Erin Ritch

Writer, Blogger, Mom

Menu Close

Category: editing

“The Reanimation of Robert” – open for Beta readers!

Teaser of the book cover! Artwork by Char Houweling of Houweling Design

 

I am so excited to announce that my Paranormal fiction “The Reanimation of Robert” is moving into the next phase of development…and I need Beta readers, like you!

If you’re new to the term, a “Beta reader” is willing to read an early draft of a novel and provide their feedback. That means you’ll have to overlook some possible spelling/grammar errors and help the author (me!) identify any parts of the story that just don’t make sense. This is an important and exciting part of the editing process – and I need your help!

Here’s a short synopsis of the story:

Robert should not be alive. Missing from his wife’s side on the night of her murder, he has no memory or explanation for his absence other than a strange twist of fate. Haunted by the dead who continue to cross his path, Robert realizes they are seeking his help and that he has abilities he never knew imaginable. When a messenger of Death is sent to investigate his newfound power, a young barista is Robert’s only ally in the race to save the souls of the lost, including his family, before they become trapped in darkness forever.

To entice you further, I’ve included a teaser of the book cover above ~ the amazing Char Houweling of Houweling Design is designing the cover! She also created the artwork for “Myth” and I couldn’t be happier to be partnering with her again.

If you’re interested in becoming a Beta reader, please email me at Erin@NoWyverns.com before December 26th  and let me know your e-reader preference. I’ll send you the file and a few short questions to be answered at the end of the story. I’ll ask to hear back from you before January 20th, 2017 (please). All Beta readers get a free copy of the finished e-book and my forever gratitude.

Thank you!

 

 

“Myth” release date announcement…and e-book pre-orders open!

Myth ebook cover Flat

Cover illustration by the talented Char Houweling

I can’t believe this day is finally here but…my Young Adult Fantasy book “Myth” has a release date of 7.25.16!

Get your e-book pre-orders here!

If you know me and my writing, then you’ve probably heard me talk about this book at least a hundred times. What started as notebooks full of handwritten pages has turned into a novel. It’s traveled with me from Oregon to Vancouver B.C. (where those handwritten notebooks were almost stolen – thank you, nice Canadian thieves, for leaving them in my parent’s car), then to California (where I packed them with my valuables when we were almost evacuated from fires), then back to Oregon, tucked safe atop my bedroom dresser.

Where it sat. And sat. And the paperclips of notes between the pages grew rusty with age. It sat some more until one day I needed this story again. And those characters were still there, dutifully waiting in the place I had left them.

That was August of 2014. So I picked up where I left off, writing “Myth” while working full time. I’d write on my lunch breaks. I’d write after my toddler went to bed or on my days off. I don’t know how many ideas I’d repeat to myself over and over during my commute between home and work – don’t forget it, don’t forget it until you get home and jot it down. It went painfully slow but at least it went.

I was able to scramble one edit through the finished manuscript before taking it to a writer’s conference in August of 2015. I pitched it to several agents and editors, all who displayed interest. But then “Myth” had to sit and wait again. So it sat and sat, waiting for the response from those “interested” agents that eventually arrived, if at all.

Now it’s 2016 and this story is tired of sitting and waiting. When I started No Wyverns Publishing, I knew I’d have total creative control over “Myth.” And while that’s stellar, it’s also a lot of work. You need to get as much feedback as you can. You need to hire and seek out help from professionals. You need to edit and revise and edit again (then again. Oh, and again). It also helps to be married to a brilliant book format expert and all around problem-solving-genius.

But guess what? I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It takes a lot of patience to write a book. Unfortunately, I’ve had to say ‘no’ to some things and drag myself to the computer when I just wanted to go to bed instead of editing until 1 am. But through it all, I couldn’t put this story down and never tired of it and I hope readers feel the same way.

It’s going to be an exciting and busy summer and I have twenty emails to write about this announcement. But right now I’m going to sit back and reflect on how far this book has come. It’s survived theft and fire and age and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

So that’s the story of how “Myth” came about…but what’s the book about, you ask?

