Read Pat Ritter’s Smashwords Interview
Interview with Pat Ritter
Smashword: Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Pat Ritter: 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.
Smashword: When did you first start writing?
Pat Ritter: 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.
Smashword: What motivated you to become an indie author?
Pat Ritter: 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.
Smashword: How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Pat Ritter: 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.
Smashword: What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Pat Ritter: 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.
Smashword: What do your fans mean to you?
Pat Ritter: 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.
Smashword: What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Pat Ritter: 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.
Smashword: When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
Pat Ritter: Watch television. Read. Take care of my property. Travel.
Smashword: How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Pat Ritter: Using Smashwords, Amazon, Facebook and my website http://www.patritter.com.au
Smashword: Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Pat Ritter: 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.
Smashword: What is your writing process?
Pat Ritter: 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.
Smashword: Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Pat Ritter: 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.
Smashword: How do you approach cover design?
Pat Ritter: I have a professional designer in America. Melissa does a wonderful job.
Smashword: What are your five favorite books, and why?
Pat Ritter: 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.
Smashword: What do you read for pleasure?
Pat Ritter: Mainly western, Australian, romance and at times crime depending on the storyline.
Smashword: What is your e-reading device of choice?
Pat Ritter: Kindle.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Smashwords, Amazon and Facebook.