The Oz Chronicles passes a milestone

101 reviews and counting

So, we indie authors count victories in smaller increments than the big boys.  For instance, the Oz Chronicles books just passed a tiny milestone.  The five books just went over the 100 reviews mark on Amazon.  Collectively, they have a total of 101 reviews to be exact.  Even cooler, only one review is a one star review, but I count that one as a badge of honor because it was a mother who made her boys stop reading the books because – well, why don’t I just post the review so there’s no chance I misquote the woman.

Terrible………My teen boys love to read so I am always looking for a good series. I typed in teen fiction and this series popped so I bought all of them. After they were almost done with the series, I asked them what it was about. By the time their description was over I felt like I wanted to throw up. What had I subjected them to? I couldn’t believe the gore details they described. Sure that I had not subjected my Sons to this type of disgusting reading, I had them read aloud. I made them stop and took the books away. I cannot believe that these were in the teen section. Gross, Gore, Evil, Blood, Guts……….I’m so full of regret that I had ever bought these. The series should not be listed anywhere near teens. In fact, it should be labeled with a parental advisory. I think I’ll burn the books. I will use much more discretion with my selections from now on!

Thanks to all who are among the 101 reviewers (even the mother who wants to burn them).  You’ve helped me sell books over the years, and I can’t ask for more than that.

A mistake in Banshee Worm King I may not change

My neighor Tommy

Last week I was on vacation in beautiful Laguna Beach, CA.  If you ever have the chance to visit LB, do it.  It’s in Orange County, but it is not the OC you know from that awful reality show.  It’s much classier and friendlier.

While on my vaca in the OC, I got an email from a very impassioned reader.  She gave me some kind remarks about the Oz Chronicles series, and she gave me some constructive criticisms, as well.  One of the things she pointed out was that in Banshee Worm King Stevie is referred to as Tommy at one point.  She didn’t say where, but I’m sure she’s right.  What very few people know is that in the earliest draft of The Takers Stevie’s name was Tommy.  I changed it at the request of my mother because there was a young man named Tommy who took his own life in my home town shortly after I graduated high school.  Tommy was my developmentally challenged neighbor, and while he didn’t create comic books, he wrote bizarrely entertaining science fiction stories.   Mom didn’t feel comfortable with me naming the character after him, so I changed it because I love my mom.

It doesn’t surprise me that I inadvertently called Stevie Tommy because when I think of the character I think of my old neighbor.  He was a great kid, and I frequently think about him.  He loved his stories and was so eager to share them with whomever would listen.

It’s unconventional, but I’m considering leaving the mistake in the book as a tribute to Tommy.  I haven’t made up my mind yet because I’m concerned it may pull people out of the story, but I kind of feel like Tommy should get some sort of nod for the inspiration he provided.

It’s something I’ll have to mull over in my crowded gray matter for the next few days.  Stay tuned!

Lou’s Diary – Entry 2 (text version)

I don’t know where I am.  I’m still in the mountains.  I’ve been following a path, and I’m pretty sure I’m heading north… pretty sure.  I may not be real, but I’m hungry.  That doesn’t seem fair. There should be some advantages to being a fictional character.  I shouldn’t have to eat or sleep or… other stuff.

I slept under something that looked like a park bench made out of sticks and logs off the side of the trail last night.  I must be in some kind of national forest or something.  There are mile markers all up and down the trail.  This morning when I woke up there was a pack of crackers under the bench.  I couldn’t believe it.  I don’t know how old they were or how they got there, but I have never tasted something so delicious in my life.  They were stale, frozen, and insanely good.

The only problem is they just made me hungrier.  I haven’t seen a store or house or…. Anything at all in days. If I had my crossbow, I could hunt, but I don’t even know if there’s anything to hunt.   I hear noises, especially at night, but I’m pretty sure it’s the wind.  That’s that I tell myself, anyway.

Why didn’t I keep the crossbow?

I know why.  I thought I’d be dead by now… no, not dead.  That’s the wrong word.  I thought I’d stop existing.  What’s the point without the others… without him?  I miss oz…

No.  I can’t go there.  I won’t be able to breathe if I do.  If I have to live for another second without him, I have to forget about him.  That’s the way it has to be.   I am not real.  I can’t be a part of his world.  It will cost him his life.  It will cost the others their lives. I know it.  From this moment on, I have not past.

The Takers hit number 1

Number 1!!

Nice!  Looks like you all got my message.  The Takers shot up the “Spine-chilling Horror” charts.  As of this writing it is number one!  Hopefully we can have the same kind of success with The Man Who Saved Two Notch starting Wednesday.  As a reminder here’s the schedule of when my books with be free on the Kindle, and don’t forget, I’m holding a promotional drawing for Two Notch.  The prize is a Kindle Fire.  I’ll have more details on Wednesday.

Thanks for making The Takers #2

Number 2 with a bullet

The Takers soared up the charts Sunday and Monday on Amazon.  It made it as high as number 2 in the Spine-Chilling category on Kindle.  Nice!  It had close to 2,000 downloads.  Thanks to everyone for spreading the word.

While we’re on the subject of my books, I’ll be making Lost Days available for free for the Kindle tomorrow and Thursday (1/18 & 1/19).  Spread the word!  Send your friends the Amazon link: Lost Days

Another Two Notch Song – Rye Whiskey

Thanks to Bailey for turning me onto the Punch Brothers.  I looked them up on Youtube and found the song Rye Whiskey, and I’m adding it to The Man Who Saved Two Notch virtual sound track.  Why?  Because rye whiskey plays a fairly prominent role in the story.

Pamela Anderson – Celebrity of the Day Caught Reading Lost Days

Ms. Anderson takes a break from her Dancing with the Stars schedule to enjoy a good book poolside.

Hey, eyes on the book, pal!

On a completely unrelated note: Photoshop is cool!

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I can’t sleepblog and some Lost Days news

In a group, club, organization? Get a 25% discount on Lost Days!

Whoa!  I missed posting yesterday!  My excuse?  I fell asleep on my recliner.  I’m not joking.  I fell into a deep, unexpected sleep.  It was so deep Mia freaked me out a bit when she woke me.  I didn’t know where I was, and I only had a vague idea who I was.  I was in no mood or shape to sit down at the computer and blog.

Why was I so tired?  I’ve been getting up at four in the morning in an effort to be more productive.  The trouble is I’m still going to bed at my normal time.  It finally caught up to me.  I’ll adjust soon enough, but until then I ask for your patience. 

Top R.W. Ridley news for today: I’ve worked out a 25% discount for groups who want to buy and read Lost Days.  What does that mean?  If you’re in a book club or you work for a school or part of some cryptozoology group, you can contact me at, and I will send you a link to a website, and a discount code so you can get 25% off Lost Days.  All I ask is that you share the discount with everyone in your group.  In fact if you can get 10 people to buy it, we can arrange for a phone conference, and I’ll be happy to answer any of your questions about the book or writing or bigfoot or all of the above.  

Now, please forgive me. My comfy recliner is calling my name…zzzzzzzzzzzz.

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