The Second Book is Like Sex … by Aaron Michael Ritchey

Aaron_Michael_Ritchey.jpgWell, Long Live the Suicide King is now in the world. It’s in the collection of books that human beings have produced. I have an ISBN for it, which is the second ISBN I have. Two down and another hundred to go. Edgar Rice Burroughs said that if you wrote a hundred books, at least a couple might be good. So that is the plan.

Now, I’ve been asked if the second time is better, worse, easier, harder?

It’s infinitely easier. Like sex.

My first time with actual sex was a disaster. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say no one, not the warmest, fuzziest romance writer nor the sleaziest porn producer could capture the tragi-comedy of my first sexual experience. But I’d like to think I got better with the whole sex thing. I did it right at least twice: both the sex thing and the book thing.

I wrote the book, edited the book, and got the book out into the world. Which for me is a minor miracle. I used to write books and book and books and then shelve them because I was too afraid to query agents or editors. And I knew that what I had was blech, but my next idea? My next magnum opus would shatter the publishing world with its brilliance. With the fire of a new idea scorching me, I would start with the lovely blank page and churn out another novel no one would ever read. And so on and so on and so on. It was good practice, but in the end, for me, if I am not seeking out readers, writing becomes an exercise of self-pleasure. And that is what I did alone for years and years.

Ritchey_Suicide KingI don’t get to sit on books anymore. I’ve spent decades working on my writing, and for me to not share my books with the world because of self-centered fear is a crime. And sad. I’ve lived most of my life too terrified to move, but not anymore.

Yes, the second book was easier. I know so much more about pre-orders, about reviews, about starting early, about the kind of marketing material I need. And I didn’t dread my book launches because a book launch is a party I throw for all the people I love.

I’m excited about hand-selling my new book, however odd it might be. The Never Prayer had a nice hook. Angels, demons, love, sure. The new book is my happy, little suicide book. It’s funny, but yeah, it’s about suicide. Yikes. However, it’s also about hope, donuts, Christian girls, the ‘hood, and a very Laurence Fishburne villain.

Like 13 Reasons Why meets The Matrix! Without the sci-fi element.

Yes, I’m still nervous about having another book out there. And yeah, I have high hopes and impossible dreams swimming around in my head, but do you know what?

I’m enjoying the process.

For right this second, I don’t need riches and fame to be happy about my writing career. I’m enjoying where I am and what I am doing right now, which is a miracle. And at times? I even pine for my pre-published days!

But that is a waste, longing for the past.

I’m doing the deal right now. I’m writing books and I’m finding publishers for them. Not big publishers, but publishers, and I’m excited about the prospect of going rogue and independently publishing.

So to celebrate, I’ll be doing a little giveaway, not just my new book, Long Live the Suicide King, but also Black by Catherine Winters and The Prophetess: At Risk by Linda Rohrbough.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post by the end of Saturday (May 3rd) that describes one good thing about the writing life you are experiencing right now. Or, if you’re not a writer, something good about reading books, owning books, buying books, shelving books, underlining books, or anything book!

I’ll mail you out the books and it will be epic! Free books!

Life is sweet!


Aaron Michael Ritchey's first novel, The Never Prayer, was published in March of 2012 to a fanfare of sparkling reviews including an almost win in the RMFW Gold contest. Since then he's been paid to write steampunk, cyberpunk, and sci-fi western short stories, two of which will appear in a new fiction magazine, FICTIONVALE. His second novel, Long Live the Suicide King, is out and giving hope to the masses. As a former story addict and television connoisseur, he lives in Colorado with his wife and two ancient goddesses posing as his daughters.

For more about him, his books, and how to overcome artistic angst, visit his website. He's on Facebook as Aaron Michael Ritchey and he tweets - @aaronmritchey.

Patricia Stoltey
Blog Editor
Patricia grew up on a farm in central Illinois so naturally had to use the old farm in her first mystery. The second Sylvia and Willie tale takes place near and in the little touristy gold mining town of Oatman, Arizona. Patricia's third novel, a standalone suspense called Dead Wrong, was released November 2014. Dead Wrong was a finalist in the thriller category for the Colorado Book Awards. Visit her blog at

21 thoughts on “The Second Book is Like Sex … by Aaron Michael Ritchey

  1. I think the best thing about having books is that they never leave. People leave. Happiness leaves. Emotions come and go, nothing is certain but death and taxes. And stories! They live in my head, in my heart. They play on the fringes of my mind, lapping at the turmoil there. They sooth.

  2. Enjoying the here and now of the writing journey is awesome! I tend to get caught up in goals and deadlines and whatnot. It’s nice to take a breath and appreciate how fun it all is! I just came back from PPWC and am currently enjoying the high of spending three days with writers that are on this crazy journey too.

