Interview with Ripley Patton

Posted: February 5, 2013 in Interview, paranormal

I was lucky enough to have the chance to talk to Ripley Patton and ask her some questions about her debut novel, Ghost Hand, and her life as a writer.


How did you come up with the concept of PSS and the character of Olivia Black?

I have a friend who is an amputee, and I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that he can feel his missing leg. When he walks barefoot in the backyard, his phantom toes, the ones on the missing foot, feel the grass. So, for Ghost Hand, I asked myself, “What if ghost limbs really existed? What would they be made of, and what would they do?”

As for the character of Olivia, she’s a whole lot me and a little bit my teenage daughter, plus some other people thrown in for good measure.

Which characters are particularly fun to write?

I love writing Olivia, of course, and Marcus and Passion are a blast too.

Plug the book in twitter form (140 characters or less)

Olivia Black’s ghost hand just went rogue, and the only person who can help her control it is a boy she barely knows and doesn’t trust.

Phew, that was hard.

You’re a talented writer, having published many short stories and flash fiction.  Where do you get your inspiration for stories from?

Thanks so much for saying I’m talented. My inspiration for my writing comes from everywhere. I get so many ideas I have notebooks of them and am hoping I can live more than one life to get all the books written that are waiting in line.

What is a typical day for you?

I get up and get the husband and kids off to school. I usually have a list of things to do, many writing related but some mundane like doing laundry or cleaning the bathroom. I usually start my work day by checking my e-mail and social media, but I try to do this in thirty minutes or less (okay, an hour if I’m honest). Then I move directly into writing until lunch, at which time I often also take a walk. Then back to writing until the kids get home or someone insists I make dinner. I try to keep the evenings and weekends free for my family, but will often slip some promotion in too.

You lived in New Zealand for a few years and survived earthquakes, laughing in the face of danger.  How have those experiences helped you as a writer?   Any plans to return?

So many of my experiences in New Zealand helped me as both a writer and a person. I think traveling and inserting yourself in different cultures expands your own story, and therefore the stories inside of you. The earthquakes in particular were a very Armageddon type of experience for me and my family. I think they made us stronger, and braver, and more resilient. And that experience will probably show up in a YA series someday. As for returning to New Zealand, I deeply hope I get to. I miss it often and with great pangs of the heart.

You self published Ghost Hand.  Why did you decide to self publish and how hard of a journey was it?

I decided to self-publish for many reasons, the main two being timing and control. After spending three years writing and polishing Ghost Hand, I didn’t want to spend another three trying to convince someone else to publish it. I knew it was good enough. And financially, I honestly had to start making money from my writing or go out and find another way to help support my family. Add to that the fact that I wanted control and involvement in cover design, formatting, marketing, and most importantly, royalties and rights, and the decision was pretty clear.

The journey of self-publishing was actually a joy. I loved every step of it and haven’t had a single regret. I learned about the publishing process and had some amazing people help me along the way. It wasn’t hard. Waiting to hear back from agents and publishers? That was torture. Self-publishing was just fun.

Do you have any advice for writers?

Have fun. Never give up. And don’t wait to get it perfect because no one ever does.

Describe the feeling in 25 words or less of how it felt seeing your name on your book for the first time.

It felt like finally fulfilling the thing I was meant to do in this life.

ghost hand

Thank you very much to Ripley for taking the time to answer my questions in detail.  You can find out more about Ripley at her facebook or amazon pages or her website.

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