Author Cat Ritchie has always loved reading short stories as well as writing them. In an exclusive interaction with The Literary Juggernaut, the author says she has had short stories and poems published in several regional anthologies, including The Talking Stick and Dust and Fire.
The sexagenarian, who lives in Minnesota, the US, also shares that she more often than not tends to have the characters and scenario in mind before putting pen to paper. And while the author lets us know that she has had short stories written out in just one sitting, she reveals that things were a tad different with her first published story Bosco and the Bees.
Work of Love
Conceding that she writes when an idea or inspiration strikes, implying thus that she does not have a calendar per se, Cat, who considers herself an eternal learner, tells us that Bosco and the Bees is a work of love. ‘I have written, re-written, edited, teased, swapped and fused certain characters into each other. It’s been fun!’ she explains. ‘It started as a fun idea when my kids were younger and becoming avid readers. Bosco is a young fairy searching for his life’s path, something that speaks to his heart. It’s the kind of story I would have loved growing up,’ adds the writer, who admits working on the book has required a lot more discipline and dedication than ever before.
A great juggler, Cat, who also practises kindness and empathy with those she meets, lets on that her favourite writers include Walter Farley, Alistair MacLean and Mary Stewart. As far as fiction is concerned, we learn she adores reading Nancy Springer, Leigh Bardugo, Patrick Ness, Dan Brown, Amy Tan, and Naomi Novik.
‘The non-fiction authors that I read include Rachel Maddow, Timothy D Snyder, Elizabeth A Fenn, Charles C Mann, and Echo Bodine,’ shares the author, who is earnestly hoping to find solutions that help people live more secure lives – both locally and globally – while investing in peaceful strategies that support people everywhere. She adds that in fiction, she enjoys uplifting stories while in non-fiction, she seeks to understand the larger picture in whatever she happens to be studying at the time.
Be that as it may, does Cat, whose hobbies include gardening, walking through the woods, Qi-Gong, massage, healing and movies, have anything to tell budding writers who lose motivation if their works do not do well? ‘I’d like to tell them to believe in their own stories,’ declares Cat. ‘You need to write your own stories. Follow your heart. Rejection hurts, and there are times I need to take a break from querying. But you are the only one who can tell your story,’ she adds, thereby signing off.