ABOUT

Reports of William Ritter’s birthplace are unreliable and varied, placing his hometown either in a series of mysterious Catacombs in Malta or in a nondescript town in Oregon. His parents, it can be confirmed, raised him to value intelligence, creativity, and individuality. When reading aloud, they always did the voices.

At the University of Oregon, William made questionable choices, including willfully selecting classes for the interesting stories they promised, rather than for any practical application. When he wasn’t frivolously playing with words, he earned credits in such meaningful courses as Trampoline, Juggling, and 17th Century Italian Longsword. These dubious decisions notwithstanding, he regrets nothing and now holds degrees in English and Education with certificates in Creative Writing and Folklore.

He currently teaches high school Language Arts, including reading and writing, mythology and heroes. He is a proud husband and father. When reading aloud, he always does the voices.

Jackaby is his first novel. It was born in the middle of the night and written on two different hemispheres. It has survived typhoons and hurricanes, and was fostered into publication through the patient care of many hands.

47 responses to “ABOUT

  1. Elena

    Dear Mr. Ritter,
    I am a big big fan of your new book Jackaby ( since I love Sherlock and Dr. Who, and your book is a perfect blend of the two) and I have one pressing question……Do you pronounce it Jack-a-BEE or Jack-a-BYE ? Please respond, as I would very much like to know the correct way of saying it!
    Thanks! 🙂

    • Thank you for reading! I pronounce his name with a long E, as in “I saw Mister Jackaby whack a bee.” or “I accidentally sat down upon Jackaby’s snack of cheese.”

      • Dear Mr. William Ritter,
        I love Jackaby more than pizza, at the moment. I loved the way the characters progress, and the clues Abigail and Jackaby unfold. If you don’t mind, I’d like to ask one question that’s been bothering me for quite a while. Who was the woman Jackaby’s voice got soft for in the beginning, when asked about by Abigail?

        That’s all, and thank you for writing this wonderful book.

        -Wren

      • Hello Wren,
        Thanks so much for reading! Glad you caught that little detail. Jackaby plays his cards pretty close to the chest, but book three has the answer to that one. Until then… spoilers!

  2. Seeing the cover of your book has caught my attention, and I would love to review it on my blog! I have no other way to contact you about this request over then here, but if you are interested you can see the link to my blog attached to the comment and contact me by email:

    lonelysearchforever @ gmail.com

  3. Kaitlyn

    Dear Mr. William Ritter,
    I bought and read your book as soon as I heard about it. I loved it! I am a huge fan of Doctor Who and Sherlock, and when I read the description, that was the seller for me. I will definitely be continuing on with the series, and I am excitedly anticipating the release of the sequel! I was wondering, are you planning on writing any other fantasy series in the future? If so, I will be picking them up!
    Thanks!
    -Kaitlyn

  4. sandwichteenbookbites

    Me, too! Me, too! I am a youth services librarian on Cape Cod and just delved into Jackaby last night. First class read. Thank you. What I like about it at 1st cup of coffee: 1. Dialogue, 2. 3D characters, 3. Suspenseful storyline that works (for me), 4. Mixing of elementals and Elemental. Good reading. Carry on, William. K

  5. I just finished reading Jackaby, and I LOVED it!!
    I am a moderator and events coordinator on a Goodreads group for David Estes YA Books & Fan Group, and I am in charge of our author Q&A program. We are right now booking authors for 2015. The events are on Goodreads, last about 4 days, and take minimal work from the author (I mod and organize everything, all you have to do is answer questions!) We’ve had all kind of YA writers, some of the big named ones and debut as well. The group members just love these events! We also feature the author’s latest book as one of our “books of the month” as well.

    Here’s a link to the group so you can check it out: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/70863

    And the past Q&A threads: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group_folder/193449?group_id=70863

    I would LOVE to book you for a time when you are available! If you have any questions or are interested, you can contact me at juliababyjen (at) gmail (dot) com

    Thank you!!

