Dark forces are at work in a small Wisconsin community.
At the cusp of the new millennium, Elena and Greg Bailey arrive in Green Springs to help her hospitalized mother. As they drive into town, cats are everywhere and seem more populous than humans. Within hours, Elena and Greg discover a horrendous scene in the nearby woods. When they report their finding to the police, the response is not what they expect.
The local church with its tainted past and charismatic pastor has become the only house of worship in Green Springs. Eccentric, billionaire architect Marcus Ahriman manipulates events to suit his satanic mission. At the same time, two mysterious sisters confound Elena as they work behind the scenes for a higher purpose.
If Elena doesn’t get to the bottom of the great wickedness in high places that’s at work in this enigmatic town, all humanity will suffer.
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Gary W. Ritter whose book The Tattooed Cat captivated me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love fantasy but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight for Gary W. Ritter, a biography of the author and an interview between us both will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Gary W. Ritter!
Back in the early 90s after a rather unpleasant divorce, I somehow got the notion to start writing. I took classes and went to seminars, even took the Writer’s Digest course. I discovered at that time that I wasn’t particularly clever and didn’t seem to have much knack for short stories, so I wrote a novel. It was heavily autobiographic of my situation and not very good, but I kept at it and ended up writing seven novels during that period. The publishing world is notoriously difficult to break into through normal channels, and none of my novels got published.
Although I continued to think about writing, I let it slip for a number of years until several years ago. I found a website called www.FaithWriters.com and discovered they had a weekly writing challenge. They provided a topic that you had to write to and a word limitation of 750 words. I decided to just start doing it, and by writing a short story every week, I accumulated about 130 stories and a number of highly ranked ones in the FaithWriters Editors Top Ten. I’ve turned those into the several books of short stories you can see on my website or at Amazon. Everything I’m doing right now is self-published through the Amazon tools at Createspace and Kindle.
In that time period of writing short stories, I decided to tackle another novel. That turned into Sow The Wind with its follow-ups in the series: Reap The Whirlwind and There Is A Time. I released The Tattooed Cat in Fall 2018 simultaneously with There Is A Time.
I write end-times thrillers because I got saved by reading the Left Behind series. How could I not write in the same genre when that is such a strong interest that I have?
Now, how wonderful does Gary W. Ritter sound?! The author is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between us both, I hope that you enjoy the author’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
In the period in the 1990s when I was writing quite a bit, I visited the town of Spring Green in Wisconsin where Frank Lloyd Wright had his Taliesin estate. I saw a church that had a unique design (not necessarily a Wright building) and a number of cats around the town. That spurred some interesting thought processes, which ultimately led me to write The Tattooed Cat. Yes, I actually wrote the original story in 1998. This year as another novel I was working on was being edited, I pulled Tattoo out of the dusty archives and liked what I had written 20 years ago(!) quite a lot. I had to do some serious reworking of certain aspects of it to bring it in line with my Christian worldview, which I didn’t possess at the time of the original writing, and which I hope I’ve done justice to in preserving the book’s narrative.
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
If you don’t read, I’m not sure how you can write. So, read what you love and then write more or less in that same genre. If you don’t enjoy it, I’m not so sure anyone else will either.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
I look toward my wife for that answer. She’ll start a book, and if it doesn’t grab her after probably 30-70 pages, she’ll stop reading it and not look back. It’s a combination of things with her. Does the story grab her early on? Does she find the characters appealing? Does the story move along or get bogged down in too much description? I’m thankful, and find it remarkable, that she can help me in the editing process by reading my books up to three times and not put them down out of boredom. That’s a real positive for me in my writing.
What is your writing process like?
I prefer to write in the morning, but I have no doubt I’m much different in how I approach this than most authors, or even most people in general. Upon arising I spend at least an hour reading my Bible and praying. That sets the tone of the day when I put God first. My faith is extremely important to me. When I came to know the Lord, I vowed that I wasn’t messing around with simply the trappings of religion. True Biblical faith is a genuine personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He shed His blood for my sins as a free gift of salvation. It takes no works on my part so that I have nothing to boast about—Jesus did it all. He paid the price for me that I could never pay. I grew up Presbyterian and went to church regularly with my parents, but it meant nothing. When I left home for college I was seeking, and I searched in all the wrong places: drugs, Eastern religions, New Age practices. They were all a dead end and required a lot of work for something that ultimately leads to death. In finding Christ, I found life.
That’s not a terribly popular view in our culture today, but God has made it quite clear to me what’s most important in this life; that is following Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. As I do that, as I prepare for the day through the time I spend with Him, He is gracious in providing what I need. I ask Him for guidance and inspiration, and He gives it to me. Thus, when I sit down to write, I’m able to move forward, simply doing what God has tasked me to do at this time of my life. I find it a little odd, but He has placed me in the circumstances I’m in so as to write, and in that writing to be a witness to Him through the mechanism of (hopefully) a good story.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
My stories have Biblical themes. I come at them with a Christian worldview; in fact, I look at the world through a Biblically prophetic lens. As a result, because of the time I spend in the Word of God and the effort I make to interact with Him on a daily basis, He gives me thoughts and ideas, even revelations sometimes that enable me to put ideas and concepts together. I do read a lot of books and blogs, etc., plus I stay on top of current events. Because much of my writing deals with Biblical end-times scenarios, it all seems to work out. I tend to think toward a current work probably six months out. So, even while I’m working on one book, I’ll be reading, thinking, and making notes quite a bit in advance of turning to that new work.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
My intention is to write five to six days a week in the mornings. If only! Because of other demands on my time, I’m not as successful at this schedule as I’d like. I definitely don’t have to feel inspired. I usually have a sense at the end of whatever time I’ve put in for the day of where I need to go next in the story. I outline at a pretty high level. Sometimes I’ll lay it out chapter by chapter; in other stories I may only know some high points and let the characters and the plot carry me along. It depends a lot on whether I feel a particular story should be more tightly plotted or not.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
Absolutely; all the time. I read a lot of fiction but also non-fiction as research. Recent non-fiction research areas for me lately have been the Nephilim (Genesis 6), Roman Catholicism, and Israel’s history and prophetic future. The seminal fictional work that changed my life was the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. I’ve greatly enjoyed the speculative Christian fiction by Bill Myers, such as Eli. Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness is a classic for me. Davis Bunn wrote an earlier two-volume series: The Warning and The Ultimatum, which influenced my own Whirlwind series beginning with Sow The Wind. Bunn is such a good writer; anything you pick up by him is good.
Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
I’m currently working on another stand-alone novel that deals with UFOs, aliens, Nephilim, and altered history. If the writing goes forward without too many hitches, it’ll should be released in the Fall 2019 timeframe.
There is another of my dusty archive novels that is half finished and which I’d like to complete. It deals with environmental terrorism and maybe more if I can shape the rest of it well. I’d love to possibly do that and also get it out next year.
My Whirlwind end-times series is currently comprised of three books. There is a fourth book in the series I could write that would work well. For anyone familiar with Left Behind, that book and the series begin with the pre-millennial Rapture of the Church. The Whirlwind thrillers, although set in the near future, address the gap in time basically between now and when the Rapture occurs. This last novel in the series would conclude what occurs in this current time period. If indeed the actual Rapture hasn’t yet occurred by then, my target would likely be Fall 2020 for this last series book.
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Gary W. Ritter! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more about Gary W. Ritter, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,