Monday, August 25, 2014

AUTHOR PAT RITTER

 Pat Ritter- Author

 
 
Birth date:
15th June 1948

Where are you from:
Booloo, Queensland, Australia
A little about your self `ie your education, Family, life etc:
After my wife lost her fight with cancer eleven years ago I retired to become a fulltime author. We were married for thirty-one years.
I wrote a tribute of her life and you can download it FREE from my website www.patritter.com.au, it's called 'In Remembrance of Bub'.
Tell us your latest book news?
Last year I wrote and published 'The Shearer' a story about Joe Ryan who was a leader of 'The Great Shearers Strike in 1891' which almost crippled Australia. Here is a link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/395642. I'm presently writing the follow-on 'Click Go The Shears'.
When and why did you begin writing?
In 1988 I published my first book 'Closing The Gap' - Link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52861. This book resulted from when I was a Detective Sergeant in the Police. At the time many teenagers 'ran away from home' and I never had a clue on how to stop them. After studying a subject at college, the lecturer, Bob O'Sullivan and I wrote the book to help parents improve communication with their teenager.
When did you consider yourself an Author?
After writing and publishing my fifth book 'Confessions of an Alcoholic': Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/7688. This book broke me away from writing non-fiction stories to using fictional characters with non-fiction. Although this book is my own story being an alcoholic, walking in the shoes of an alcoholic, discovering a way to break out of alcoholism and live a refreshing life. It was my first book to use the non-fictional character Bundy Quicksiver.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Like I mentioned at the time I worked with teenagers and needed to find a way to stop them from 'running away from home'. Lack of communication between parents and their teenage child was evident enough to show parents lacked the skills in communicating with their teenger causing 90% of the problem. After a counselling session with the parent and teenage child I showed each parent improved ways to communicate with their teenage child. Although this happened more than twenty-eight years ago many parents have discovered a better way to communicate with their teenager.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes, when I was fourteen years old my English teacher told me I had a gift for writing in that I write the way I speak which is unique. Again this same opinion was bought to my attention twenty years later and told to me by Bob O'Sullivan who lectured me at college. Neither person knew one another. I love to tell a story and there is nothing better than when the reader provides positive feedback from reading the story. Many have mentioned my stories are easy to read and the reader sees in their mind the story I've written.
How did you come up with the titles?
At times this is not an easy task. If a title pops into my head and I think it'll be a good title than I'll use it. Otherwise I listen to what others tell me and if a title reflecks on the story I'm writing then I'll use the title or something like it. For instance the book I'm writing at the moment 'Click Go The Shears' came about when I was researching the story.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, a good story which will keep them turning the next page to read the story. Many readers have given me feedback to tell me they needed to turn the page to find out what was coming next. Also I love to not over describe scenes too much. I love the reader to have their own picture of the scene in their own minds rather than I place a too descriptive one.
How much of the book is realistic?
I try and keep to the facts as much as possible with telling a story I've either been involved personally or had heard some other person tell me. My opinion is it's better to have the truth of the story than some made-up version. Everyone has a story to tell.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Initially my first books were based on experiences of my own life. I remember presenting a book launch on one of my books and I had the previous ones I'd written displayed. One of the audience said, 'are all these books about you?' I answered 'yes'. Afterwards I decided to make up fictional characters and use these characters in my books from then on. I've found it's taken me about five years of solid writing to progress from writing about my own personal experiences in life to write fictional.
What books have most influenced your life most?
There are many, too many to mention. I read as much as I write. My kindle holds at anyone time more than twenty books I've downloaded to read. I love to read an interesting story. If this story hasn't grabbed me by page six than I delete the story and go to the next one. Also, if when I'm reading a book and I can't put it down, this is the book I love to read. It's got to be interesting, free flowing, no mistakes, and a story which grabs hold of me and won't let go until the end. I love to be wrapped up in the story and be a part of it.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
There are too many to mention. If fact this is a difficult question to answer because each writer is unique. Since digital books I would probably read more now than I've ever read in my lifetime. When I read a book which fires me up to read all night, I investigate the author and see what other books they've written and if I like their books I'll purchase them and read them.
What book are you reading now?
I've recently completed 'Sabrina's Man' written by Gilbert Morris. A great story of love, adventure and finishing with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye. I loved the way Gilbert wrote this story, it kept me turning the page. When I investigated his Amazon site it told me he'd sold six million books across the globe. I can hope this will happen for me some day.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Non come to mind. Like I've said I read daily and nightly if the story is good, like the book I've just completed. I couldn't put it down. With the number of authors now published in the world there are so many to choose from.
What are your current projects?
I'm writing my 15th novel 'Click Go The Shears' as a follow on from 'The Shearer'. This book continues on from when Joe Ryan, one of the leaders in the 'Great Shearer's Strike of 1891' is apprehended and sent to gaol for three years on St Helena Island. Before Joe is captured his friend decides to take his place and allow Joe to continue the fight for better wages and conditions for their shearer friends. I love writing this story.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members:
From personal experience of writing over twenty-five years I've found my close family and friends look the other way when I start to talk about my writing. Their comments are: 'we lived through your stories' and that's about the end of it. I've found since publishing stories as digital and promoting them on social media such as facebook, I've found more people much interested in my writing.
