Erin Ritch

Author, Mom, Founder of No Wyverns Publishing

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Category: Willamette Writers Conference

Summer updates

Ahhh…summer. Long days. Really early mornings. Really, really hot temperatures. And too many activities out in those really, really hot temperatures. (Can you tell I’m a fall/winter gal?)

But I’ve got some air conditioned plans coming up in the future! I’ll be attending the Willamette Writers Conference August 3-5 in Portland, Oregon. If you haven’t attended before, it’s a GREAT conference filled with workshops for every interest. I’ve made some great contacts in the past and it is just a great feeling to commiserate with hundreds of other authors who are all toiling away on their projects as much as you!

I’m also participating in a My Book Cave promotion called “Lost in Time” with over a dozen other authors. You can download a copy of our offered book for free (I have “Memories Wait Alone” up there now!) in exchange for signing up for our newsletter. If you’re interested, you can snag a free book here until August 6th!

In other book news, I am THISCLOSE to finishing the final draft on “The Reanimation of Robert.” I can’t wait to share this book with all of you. It’s been several years in the making but I’m proud of the themes addressed and the main character is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

Be patient with me, gentle reader. I only get work done when everyone else is asleep (and I probably should be, too.)

Judge a book by its cover

 After returning from a fantastic Willamette Writers Conference last weekend, I’ve been reflecting on the Self Publishing workshop I attended. One of the topics was about the importance and impact of cover design for your books. It made me take a critical look at my current books out there…

The cover of “The County Place” (my first self published book) was designed by my husband, Nick. I love it because, due to the title, we get the setting of the book…but the bottom photo gives the reader that initial visual to build off of.

The plot of this book revolves around three sisters, as suggested by the top photo of the statue. I love this because it’s timeless, much like the different dramas the sisters experience that are recurring through many sibling relationships.

I wish I had a picture of the spine of the book, but you’ll just have to take my word on this. There is a small icon of a cat at the bottom of the spine. The family cat plays an important part in the book…it may or may not be the spirit of the sisters’ deceased mother. I guess you’d have to read the book to find out…

The only downside I can see here is this image would be unclear shrunk down to the size of a thumbnail, which is critical for online searches. Also, I should lose “A Novel by…” We’re all grown ups here, I think we get it.

This is my more recent self published book “Memories Wait Alone“. It’s a historical fiction novella about a man who is haunted by the (literal) ghosts of his past. By the time I got to the cover design, I realized I wanted something simple. I became inspired by image searches from the early 1900’s, but couldn’t find anything suitable that was copyright free.

I remembered this picture of my great-grandfather and it was PERFECT. No, the story is not about him….but that haunted look in his eyes does fit with the main character perfectly. So after a bit of Photoshop by yours truly, voila – cover is done.

I’m on the fence about “A Novella by…” I wanted to be clear this was a shorter book (about 50,000 words) whereas The Country Place was over 90,000.  Not as much bang for your buck…but probably not necessary.

And completely unrelated, other than it does show a book cover – here is my adorable daughter “reading” her new favorite book. Have I mentioned my daughter is going to change the world? She’s off to a great start, already.

T minus 30 days and counting

The Willamette Writer’s Conference in Portland, Oregon is only 30 days away! 

This time next month, I will be hittin’ the road north towards Portland. I have been lost in a mad, last minute dash to finish editing and get my pitch in fighting shape. I thought it would help to watch some videos of other successful pitches and came across this video from 2013. Yes, it is an agent pitching to a panel of editors…yes, she is pitching an already published book in hopes of it being translated in Enlgish. But the core and soul of this pitch is what I would love to capture.

And, of course, with the good comes the bad…