When Wild first introduced Joel Silverman in "The Tie That Chokes," she had no plans for Amy and Joel to have a child or marry. However, as they grew closer, Wild felt that giving Amy a son would reflect her changing relationship and give her life a new challenge. She also felt that while Amy was a good aunt to her nieces, she would be more comfortable parenting a boy, who would not receive the emotional baggage Amy carried from her relationship with Helen and Rita.
In the Driven Wild Universe
While Ryan is not born until after the concluding Driven Wild Universe episode, "Tomorrow Never Knows," Amy's pregnancy is alluded to in that episode and in "Memory Road" and "Into the Fire." In "Memory Road," there are vague mentions of Amy looking "green," and later she gets car sick on her way to visit Helen in Lawndale. In "Into the Fire," Helen learns from Amy that she is expecting a baby, but the news is withheld from readers until "Tomorrow Never Knows," when Quinn says, "But she'll have a baby by then. Would she really want to help me?" In a piece of dialogue cut from what would later be Act Seven of that episode, Helen explains that Amy didn't want to let the family in on her pregnancy until she had passed her first trimester.
In the Driven Wild Universe Apocrypha, Ryan makes appearances in the Driven Wild Universe "future" scenes, Working Girl, and The Winter Chill. His age range during this time is between one month and six months. Amy is presented as a doting mother toward him, but also noticeably worn out and frazzled, and perhaps a little resentful of her lost "me" time. (If The Winter Chill is ever completed, this will be explored further.)
In officially released fanfics by Kara Wild, the only one in which Ryan is already born is "Mother's Milk," originally Chapter Two of The Winter Chill. He never actually appears, but is alluded to (for obvious reasons). Amy's tendency to not refer to Ryan by name in "Mother's Milk" or the Driven Wild Universe "future" scenes led to The Angst Guy poking fun at her in "The Thong Remains the Same," in which Ryan is referred to as everything from "Amy's Kid" to "Prince Poopalot" while Amy and Joel struggle to find a suitable name for him. The omission was not intentional on Wild's part; until The Angst Guy brought it up, she did not realize the pattern she had created.
- Ryan shares a middle name, "Howard," with his grandfather, Charles Howard Barksdale, Jr.
- While not the last, Ryan is believed to be the first of Amy Barksdale's biological offspring in fanfiction that is not Daria or another well-known resident of Lawndale.