Hi. I'm Ryan. I write books. I write music. I'm terrible at chess and parallel parking.
My music has aired in hundreds of TV broadcasts throughout the world. My debut novel, "The World's Greatest Chocolate-Covered Pork Chops" is available in hard cover and e-book. Disney-Hyperion is the publisher, and yes, I love saying that.
I live in Utah with my darling wife and daughter, and my banana-yellow electric guitar.
How did you get the idea for “The World’s Greatest Chocolate-Covered Pork Chops”?
I love food. I get excited about food. If I’m at a party and it’s boring, but the food’s great, I’ll stay for six hours. My favorite food is chocolate.
And I love writing. And I love making people laugh.
So I decided to write a book about food that would make people laugh, and the result is “The World’s Greatest Chocolate-Covered Pork Chops.”
What was the inspiration for Chef Zoey Kate?
My daughter’s name is Zoey Kate. She is bright, funny, courageous, tenacious, and adorable.
Years ago, we were having one of those no-cookies-until-after-dinner arguments, and I thought, "This girl is a relentless negotiator. It’s like she’s incapable of seeing other people’s points of view. She’d make a great character in a book!"
From that came the idea of making Zoey a gourmet chef, who is 12 years old, and lives in San Francisco, and wants to start her own restaurant.
And instead of a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant, her restaurant could be in a trolley car.
Or, better yet, three trolley cars!
And I could introduce a burly tattooed biker with a shady criminal past to drive the trolleys.
And her parents could be quirky jazz musicians.
And her best friend could be a fun-loving boy who is obsessed with football and the 49ers and can out-eat a hippopotamus.
And all the characters could be named after foods.
And speaking of Chocolate-Covered Pork Chops, what other crazy dishes could she make?
My brain went on and on like this until, after two years of writing and re-writing, I had a finished book.
Are you a good cook?
No! I find cooking overwhelming and scary. But I’m awesome at eating.
Have you eaten chocolate-covered pork chops?
Yes, and they were amazing! I blogged about it here.
How did you get Disney-Hyperion to be the publisher?
I sent my manuscript to a dozen-ish agents. One agent, Sara Sciuto of Fuse Literary, liked the book and offered to represent me. I thought Sara was great, so I said, “deal!”
Sara pitched my book to a number of U.S. publishers. An editor at Disney-Hyperion, Kieran Viola, liked the book and offered to publish it. Sara and I thought Kieran was great, so we said, “deal!”
God answers prayers and dreams come true.
Will “The World’s Greatest Chocolate-Covered Pork Chops” become a TV show or movie?
I hope so. I've received industry interest, but I haven't sold film rights yet.
How is Sager pronounced?
Pretend you’re teaching a tiger to growl: “Say grrrr.”
Are you related to the Ryan Sager who writes for TIME?
Are you related to Shaquille O’Neal?
Twix or Reese’s?
In the mid 2000s, Peanut Butter Twix had a dark-brown Oreo-like cookie inside it. It was divine. A few years ago, however, Twix went back to a light brown cookie, like Caramel Twix has. Meh.
Until PB Twix gets its act together and returns to a dark-brown Oreo-like cookie, the clear winner will always be Reese’s. (As long as the Reese’s have been in the freezer. If the Reese’s are room-temperature or warmer, then the winner, by default, is Mr. Goodbar.)