By Sara Gold, Editor-in-Chief
Ryan Stygar is a full-time 2L student at California Western School of Law. He is also a former firefighter, a current SBA class representative, and a published fiction author. His latest book, an educational outer space-themed novel called “Snot Rocket and the Weapon of Math Destruction,” was released on Amazon last week.
“It’s not easy, but there’s always a way to make time when you really love what you are doing,” Stygar said.
After serving as a firefighter for four years with Cal Fire & San Diego Fire Authority, Stygar realized that he wanted to finish his undergraduate degree and then attend law school.
“Believe it or not, there are a lot of parallels between firefighting and law, as both careers require you to become a professional problem solver,” he said. “I wanted a career with lots of creative flexibility, but where I could still be that professional problem solver like I was in the fire department. Law feels like the perfect fit and I’m very excited about it.”
Stygar completes legal writing by day and creative writing by night. He has loved reading and writing since he was a kid, and he was “hooked” on publishing fiction once he finished his first book, “The Emperor of Vegas.” He started working on the novel, an action-filled story about a murder-for-hire gone wrong, while at the fire station, and he published it in 2017 before starting law school.
“I never intended to publish it; it was just like a fun ‘make your own adventure’ for me,” said Stygar, who has plans to eventually release a sequel. “I think the story was at about 100 pages when I realized I had something special, something people hadn’t read before, and that’s when I decided to make it a full-length novel. I’m absolutely thrilled with how it came out.”
Stygar started writing his latest book, “Snot Rocket and the Weapon of Math Destruction,” during the first month of his 1L year. This “hilariously educational” interactive book teaches kids about math, science, and technology through the story of Snot Rocket, a fourth-grader who must use his wit to outsmart the evil Doctor NoseBleed. Though the book is designed primarily for elementary-aged kids, Stygar believes the book has something to offer for readers of all ages.
“Kids will love the humor and fast-paced action, and I tucked a few family-appropriate jokes in there for the grownups as well,” he said. “Readers will learn about space flight and the solar system when they read this book, and learning is fun. They’ll also love watching Snot Rocket battle it out with a variety of outlandish villains. I think young and old readers will get a kick out of Doctor NoseBleed and his minions.”
Stygar published both of his books through Amazon Publishing, and he enlisted his high school friend, Garrett Dare, to provide illustrations for “Snot Rocket.” He says that his illustrator helps keep him accountable throughout the writing process.
“Managing law school and writing is a challenge for sure,” he said. “I try to write one chapter per week. Of course law school has to take priority at times, but I genuinely love writing.”
Stygar encourages other law students to also pursue their creative passions: “I think the most important thing to remember is that you should always write the kind of story you would want to read. Don’t worry about the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of doing things. If you’re having fun, your readers will have fun too.”