Author Spotlight, Ripley Patton, author of the PSS Chronicles
I recently met Ripley Patton and became interested in her PSS Chronicles, Ghost Hand and Ghost Hold. I wanted to learn more about her and her intriguing Paranormal Thriller series. Find out why she likes writing Young Adult Novels and the craziest thing she has done to promote her books.
Book Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Suggested Reading Audience: Young Adult
Content Warnings: Swearing, Violence
Ghost Hand: Book One of The PSS Chronicles:
Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a hand made of ethereal energy. How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she's a little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky. Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia's calculus class, stares at her like she's a freak, Olivia doesn't like it. And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.
Ghost Hold: Book Two of The PSS Chronicles:
Olivia Black is back. Only this time she's not the one in need of rescue. Samantha James, rich, popular, and an award-winning composer at age seventeen, is the next target on the CAMFers' list. In order to convince Samantha to come with them, Olivia and Passion must pose as cousins, blend into the most affluent high school in Indianapolis, and infiltrate a mysterious cult known as The Hold. Olivia doesn't expect it to be easy, even with the PSS guys backing them up. But what she discovers over the course of the mission will call into question everything she ever believed about herself, her family, and especially about Marcus, the guy she is undoubtedly falling in love with.
Purchase Ghost Hand (free on all venues) and Ghost Hold:
What made you decide to become an Author and write a book or a series?
I knew from the time I was a young teen that I wanted to be a writer. Reading and telling myself stories has always been the way I make sense of this crazy, chaotic world we live in. I love making up worlds and people that I'm totally in charge of.
Why did you choose to write in your genre and what are some of the difficulties associated with the genre?
Writing YA was a no-brainer for me, because it was what I loved to read. I also had two teenagers at the time I started writing, so I knew they'd be great beta readers and give me awesome feedback. And they do. I have them to thank for my realistic characters and dialogue. I'd say the most difficult thing about writing YA is the challenge to stay youthful and current. I spend a lot of time listening to my kids and their peers and interacting with them, not just so I can write them better, but also because teens have smart, thoughtful things to say about the world.
What is your favorite book you have written? What was the hardest part to write?
My favorite book I've written is still the first book of my series, Ghost Hand. There's just nothing like the first book (kind of like your first love). It sticks with you forever and you'll always appreciate how it gave you a voice and the chops to call yourself an author. The hardest part to write was the end. That's always the hardest part because I don't want the story to end.
Who is your favorite character to write for and why?
Ack. That's like asking which of my children I like better. And I have to plead the fifth because I might have an internal mutiny on my hands if I don't. I can say this, though. I love to write the bad guys.
What is your writing process? Do you have the story planned out or does it surprise you as you write it? Do you write at night, or in the morning? Do you listen to a play list?
I don't outline. I write the story to find out what happens, and I'm often just as surprised as my readers by where it ends up. I think if I knew the end when I started, I'd get bored and lose motivation. I write in the afternoons (I'm NOT a morning person) and late at night when everyone's gone to bed. And I can't have noise or music at all. In fact, I usually have a fan our white noise going to mute out the distractions.
Do you enjoy writing a series or individual stories?
I've loved writing a series, and I also enjoy writing short stories. But I've never done a stand-alone novel so that's on my writing bucket list.
What are the strangest events or advertising methods have you used to get your name and books into the public eye?
My books have sold really well at the local Garden Show, even though they have ZERO gardening in them. And one of my favorite advertising methods is to have a magic eight ball at my book booth, because one features heavily in my third and fourth books (It's almost a character). People love to ask the magic eight ball if they should buy my book. Hint: It always says: It is certain
What would you like your readers to know about you or your books?
About me: I love to interact with other readers, authors, and just cool people. I try to make myself very accessible and answer any and everyone who contacts me. And I'm always happy to talk with aspiring writers about their goals and path.
About my books: They speak for themselves. That's why I make the first one FREE. I dare you to go read it, and I'm pretty sure you'll love it. But if don't, that's fine too. No harm done.
Looking ahead, what can we expect to see from you in the future? What are you working on?
I'm gearing up to release the fourth and final book of The PSS Chronicles series, Ghost Hope, on June 15th. After that, I have so many ideas I'm not sure what I'm going to pick but standing in line are 1) a collection of short stories 2) a non-fiction project 3) several more YA series ideas 4) several YA stand-alone ideas 5) and two off-shoot novels from The PSS Chronicles World (one an New Adult Prequel set 33 in the past, the other an alternate dystopian version of the last book's ending catapulting to a completely different future).
Author bio: Ripley Patton lives in Portland, Oregon with one cat, two teenagers, and a man who wants to live on a boat. She doesn't smoke, or drink, or cuss as much as her characters. Her only real vices are writing, eating M&Ms, and watching reality television. Ripley is an award-winning short story writer and author of The PSS Chronicles, a young adult paranormal thriller series.