Read Pat Ritter’s Smashwords Interview
Interview with Pat Ritter
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My teenage years were in Sandgate, a seaside suburb of Brisbane the capital city of Queensland Australia. In sub-junior I attended Sandgate High School. A teacher, Mr Imoff, our English Teacher after we wrote a composition approached me and said, ‘you have a gift for writing – you write the way you speak which is unique’. Unfortunately at the time I never had any idea of what he meant.
Again later in my life when I attended college a lecturer told me exactly the same words. I didn’t truly understand what he meant. However, with this lecturer we wrote and published my first book ‘Closing The Gap’ which started my journey of becoming an author.
When did you first start writing?
In 1986. At the time I attended college – my lecturer, Bob O’Sullivan took notice of a project I began when I used material from his lecture in this project. I was a police officer. In the area I patrolled, a number of teenagers ‘ran away from home’ and I didn’t have the skills nor the knowledge of stopping them. Bob lectured in a subject ‘Behaviour’ which gave me these skills and knowledge and soon after I developed this knowledge to help parents improve their communication with their teenage child. This project was an instant success. Bob suggested we write and publish a book about what I was doing in the community. He wrote the theory whilst I wrote the actual case studies of each parent-child interview.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Before 2009 I self-published books and sold them via my website using mailing coupons. When Mark Coker introduced me to Smashwords I immediately commenced to publish my books as ebooks and became an indie author. Since 2009 – the rest is history. I love it. All I need to do now is to write, publish, market and sell.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Greatly. Daily I check for downloads, site updates. On one of these occasions Mark wrote about an author in America earning six figures annually selling ebooks on Smashwords. I read this person’s website and immediately followed his advise.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Reading feedback from my readers. Who would think I sit here at Brooloo in Queensland at my computer and communicate with authors across the other side of the world. It’s as if we sit across from one another. I love to write – I write each day. I belong to a writers group which meet weekly.
What do your fans mean to you?
Greatest! There is no better feeling when I receive feedback or read a review from one of my books. A couple of years ago I wrote and published ‘The Drover’ which has been a huge success. I still pinch myself to think people from across the globe love reading this book.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Knowing I want to write. I write a novel per year and a 500 word story weekly. Research takes much of my time to ‘get things right’. I love to write.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
Watch television. Read. Take care of my property. Travel.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Using Smashwords, Amazon, Facebook and my website http://www.patritter.com.au
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes – in grade four. The exercise to write was about describing a scene. I wrote a letter to my grandmother to tell her what I was doing. It was read to the class to my embarrassment.
What is your writing process?
I write whatever comes into my mind. I’m lucky I live in the country without any interruptions or neighbours. Bush is all around me. Before I write a chapter I see and act out the scene of what I’m about to write. For instance in my latest novel I have a scene where Joe leaves the place he loves. Each step of the process goes through my mind before I write then I write the scene. I write daily.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes – it was a story of an aboriginal boy who is saved by a sailor shipwrecked on a reef. Only a couple of years ago I purchased this book at a sale and re-read it. Memory flooded back of the joy I had when first reading this book.
How do you approach cover design?
I have a professional designer in America. Melissa does a wonderful job.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
These change from time to time. Once I read probably two books per year but since I’ve taken my writing seriously I am an avid reader. I can’t say I have favourite books because now I read up to possibly two to three books per week. I am amazed at some of the indie authors which in my opinion are some of the best in the world. With ebooks – if I don’t like the author, I delete them and read the next book. If the book doesn’t catch my attendion in the first few pages than I go to the next one. That’s how it is in todays environment.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mainly western, Australian, romance and at times crime depending on the storyline.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Smashwords, Amazon and Facebook.