October 12, 2010

Made It Moment: Todd Ritter

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 8:07 am

Death Notice

It seems like I’ve been waiting for the release of Todd Ritter’s debut every day along with him (if not with quite as much bated breath) and I am so glad to celebrate with him on launch day! DEATH NOTICE is already attracting attention–including some from my favorite reviewer in the world–and so I know Todd is going to do well as he sails out into the world. Today would be enough to let a guy knew he’d made it…but check out what Todd has to say on that below.

Todd Ritter

For me, the journey to publication was filled with so many moments where it felt like I had finally “made it.” Getting an agent was a big one, and memorable because I was high on cold medication at the time and probably sounded positively loopy when talking with her. Another huge moment, of course, was finding out that DEATH NOTICE and its follow-up had been sold to Minotaur Books. I was at work at the time, just starting a long evening shift, and a co-worker cried with happiness when I told her the news. My boss shook my hand and ordered me to go home and celebrate.

But the true “made it moment” for me was much quieter and came in a large envelope dropped at my doorstep by UPS. Inside were the unbound galley pages of DEATH NOTICE that I needed to review and approve. I flipped through them aimlessly, stopping at the title page.

My title page.

I knew the book would have one. All books do. I just wasn’t prepared for how utterly awesome it was going to look. There was the title I had thought up in big, bold, beautiful letters. And below it, slightly smaller but no less important, was my name. And that’s when it hit me — I really was going to be a published author. Up until that point, it had all been conversations and contracts and information. Important things all, but nothing tangible that I could look at and feel my chest swell with pride. The title page did all that. It still does. And I suspect it will for a very long time, providing me with a lifetime of “made it moments.”

Todd Ritter was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania. An editor and journalist for more than 15 years, Todd began his career as a film critic while attending Penn State University. Currently, he works for The Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest daily newspaper. Death Notice is his debut novel. He lives outside of Princeton, where he is hard at work on the next Kat Campbell mystery. Visit him online at www.toddritteronline.com.


  1. Isn’t it funny how it’s sometimes the little, tangible things that make a moment? (My galley story was the opposite. As I looked at my first proof of publication, I saw my name misspelled on every page!) Congratulations, Todd, and best of luck to Death Notice.

    Comment by Sara — October 12, 2010 @ 8:31 am

  2. Love it Todd! I wish you all the best!

    Comment by Judy — October 12, 2010 @ 9:27 am

  3. OOH! (hand over heart) What a gorgeous couple of moments. AND CONGRATULATIONS! Minotaur is no mean feat, and the book looks fabulous. This weekend I shall be hitting Borders or Barnes!

    Comment by Savvy — October 12, 2010 @ 11:55 am

  4. Wow, can’t wait to get my hands on this one. Terrific title, terrific cover. Best of luck to you, Todd.

    Comment by Tom Gill — October 12, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

  5. Congratulations – both on the book and on your continuing career in journalism. I’ve been away from TV news for 10 years now and don’t miss the stress and ratings-driven stories. I got closure with the three-book Casey Brandt series, but I still jump up at the sound of the siren, and it was only last year that I sold my scanner at a yard sale.

    Comment by Carolyn J. Rose — October 12, 2010 @ 3:18 pm

  6. Todd, I enjoyed reading all about your moment(s). Now, get out there and make more! Best of luck with your debut! :)

    Comment by Shelley Stout — October 15, 2010 @ 6:23 am

  7. Thanks, all, for the very nice comments. And you all have to tell me how you’d liked the book. I’m pretty proud of it.

    As for Caroline, the darn police scanner at work is one of the things that inspired the book. I should have one bronzed or something and keep it on my desk.

    Comment by Todd — October 21, 2010 @ 11:59 pm

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