A Day in the Writing Life of Reba Ritchie

Let’s welcome new RWA member Reba Ritchie as our guest today.

photo-1In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling.
The series I am working on now Keys to Erravilla is Fiction – Romance/Mystery. I had no clue before I started writing this series which genre I was writing in – it just sort of came out that way. There is an historical element to the series, probably because I am a keen history buff and have read many historical romance novels.

What time of the day do you write? Are you a morning, night-owl or anytime writer?
I always write at night, as my head seems to be clearer and less distracted than during the day. I have three children and I work shift work, so really the only time I am able to write is at night.

Where do you write? Do you have your own special place? Does the location vary?
I almost always write in my bedroom, sitting up in my warm, comfortable bed! photo

Are there any particular rituals you do to set the mood / harness your muse?
Often I write to music, which sets the tone of the chapter I am currently writing. Sometimes the music is varied and other times it is specific.

What’s the first think you do before you begin to write?
I always check my emails just before I start to write! Reading and responding to my emails puts me in the right headspace for writing.

Do you spend much time reading over the previous day’s work? Do you have a special system in place in order to begin writing or go with the flow?
I usually read over the previous few pages so that I know where my characters have just arrived at, and then I decide which part of the book needs to be written next.

Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser? Do you edit as you go or prefer to edit after completion of the ms?
I have never plotted or planned any of my books. I usually have an entire book in my head before I sit down to write. I prefer to give the characters and storyline as much free reign as possible. As I am writing one part of the novel another part usually springs to mind.

Do you use whiteboards, posters, visual aids to help in your creativity?
I do tend to research and download pictures of people, places, animals, plants etc to use as visual stimulus as I am writing – particularly if the characters are going to a location I have never been to. Most places they go to I have already been to.

Can you name five objects that are always on or near your work desk while you write?
In my direct workspace I have photos of my kids, internet access, my favourite books stacked beside me for inspiration and reference, a lamp and a drink bottle. My key essentials!

Do you give yourself any writing rewards for achieving goals?
Before I finish each writing session I make sure I am satisfied that the characters and plot line has progressed in some profound way since the previous session. There has to be development and movement with each session for me to stop.

What is your favourite form of procrastination? Do you have any tips to beat off that old foe “procrastination”?
The only time I ever procrastinate with my writing is when I am not 100% sure what I want to happen next in the plotline – getting from A to B – (which doesn’t happen often). The only way to beat this is to simply sit down and start writing and let my fingers do the work! This always works for me.
What’s the last thing you do before you finish your daily writing session?

photoHosts of Erravilla is the first book in this three part series to be published through Serenity Press and has been awarded a 5 star review by Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews.

Hosts of Erravilla is available through www.serenitypress.org, Amazon.com and other leading online stores, as well as some local stores in the Sydney area.

Book 2 The Guardian’s Curse will be available from 2015.

You can find me on Facebook or contact me by email at reba.ritchie@outlook.com.

Leave a comment


  1. I always love hearing how authors write. And love it when I find another pantser! Best of luck with your book Reba.

  2. Cath Evans

     /  October 28, 2014

    Hi Reba,
    Thanks for an interesting post. Writing in bed sounds so decadent! I keep trying but failing. I can never get comfortable…but reading, I seem to manage that okay!
    Good luck with your writing.
    Cath xo


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