“J. Edward Ritchie is a novelist and screenwriter specializing in epic world creation. He lives in Cape Cod, Massachusetts with his wife and golden retriever.”
That’s what my novel bio says. Too bland and impersonal? Well, let me tell you a little more about myself. Oh, and you can call me Jeff.
I was born in the rural town of New Milford, CT. Skateboarding, movies like Star Wars and Braveheart, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, video games, and classic literature all had an immense influence on my psyche and molded me into a Frankenstein’s Monster of pop culture and academia. I knew what I enjoyed in life and never made excuses for any of it.
I attended Boston College, worked my ass off while indulging in the occasional shindig, and graduated summa cum laude in three years with a B.A. in English. During those years, I did some entertainment reporting for CityofAngel.com and traveled to Los Angeles to cover Buffy and Angel related events, but my original life plan was to develop a career in law…until I chanced upon a screenwriting course. I had always enjoyed creative writing, but it never occurred to me that I could make a living writing movies. Professor Drew Yanno, my mentor and friend, opened my eyes. I’ll never forget what he said to me: “If money was not an issue, what would you rather do: practice law or write movies?” It was the defining light bulb moment of my life. Thus, I listened to my long-dormant passion for writing and moved to Los Angeles.
For ten years I pursued a career in screenwriting and even sold a few scripts. Got my fancy WGA card and everything, a source of great pride. But after a while, the song and dance of churning out spec scripts and taking meetings started to wear me down. It’s a very difficult craft, especially when 90% of everything you write will amount to nothing tangible. While I retained my screenwriting representation through UTA and Heroes & Villains Entertainment, I decided it was time for a change.
The great American novel was calling my name, as it has so many others…
My wife and I relocated to Cape Cod, MA where I finished my first novel, the fantasy epic Fall From Grace. I look forward to releasing it soon via Amazon for the world to enjoy. Trust me––you’ve never read anything quite like my war between the angels. Inspiring and brutal, loving and bloody, it embodies all of the thematic and fantastical elements that made me who I am today.
Movies, TV, books, comics, video games––I dig all forms of creative escapism. I’m a big summer tentpole movie fan with a guilty (or not so guilty) addiction to action. Whether it’s historical epics, grounded thrillers, superhero franchises, or grisly horror, I can’t get enough of heart-pounding badassery. In fact, if I had to describe my writing style, it would be “summer movie spectacle with a detailed, shiny coat of metaphor.”
That’s me in a nutshell: a nerd-of-all-trades. Throughout my years at the keyboard, I believe that I’ve found the most important piece of advice for all writers. Actually, a piece of advice for everyone: find someone to love. As Del Griffith said in the classic film Planes, Trains and Automobiles:
“Like your work, love your wife (or husband)”