One of my dear friends, Kate, posted this recently on Facebook in response to my question on how she liked the draft pieces I had sent her, as I work away on my NaNoWriMo novel (Book Two of the Talbot Trilogy: Blood and Fire)… I so depend on her to keep me going!
Here’s what Kate said, about my writing:
I crave more dammit.
Also, I know you sent me just bits and pieces but the way it’s set up, jumping from group to group, would be kinda a neat thing to do in terms of style and structure, but only for getting them all to talbot. It adds …umm …what’s the word I’m searching for… Intensity ? I found myself wanting to read faster and wanting more .. Sucked in… I’m struggling to find the words at 1am but you know what I mean? I think you should switch to that structure but just to get all the groups to Talbot and even as the hunters meet up with Charlotte and then there is two groups together forming one group. Then you get pike finding ray. There is another group formed. Then the good vamps(Matt and Andrea) and then the bad vamps ( Susie and Jason and their plans). Then you get De Sade and then the werewolves. So it’ll tricky to get it all working and flowing right but if anyone can do it properly, it’s you. Just my opinion though. I feel like It adds the “edge of your seat” effect. When I was reading it, I was getting pumped the wolves were heading out, pumped pike is searching for rayvin, pumped the hunters are on their way. So much toget pumped for the way the today bits are set up haha. Ok. Done ranting haha. I’m starting to ramble.
It’s out! Midnight Thirsts II, with my short story “A Living Specimen”, is available now through Lulu, Amazon, and the publisher, Melange Books.
Praise from author John Steiner for “A Living Specimen”:
First let me say I love stories with peculiar titles that have one wondering why they were chosen. As an author I strive for that in my chapter titles and, at times, the title for the whole story. The story starts with our confused and traumatized main character giving her best recollection of events. The workings of a necessarily short and brilliantly enrapturing prologue.
As the story goes on and we learn more of Trisha and her work in something called S.H.I.P. or otherwise referred to as the Society. Along the way my mind kept going back to that opening scene, and what the hell did just happen. Tori’s characters each have their uniqueness that is coupled with a surface impression from Trisha’s view and inner complexity that works itself out through the story.
Just when you think you’ve got things figured out suddenly you’re reevaluating everything you’ve seen so far. Then you’re hit again with surprises. “A Living Specimen” simultaneously drew me back to the vampire stories filmed by Britain’s Hammer Films in the 1960’s and 1970’s as well as to Josh Wheaton’s “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” television series, both of which I have fond memories for. There’s a homy feel to the collection of characters the relationships between them and a little Wheatonesque humor. Also enjoyable is the climactic scene with detailed description meant for revelation and heightened adrenalin.
For clever plot, well flushed out characters, pithy quips and good old fashioned nightcrawlers you would NOT bring home to meet your parents I give this a solid five stars.
This short vampire story immediately draws you in. The witch heroine Charlotte and the hunky hero Pike first see each other at a train station. The chemistry is instantaneous. Yet Charlotte is on the run from a villainous vampire, so she rebuffs Pike, instead intent on making a new safe haven for herself in the small town of Talbot. Yet neither she nor Pike can take their minds off one another, even as the vampire hunting her comes in for the kill.
This story surprised me. I liked that. There are many vampire stories that seem to be carbon copies of one another. I liked that the hero and heroine weren’t afraid to get caught up in the heat of the moment, and that the magic (as in spells) felt real to me. The pacing was great, the sex was hot, and the characters seemed very real and unforced. The story was realistic, in that I could believe in the events taking place, even if they were supernatural in origin. My only problem was I didn’t understand why the vampire was after her (specifically how he had located her in the first place before she arrived in Talbot, and arrived at his desire to possess her), and exactly who he was (I wanted name, age, nationality, and a lot more details). My curiosity is definitely piqued, though! I look forward to more vampire novels from Ms. Ridgewood…soon please? (Tara Fox Hall)
“Last night I read our anthology and i especially loved Pike and Charlotte. My absolute favorite story is one in which the main characters fight a villain together and the only question is whether they will live rather than whether they will love. Wonderful story.” (Olivia Ritch)
“Hey…I just finished Midnight and Mist…I LOVED it… Loved that you used your Moms name as her boss… Loved that Talbot was like Cobalt… I love Pike and Charlotte…two very strong characters…I wanna read more!!! Great writing…I felt like I was there… Kudos girl!!” (Crystal P)
“I absolutely loved “Mist and Midnight”; the descriptions and suspense were beautifully written, the heroine Charlotte was strong and intriguing, and Pike in one word was “Yum!”:) I look forward to reading more of your work.”
Some of the best horror and scare is to terrify readers with what they don’t see. This takes careful build up of seemingly mundane events priod to the main setting, and then shape that main event carefully with as much description as a sculpter on a statue. An accumulation of details great and small create a mental map and the reader starts to see where everything is in relation to everything else. They can trace their way back to the front door or point to where the stairs are though they’re out of view at a given moment of the story. Here then you introduce bits and pieces to slowly dial up the audience’s heart rate and put them on the edges of their seats. Tori Ridgewood walks you through all of this and controls the pace of your steps brilliantly. A perfect moodsetter for anyone who enjoys the Halloween [or Hallowe’en] season and likes a little scare every now and then just to feel alive. (John Steiner)
Here’s what the reviewer, Dennis Hausker, had to say about my own contribution to the anthology, Telltale Signs:
This story is written with the heroine as narrator relating her experiences. (Is that a European thing?) It certainly works for her. The story blended suspense with a snap shot of the likeable heroine and her life. Being alone in the dark is a universal fear for everybody. Your imagination can be your biggest enemy.