Erin Ritch

Writer, Blogger, Mom

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Short Story Collection Volume I – published!

Yay! After much compiling, formatting, and proofing…my first collection of short stories is finally published!

Ta da!

I am so excited to have these stories out. I am a lover of short fiction, my first story ever published online was a piece of flash fiction. As the description says, they are “tales of fantasy, science fiction, and the obscure.” Some of the work has appeared previously on this blog over the years, while other stories are new and unpublished.

For the cover design, I wanted to incorporate the new-and-improved No Wyverns Publishing logo. The background text is a loop of the titles of the twenty-two stories contained in this book. I plan to publish more anthologies of short fiction in the future that will use this same layout…eventually becoming a box set! (Oh, the plans…the plans…)

 

Here is an excerpt from one of my favorite stories included, “The Last Machinist.”

I have searched countless years, scouring the globe for an object that probably doesn’t even exist.

Jen-Li stared at the wrinkled page of her sister’s last journal entry. It trembled in the whipping wind that invaded the abandoned living quarters, howling as it broke through the cracked windows. The room was so cold. Bitter and lonely, as though resentful for being left in such a state. A thin layer of dust covered the overturned furniture and broken dishes like downy, providing just enough protection against the raging elements outside.  Removing her gloves, Jen-Li traced the sentence with her finger, leaving a muddled smear of letters in its wake. She wiped it again for the last time so that it would belong to her alone. So that this idea that her sister pondered became nothing but a blur, just like the stain of runny ink on her fingertips that would eventually wash away.

“What does it say?” Terra asked from the doorway. Her small frame was swallowed by her heavy coat, transforming her into a bulky, short stump of a ten-year-old. Her blue eyes shone fiercely from the depths of her fur-lined hood. She could read her mother’s body language too well.

Whisking the withered journal in her arms, Jen-Li closed it with a loud clap. A cloud of dust sauntered up to her face, burning her freckled nose as she hacked on the taste. The sound seemed to startle the frozen room as another wave of dust trickled from the ceiling and into her damp auburn hair.

“I wanted you to stay in the mech,” she said, peering out the frosted window glass as she replaced her gloves. Her mech was still there, motionless and protected beneath the ancient fir tree on the edge of the abandoned drive. She looked up at the splitting beams of her sister’s last known dwelling place. “This place is falling apart.”

“Did Aunt Nina find it?” Terra pressed. Her voice sounded on the precipice of panic.

“I don’t know,” Jen-Li replied sharply before she caught herself, realizing that her own voice sounded strained. That was not her job, not her duty as Terra’s mother, to sound afraid. That was not who she was. That was not the tone of this journey that had taken them from the warmth of home to this wasteland. Jen-Li recovered and joined her daughter in the entryway.  “But we will find out.”

 

Intrigued? I hope so! The e-book is priced at only .99 and the print version at $4.99 – both available at Amazon!

Out with the old/In with the new

Hello, I’m here!

It’s been a whirlwind of a year so far, that’s for sure. I had my second daughter in March (hello, Esper!) and only just recently reclaimed my late-night writing/editing/business time after the kids go to sleep. (That’s right, my baby is sleeping through the night. Huzzah!) So things are in motion…it may be slow motion, but it’s onward and upward from here.

There are several projects in the works that will be released this summer. AND, have you noticed the amazing logo at the top of this post? No Wyverns Publishing has a brand new logo and website design and I LOVE it. Now I can finally go swag-purchasing-crazy. (No Wyverns shirts, anyone?)

In other news….the e-book for Myth will be on sale for .99 from June 23-30….so grab it while you can! I’m super excited about this sale, this is my first paid promotion that I have invested in. Several e-book deal sites will be including Myth in their daily deals email blast, which enables me to reach many, many more potential readers. Fingers crossed, I’ll post results after the promotion ends, which hopefully will be filled with many smiley faces and exclamation points.

