A little bit about myself…

A little bit about myself…

Ten years ago I won a writing competition.

Now, where I come from, this competition was a really big deal: there was a big launch, a television interview, several radio talks, and full-page reviews in all the right papers and magazines. It was the kind of thing aspiring writers dream of, the one big thing that could make a young writer’s career.

But for me it did the opposite.

See, until that moment I had no idea that my social anxiety (the same anxiety I took so many years to hide and master – and without the help of a therapy dog, that’s for sure) could be triggered in a professional environment. But the attention my novel received made me feel judged and scrutinized and horribly exposed – and not in a professional way but as if I was naked on a stage, with everyone calmly scrutinizing my too soft, too fat, too ugly naked body.

I just couldn’t stand it.

Which is ridiculous, I know. I should’ve grown a thicker skin and stopped being so damn over-sensitive, I know.

And I tried; I really did. But in the end, I guess, it was easier to stop writing than to change my entire personality.

It’s ironic really, in a world where everyone was trying so desperately to draw attention to themselves through YouTube or Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, all I wanted to do was to hide. I simply couldn’t bear to be seen by all those strangers. Screw the world, I told myself. I am a socially awkward, intensely private and an anxious introvert – and I’m proud of it!

The only problem was that, no matter what I kept telling myself, I missed telling my stories. I love telling stories, you see, and the thing about stories is that the listener is just as important as the storyteller. And so, after years spent in denial, I’m finally back doing what I love most – only this time under a pen name.

A pen name! What a brilliant idea! Why the hell didn’t I think of it sooner?

Hmm. Well, maybe because in the decade since my first book was published, the publishing world has changed beyond all recognition, and for the first time, I think, it is possible to stay truly anonymous and still interact with your readers. Sure, there might be some difficulties (my Facebook and Instagram pages have zero followers, for example, something I find HILARIOUS), but I believe that in the long run, this may just work out. Still, I hate lying and I’m not out to trick or mislead anyone – hence this blog, in which I’m trying to share a bit of truth about myself for those who are interested enough to come this far.

So. To conclude. My name is not Ripley Harper and I do not look like a sexy Viking shieldmaiden. In real life I am a plain, boring, intensely shy introvert who spends my life hiding behind a keyboard, and my dearest hope is that once you enjoy my stories, this won’t matter.

I really do hope to hear from you soon.

Warmest regards,
Ripley

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. De La Rey

    Welcome. back Ripley
    Can’t wait to read your books and introduce them to my daughter who reads like us when we were children!!!

  2. cinzia busi

    For what its worth, I have utterly enjoyed your dragon trilogy. Your writing style is so readable, and just pulls you into the story and keeps you going til the words run out!
    I am really impressed by the extensive and detailed world-building you have done and the complex personality of the protagonist. She is maturing nicely over the course of the 3 books.
    I am keenly looking forward to the next book

  3. Amanda Smith

    I just wrote a super long review for book 3 of your books. So far I have found one series? I love it and I love that it isn’t the same cookie cutter books that I’ve been reading. Not to insult other writers,there are some great books out tbere. But people.copy the good ideas that sell and then I end up reading books that are so alike ,some could be plagerism. I love your world and characgers. I love you keep us in suspense. I Hope there will be fourth book. There are things that I want to know. I am the annoying person who figured out the book,movie or show right awah. With your books, there is no way and I love it. I have social anxiety and completely understand. I managed to get past kind and now I do home mental.health therapy. I can call and go to strangers houses and talk to them for hours and help them. It was a rough start but I did it and have been for two years. My anxiety tells me I’m gonna get fired all the time of I’m screwing up.people’s lives because I don’t k is what I’m doing. In truth, I have several people who have said they will only meet with me, several request me and I discharged a handful who said I turned their lives aeound. REally,it was all them and their hard work,I just guided them to do better. But anxiety isn’t logical. I hate writing In My social media because I feel exposed. I feel like every word is analyzed and taken wrong. So I don’t write much. I tend to follow and just read. But I have gotten to where I sometimes respond in groups about books. But I think it’s great you found a way around your anxiety to make these wonderful books. This is a great series and I hope to see a lot more of them, no lressure. But you are unique and I love that. I have always loved original things and your books are original but not to the point where it would ever be a bad thing. Reading your books doesn’t feel like I am ready g a book you wrote after reading someone else’s book,which makes the new book like the one someone e just read. Confuskng, but it’s like a breath of fresh air. The stories are complex, well written and it takes a lot of intelligence to come up with a story to buried in lies and half truths, where the reader and poor Jess are figuring things out together. It’s also consistent.a lot of authors forget little things in the later books or forget where something was going. It all seems to the together eventually. I can’t wait to see what else will happen!!!! I hate th
    Ing on this mindle, it doesn’t let me edit and things are jumbled. I just wanted you to know how.much I loved you bokks. I seriously blew off work and slept 2 593 hrs the last 2 hours toread. I started the first book 3 days ago around 7pm and finished the third at 11am. Addicting big ti.e! I couldn’t put the books dkwn.I was reading and walking my dog,that was tricky. I also hoped my clients would stand me up so I could read, it worked about a third of the time too. Thank you for your bravery and hard work. I know getting past anxiety and sharing it with us was hard but well worth it.

  4. Ripley Harper

    Dear Amanda. Thanks you so much for your kind words. You have no idea how much your support means to me. I wanted to finish the next two books this year but… Let’s just say 2020 happened. I am hoping to get the next two out next year. Once again, thanks so much. Your words are all the encouragement I need. Best wishes. Ripley.

  5. Sarabelle

    I plowed through the 3 books in 2 days. I cannot wait for the next book. Your character and world building wowed me. You have an insane amount of talent and skill. Thank you for sharing it with the world.

    1. Ripley Harper

      Your words had me grinning like a kid the whole weekend. Thanks so much – the next time when my family complains about a burnt dinner, I’m going to tell them there are people out there who want me to share my talent with the world! 😉 Ripley

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