Do you see writing as a career?
Certainly. I write and publish one novel per year and if you click onto my website www.patritter.com.au you will see I write and publish stories (one minute reads) which I write each Tuesday at the Pomona Writers Group. After twenty-five years of writing I've finally found something which I love and enjoy. I will be writing, publishing, promoting, marketing and selling my books until my last breath is taken.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No! I'm extremely happy with the storyline. In actually fact how the story came to my mind was because of a secret in our family. When my grandmother was ten years old her mother died giving birth to her youngest sister named Nellie. My grandmother told me this story when I was young. She said her father was an alcoholic and wouldn't take on the responsibility of raising four children under ten, so he gave them away to the townfolk of Cunnamulla 'like a litter of pups'. Nellie being a baby was given to a relative to be raised as their own in another town. My grandmother never again saw her sister. This was in 1913.
My grandmother passed away many years ago. I wrote a tribute in a story of her life and mentioned this information in the story and posted on my website under stories. Out of the blue one day I received an e-mail from a person who claimed they read my story and told me she was Nellie's eldest daughter. She had been forty years searching for her extended family.
I couldn't believe how this event bought us together and more especially when I discovered this person was not only a relative but also a published author. After I settled down I decided to write 'The Shearer' and use our great grandfather Joe Ryan as the main character in the book.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I suppose since I was fourteen years old and told I had a gift for writing. At the time I didn't understand what this meant because I never understood what the teacher was teaching me at the time. I wanted to write the way I wanted to write which wasn't the done thing at the time.
Then twenty years later to be told by another teacher of this 'gift', I started to write the way I always wanted to write and it went on from there. After writing and publishing fourteen books I'm comfortable with my writing and write daily. I love to write!
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Yes, as a continued story from my latest publication 'The Shearer' the main character Joe Ryan is arrested by the police for 'leading the strike'. Before he is arrested his friend Joe Gibson swaps places with him and goes in his place. They are of similar looks, size, most things else other than the colour of their eyes.
The new Joe Ryan is sentenced with twelve other leaders to three years gaol in St Helena Island Prison. Conditions are harsh. In the meantime the real Joe Ryan now disguised as Joe Gibson continues shearing and works his way to Barcaldine in central Queensland, the place where the original strike occurred.
The thirteen leaders are eventually released after serving their time and return to Barcaldine as heroes. Both Joe's meet at the local hotel and return to their original identities.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
All the time particularly research. With my latest book 'Click Go The Shears' research has been demanding because I've attempted to have the story run parallel with Australian history. Takes time and effort to join the characters into the proper time of history especially in the 1890's period.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Like I mentioned before I admire all authors because I know what it takes to write and publish a book. I don't have one author in particular but many because I know the effort they take to finalise their work.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, not any longer because of the internet. Everything is at my fingertips. Without google honestly I don't know what I'd do. I've been previously to the many places I write about so I know the lay of the land, characters and different aspects of the towns and surroundings.
Who designed the covers?
I have Melissa Smith. She resides in America and does a wonderful job to design the covers of my books; here is her e-mail address: melissasmithbooks@hotmail.com. I highly recommend Melissa, she does a fantastic job.
What was the hardest part of writing your books?
Thinking of each scene. I live in a bush setting on acreage with no close neighbours. Each scene of my story I reenact it out in my mind and talk much about what I want to write. After I'm satisfied with what I'm about to write, I write the chapter or scene I have in my mind. Don't think I'm ready for the lunny bin but many times I also dream about the scene and have it clearly in my mind.
Did you learn anything from writing your books?
Yes most certainly. I'm much more confident with my writing now than I've ever been before in my life. Once I was concerned about what I wrote but now to tell a story I write what I want to write and hope the reader enjoys my storyline.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Yes, NEVER GIVE UP! Follow YOUR DREAM and feel the joy of writing and what you've written.
Do your have anything specific you would like to say to your readers?
Yes, many thanks for your feedback and may you continue to read many of my books to come with my present ones.
Do your remember the first book you ever read?
Yes, I was in grade four and it was a story about a sailor who was shipwrecked on the coast of Australia. I found the book at a stall a few years ago and puchased it.
Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Not really because my writing takes up my whole life. To set a goal of writing a novel per year I've got to write daily plus marketing my books on the different sites, answering e-mails and living life. Couldn't be much better than I have it.
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Castle, anything to do Australia especially the latest show 'Anzac Girls'. Another Australia show 'Winners and Losers' anything to do with Australia.
Favorite foods / Colors/ Music:
Chinese. Colour - blue. Music - Australia country and western.
If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I've done everything in my life I've always wished and now I have the joy of writing about those experiences. If you want to read a great story than click onto my memoirs 'Dream Angel' Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/5928 which will tell you all there is to know about me.
Do you have a blog/website? If so please share your links.
Yes, my website is www.patritter.com.au and click onto my facebook page and other links to my books.
Are you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. Please share those links also.
Yes - Facebook, LinkedIn.

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