Friday, May 21, 2010

Tim Ritter Interview

Interview with Tim Ritter

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I usually write best when I first get up, after a cup of coffee. Now what time
I get up usually varies, it's usually after noon because I'm a night owl and the
best time for me to sleep is 4am-noon...when possible, of course.

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
Used to be with a yellow legal pad, and I still outline with pen and a pad. I find
that you can get your flow of ideas down better that way and not be confined to any
one place. So definitely pen and a paper for as long as possible, once the ideas are
really working, I'll eventually move on to the computer.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?
I get a lot from the news---all the crazy stuff going on in the world can be a great catalyst for stories. I'm definitely NOT a news junkie, I actually try to avoid it, but there's such an information overload coming at us from all directions that you can't help but be consumed by it at some point each day, and true life is crazier than fiction! It's just amazing all the insane things going on that sometimes don't even seem possible...but sadly, it's going down. Also music is very inspirational to me---different songs that set different moods, lyrics that challenge your imagination, soundtracks...So music is definitely a huge part of my inspiration for writing, especially when getting the initial ideas into place.

4: Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
No, each story pretty much tells itself, but depending on the medium, like say a screenplay, you definitely have it in mind to at least come in at about 100 pages. With novels I always try to come in with somewhere around 93,000 words or more...not too long, not too short. Your are competing with television, video, the Internet, sports, work, family I try to keep my novel lengths at a not too imposing length, especially since I'm an obscure author. But each story should take care of itself as far as length and word count, so I don't sit down with any restrictions. I usually end up cutting things down after a draft or two. When I'm in the writing mode, I try to at least get 5 pages a day done, preferably in one sitting. If I'm having a good writing day, I might be lucky and get ten! So I do have that goal each time I sit down to write. If you can get a good five pages a can have a first draft of your novel done in a few months if it's a reasonable length...

5: Being a self published author how do you come up with your cover art?

Well, AmericaHouse, the publisher I've gone with in the past, came up with the final cover art. I sent some ideas in when we were in the editing process, they took it from there and did a nice job with both of my novels. AmericaHouse is a great place to work with, they pay you for writing and do all the sales stuff. Of course, you assist as much as you can, but they are an awesome place for new authors to get their stuff out there and into the market- and you get paid. So I can't complain at all.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
Well, I think it's not something you chooses you, really. People are born with all kinds of abilities and talents and some things just grab you and sorta make you do them, you just don't feel complete or at peace unless you're doing something creative, and that's the way writing and making underground movies is for me. It's really the only time I feel alive, like I'm accomplishing anything meaningful! For other people, it might be some sort of sport, or or singing...painting...the list is endless! But for me it's always been writing screenplays and books.

7: Do you own an ebook reading devise?
No, I'd love to have one though! I've seen Amazon's Kindle in action and it's very cool! Right now they're a little expensive for me, but when they come down in price...

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?
I really enjoy Stephen King's work, of course, always have. Especially his early Richard Bachman stuff, that was such an inspiration. And Jack Ketchum, of course, wow, what a career he's had writing drive-in movies in book form, eh? With just great characters and suspense added in as icing on the cake. I also really enjoy James Patterson, David Morrell, and I'm currently reading A LOT of Lee Child's JACK REACHER books---they are incredible, I'm addicted to those thanks to my cousin. Reacher is awesome, like Rambo with a 'Dirty Harry' badge and the whole series is just awesome! I just finished THE PERSUADER and I just can't tell you what a page-turner that book far every book in the series is just a winner! And in the indie scene, Brandon Ford is a guy to look out for, his novels SPLATTERED BEAUTY and PAY PHONE are really worth checking out.

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
We made a book trailer for THE HAMMER WILL FALL and even had it on some DVD releases when the book came out in 2000, so I'm all for book trailers if they're done right. A tough balance, but you can really bring attention to your work if you get something cool that ties in with the book and it goes viral. Always worth a try, and I've produced book trailers for other authors as well. But they're hard to do---you want to entice people, give them a peek at something special in your novel...but not give anything away...and also leave a lot to the imagination. You don't want any known actors playing parts, so it's tricky now...A lot of the bigger guys do CGI trailers and such. There's no limit, you just have to walk the tightrope of being provocative but not giving away too much and it sounds so easy to do...but it's not at all. But well worth trying---have fun and be creative with your trailer, that's the key.

10: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I just finished the script to DEADLY DARES, part IV in the TRUTH OR DARE series of movies, so we hope to shoot that in summer 2010. Beyond that, I have a novel in mind that gets back into horror territory and another book on making your own independent movie in this day and age, I've been working on that forever and just need to do a polish or two on it, so that's a possibility. Plus I've written a few spec scripts that are out there in development, hopefully some of those get going this year or next as well. We'll matter what, you have to keep irons in the fire, the business and commercial aspect of the business is so tough, so again, one of the keys is to just be enjoying what you're doing and have fun with it, because chances are, you ain't gonna get rich from it! BUT- there's always that lottery chance you will.... ;-)

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