About Erica Ridley:
Erica Ridley learned to read when she was three, which was about the same time she decided to be a writer when she grew up. Now, she’s a USA Today best-selling author of historical romance novels. Her latest series, The Dukes of War, features roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England. When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.
What inspires you to write?
I have always loved to write. When I was a kid, I filled reams of spiral notebooks with stories and poems and dramatic sagas about the lives of teenagers in improbable situations. As a reader or a writer, I love disappearing into another world. When I write, I try to make my imagination come alive to my readers.
Tell us about your writing process.
All stories usually start with either a fun or striking character (I once wrote a romantic comedy about an aspiring tooth fairy!) or an intriguing, conflict-filled situation, such as: what would it be like for a soldier to come home from years at war, only to discover he’d inherited a destitute earldom and needed an heiress, stat? Once I have the idea, I start brainstorming. I love using sticky notes to move things around on storyboards until the plot comes alive. And then it’s time to write!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
While I’m writing, my characters are very much real people. They have strong, individual personalities and very unique voices. I don’t speak directly to my characters, but when I’m writing a scene, it always feels like I’m transcribing their dialogue as I hear them interact, rather than making up the words myself.
What advice would you give other writers?
The difference between success and failure is that the successful person never gave up. Keep writing! Don’t fear the blank page–every word can (and possibly will, lol) be revised later on. The important thing is getting to The End. Then find a critique partner, and just keep writing! My website has more detailed advice and information on the writing and publishing process.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I started writing, self-publishing did not exist, or if it did, it wasn’t practical or profitable, so I chose the traditional publishing route. I am represented by Lauren Abramo of the Dystel & Goderich literary agency. Today, I’m considered a “hybrid” author, since I have both traditionally published books as well as self-published books.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I love the affordability and ubiquitousness of e-books. I travel a lot, and dragging around suitcases of books (especially with airline luggage prices these days!) isn’t pretty. But I also love libraries and bookstores. I hope that e-books continue to spark a love of reading in more and more people, but that we won’t lose our ability to wander up and down aisles of physical books, browsing the spines or admiring the covers, and exploring all the wonderful books just waiting to be read.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Romance, Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print