggling to find his place in the world, and that goes way beyond your sexual orientation (or mine).

Where to Get It!

If you think you’re ready to take the plunge (c’mon, the water’s fine) you can find ‘The Education of Ryan Gregori’ in the following places:

Easy, affordable, portable, and environmentally friendly. . . get the Kindle version for only $2.99!

Sign up for my mailing list and get the paperback for just $11.99! (And get the FREE companion short story ‘The Liberation of Meredith Gardner.’)

Skip the mailing list and get the paperback direct from me for $13.99 (Free shipping to the continental US)

If you’re the Amazon Prime type, get the paperback from Amazon for $14.99

Thanks, and Happy Reading!

Tell me your thoughts! Have you read TEORG, or is it on your list? What is the last book you read where you saw yourself reflected in the characters? What steps do you take to overcome when faced with adversity? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks as always for reading,

Gregory

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Aimer Boyz - November 9, 2017

Congratulations on how well your book is doing and good luck going forward. I’m impressed with your professionalism and drive and your creativity — This post is the best soft-sell I’ve ever seen 🙂

I’m terrible at marketing. I just hit publish and cross my fingers 🙂

Reply
    Gregory Josephs - November 9, 2017

    Wow, you absolutely made my day! I wish I’d had the foresight to learn about marketing before I hit publish, but better late than never.

    Between you and I (and everyone else reading comments), I just did a 5-day free promotion on Amazon. The first four days were okay, and then day 5 it took off. I mean, it would’ve been crazy if those were all sales, but if those readers leave reviews and tell their friends, I could be on to something. In any case, I’m grateful for the eyes on the page. Maybe worth a try if you haven’t already. You have an awesome book, and a great cover. I think it’d do well. . .

    Speaking of, I, uh. . . still owe you a review. 😉

    Reply
      Aimer Boyz - November 15, 2017

      LOL! Don’t worry about the review of my book, you’ve got your hands full making sure your book gets the notice it needs.

      I hope the Amazon promotion translates into real sales for you, or at least, some great reviews. Maybe I’ll try it with my next book.

      When all our energy and every thought is on finishing our book, how are we supposed to worry about marketing too? At least, you started your blog before your book rolled out which is exactly what you’re suppose to do…Of course, I did it the other way around 🙁

      Reply
        Gregory Josephs - November 16, 2017

        Haha, thanks, but that review is forthcoming. . .

        Reply
WJQuinn - November 13, 2017

You didn’t hype it, you sold it; a well constructed post indeed. You didn’t compare it to anyone else’s work, or ram buzzwords and search terms in for the sake of it.

I shall most certainly read your book when finances and time allow; I reckon you deserve it!

Reply
    Gregory Josephs - November 13, 2017

    Much appreciated! I’d be honored to have you read it. And thanks. This post would probably flunk an SEO test, but I prefer to come off as human as possible. 😉

    Reply
Marcus Lopés - November 16, 2017

Again, congratulations Greg on your book, The Education of Ryan Gregori. It was a great read.

Writing a book is a great achievement. So many people say they want to write a book, but never do. You never gave up. You came back to it over the course of six years and finished it. That deserves a pat on the back.

I love when you say, “I realized I believe in self-love as the remedy to almost everything.” I believe that also, and we see that with Ryan and the journey he’s on.

Wishing you much success!

Marcus

Reply
    Gregory Josephs - November 16, 2017

    Thanks Marcus. It is a huge achievment, and as I find myself getting swept up in things, I forget that occassionally.

    Now the challenge is to make sure this one gets seen, and then to write another one. I’m sure you can relate—the second one is harder in some ways, right?

    Wishing continued success to you as well!

    Reply
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