Shogun Saban dreams of becoming a woodsman like his grandfather; to fly between the trees and listen to their stories. But his father wants to keep him rooted on the ground and far away from his childhood friend, a girl of the sea named Madigan who can control the elements.

Beyond their little corner of the world, an evil has sprouted and is quietly spreading; corrupting its victims and marking them with eyes full of shadows. When it reaches their sleepy hometown of Shrunken Hollow, Shogun and Madigan search for the origin of the darkness – but the answer lies in an old myth about a place that only exists in dreams.

With the aid of the forest and the sea, Shogun and Madigan must unravel the myth before the darkness takes over their world – and themselves.

 Thanks to everyone that helped me with this book, got excited with me about this book, put up with my pickiness, waited while I “just need to finish this last paragraph,” or just offered a “that’s awesome!” We did it!

The of Summer ’16

I’m excited to say I am thisclose to finishing the third draft of “Myth” and the artwork for the cover is looking amazing. The release of “Myth” will be timed perfectly with the two book fairs I will be attending this summer. I’m really looking forward to bringing No Wyverns Publishing to these events and meeting/networking with other authors. Oh yeah, and selling books!!

Here’s where I’ll be this summer!

 

cropped-NWBookFest_Logo-e1451342807523-1

www.nwbookfestival.com
Saturday, July 30th, 2016
Pioneer Square/ Portland, OR
Booth # 50

I’ve been assigned the booth near the Starbucks…man, did they figure me out or what! 9 Bridges is an organization of writers based out of Portland. I signed up for this festival immediately once registration was open back in January! No Wyverns Publishing will have our own table there. I’m really excited about the other authors that will be at this event as well. It’s in the middle of summer so I’ll be well-hydrated…oh yeah, and also well caffeinated.

 

copy-BBB_Logo_blue

www.bobsbeachbooks.net
Saturday, August 20th, 2016
1747 Hwy 101/ Lincoln City, OR

Finally! I’ve been wanting to join the Northwest Author Fair for several years now, but due to limited space and the popularity of the event, I haven’t been able to get in until now! Again, the list of authors that will be here are amazing…and I get to spend the day at the coast. Sign me up!

I’ll be selling/signing copies of all three of my titles at these events – “Memories Wait Alone”, “Quinn Family Adventures” (with its brand new cover!) and “Myth.” I can’t wait but I have a lot to do before then…so its back to editing and…oh yeah, more editing. Cheers!

I’m still here…

IMG_0165

Searching for seed starts. No, that’s not me.

It’s been a busy month between gardening, editing, editing, and more editing. Each day that passes by gets me closer to my (self-imposed) deadline of having the 3rd draft of “Myth” done by the 31st. (*breaks out in sweat*)

I’m getting there and churning out some great changes…but UGH I’M SO TIRED (*end whine*)

In other exciting news: I’m working with two amazing artists who are creating original artwork for the cover of two of my books. I am loving the collaborate process and amazed at how my stories are literally coming to life with their creative help. I can’t wait to reveal the finished covers to you all!

That’s all from me, it’s back to editing. Please send chocolate.

Spring Cleaning – Weeding Out the Darlings

IMG_20160418_203940609 [133696]

Editing by computer monitor light…yay?

If I fall a bit radio silent over the next few weeks, it’s because I’m diving into Draft Three of “Myth.”

I’ll still be posting “Late Night Writing Prompts” and a few other pieces I have in mind, partly because this helps keep my sanity when I’m doing heavy editing. If you haven’t guessed, editing is not my favorite thing in the world. While some writers love it, I see it as a necessary evil – like going to the dentist. (No offense to any dentists out there.) You’ve got to go. You’ve got to get your cleanings. You’ve got to hear the bad news about what needs pulled or what needs taken apart and put back together.  (Yep, seeing a lot of similarities here.)

But this is all worth it, because I am so excited with the direction that “Myth” is going – I have some amazing things to share soon. Summer will be great.

Now just to survive the work that spring is requiring in order to make summer great.
(By the way, I also need to go to the dentist. For real.)

Tearing Down the Block: When Your Characters Fight

6504813097_bf16c3ef80_z

Put on your war paint.

