Breaking the Stigma of a Fight Writer

James Ryan

After work today, I hung out for a bit at the Prince of Wales Hotel in beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake (Ontario, Canada), where I happened upon an old acquaintance of mine – Peter Crabtree of Crabtree Publishing. Peter was one of the many consultants who I chose to add as a dedication in my book Desolate Warrior.

Even though Peter’s publishing company wasn’t interested in my work due to the fact that they predominantly specialized in children’s literature, Peter was still nice enough to take the time to read my book, and then visit me at my place of employment (where we initially met) with many helpful suggestions on various publishing companies that he thought would be interested in a book of this nature – a sports book dedicated to exposing the greedy underbelly of the modern day fight industry (yes, UFC . . . I’m talking about you!).

In any event, long story short, I decided to self-publish Desolate Warrior through Lulu.com, as getting the information out to the public as quickly as possible was detrimental to Will Ribeiro’s situation down in Brazil. We simply didn’t have upwards of a year for the book to finally hit the shelves here in Canada (the average length of the publishing process), especially since Will’s life was literally hanging in the balance down in South America.

It should be noted however, that since meeting Peter three years ago, I have given up writing about mixed martial arts for good, as I simply could no longer support a sport that so blatantly took advantage of its athletes. And yet, not surprisingly, Peter still introduced me to his wife, Bobbie (who herself has written and published well over 900 children’s books) as a “martial arts” writer.

Hmmmm . . .

I guess it makes sense that he would still think of me this way, since the only work of mine that he had ever actually read centered specifically on the fight industry, but personally, I’d like to think that I’ve come a long way in my creative evolution since then. In the past three years, my writing has been nothing short of an experimental roller-coaster ride – sometimes fun, but mostly scary as hell.

After I published Desolate Warrior, I resigned from all of my existing writing positions, with the exception of a few youth football websites, and of course, my blog mrjamesryan.com. For me, it was the beginning of the end, and the start of what I had hoped would be a brand new chapter in my life as a writer.

I needed a new challenge – something that I could be passionate about. But I honestly had no idea.

The past three years have represented a fair amount of growth, a bit of success, and a lot of failure on my part, but I wouldn’t consider trading those experiences for anything, as they have now led me to where (and who) I am today.

I am now working on my very first novel entitled, Letters from the Sanatorium, which is a story that takes place during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. It’s a project that for only the second time in my short career, I am very excited about.

I even ran the idea by Peter and his wife to get their impressions, and I am happy to report that they completely validated my feelings that this is definitely a story worth telling.

And I can’t wait to share it with each of you.

Until next time.



James Ryan
James Ryan


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