Author Interview: S. G. Ricketts
Posted by S. G. Ricketts
To kick off the new, updated blog, I’ll be starting a series of interviews with author/writer friends of mine. Most have never been published, so definitely check them out. And what better way to start this than with an interview of myself? 🙂 Forgive any rampant cheesiness. It’s hard to interview yourself.
We’re here today with author S. G. Ricketts, author of an as of yet unpublished novel Calypso and up-and-coming fantasy/sci-fi writer. Thank you so much for being here! To start off, would you share with us where you are from and how you got started?
Thanks so much for having me! I am a Texan, born and raised. And yes, we do think Texas is the best state. Laughs. I’m also proud to be a Kiwi, and it plays a large factor in my stories. My mother is originally from New Zealand and my father was in the military, so I grew up in a very diverse family. We didn’t move around, because my dad was in the reserves, but he’d grown up moving around so there was an element of internationalism around our house.
I’m a drama queen, so I tend to make any little thing huge. Watch any childhood video and you can see it. Eventually I figured out that I could turn my dramatic side to paper. I suppose I got started writing when I was in elementary school, but I wrote my first official book in 6th grade. I was in that typical girl phase of wanting to save all the animals, so it was about a girl who worked at an animal shelter. I had roughly 20 pages written and was so proud of it! I even gave it to a friend for her birthday present! Lord knows if it was good or not… After that first book, I realized that this was something I really enjoyed doing. I started seeing how far I could push it. I worked on a fanfic of Erin Hunter’s Warriors series and had my first full-length novel done by the end of my 8th grade year. I’m still in awe of it: 330 pages and a half-way decent storyline! Anyways, that’s how I got started.
Wow, 330 pages? Will you ever share it?
I doubt it. Laughs. I’m not even sure the floppy disks are still good.
So, what’s your latest news?
News… Hmm… I don’t have much. Right now, I’m splitting my time between real life and a new project, The Real Cinderella. Before anyone panics, Calypso is still being worked on. Other than that, I’ve been updating my new Facebook page and fixing this blog up.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Oh man, I don’t even know! It just seemed a natural assumption. I suppose it was after that first mini-chapter book, and it’s just stuck with me since. It’s been the one constant affirmation throughout the past 10 years: no matter what, I am a writer.
That is so neat! So, what inspired you to write your first book?
The first one? That mini-chapter book was because I felt no one paid attention to shelter animals. I wrote it in an attempt to make people want to help out. After that, I wrote because I wanted to see my book in Barnes & Nobles.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I do! I write in a very descriptive manner. If you’ve read Hemingway, imagine the exact opposite. I try to use all of the senses to really paint a story into reality. I’m also rather fond of using dreams to explain things or throw a kink into a story. Other than that, I am pretty broad with my subject matter. As you can tell from my “Books” page, I’ve written sci-fi, fantasy, historical/religious fiction, and short stories.
How did you come up with the titles for these two latest works?
Calypso was a difficult one to come up with. I struggled with it for a while, and for about 6 months it went by Calypso’s Children. My beta reader, though, thought that was a little long so I shortened it to just Calypso and it’s stuck! The Real Cinderella, like the rest of the book, was a stroke of inspiration. I’ve always had a soap box set aside for the mentality most young women have of themselves, so the title just seemed like a natural fit. I was tired of the classic princess stories and decided to write one of my own.
Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
In both of them, I focus on the worth of a person. Specifically when it comes to women, we see ourselves as not deserving love or blessing or friendship when the opposite is true! Kira, in Calypso, feels immense guilt for being the sole survivor of an Earth colony. Later on, she beats herself up for something else she couldn’t control. Kat, in The Real Cinderella, was born into the lowest caste and has her sister sacrifice herself for Kat’s well-being. She is crippled by the feeling that she doesn’t deserve any of the things she has gotten. Hopefully, by the time the reader is finished, they realize that they are just as worthy as these women are of love and good things.
How much of the book is realistic?
The essential parts are realistic. I personally am not a huge fan of writing stories with massive magical twists and crazy tricks. I leave the fantasy up to the setting and the characters’ physical appearance. Other than that, I keep it as realistic as possible so that people can relate.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Yes. I have struggled with worth all my life. Even after having a beautiful family and an amazing husband, I still struggle with believing that I deserve any of it. I use those feelings in my books to connect with my readers.
What books have most influenced your life most?
So many! To name a few, C. S. Lewis’s Narnia series, George R. R. Martin’s Fire and Ice series, and Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
All of them? Am I allowed to choose that as an answer? I take bits and pieces of each and use it in my writing. If I had to choose, I’d have to say Ms. McCaffrey. Her series and her PBeM (Play By eMail) groups are what really polished and built up my writing style.
What book are you reading now?
None, unfortunately. Unless you count my Texas Politics textbook, but those aren’t fun to read. I just finished a fantastic book called Cross Stitch by Diana Gaboldon, though, that I highly suggest.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
BookRix.com. If you are a writer, check this site out! It has seriously changed my entire approach to writing and networking.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up. Ever. If you feel like you have something to share, if you have that conviction in your heart, don’t listen to what anyone has to say against it. Work your hardest to make it the best it can be, listen to constructive criticism, and be humble enough to know when to scrap certain parts in order to make a story better.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
You guys are amazing! Thank you so much for all your support, and check out my self-published anthology, Freedom From Chains!