Name : Aaron Michael Ritchey
Age: A gentleman never tells his age. Suffice to say, I was under ten when I say STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE
Where are you from: Lakewood, Colorado
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc:
I grew up loving books and I wrote stories and before long, those stories turned into novels. Went to college, got a job, married, children, sleepless daughters and suddenly, I have to try the publishing game or die. I didn’t die.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Under a penname, May 2, 2017 all three books in a steamy contemporary romance series, LOVE OVERBOARD, will hit Amazon like an anchor onto a Seychelles beach.
And THISTLE INFERNO, book three of THE JUNIPER WARS, my epic YA dystopian steampunk post-apocalyptic cattle drive series, hits on June 28, 2017.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
In the third grade, I read A PRINCESS OF MARS and I knew I had to write my own novels. Thanks Edgar Rice Burroughs, wherever you are.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Truth? I’d already written four unpublished books, but I kept my writing a secret. I could hardly admit to myself how much I wanted to be published let anyone else. In 2001, I was living in Paris, revising those four books, walking the same streets Hemingway and Joyce walked, and it hit me…dude, I’m a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
A Soundgarden song, “Mailman.” It was way back in 1994 and I was in the teach credential program at Santa Clara University, and I’d had a bad day doing teaching stuff and bam, I sat down and wrote the first chapter of THE DREAM OF THE ARCHER, my epic post-modern fantasy thriller…like David Lynch meets The Lord of the Rings. Oh, and it was part Shakespeare play. It was awesome! Not many people could read it (too awesome), but those that could, loved it (or were being very nice).
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Uh, I write as much as I can and as fast as I can and as purple as I can. I then go in and cut and burn and try to tame the purple.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I go through about a million titles and list them until I despair. Then I find one that doesn’t completely suck.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’ve been told that the unifying theme in all my books is that we can all be heroes, however unlikely.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My novel, LONG LIVE THE SUICIDE KING, was based on my own experiences in high school where I struggled with addiction and depression. Everything else is just life, man. Just life.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I’ve had a ton of mentors along the road, Linda Houser (formerly Raurbaugh), Jeanne C. Stein, Mario Acevedo, and lately, D.J. Butler, who is as wise as he is handsome. As for books…Stephen King’s DARK TOWER series and of course, LORD OF THE RINGS. And A PRINCESS OF MARS. Robert E. Howard’s CONAN stories. You know, the basics.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
See the answer above for my favorite authors. The new kids on the block? A quick list…
Quincy J. Allen – The BLOOD WARS series – Epic steampunk!
B.K. Brain – DEAD YET DYING – Amazing characters and a great urban fantasy story
D.J. Butler – WITCHY EYE – It’s epic flintlock fantasy, like GAME OF THRONES meets LAST OF THE MOHICANS
Allison M. Dickson – STRINGS – So good, so awful, so much horror. It’s HOUSE OF A 1000 CORPSES meets THE SOPRANOS. Don’t read this unless you like blood and wincing.
Kendal Grey – STRINGS – It’s the pornography of rage. It’s erotica fueled by hate and awesome. Don’t read this unless you like body fluids and wincing.
Stant Litore – THE ZOMBIE BIBLE series – part zombie apocalypse and part scripture…it’s the bible with more brain eating.
Andrea K. Stein – SECRET HARBOR – Historical romance with an older heroine and pirates!
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Can I mention four? Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Pikes Peak Writers, Bard’s Tower, InD’Tale Magazine
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’ve heard you can make a fortune writing fiction, but you can’t make a living. I kind of agree? But yes, it’s a career. I have books. I make enough money to pay my electricity bill. Hurray!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Never! It’s published! I revised the thing a zillion times. One of the greatest things about publishing a book is that I get to be done!
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
A PRINCESS OF MARS! Dejah Thoris was so hot!
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Uh, well, I have a middle grade comedy (very Adam Sandler) called SASS MCQUEEN AND THE KUNG-FU PRINCESS! And I’m working on a young adult dark fantasy called PRETTY, PRETTY HATE PRINCE which is like a bisexual Harley Quinn prince in love with a demon in a city on the edge of hell.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Oh, dude, the marketing piece…that’s so brutal. In my next life, I’m just going to be a bestseller right away. It would be so much easier.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Ha! My wife and I celebrated our nineteenth wedding anniversary in Delta, Utah, researching the Fish Springs Wildlife Refuge for THISTLE INFERNO (The Juniper Wars Book 3). I know, wild and exotic. And all that sagebrush? So romantic!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Natasha Brown does my covers. I love her, but not enough to take her to Delta, Utah.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Man, writing books is so time-consuming. And getting those edits back from the editor? Why can’t she see my brilliance? Okay, my genius needs help. Okay, okay, okay.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Authors have to be as heroic as the characters they write about. I am on the hero’s journey, right now. Until the day I die.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
My characters are like real people to me…I can’t ever answer this question. Like Who would play me in the movie? Well, I have an answer to that question. Corey Feldman would play me and I LOVE his new band.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Get sales and marketing training. Find someone who is part of a network marketing business and attend their sales training. Learn how to sell. And read the book GO FOR THE NO! By Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
George R.R. Martin’s A DANCE WITH DRAGONS – Those first three books were so good! And the last two? The HBO series is so good!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Esther Averill’s classic FIRE CAT was one. The character arc was very moving.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Real life tragedy makes me laugh. Movies, books, TV tragedies make me cry. I totally have it all backwards.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would totally want to meet Jesus from Nazareth. Without a doubt, it would be fascinating. He might be dull or crazy, but to speak to a man who influenced billions? Yes, please.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Ha, just chisel all my ISBNs into the stone and we’ll call it a day. The nice thing about being an author, and at times, it’s the only thing, is that we leave behind a definite legacy.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Uh, is Netflix a hobby?
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Speaking of Netflix, I’m an easy audience. But I’d like to call out the original Netflix series, LOVE, with Britta from COMMUNITY. And I’d like to call out COMMUNITY. Six seasons and a movie!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I have a passion for Taco Bell, dark greens and even darker blues, and alternative country music. If you haven’t heard 16 Horsepower, I feel sorry for you.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would’ve liked to sell shoes. “Yes, we have that in brown. In a size twelve? Let me check on that.” Either that or a full-time dreamer. And since we’re on the subject, I would’ve loved to have been a drummer in the band SPINAL TAP.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? www.aaronmritchey.com
Aaron Michael Ritchey is the author of five young adult novels and his short fiction has appeared in various anthologies and online magazines. In 2012, his first novel, The Never Prayer, was a finalist in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Gold Conference. In 2015, his second novel, Long Live the Suicide King, won the Building the Dream award for best YA novel. In 2016, he was in Dragon Writers: An Anthology, alongside Brandon Sanderson and David Farland. Also last year, the first two novels in his epic YA post-apocalyptic steampunk series, The Juniper Wars, were published through Kevin J. Anderson’s WordFire Press. Both are up for InD’Tale Magazine’s best YA: Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-Fi novel of 2016.
In May of 2017, he launched a new penname, Sawyer Stone, and published all three novels of his steamy contemporary romance, the Love Overboard series, which he co-authored with Andrea K. Stein.
He lives in Colorado with his sunny wife and two stormy daughters but frequently travels to writers conferences and comic cons across the U.S.
Amazon Authors Page USA https://www.amazon.com/Aaron-Michael-Ritchey/e/B007PRZMSQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1