Ripley Patton lives in Portland, Oregon with one cat, two teenagers, and a man who wants to live on a boat. She and her family, who lived in New Zealand for five years, are survivors of the 2011 Canterbury Earthquakes.
Her short fiction has been nominated numerous times for various awards, and in 2009 Ripley won the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Short Story. She is the author of Ghost Hand, a young adult paranormal thriller and the first of a planned three book series.
For four years, Ripley wrote and published short stories. A New York City literary agent noticed her work and asked if she had anything longer. She didn’t. Not yet anyway. But that got her started writing her first novel. She loved to read young adult fiction, so choosing that genre for her writing was a natural.
Despite a move to New Zealand and back (and the two earthquakes she and her family survived while there), she had a finished, polished novel in hand when she got back to the U.S. in 2011. The agent who had contacted her initially, however, was no longer in the business unfortunately. Or fortunately, perhaps.
Although she had started to send her manuscript to agents and publishers, as she researched the changing landscape of the publishing industry and marketplace, she grew increasingly less convinced that the traditional route was the right path for her. But she also concluded that if she were going to self-publish, she had to do it right. “I wanted to be able to produce a quality product that could compete with the best traditional publishing had to offer,” she says. ”For that, I wanted a professional cover design, a professional edit and copy edit, and professional formatting, none of which I knew how to do or could afford.”
Her solution? The Internet. “I decided to tap into my existing short story fan base and use Kickstarter to raise the money to publish my novel. In just thirty days, I had raised 110% of my funding goal.”
She released Ghost Hand in November 2012, the first of a series of three books she calls The PSS Chronicles. She plans to release the second book, Ghost Hold, in September 2013.
Article by Eldon Sarte
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