Image credit: id-iom

I’m in the midst of working on my next novel (The Reanimation of Robert) and really hit a big ol’ block. I was looking for every excuse to get out of writing. That’s what I get for yammering about how swell this book was going. *KARMA MOMENT*

I’ve suffered from enough moments of Writer’s Block to look for a few key things that signal what’s triggering my block:

A) I need a break and should go to bed.

B) Go back in the story to the most recent part I love. Delete everything that happens afterwards.

 (Editor’s note: This is dangerous territory. After a recent *ahem* over-deleting episode, I’ve started a messy compilation of “deleted scenes” that I can reference back to if needed.)

C) Look for a wrong direction I’ve taken in the story. The best clue for this is…my characters start arguing with each other. Over nothing important or essential to the story. I’m talking really. Stupid. Stuff.

I can’t describe it any better than the below: An example of both points B &C – a deleted excerpt from The Reanimation of Robert. I’ve had to remove a few things to avoiding giving away too much…because hopefully you’ll read the finished book. Void of blather like this.

-Begin dramatic episode-

At work, Piper opened shop solemnly, only half listening to Zelda’s recount of her adventures the night before. She watched the clock until around the time that Robert would be expected. The bell rang and Robert appeared, right on time.

“I need to take -” Piper started.

“I know, I know. You need your break. Just go,” Zelda sighed impatiently.

Before Robert could even order, Piper came and took his arm. He faltered, completely set off track by this change in routine.

“I think I may have made a mistake,” Piper whispered, pulling him against the wall.

“How so?” Robert whispered back.

“The____. I don’t think you should go back.”

Robert blinked, his expression going from confusion to surprise. “You know I went to see____?”

“Yes, I’m sorry,” Piper continued. “I thought ___ would help. But I think, actually I know, ___ believes you_______.”

Everyone thinks I ______,” Robert said coldly.

Piper sighed. “___ told me…some things. About your appointments.”

Robert set his jaw. “Thank you, but ____ helping me,” he said with finality.

Piper raised an eyebrow but shook her head. Robert turned to join the long line that had grown at the counter with only one barista working.

“So did it work?” Piper asked loudly from behind him.

Robert looked over his shoulder. He paused for a long time, his mind clicking over the question again and again.

“____’s homework for you. Did it work?” Piper asked again, walking up to Robert.

Robert looked around, suddenly aware of the eyes turning to look at him.

“Soy latte, please,” he said simply.

Piper sighed sharply and pushed past him. Disregarding the next in line, she quickly prepared Robert’s latte and brought it to him. She walked up to him and shoved the cup in his face.

“Here. Because I know you never hear me.”

-End dramatic episode-

What do you think – should I stop writing novels and write scripts for soap operas instead? Complete with “impatient dramatic sighs?” *Sigh* Oh well, it’s out from the book. It took me a few days to realize “What in the world are they fighting about? This is so dumb. Get that crap outta my story! Onward!”

I guess my point here is to take cues from your story. It may sound simple, but sometimes simple is easy to miss. These characters are supposed to be comrades. The few paragraphs before this excerpt contained a key moment that was a wrong direction for the story. So, in response, I suppose my characters decided to bicker in the coffee shop and it flagged me. And removing that wrong direction got me over my block.

So thanks, Piper and Robert. For fighting in a coffee shop for the good of the story.

The Quinn Family Adventures: The Mayan Ruins – now in print!

Cover design by the Talented Mr. Nicholas Ritch

Cover design by the Talented Mr. Nicholas Ritch

 

It has been a long road of lengthy edits (I believe I was on proof 4 when I was finally able to approve it) but The Quinn Family Adventures: The Mayan Ruins is now available in print! This book has been available as an E-book for a few months but the print version proved a bit of a challenge. We had some formatting hiccups which led to very small errors in the copy, such as random extra spaces inserting between text and quotation marks. This was so unbelievably obnoxious to me, its very possible that no one would have ever seen it for all of time, but I would forever know they were there.

What some people see: “Hello, my name is Erin Ritch. “

What I see: “Hello, my name is Erin Ritch.                    “

I’m excited to have another completed book ready to go! Onto the next!

 

“Myth” – Beta Reader Sign Up

Myth Working Cover

Working cover art…but it’s still pretty freakin’ cool.

