Rachael Ritchey is the author of The Beauty Thief, a first in the Chronicles of the Twelve Realms series, who also hosts a weekly writing prompt on her website called Blog Battle. She’s a native Idahoan who knows next to nothing about potatoes except that she likes them. Now she can be found hiding in her basement in Eastern Washington, tapping away at the keyboard and exploring made-up worlds in her head.
What was the funniest mistake you’ve made as a writer?
I don’t know how funny it is, but I’ve gotten character names mixed up a few times. When I go back to edit I will stop, double-take, wince, & then furrow my brow while wondering if one of my beloved family members has sneaked onto my computer, switching the names with delighted mischief. I kinda wish it was the case. But no. That would be too easy of an explanation. 🙂
What about your upcoming work?
My upcoming work is book two in the Chronicles of the Twelve Realms series situated in a fantasy realm where magic exists. But any kind of sorcery is almost unheard of in the Twelve Realms. The second book, Captive Hope, follows a supporting character from The Beauty Thief on an adventure across the Opal Sea. The book is with my editor right now, so I wait in anxious anticipation to receive it back.
Any basic writing philosophy or tips?
My writing philosophy? I suppose I agree with those who’ve come before. Write if you need to write. If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t, then write. Not everyone will love what you write. Not everyone will understand it, but you cannot please everyone.
Do you have any revision tips to share?
When revising I’d say it’s easier to do it several times, but each time look for something different. As an example, maybe one revision could be focused on story flow, one on content (to make sure everything makes sense and is in order, and your character names are not mixed up!), one revision for repetitious words and out-of-place phrases, and so on. It may seem like a lot, but if you break it up into different revisions, it’s actually easier to catch all that stuff. This is something I learned the hard way.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
The best advice I can give is if this is something you’re passionate about, being willing to make sacrifices. Don’t let all the busyness of life, all the unimportant little things that add up get in the way. I’m not talking about showers and laundry. Trust me, people appreciate when you don’t smell like a week of BO and that bag of sour cream and onion chips you ate while typing away at your next big story.
What’s the best part about being a writer?
Would it be dumb if I said writing? It’s the fame, the fortune. Yeah, uh huh. Not! It’s the adoring fan’s review, the constant fear of rejection or disappointing someone, the hours sitting at my desk until my rump is numb, too much coffee, and the disappointing lack of sales on the report when I check on my book babies’ progress. Oh wait. It’s none of this and all of it. The best part about writing is the writing. I get to tell my stories, to free the crazy, amazing characters in my head, explore things that are hard and attempt to put them into words. Yes, it’s definitely the writing.
How did you decide on your genre?
The genre was kind of decided for me by the first story. See, The Beauty Thief came out of a hard place I was in my life, my own ugliness and disconnected discontent. It has elements of fantasy in the fact that is works much like a fairy tale. There is wicked evil in the form of magic, but the world isn’t populated by fantastical creatures. It’s almost mundane in that regard, but when magic is present in the story, it’s dark and unmistakable.
What is the best part about being an indie author for you?
The best part about indie is that I get to make all the final decisions on everything and retain full control over the whole process. That being said, I value and take to heart everything I’m blessed with as far as editing, peer and beta feedback, design consults, marketing advice, interviewers, reviewers, etc. I never want to take for granted the myriad of people who help and make this whole indie publishing process possible.
What’s something most readers would never guess about you?
I tend to think I’m an open book, so there’s not much left to guess. Maybe they’d be surprised to know that when I open my mouth to speak it’s often to say the most awkward and weird things. Words will flow between brain and fingers pretty well, but getting them from brain to mouth seems to lose something in translation.
I love to read and draw, watch TV with the husband, baby-talk to the dog, hang out with my kids, hike near the river, and spend time with friends in person and online. I think the list of not favorite things to do besides writing would be much longer and include dirty words like ‘laundry,’ ‘dishes,’ ‘mopping,’ and ‘shopping.’
Find out more about Rachael Ritchey at http://rachaelritchey.com/.