My dad’s a grad

Mia, Dad, and me post graduation!

My dad (the original R.W. Ridley) retired from his ophthalmology practice at the age of 81.  At the age of 83, he got his BA in accounting.  Yep, my dad is a college grad… again.  We, my sisters, wife, and I, went down to Florida this past weekend and watched him walk through the line.  The only one missing was Mom, but she was there in spirit. In an odd twist of fate, the one year anniversary of her passing was also this weekend.  So, we all got to be together to raise a glass in her honor.

The car Mia and I got him as a graduation present. It's a 1981 Chevy Citation.

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Banshee Worm King – Early Feedback

"Screw you for killing ______ I get it, but still, screw you…" – Brian

Okay, I wanted to wait until I heard from all the readers who received the first shipment of ARCs of the Banshee Worm King: Book Five of the Oz Chronicles before I posted any comments they sent my way because I didn’t want them to influence each other’s opinions of the book.   I thought it would be weeks before I heard back from all of them.  I’m happy to report that in just a little over a week, I’ve heard from all of them.  Here is what they had to say (minus any spoilers):

Got it yesterday. Finished it this morning. YOU’RE HEARTLESS. But this is the best one yet.  – Kinser 

…. I instantly started reading it. Several hours later I had finished the book. I enjoyed every page and every sentence of it. The book was by far the best you have written in my opinion. It was amusing, suspenseful, and exciting all at once. – Jacob 

Great job on book 5… I’m always a fan of your action scenes and this one didn’t disappoint… Screw you for killing ______ I get it, but still, screw you… – Brian 

Logan Has Finished ‘Banshee Worm King, Book 5 Of The Oz Chronicles’ And Has Now Allowed Me To Read It. He Won’t Say A Word, Per Your Inscription, Other Than “That Was The BEST One Yet!” I Am Only Halfway Through It And So Far I Completely Agree! KUDOS! – Christina 

I swore them all to secrecy in regards to who dies in the book, but as you can see, a couple of them were a little upset with me.  I learned from Charlotte’s Web as a kid that no one is safe in the world of fiction.   I’ve got more feedback from other readers, but I’m waiting on their permission to post their comments.  I am, to say the least, pleased with the feedback so far.

The Takers Movie?

In the beginning, a long, long time ago, I was contacted by some filmmakers who were interested in doing a movie version of The Takers.  Obviously, that didn’t happen, but that doesn’t mean I’ve given up on the idea.  A good friend of mine and I even attempted to adapt the book into a screenplay, but he ended up moving to New York (lucky duck), and I’ve been busy writing books 2-5. So things kind of stalled

It is back on my mind once again.  Many of you have asked me if there will ever be a The Takers movie, and my answer has been that it’s not up to me.  I’ve changed my mind about that.  I’ve decided to be more proactive about it and see how far I can take it.  I contacted a production company today to get an idea of budget for a short.  I explained what I thought was the best approach, and I’m sending them a copy of the book to see just how “proactive” I will have to be.  It will take money, which means I will most likely be getting into that crowdsourcing scene.  However, there is no sense in pursuing it if there’s not an audience for a The Takers Movie.  Incidentally, I would have to call it The Takers instead of Takers because there was a film about a bank heist with that title a few years ago.  So what do you think?  Is it worth pursuing?  Would there be an audience for a move based on my book The Takers?

Here’s a book trailer a company called Book Shorts did for the book.

Banshee Worm King ARCs

Banshee Worm King ARCs

I believe I’ve contacted everyone who expressed an interest at some point in receiving an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of the Banshee Worm King: Book Five of the Oz Chronicles.  If you haven’t heard from me, and you did send me a request at an earlier date let me know. I may be able to get a few more.

Should I publish an old screenplay?

When I first started writing, I wrote screenplays exclusively.  I actually completed 12 before I attempted my first novel.  The first book I published was the fifth book I wrote.  So, I’ve always considered rewriting some of those early books and publishing them through Kindle and my friends at CreateSpace, but my wife just prompted another idea.  She asked me about my screenplay titled Never Living.  It got mild, mild buzz many moons ago, even making it as far as the semi-finals round of The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.  I almost got to thank the Academy!  I had never considered publishing one of my screenplays before, but Kindle and CreateSpace make it so incredibly easy, I’m thinking of doing it.  It’s fiction, but it is not formatted like a novel.  I would leave it in it’s original screenplay format.  And it is nothing like my Young Adult novesl or my adult titles.  It is a contemporary story that is probably influenced by Woody Allen and Charlie Kaufman.

What do you think?  Should I publish Never Living?

Two Notch news and the Banshee Worm King

BOTYA Finalist in the Thriller Category

I’ve been so bad about posting on the blog lately. The sad thing is I have no excuse. I have been working to get the ARCs of Banshee Worm King ready for distribution, but I’d be lying if I said that’s the reason I haven’t been posting. I guess I just needed a break from the interwebs, outside of the time I burn on Facebook, that is.
I didn’t even post some fairly exciting news I got last week. The Man Who Saved Two Notch is a finalist in the Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award competition in the Thriller category. That does not suck at all. To be frank, I love Two Notch, but I’ve been a little disappointed with its sales numbers. It’s really tough to market because it’s not young adult, and I wouldn’t recommend it to young readers of the Oz Chronicles. So, I was hoping it would find an audience on its own. I lowered the Kindle price to .99 and sales have picked up slightly. A couple of reviews have come in on Amazon that made me smile and happy for the characters in the book. And yes, I do get happy for the characters. They are very much fictional characters, but when you spend as much time with them as I do, you grow attached to them.
Here’s my favorite review for Two Notch:

5.0 out of 5 stars By Dave H (Oregon, USA)
This review is from: The Man Who Saved Two Notch (Kindle Edition)
“The Man Who Saves Two Notch” by R.W. Riddle is a remarkable coming-of-age adventure/horror novel filled with ingratiating, quirky, peculiar, riveting, and sometimes poignant, backwoods characters that will make you smile, laugh, lament, gasp, forgive, and overtly cheer for again and again. To say I was amazed with the storyline would be a gross understatement, “I absolutely loved this story!” The first 80 pages are a bit slow but after that the story accelerates at breakneck speed. Be forewarned there are copious amounts of profanity throughout the story! The best hillbilly backwoods adventure story I’ve had the pleasure to read in my lifetime…5+ stars!!!

Thank you, Dave H. of Oregon!

The Banshee Worm King ARCs are coming in three shipments. The first shipment has arrived, and I turned around and shipped them out to people who requested a copy. I’ll keep you posted as more come in.