Author Spotlight: Ritter Ames

Today on Reade and Write I welcome Ritter Ames for our special Fourth of July edition of the Author Spotlight. Ritter is the author of two mystery series: The Bodies of Art Mysteries and the Organized Mysteries (I need to run, not walk, to get this series. Organization is often a mystery to me). She’s here today to discuss her most recent release, Fatal Forgeries. Glad to have you here, Ritter!

Tell me about your new book.

My June 2017 release is Fatal Forgeries, the fourth book in the Bodies of Art Mysteries. It begins with my main character, Laurel Beacham, in the process of rescuing a stolen masterpiece—then everything goes sideways and she scrambles to find a way to get things back on-track.

Who is the audience for the book?

Anyone who likes to read fast paced books with smart characters, quick dialogue, art crime, and amazing settings.

Speaking of amazing settings, tell me about the setting of your book—how did you choose it, what kind of research did you have to do, why did you choose it?

London acts as kind of the hub for this series of novels. In each title, however, the crimes take my characters to different European locations as Laurel and her crew track the masterpieces and the master criminals. For Fatal Forgeries, the action runs from London to Barcelona and back.

What was the hardest thing about writing the book?

Figuring out the title each time, and deciding how Laurel is going to lose her luggage.

If your book were made into a movie, who would you like to see playing the main characters?

In a perfect world, I’d love Grace Kelly to play Laurel and Cary Grant to play Jack. I have an idea for contemporary actors for both, but I think I’ll just leave it at that.

Tell us about your other books. 

There are three more books in the Bodies of Art Mystery series, and two books published in the Organized Mysteries, with another to be released soon. I also have another Organized Mystery I’ll be releasing in the coming months, and the first in a new cozy series will be out by the end of the year.

Are you in one or more critique groups or partnerships?

Not anymore. I’ve been in three different groups through the years, but between beta readers, my editors, and just really kind of being a veteran of these series by now, I’m out of the group mindset.

Do you write every day?

Yes. A minimum of 1000 words, no matter how hard it is to get them written in a chaotic day. Usually I average about 5000 words a day.

What authors do you like best? What genres do you like best?

I’m a very eclectic reader, but mysteries are my overall go-to. This summer I’m rereading the Jackson Brodie series by Kate Atkinson, but since the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter just passed I’m really tempted to reread that series, too. One author I now have to read as soon as possible is Christopher Fowler, but there are truly too many to name. I dearly love reading series fiction—whatever the genre. When I get invested in characters I want to always know what happens to them next.

Where would you like to go more than anywhere else on earth?

Switzerland. I’ve never made it there for some reason, but I’ve dreamed about going to that country since the fourth grade.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Just write. There will always be someone or something that will try to say you can’t do it. Don’t listen. Anything can be improved with revision, but you must get it written first.

What is your favorite movie and why?

Oh, that’s tough. There are three movies I can think of that I ALWAYS sit down and view again when they come on the schedule—no matter how many times I’ve already watched them: His Girl Friday with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, Ocean’s Eleven with Clooney & company, and Casino Royale with Daniel Craig. They’re all so different, but they each have the kinds of things I love in characters and a story—the characters are smart & brave & operate with their own personal integrity, the dialogue is fast & witty, and the stories all revolve around a stellar crime.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Start writing sooner. And take marketing courses in college!

Describe yourself in three words.

Curious, capable, constant. And no, I didn’t mean to start each word with the same letter, they just came out that way.

Is there anything I haven’t asked that you wanted me to?

Nothing I can think of.

Where can readers connect with you?

I’m everywhere online—

My Facebook page:   https://www.facebook.com/RitterAmesBooks/

My Twitter page:      https://twitter.com/RitterAmes

My website:                http://www.ritterames.com

Where can readers find your books?

My Amazon page:         https://www.amazon.com/Ritter-Ames/e/B00I78AQEW/

Or for all booksellers:    https://ritterames.com/heres-where-to-buy-my-books/

Ritter, thank you for being my guest today. 

Amy, thanks so much for inviting me to your blog. This has been fun!

I wish everyone in the United States a happy, safe Fourth of July!

Until next time,

Amy

 

Summer’s Almost Here!

I know I said I’d be participating in a blog hop this week, but I got my dates mixed up. So stay tuned for the blog hop next week.

In the meantime, summer is fast approaching. Can you believe June is just a few days away? I spent about fifteen minutes at the beach this afternoon with my middle child, taking a quick walk before we picked up my eldest from work. The beach was a little crowded (but beautiful, as always) and I wished we could have spent more time there. The beach got me thinking of summer travel destinations. Today’s walk notwithstanding, my kids don’t generally like the beach and I have to come up with other activities during the summer. Though we spend lots of time reading, we can’t do that all the time, so I thought I’d share with you some of the websites I like to peruse when it’s time to do something fun in the summertime.

The first one is http://annettesnyder.blogspot.com. Annette’s blog is called “Fifty Authors from Fifty States” and features a different author from a different state each week. Full disclosure: Annette has invited me to participate in next week’s blog hop and I will be appearing as a sidelight on her blog in July, as one of the authors from New Jersey. Anyway, each week is a virtual tour of an author’s home or adopted state (the states proceed throughout the year in alphabetical order) and there are some amazing travel tips in many of the blog posts.

For example, did you know that Pizza Hut opened its first store in Wichita, Kansas?

Did you know that you can find the world’s largest Cheeto in Algona, Iowa?

Did you know you can learn about pigeon racing in Moline, Illinois, at the Fall Flemish Fest? If you’re not interested in pigeons, try a Belgian beer or a 12.5-inch Belgian pie while you’re there.

Visit Annette’s blog to find out what an author from your state suggests for fun.

The second one is http://www.nps.gov. This is the website for the U.S. National Park Service. Here you can find information about the national parks in all fifty states plus the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Visiting a national park can be a very inexpensive alternative to other activities, and you’ll almost certainly learn something during your visit.

The third one is http://www.traillink.com. This is the website of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. You simply put in a zip code and it gives you a list of nearby trails for biking, walking, running, and hiking. It gives you the length of each trail and what comprises its surface (e.g., sand and asphalt or ballast and cinder). I’m planning at least one or two day trips this summer to try out some of the trails I’ve found on the site.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to visit the websites I’ve offered and maybe plan to try something new this summer. You don’t have to spend a lot of money and you might find something in your own neck of the woods that you didn’t know was there.

And don’t forget to take a good book. (I have a suggestion: it’s called Secrets of Hallstead House and I hope you’ll read it and enjoy it!)

Until next week,

Amy