Lastly, I’ve only planned one event (so far!) for 2017, and that’s the NW Book Festival in Portland, OR on July 29th. I attended this event last year and had great success, not only selling books but meeting other authors, as well. I’ll be at booth 45, over in the shady area by the Starbucks (hmmm, how convenient!) It’ll be hot. Guaranteed.

That’s all for now, check back for more frequent posts – I promise!

 

Myth on Kindle Countdown

Myth - kindle countdown deal social media version

 

This is a busy time for Myth! I can’t believe the book has been out a month a half and I’m already very pleased with how it has been selling. I want to keep the ball rollin’! In addition to the Goodreads Giveaway that ends next week, Myth will also be on a Kindle Countdown Deal from September 10-16!

What’s a Kindle Countdown Deal? For a short amount of time, the usual retail of the Kindle version of Myth ($4.99) is reduced. It starts out at .99, then up to $1.99 a few days later, then $2.99, etc…until reaching back to the normal retail on the 17th. It’s a very popular promotion in the Kindle Direct Publishing world and I want people to take advantage of it! (And hopefully leave a review!)

So if you haven’t gotten your copy of Myth yet…grab it now!

 

 

 

The Northwest Book Festival – Portland, OR

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Hello from booth 50!

Last weekend went GREAT at the NW Book Festival! It was a super long day (leaving Eugene at 5 am doesn’t help…) but well worth it! We got there far ahead of our load-in time (by the way, the event was organized super well!)

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Hidden under the table….lots of cookies. Lots.

We sold over a dozen books and met dozens of other great authors – mostly indies! It was so fun to speak with my new readers about my books and see their excitement over the story.

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I think our table setup worked perfectly, but I learned some great options from other author’s tables for future events. There were a few whispered questions from passerby’s about “What the heck is No Wyverns??” – but hey, it got your attention! 😉

We definitely saw it as a success…and we’ll be back next year!

Event at Another Read Through!

Yesterday was awesome! I had my FIRST table signing at a wonderful bookstore in Portland, Oregon called Another Read Through.

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Behold!

I brought copies of Myth and Quinn Family: The Mayan Ruins – both covers really drew attention! It was great talking with passerby’s about the books and also my fellow Willamette Writers who were at the event.

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That’s me!

All in all, I learned a lot and left three copies of Myth and Quinn Family at Another Read Through – go check them out!

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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!

“Myth” Cover Art Concepts

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Recently I’ve been gathering together images that capture the style I’d like for the cover artwork for Myth. Here’s a few examples above! (Have I mentioned it’s a Fantasy novel?)

Tearing Down the Block: When Your Characters Fight

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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!

 

March in like a Lion – Self vs Independent

Behold - the Middle of Nowhere, CA.

Behold…the Middle of Nowhere, CA.

 

Wow – it’s March!

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been gone for a bit. While I was out of town in California with my family, I had some time to ponder a few things. Well, more than a few things, but specifically my views on “self” publishing.

(*SNORE* right? Well, yes, these are the things us writer-over-analyzer-types think about!)

I’ve been training myself to drop the word “self” and call myself an independent publisher. I write it, I design it (or, for my next book, hire a designer), I publish it, I promote it, I sell it. And in the future, I may coach other authors how to do the same. I realized it was my own insecurities that have driven me to jump and introduce myself as a “self” published author. As though my books needed explaining or didn’t carry the same amount of weight as if they had been published the traditional route. I thought that publishing my book by myself (a story that was rejected time and time again by agents and publishers) was some sort of cop out. You have to think these thoughts before you can get over them.

The thing is, what is known as the “traditional route” of publishing is changing course. It’s evolved so much in even just the last five years. Writers no longer have to invest ten grand for a print run of their books or wait months for a response from an editor or agent. Because instead of waiting on that response, we have the freedom to get our work out there and elicit one. And move onto the next project and the next and the next, being the creatives we should be. I am discovering a new confidence in my writing and new avenues for my stories everyday – which I truly believe stems from the creative freedom I get to keep because I am independent.