We’ve got a stellar lineup of speakers at the RWA Conference this year! RWA interviewed these speakers to get their views on important topics like writing, singing in the shower, and silly talents. Let's get to know Erica Ridley, the RWA2018 RITA Awards Emcee.
The theme for RWA2018 is “Rethink. Revitalize. Renew.” What activity revitalizes you when the words are running dry?
Erica Ridley: When I'm stuck on a scene or the words just aren't flowing, my favorite remedy is to go out in nature. I live on a macadamia farm near a lake and between two volcanos, so there's plenty of good hiking around. Even on those days where I can't seem to leave my front porch, taking a moment to watch the sunset from a rocking chair is often enough to recharge my batteries.
What song do you sing in the shower (or in the car) that gets you pumped up?
Ridley: If no one is listening, I’ll sing along to anything from Patsy Cline to punk rock. I’ll rap, yodel, whatever … as long as the windows are up, no one needs to know!
What's your favorite first line from a book (your own or otherwise)?
Ridley: “Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache.” This is the first line from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, which I recently fell in love with because I’m a sucker for heist stories, plus I enjoyed the multiple romance plots. (Still mad about the cliffhanger ending, though. Got me hooked!)
What's the one thing no one will ever find in your pantry?
Ridley: There are very few condiments in my pantry. No ketchup, mayo, mustard, etc. I was that weird kid who never dipped my fries in anything.
What's a silly talent you wish you had?
Ridley: Not sure how silly it is, but I wish I could whistle. My brother can make all these amazing bird calls, yet I can’t make any sound at all.
What’s a slang word from when you were a teenager that you still use?
Ridley: “Awesome.” It’s perhaps not a completely outdated word, but I realized it might be an issue when I was living in London and my flat mates looked at each other in amusement and said, “Americans really do say ‘awesome’ all the time!”
Who was the first person to support your pursuit of a writing career?
Ridley: My grandmother was the first person to support my pursuit of a writing career, and for a long time, the only person. I also credit her with helping foster my love of reading. Librarians are truly exceptional people.
Erica Ridley is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of historical romance novels. Her two most popular series, the Dukes of War and Rogues to Riches, feature roguish peers and dashing war heroes who find love amongst the splendor and madness of Regency England. When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.