I am beyond thrilled to announce I am moving forward onto the next phase of development for my Young Adult Fantasy novel titled Myth.

At this time I am looking to recruit Beta Readers in anticipation of the release of Myth this summer. It’s a pretty exciting time for me. I’ve had this story close to my heart for a long time and I can’t wait to share it with everyone. I want to make it the best it can be, so feedback from Beta Readers is invaluable! Help me see what I’m missing, people! (Please!)

So what’s a Beta Reader, anyway? You’ll be reading a completed draft of the story, but it’s by no means the finished product. You may have to overlook some (*gasp*) typos or punctuation errors. I won’t ask you to catch errors like that, but I will ask you some general questions, such as:

  • What was confusing or unanswered by the end of the book?
  • Were any character actions, well, out of character?
  • What was your favorite part of the story/was there anywhere in the story you lost interest?

I’ll be sending out digital copies of Myth to anyone interested on March 16th. Due to the deadline I need to meet, I’ll be asking for feedback about a month later, on April 16th. And if you don’t have the book finished by then, no big deal. Any feedback is better than none! And I hope this goes without saying…but if you don’t like an element of the story or the whole darn book is just not your thing – I will not take offense, pester you to explain yourself! or block you on Facebook.  🙂

Myth is approximately 85,000 words. To give you a comparison, that’s about the length of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Because my spouse is a Computer Wizard, I can send you the book in various digital forms (Word, PDF, files for your Kindle or other E-Reader, etc).

To see if you’re interested in signing up, let me give you a quick pitch:

“Myth” is the story of a young warrior of the forest and a girl with powers from the sea who must save their home from a dark force taking over their world.

It’s set in a time and place like our own but a little different. Shogun was raised by his woodsmen father and grandfather who think of themselves as warrior-types and want to shape him the same way. Madigan comes from a family of fisherman that can control the elements of water, wind and fire. Although from completely different walks of life, these two form a childhood friendship. As the story begins, they are oblivious to the violence that is spreading across their world, an epidemic known only as “dark eyes” that can turn a good person into something twisted.

Their sleepy town is turned upside down when Shogun’s father becomes consumed by the “dark eyes” and commits an act of violence against Madigan’s family. The two friends are split apart for years and in that time the forest and the sea take the two children in as their own and teach them their secrets. When they reconnect as adults years later, Shogun and Madigan are tasked to find a shrine that is said to hold the key to ending all evil. Aided by the elements, magical creatures and intuitive instruments, they leave on a journey to stop the darkness from taking over their world.

Click the link below to sign up as a Beta Reader! 

“Myth” Beta Reader sign up form

Thanks for your support and I hope you enjoy!

Publishing Progress Report

10867591144_a24b9973cf_z

Image credit Jurgen Appelo

In the interest of keeping readers updated (okay, to keep myself on track), I wanted to start a Publishing Progress Report for my works in progress. Unfortunately I am unable to capture every single thing I have running through my mind at 2 am, as that would require another blog altogether called Crazy Erin’s Checklist.

Here we go:

  • One book thisclose to finishing the final proof edit
  • One short story that is ⅗ way complete (Yes, ⅗)
  • New novel tentatively called “The Reanimation of Robert” (goal is to finish in 3 months)
  • Finished novel that is in need of another heavy edit + more Beta reviews + design concept
  • Shopping “Memories Wait Alone” to local bookstores and online book bloggers
  • Various web and social media projects, such as this blog

Writing it down doesn’t look so bad, but they all seem to be annoying close to being done. Well, except that new novel. And that heavy edit.

Drat, I better get to work.

Choose Your Own Editing Adventure

Should you:
A) Edit your novel in a noisy lunchroom
B) Edit your novel while “The Wheels On The Bus” plays on repeat while your toddler points out every character.

Should you:
A) Spend an entire day editing a chapter that you love and adore but know has no point in your novel any longer.
B) Cut your losses and just post the chapter on your blog as an original short story.

Should you:
A) Spend 3 hours looking up alternate titles for your novel as you did a Google search and got a hit on a strange self published story from 2004.
B) Stop procrastinating and just edit, already.