  3. I don’t know how it is for other writers, but for me, writing helps me work through some of the complex emotions and half-formed ideas about life rattling around inside my head. Even if it is only obliquely done, it’s still a start.

  4. Aaron – the great thing about being a writer is that you can legitimately talk to imaginary friends. Oh, yes, people still shake their heads and turn away. But you can shout at them. “I’m a writer, damnitall. So cowboy up, cupcake.” Or something like that.

  5. One great thing about writing…getting to make up characters then have readers react to that character as if he or she was a real person.

    Great post Aaron!

  6. Hi, Aaron! Lisa Hawker here. I love it when one of my characters says something so unexpectedly witty that it makes me laugh inappropriately loud in a public place. BTW, your emceeing at PPWC made me laugh out loud too. And you know what they say about sex being like pizza: when it’s good, it’s really good, and when it’s bad…it’s still pretty good. Which also aptly describes the writing life.

  7. The best thing about my writing life right now is that I’m finally learning how to come out of my shell. I’ve learned to be more social in situations that scare the living day lights out of me. When I’m in author mode, I’m a much more confident person than I used to be. I also love seeing projects finished and how they come together, nothing matches that feeling of holding my book in my hands!

  8. Hi Aaron! The best thing about my writing life currently is the feeling, as Chuck Wendig puts it, that I’m “getting out of the story’s way.” When I’m able to do that and write something that, while imperfect, has meaning, it drastically decreases the amount of time I’m staring at blank pages and second-guessing work.

  9. Fun post, Aaron! It’s nice to know the road continues to have twists and turns after publication. Us pre-published types tend to envision a smooth, even road once we’ve been acknowledged by the publishing world.

  10. The writing life is still new to me – however, the best thing I have found is two-fold.
    One – I find writing to be therapeutic. So much so that for a while when I was seeing a therapist he’d ask me what happened to my characters since our last visit as a way to talk about my problems. See – he was a clever fellow who caught on quickly, and I was much more willing to talk about my characters problems than my own, because mine are silly.
    Two – the community. Coming from a corporate/military engineering realm, I expected creative/artistic writer types to be cut-throat, clique-y, even caustic. Not so at all – I’ve been amazed, humbled and repeatedly energized by the supportive, rock-awesome community we have here.
    I wonder if it is like this everywhere?

  11. Random story for you… I went into the bathroom at an Indian restaurant last night, and was overwhelmed by how distinctly the air in there smelled like old books. There were no old books in there, and outside of that door smelled of things like saffron and marjoram. Specifically, that bathroom reminded me of exploring an old used book store my mother would often take me to in Connecticut as I was growing up, called the Book Barn, which was–literally–a converted barn stuffed full of used books. I love my Kindle for the ease of absorbing the words of my favorite fiction, but it will never smell like the Book Barn. And I don’t want to have to visit an oddly specific public restroom for that experience, either.

  12. Great post Aaron and congratulations on your newest book. I’ve recently been challenged by a friend to consider combining my photography with my thoughts as inspiration. II’m toying with the format concept. I’m with you on the vulnerability of exposing your work out to others. Kudos to you for sharing your talents.

  13. Every time I finish writing a book, I have this moment of “Wow, this one is better than the last one!”… followed quickly by “I’ve used up any talent I have, and will never be able to produce anything worthwhile again.”

    Every single time.

    And yet, a born writer can’t deny the urge to produce. To create. To live vicariously through the lives of the people who live in your head. I don’t like to call them characters. They are far too real to me. Some I even mourn the fact they don’t exist, and never will exist, in reality. Only in my reality.

    That is what I love. Rejoicing for the victories my people find. Weeping when they hurt. Sharing their lives with others who love them just as much.

  14. Right now? I’m flooded with ideas and fear. And I’m working through the fear, hooking up with friends online to write, writing every day as though my life depends on it. I’m done with letting everyone tell me what to do (though I do take things into consideration). I see a light at the end of the tunnel, and for once I don’t think it’s a train headed for me.

    Books have always been my safe place, and they always will be my safe place. So I need to do more of that.

    Your courage has given me courage, which hopefully will give other writers that are struggling some courage, and the cycle perpetuates itself.

    Story is necessary.

    Sending love and hugs!

  15. Great artcle on writing. Telling lies for fun and profit doesn’t compare with anything. For me, writing is the best way to put my thoughts in order to come to find out later how distortioned my mind can be at times. Writing without serious expectatoins about money or fame has made my 20 years of writing pleasant and has, in a way, created a shield to protect me from dissapointment.

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