About Peter Ralph:
Peter Ralph is a former CEO of a public company engaged in the design, manufacture and distribution of heavy transport equipment. Prior to this he was a chartered accountant specializing in corporate reconstructions and recoveries and was a senior consultant to Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young). By necessity much of Peter’s work was litigious and he spent countless hours in courtrooms. Peter is the author of four novels and the co-author of one biography. He actively trades stocks and derivatives while writing standalone White Collar Crime thrillers.
What inspires you to write?
I love writing business related suspense thrillers. It is a joy to construct a good plot and come up with a great ‘out of left field’ ending. The ending is always the most difficult part of a novel. I hate reading a 360 page novel and having the ending unravel in the last few pages. It always screams that the author has come up with a great plot but not a great ending. Writing non-fiction is sheer hard work and in my two attempts to date (one published, one being edited) have not been enjoyable.
Tell us about your writing process.
In my novels I take a set of business facts or happenings, change the names and locations, and embellish them to hopefully create an enjoyable story. I am opposed to the exploitation of unconventional gas and that bias is reflected in my novel, Dirty Fracking Business.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I listen to my characters particularly in the rereads. There is nothing worse than a character being out of a character. For instance the character could be prim and proper all through the novel and then in the last chapter casually start mouthing profanities. Now that is not to say that ‘prim and proper character’ couldn’t mouth obscenities but they would have to be a reaction to an extreme situation. Character consistency is very important.
What advice would you give other writers?
Unless your Stephen King stick to something you know. John Grisham and the late Ian Fleming are good examples of sticking to their knitting.
Do not publish without a third party edit. I have written manuscripts and then edited and reread them to my eyes burned. At that stage I’ve been convinced that the work is grammatically flawless. The third party edits have always detected many errors. No matter how diligent you are, you can’t edit your own work.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My latest novel, The Revenge Of The CEO, is my first self-published novel. I love the freedom of being able to say yes or no to edit changes whereas with publishers you have no choice. Also the ability to publish rapidly is a major advantage when compared to the time taken by conventional publishers. I enjoy being able to promote and advertise for relatively small sums as opposed to trying to convince publishers to put their hands in their pockets. I currently have an exposé with a publisher which is fine…I’m worried about defamation actions and I know the publisher’s editors and lawyers will remove all contentious parts before it gets to print.This is a good reason to use a publisher rather than self-publish.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that like newspapers, printed books are dying. They’ll never disappear completely but will become the less attractive alternative.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Business/thriller/suspense/white collar crime
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print