Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Interview with Lauren Ritz!

Please welcome my very dear friend, Lauren Ritz. She's a member of my critique group and also one of my go-to brainstorm-ers (Yes that's a word. Honest). She's an amazing writer, and just released her first novel, Without a Voice. She has kindly offered to tell us about her book and her writing! PS - check out the incredible book trailer for Without a Voice below AND get a code to get the book free on today and tomorrow!
What inspires your writing?

Everything. I have never, and I hope will never, run out of ideas. People, places, dreams, you name it. And if I'm running dry, I just start writing and it starts flowing again. Like priming the pump.

What made you decide to go Indie?

Lots of things. First I suck at queries. Second, a lot of what I write is short, under 70,000 words, and that short it's difficult to find a market.

What Genre do you write in?

Oh, nasty question. I write whatever hits my fancy at the moment, but mostly fantasy. Some science fiction.  Recently I've been doing urban fantasy. Without A Voice is my only contemporary, although I'm not guaranteeing that it will be the last. I am considering a story about Old Frankie in WWII.

What is your favorite/worst part of the writing/publishing process?

I like all of it, but the hardest part is the editing. It also takes the longest.

So tell us a little about your book. What prompted this story?

Without A Voice is essentially about someone whose past and bad decisions have caught up with her. After five years of hiding, Mae is just starting to trust again. She faces a situation where she has to rely on God because there is no one else who can help her.

When I started writing this story, I imagined I knew where it was going. Within the first page Mae took the story out of my hands and it turned completely. Still, it felt important so I spent a much longer time on it than I usually do.

Which character do you relate to the most and why?

I honestly don't know. Bits and pieces of all of them, I guess. I'm opinionated and inflexible like Keli (although also like her, I try not to let it affect my interactions with other people). Peter (constantly analyzing people and surprisingly good at it), his parents (determined that everyone else will follow where they lead), Justin (just slightly psychotic) and Mae (still developing into a whole person).

Which character did you find most difficult to craft and why?

At first I thought Justin, but he really came easily in comparison to Keli. Keli honestly feels that she's justified in what she does, and believes that her actions are right. She's a good person who makes some bad decisions, believing that she is protecting her friend. Writing the scene where she sends Mae away literally took me years.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Write. Write every chance you get and on every possible topic. Read everything you can get your hands on. Combine the two.

What genre does your book fall under?

Without a Voice is a contemporary religious suspense novel. I listed it as Christian, but it's more about believing in God than any specific religion.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Blech. I started it in 2006, so 6 years. Usually I can write a novel in a month or two, but this one about kicked my butt.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
I love this book. There's a hint of romance, suspense, a psychotic boyfriend, and it's clean. Failures and successes and Mae's burgeoning belief in and understanding of God. *Happy sigh.*

***Today and tomorrow ONLY (April 2 & 3, 2013) you can get the book free on Smashwords by using this code: XF24Z

Lauren Ritz was born in Utah and continues to reside there, somewhat to the chagrin of those who know her well. She is commonly known as a walking insane asylum (just ask her) and a compulsive gardener.

She began writing at the age of six with a “journal entry” about aliens flying through her bedroom window and landing on her wall.  She tried to start earlier, but was handicapped by the fact that she couldn’t draw well enough.

She lives in Utah with the aforementioned bats, a cat named Darth Vader and too many books to count. She is a wannabe herbalist, but the herbs stay outside for the most part. Most of her plants are domesticated varieties and housebroken.

No, she does not talk to the plants, but they talk to her. Luckily she's hard of listening.

Writing is her love and her lifelong obsession, taking up the majority of her time when she isn’t involved in other less compelling interests. 

Lauren Ritz

Author of Without A Voice, a contemporary suspense novel
Book Trailer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tkm2BUyPYUA



  1. Thanks for inviting me over, Wendy!

  2. Already have my copy of this chilling book. *shivers*

  3. Great interview :) I downloaded the book on Smashwords. Thanks so much, Lauren :) So excited to read it!

    Megan @ Writing One Word at a Time

    1. I'm excited to see your response. I'm chortling at Donna's description.