I first featured Annetta (Netta) on my blog waaaay back. We’re talking over two years ago. I adored her then, and I adore her even more now.
Netta is a constant source of information and support. She edited my second anthology, Spring into Summer. Without her, the stories of that book would be nowhere near as good as they are. I owe her a lot for how she whipped me, I mean beat me, I mean … helped me improve my writing.
Since our first interview, Netta has written more books and is undertaking a project near and dear to her heart—Allegories of the Tarot. You’ve heard me talk about this project here and here. I’m writing in this anthology along with 21 other authors. We all want to see it come to life, but no one wants it more than Netta.
Her passion and energy are infectious.
If you don’t know Netta, you’re in for a treat. If you do know her, you’ll love her even more.
Let’s welcome back the amazing, Annetta Ribken.
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eden: Thrilled to have you back, Netta! I know you’re super busy, so it’s great you stopped by. In a recent interview, you said your friends describe you in the following way. “She is one crazy biotch, and I mean that with the utmost love and respect.” I loved this response! Please elaborate on it.
Netta: I wish I could, but the court has imposed a gag order at the request of the goat. There was an incident, you see, in which I was not involved. I admit nothing.
Seriously, I love and respect my friends, who are as crazy as I am. You know what they say about birds of a feather. Heh.
eden: True that! Inquiry minds want to know more about you. What is your working environment like? Is it neat or cluttered, noisy or quiet, and what are three things you must have at hand?
Netta: My desk is situated in the back of a tiny house, in front of a window, and it is very quiet. I have to admit to a certain level of clutter, but I’m surrounded by the things I love like books, pendants (I’m a bit of a magpie), posters of my client’s work, pictures, books…did I say books? I know where most everything is until I try to look for it.
The three things I MUST have close to hand are a specific pen, a yellow legal pad, and a chair for my evil feline overlord, Athena.
eden: Do you have one resource—book, website, or other essential item you think every writer needs in order to succeed?
Netta: Resources can help you succeed, but what you NEED is discipline and determination. Without those two things, you can have all the resources in the world at your feet and they won’t help you one bit.
eden: Love that response, Netta. You’re a hard-working woman, so when you’re not reading or writing, what might we find you doing?
Netta: Editing. Reading or writing. When I have extra time (hahaha!) I do like to quilt, but since time is at such a premium, I work on a crazy quilt, one block at a time. Yes, I know. How appropriate is that?
eden: Hmm…a crazy quilt? Why am I not surprised? 😉 You’re the author of several books. Can you tell us about your latest release?
Netta: My latest release was THE TRAILER PARK TIARA AND THE GOAT INCIDENT, a novella about a unique young woman named Sally Mae Riddley. She is a hoot to write. I’m currently working on the next installment in her story, as well as the sequel to ATHENA’S PROMISE. Editing comes first, so I have to fit in the time when I can.
eden: And speaking of editing, you’re known in the industry as an editor who doesn’t pull her punches or take any shortcuts. Your integrity was a key reason I chose you to edit my book. What are some of the qualities in writers you most love working with?
Netta: I respect fiction too much to pull punches or take shortcuts. I feel like it reflects badly on the indie community and what we’re trying to accomplish—there’s a bigger picture here. So many authors have affected my life in a positive way with their stories, I feel strongly about paying it back by paying it forward in my own work.
The writers I love to work with have a stellar work ethic and the same amount of respect for fiction. They’re open-minded about the editing process and understand you have to leave your ego at the door. It’s all about the story. I want the very best out of you when I edit. I won’t let you settle for less.
eden: I’m glad you didn’t let me settle. Painful as it was at times, the final product was well worth it. Let’s talk about Allegories of the Tarot. You’re the brains behind this writing venture, which I’m honored to be part of. Please tell us about your passion for this project.
Netta: For a long time I’ve had the idea of pairing twenty-two writers with the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana. The Tarot is fascinating to me; the images of the cards and what they exemplify are a fantastic representation of the human experience. It’s a writer’s paradise.
I’m lucky in that I know a multitude of hella talented writers. I wanted to showcase new and established authors and I knew the stories they’d write would be ass-kicking. I LOVE FICTION.
