Interview with Ryan G. Murphy, Author of Gingered

28 Dec 2022

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Gingered: A Memoir?

This project started in late 2020, fresh on the heels of COVID-19, when we all didn’t know where we were allowed to go, who we were supposed to be, and when we’d experience genuine connection again. I started writing—on Instagram—short, true (sometimes funny) stories from my life. And people liked them. So I kept writing—for close to 200 days straight without stopping. I connected with people I hadn’t seen in years. People laughed. They shared their own memories with me. I felt human again. Then something magical happened. We began to help people we didn’t even know. I came up with the idea for “Writing for Good” and promised that for every Instagram interaction on one of my stories, I would donate a few cents of my own money to a charity every 30 days. The “likes” and “shares” piled up and every month I made a donation. I never once asked readers for money and yet every single month, one of you would match or exceed the donation to double or even triple it. I couldn’t believe it. These stories were making a difference—a real difference. We ended up raising a few thousand dollars for various causes and I experienced how powerful storytelling can be.

That’s when a few people in my life gave me the courage and confidence to turn the “Writing for Good” stories into a longer book. My friend and mentor, Sue Salvemini, metaphorically slapped me across the face and said: “Murph, the damn thing is already written. Just go put it together and publish it.” I suppose that was all I needed to hear.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Gingered: A Memoir, what would they be?

Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley. It’s a song that’s made millions of people laugh and it’s written by a redhead – everything I can hope for from my book.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

Humor / Memoir / Satire & Who doesn’t like a little mystery in their life? I love to write (and find humor in) the truth.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Even though I’ve read my own book 1,000 times while editing, I’ve yet to read it from cover to cover in print form so I mean I have to do that, right?

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

My favorite stories are: The Hoods, Roller Magic, Roomba and Raspberry. I love bringing memories and characters to life from various eras of my life.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

My writing process starts with a period of self loathing, procrastination, and stress eating. Then I’ll panic, figuring I’ll never amount to anything in my life, which is usually enough to get me to sit down and stare at the blinking cursor. Then I’ll give up and go for a 3-4 mile walk with my dog, which will tire us both out so then I’ll go to sleep. I’ll wake up the next day and repeat. It’s great! I love writing!

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Yes. And I can’t stress this enough. If you’ve reached the point of no return in having to go to the bathroom, don’t just assume you can hold it a little bit longer. You can’t.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

You are not alone. There are so many universal human experiences that bind us together and yet we all live in willful ignorance of that reality and just assume we are alone. We’re all going through similar things. Life is hard. Let’s laugh about it together a little bit.


Ryan G. Murphy is the author of the new book Gingered: A Memoir

Connect with Ryan G. Murphy

Author Site


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