Thursday, March 27, 2014

PPWC 2014 Q&A - Aaron Michael Ritchey

Aaron Michael Ritchey, Author

1. What was the defining moment that made your realize you wanted to be an author?

Let’s break this down by year, shall we? What event made me realize I wanted to be an author?

a. 1970 – Birth

b. 1978 – A story I wrote about a bounty hunter with a double-barrel shotgun tracking down a pack of wolves who stole Little Bo Peep’s sheep.

c. 1979 – Edgar Rice Burroughs and A Princess of Mars.

d. 1980 – Robert E. Howard and Conan

From 1981 to 1994 I had given up all hope of ever being an author. I wrote bad suicide poetry and worse DnD-based short stories, but in the spring of 1994, listening to Soundgarden’s Mailman, I started what was to be my first novel, The Dream of the Archer. I’ve been chasing the dream and cowering in fear ever since.

2. What is the one thing you cannot work without? What is your creative vice?

I need music and I need a table for my laptop, preferably in a public place, preferably somewhere that allows smoking. Which leads to my vices: in the summer, cigars. In the winter, insomnia.

3. If you could 'revive' any literary figure from the past for a one hour conversation, who would you choose?

William Shakespeare and Carl Jung together again. Because reasons.

4. What is one of your more notable or unusual conference or convention experiences?

I don’t drink alcohol, and yet I find that when I’m around wine drinkers at writers conferences, it gets poured on me or my bed sheets. I won’t name names.

5. If we asked your friends and family to compare you to a cartoon character, which would they choose, and why?

My wife would say I’m the Tasmanian Devil because I never stop moving, I break things, and I make growly noises when I get frustrated with stupid, normal, boring life. My daughters would say I’m Bugs Bunny because yeah, cool, funny, and funnier.

6. What is one thing would you like aspiring authors to know about the road to success?

Let go of your opinions on your writing. They won’t be accurate because you’re probably not as bad as you think and probably not as good. Practice humility and gratitude daily.  Enjoy what you can because there are tasty parts to this journey, but sometimes, the trip across the desert may try to convince you otherwise.

About the Author: Aaron Michael Ritchey’s first novel, The Never Prayer, was published in March of 2012 to a fanfare of sparkling reviews including an almost win in the RMFW Gold contest. Since then he’s been paid to write steampunk, cyberpunk, and sci-fi western short stories.  His next novel, Long Live the Suicide King, will give hope to the masses in 2014.  As a former story addict and television connoisseur, he lives in Colorado with his wife and two goddesses posing as his daughters.  When he’s not writing, he’s travelling the world, riding his bicycle, or talking about writing.  His speaking experiences range from talks on how the 12 steps of recovery ease artistic angst to writing a first chapter with sentences like fish hooks.  He Facebooks, interviews authors, and in his free time meditates in silence, praying for the souls of writers and artists everywhere.

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