The truth is, once the idea took hold, it would not leave me alone.
eden: I understand that feeling. What have you done to help increase the probability of success for Allegories of the Tarot?
Netta: This is my first Indiegogo campaign and before I even started I mapped out a solid plan of action and a budget—all writers will be paid pro-rates. I picked the brains of people who had conducted successful campaigns, and scoured the site for tips and information. I lined up all the writers first for a solid TOC (Table of Contents) because I knew with that behind me, it would show people the commitment of both me and the writers to seeing this project completed.
In all reality, this has been a team effort from the beginning. I created a Facebook group and involved everyone in the process. Their input and generosity has been invaluable, and with such a diverse group, we’ve been able to come at this from all angles.
It took less than 24 hours to fill the slots—that’s how much the writers believed in me and the project. I do not intend to let them down. No matter what happens, there WILL be an Allegories of the Tarot.
eden: Your determination is amazing. You’ve assembled incredible and original perks for the Indiegogo campaign, some for donations as low as $25, even personalized jewelry for only $50! Tell us more.
Netta: I knew I had to think outside of the box in order to stand out. It seemed like a no-brainer to name the perks after the cards. I asked for donations from the participants, and they came through in a big way. Not only will you find great fiction perks, but services and swag. The personalized jewelry idea I stole straight from Patti Larsen and she donated the labor and I donated the supplies. Kris Austen Radcliffe lent her photographic skills; Lon Prater has donated critique services and Jennifer Wingard was kind enough to donate two copy-editing slots. I’ve also donated two full content edits of a manuscript; and there’s so much more. We’ll have a very special auction for something special coming up. I wanted to appeal both to readers AND writers.
eden: Ooh, a special auction, can’t wait! I’m so impressed with the time and energy you’ve spent raising money for this project. Why do you think it’s important indie authors support one another this way?
Netta: For most writers up until the explosion of social media and the implosion of the traditional publishing model, writing has been a solitary experience for the most part. Now, there are more options and opportunities for writers than ever before. But no one does it alone. Indies don’t have the resources or backing of traditional publishing anymore, and for the mid-list authors, they never really had it to begin with. So it’s important to support your fellow indies, because we all need each other to be successful.
Just like this project—it’s a team effort. It’s not all me. It’s every single writer involved. As indies, we have to pull together to make it work. To put out the best product possible. To reach the readers and merge the artistry with the business aspect. When one succeeds, we all succeed.
eden: Indeed. I know many people have said they are anxious to get their hands on this anthology. Aside from donating money, what else can they do to help?
Netta: Spread the word! The more people we reach, the better our chances of reaching our goal. Sacrifice a chicken to the gods of Help Make This Happen For a Crazy Bunch of People Who Love Words (KFC counts)! Seriously, tell everyone you know. Shout it from your rooftop, send up smoke signals, as long as you don’t break any city ordinances. We aren’t budgeted for bail money.
eden: Ha! I agree sharing is critical. The more people we reach, the greater the chance for success. This is a perfect segue to the final lightning round. Think fast, Netta!
Favorite season: Garlic. OH! Sorry. Autumn.
Proudest moment: Passing a human being out of my hoo-hah.
Favorite food: Nathan Fillion.
Your ideal mate: See above. Because he’s just so damned purty!
Most embarrassing moment: The goat thing. I CAN’T TALK ABOUT IT.
Something that always makes you laugh: Patti Larsen’s poetry.
eden: I’ve heard Patti’s poems are legendary! Huge love and respect, Netta. With just 30 days left on the Indiegogo campaign, I know you’re working tirelessly to help Allegories of the Tarot meet its goal of $5000.
For anyone who’d like to learn more, share, or donate to this wonderful project, please go to Indiegogo. Great perks and services are available at every price level!
Connect to Annetta
Freelance writer and content editor of over seventy indie novels, Annetta Ribken has been writing since a tender young age, when letters were chiseled on stone tablets. A precocious student, Annetta earned her Ph.D in the School of Hard Knocks, with honors, in the early Age of Disco. Her mission: to take over the Universe, one word at a time. She lives and works just outside of St. Louis with her evil feline overlord, a rescued shelter cat named Athena.
Allegories of the Tarot