  6. Lani Hahn

    Hi Will! I am currently reading Jackaby, and am very much enjoying it. I could not find an e-mail for you, so I think leaving this comment will have to suffice! My name is Lani and I’m the Teen Librarian at the Colleyville Public Library in Texas. I am doing a Teen Reading Challenge and am seeking signed books for prizes. I am hoping with awesome prizes, such as signed young adult books, we can have a super successful challenge. It’s hard to get teens excited without awesome prizes. And, as I’m sure you know, library funding is tight, especially in young adult services. If you would be willing to donate a signed copy of one of your books to this program, my teens and I would be incredibly grateful.

  7. Greetings and salutations!
    We have never met, but I know a bit about you. I am a student in the class of Eleanor Campbell, whom I believe you have some relation to. She showed us, her AP English class, your post on feminism, and the comments of a certain Oscar Rivera. Your responses, good sir, were absolutely magnificent. I applauded you. I agree with your opinions, and I have my own controversial topic which I shall argue someday.
    -CalligraphyJack

    • Thank you very much. Eleanor Campbell is very dear to me, indeed, and one of the sharpest thinkers I know. You’re in good hands, so pay attention. She taught me everything I know.

      Good luck with your topic! Just remember Aristotle’s Appeals: LOGIC (logos), EMOTION (pathos), and CREDIBILITY (ethos). Blend all three and top it off with a little showmanship.

  8. Who would you cast in a Jackaby movie/TV show? Check out this dream-cast page for Jackaby! Please share the link with fans!

    http://iflist.com/jackaby

  9. Hello Will,
    I loved listening to the audiobook version of Jackaby and am very excited for the next installment. I am Elvira, a teen librarian in Woodburn Oregon and one of the publication managers for the Oregon Young Adult Network. We would love to feature an interview with you in our next newsletter considering Jackaby has also been in the running for our OYAN Book Raves list we put out yearly. Would you be interested?

  10. Jonathan

    Mr. Ritter,
    How do we get in touch with you concerning author visits? The Dallas Public Library Children’s Center in Dallas, TX has a big Halloween festival in October and we would love to invite you! I just finished Jackaby and thought it was a marvelous read.

  11. Kayla Thommen, Samantha Urrutia

    Dear Mr. William Ritter,
    Hello, you probably don’t remember us but we attended the book fair you gave a speech to at LaCreole Middle School in Dallas Oregon. We, Kayla Thommen and Samantha Urrutia, sadly had to leave earlier than we wanted to, and might have unintentionally offended you. Our mother had us come home early, but we really appreciated all that you had to say and your speech was inspirational and encouraged us to pour our hearts in our writing. We wanted to send you this message to clear up any misconceptions, we truly are sorry and appreciate you coming to our school to talk to us.
    Sincerely, Your fans, Kayla Thommen and Samantha Urrutia 🙂

  12. dawnabron

    Do you Skype libraries?

  13. May Sligh

    Hi! I just got ” jackaby” for a young man who is the son of a dear friend. I wondered if you could tell me whether the topic of children losing parents appears in the story. My friend died suddenly about a year ago so I wanted to be sure not to give her son a book that dealt with that topic in any way, if possible. Please let me know…I’d appreciate it!! -May

    • Very thoughtful of you. My narrator’s parents are alive and well, although living on the other side of the globe. No loss-of-parents narrative in JACKABY. That said, it IS a murder mystery, so death is a part of the story. Comparing her isolated employer to a bereaved woman, for example, my narrator remarks “I wondered which was sadder, leaving someone to cry after you when you were gone, or not having anyone who would miss you in the first place.” I hope that helps you with your decision.

      • May Sligh

        I think it will be just fine! thanks for getting back to me. My plan is to send him the whole series eventually.

  14. Beth Dolnicek

    Mr. Ritter,
    I am the author/illustrator contact person for our state’s children’s choice award, the Golden Sower Award. I am looking for an email address to send you your congratulatory letter because you are one of ten finalists for our 2017 award. Is it possible for you to help me out in this regard?
    Beth Dolnicek
    School Librarian
    Bruning-Davenport USD

  15. Jackie Ketcham

    I don’t know if this is a good place to write fan mail, but I loved Jackaby! Thank you so much for creating something so amazing.

