James Sablan ? also known as J-Wunder ? is a 1997 Riverbank High School graduate that has soared to new heights as author of the book “Wait…What? Life Advice From a Ghetto Genius” published by Diversion Books, and with over 5 million hits on his website ghettogenius.com, which is an advice type blog.
The book was launched on Tuesday, Aug. 13 and is available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo books, and Ganxy.
In October 2010, Sablan started posting a chronicle of his life on Facebook to share with all his friends. The posts would consist of a variety of happenings, with diverse topics ranging from bums fighting or a night out with strippers.
“I started to get a large following,” stated Sablan. “Friends started approaching me, asking me to start a blog because my updates were not only comical, but honest.”
On Nov. 8, 2010 Sablan created ghettogenius.com where his friends could go to grab some laughs from the stories he would post.
The website led to the start of an advice column that he stated became more popular than he could ever imagine.
“In April 2012, actor/comedian Jamie Foxx got a hold of my Facebook Fan Page ‘Inside the Mind of a Ghetto Genius’ and gave me a shout out on his page,” said Sablan. “That day, I raked in 10K+ new fans and my blog gained amazing popularity.”
Two months later in June when his blog reached 2 million hits, an agent contacted him, wanting to turn his blog into a book. After a few weeks of consideration, Sablan decided to sign a deal with the agent.
After he signed, he started working on a book proposal. For several months his proposal kept getting denied by multiple publishers and then in January 2013 he revised the proposal.
Diversion Books was interested in his manuscript and in April 2013 he signed a deal with them to publish his book.
“The book, in a nutshell, collects the best and the most ridiculous stories, best-of lists, and advice columns, with never-before-seen insights into the wild life of J-Wunder (Sablan) and his two partners in crime, Anonymous (friend) and The Ringer (friend),” explained Sablan.
Sablan was born in Agana, Guam and when he was a few months old his family of seven relocated to San Jose. The family then moved to Riverbank and Sablan attended Riverbank High School from 1993 to 1997, graduating as a Bruin. He played basketball and football for RHS and varsity basketball coach Jeff Jennings remembers him well.
“We called him the ‘bomb from Guam,’ great kid, very hardworking and a great student,” said Jennings.
On July 21, 2010 Sablan made another return to Riverbank to participate in the Annual Alumni Hoops Tournament held at RHS, coordinated by Jennings.
“I ‘til this very day, consider it (Riverbank) home because of the close relationships I built throughout the years,” noted Sablan.
After graduating from Riverbank High School, Sablan chose to continue his education and graduated from Cal Poly in 2002 with a Graphic Communications degree in Printing Management.
Sablan expressed that college was the “greatest decision” he had ever made and where he had many “firsts.”
Currently, Sablan resides in the Bay Area where he is a producer for an advertising agency and continues to blog and write. He said he is humbled by this experience and is optimistic about what the future holds.
He also plans to return to the Central Valley in the near future for a book signing.