Fiction Fest: August excerpts get underway with Ryan Rapier’s ‘The Reluctant Blogger’

Reluctant Blogger, The_2x3In today’s episode, Fiction Fest turns its lonely eyes to our August releases, Ryan Rapier’s “The Reluctant Blogger,” Carla Kelly’s “Safe Passage,” and Rebecca Jamison’s “Emma: A Latter-day Tale.”

First up in the excerpt spotlight is Rapier’s debut novel, “The Reluctant Blogger.” Rapier is an alum of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and presently resides in southeast Arizona.

The book will be released on Aug. 13, but you can pre-order a copy right now on,, and


In the prologue, readers are introduced to Todd and his psychiatrist, Dr. Schenk. They have been sitting in silence, accomplishing nothing, much like they have done in every session that has preceded it for weeks. Finally, Dr. Schenk has had enough.

Dr. Schenk sighed in frustration. “Todd, you haven’t listened to a question I’ve asked you in three months. Why are we doing this?”

Todd shifted in his seat. “Doing what?”

“I believe the time for game playing has passed. You know what I’m referring to. Why do you come and sit here week after week, refusing to engage in anything other than monosyllabic conversation?”

His inquiry was met with more silence.

“During your first few visits, I tried to be patient and give you time. When it became apparent you had no interest in actually speaking to me, I employed other methods to try and help you. Finally, when all else had failed, I asked you to write down your thoughts and feelings in hopes that you could express in the written word that which you have been unable to verbally. I explained several times that this option might be our last, did I not?”

Todd’s eyes filled with panic. It was the same expression that had led Dr. Schenk to continue his efforts with Todd several weeks beyond what his professional experience dictated. However, if things did not change today, he knew that his visits with this patient had come to an end.

Adopting a stern tone, Dr. Schenk continued, “I asked you to blog—nightly if possible—about what you’re thinking, what you’re experiencing, how you feel…how you feel about how you feel…Anything! Thus far, I must admit to being less than impressed with your results. I know you are probably aware of your paltry writings, but strictly for my benefit, I will recap for the both of us.”

Todd bowed his head, appearing to fixate on the light prism reflecting off the beveled glass table in front of him.

“The first week, you made one entry and one entry only. And I quote, ‘Blogging is Stupid!!!’ That was quite helpful. The following week, when I suggested that I would need much more from you, your one and only entry read, ‘Blogging is Really Really Really Stupid!!!’ While it pains me, I am forced to admit you did increase your word production by 100% over the previous week’s labors. However, still not helpful.”

Dr. Schenk glanced over in time to see a tear escape the eye of his patient before being hastily wiped away.

Knowing how difficult it was for this young man to even be here, Dr. Schenk couldn’t help but feel for him. He had liked Todd from the moment they’d met. However, the doctor knew if tough love wasn’t exerted now, all efforts moving forward were guaranteed to end in failure.

“Two weeks ago, I explained that in order for us to continue, I would need at least a thousand words. Again, I take responsibility for the lack of clarity in my instructions. Your discourse on the lethargic state of Arizona State football was well thought out and, in my opinion, entirely correct. But again, the essay failed to help us with your emotional well being.”