  16. Lauren

    I am doing a project on your book for school is there a place in which I can find your email in order to contact you ASAP. If not that’s ok but it would be fine but it would be wonderful to get a response I’m a huge fan of your book and am currently reading your second one.
    thanks
    Lauren. 🙂

  17. Luisa Machowski

    Mr. Ritter, greetings from Brazil!

    I have read your book, Jackaby, back in December and I absolutely loved it, the way the story is developed, each detail unfolding in front of my eyes amazed me to no end. Plus your characters are incredibly funny and relatable.
    And the covers are breathtaking.
    However the sequels (Beastly Bones and Ghostly Echoes) were not published in my country, which is sad because I really looked forward to reading them,
    Anyways, just stopped by to show appreciation for one of the best books I’ve ever read.

    • Hi Luisa! I’m so happy Jackaby has found readers in Brazil! I don’t know Editora Gente’s plans for the rest of the series, but I hope they find their way to you soon! Thanks so much for your kind words—keep reading!

  18. Mr. Ritter, Congrats on Jackaby’s nomination to the 2017 Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award. I’ve sent you an email with more info. Thanks!

  19. Nancy Sage

    Just finished the first two books in the series. Absolutely brilliant. I am a 7th grade teacher in a middle school and will definitely be recommending these books to my students. The Sherlock and Dr. Who fans will both love them. Couldn’t help but visualize Benedict Cumberbatch when you described Jackaby. Any connections on your end?

    • Thank you Nancy! I’m a daddy and an educator myself, so it warms my heart to know I’m on classroom bookshelves. I hope you’re enjoying the rest of your summer! I began writing Jackaby before I had ever seen his version of Holmes, so he’s not the face I see in my own head—but Cumberbatch is fantastic!

  20. Anna Perktold

    Hey Mr. William Ritter!
    “Jackaby” was just translated into German and I picked it up while browsing in a local book shop. So glad I did! I really love it. So I ordered the other ones in English too, since I love detective stories… and everything paranormal and mystic. Also, there’s a great sense of humour and the characters are all just awesome. I love you for writing that book, a big Thank you!! You made my life better with this.
    Not sure if you hate the comparison to Sherlock all the time, but yes, it reminded me of it, which is great, because I love this stuff.
    Let me tell you that I love your book and Thank you!
    Greetings from Austria, Anna

  21. elfa

    BEST BOOK OF ALL TIMES… in other words I LOVE IT!!!!!!!

  22. Gabbie

    Dear William Ritter,
    My name is Gabbie, and I am writing to you for my Reading for Fun class. We are doing a project on books with the Oklahoma Sequoyah Award. Out of all the books I had to choose from this year, I decided to read “Jackaby” because of all the reviews; it seemed very appealing. People compared it to be a cross between Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes were very much right!
    Although it might not be the most exciting bit of the book. my favorite part was when Jackaby was making eggs for breakfast and couldn’t differentiate the gun powder and paprika so he added a smidge of both for good measure. “I have ceased concerning myself with how things look to other people, Abigail Rook. I suggest you do the same. In my experience, others are generally wrong”, is an amazing quote. I believe it just means to be yourself. Did you get your inspiration from other TV and movies? Also, where did the inspiration for the names?
    Thank you for taking the time to read this. Good day.
    Sincerely,
    Gabbie

    • Hi Gabby! Thanks so much for writing, and thanks for reading! Sorry for my delay. I get inspiration all over. A lot comes from authors I love, but also from people in my life and experiences I’ve gone through. Many of the names are nods to detective fiction. Marlowe, Spade, Charlie, and other minor characters are named for famous detectives. Jackaby is named after my son, Jack. That was his nickname when he was newborn. Keep reading!

      -Will

  23. Pingback: Jackaby – Elysse Rose Reviews

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