Ryan P Duke is the producer and story editor of Reading Out Loud, a dramatized short fiction podcast. Ryan graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2008 with a degree in writing. His short stories have been published in a bunch of places you’ve never heard of. Like, in Canada. He has performed his work at Write Club, Paper Machete, You’re Being Ridiculous, and Seven Deadly Sins. Ryan lives in Chicago with his life partner, asthma. Find him on twitter @ryanpduke or ryanpduke.com.

What was your inspiration for the first installment of your PleasureTown Minisode series?

For the entire 3 part arc, I’m doing my best not to straight steal from Something Wicked This Way Comes. For this particular episode, I spent a lot of time thinking about what an awful human I was as a teenager.

How is it collaborating with PleasureTown? 

I know Erin and Keith from the Live Lit scene in Chicago. Keith and I actually performed together at You’re Being Ridiculous. Erin and I collaborated in the past on an episode of Reading Out Loud. His story, Moto, was featured on our 6th episode, and it will make you feel feelings you’ve never known you could have for your electronics. All of that is to say, I love working with these guys. 

What was the greatest challenge in writing these characters?

I had two big hurtles to leap with episode one. First was trying to write what amounts to extreme child abuse. I was squirming in my seat while typing that. The second problem was trying to build up the tension enough that we would believe it when the shopkeeper harmed that boy. I alone didn’t achieve it. Brandon Paul Eells’ performance made that work. 

If you lived in PleasureTown, what would you occupation and or/pastime be?

 I don’t know if I could live in PleasureTown. I might be drawn there, but odds are good that if I spent any time there, I’d say the wrong thing the wrong person and end up dead in PleasureTown. It’s not a safe place for smart asses. So my occupation would be smart ass and my past time would be pushing up daisies.

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