Saturday, April 30, 2011

Author Ron Fritsch On Influences In Writing

It’s my pleasure to welcome author Ron Fritsch to Thoughts in Progress as the special guest blogger as he makes a stop on his virtual blog tour.

Ron’s latest release is a historical fiction, PROMISED VALLEY REBELLION. Here’s a short synopsis of it: Prehistoric farmers inhabit a fertile river valley they believe their gods promised them in return for their good behavior and obedience. Their enemies, hunters roaming the mostly barren hills beyond the mountains enclosing the valley, believe their gods gave it to them.

When the farmers’ king refuses to allow the marriage of the coming-of-age prince to the daughter of the farmer who saved the king’s life in the last war with the hunters, her brother decides he has to help his sister and the prince, his boyhood friend, correct the flagrant injustice.

That decision leads them and their youthful allies into a rebellion against the king and his officials, who rule the kingdom from their bluff-top town. The far more numerous farmers in the villages below, who despise the officials but not the king, and who admire the prince, are in a position to determine whether the rebels will succeed or face execution for treason.

Ron joins us today to talk about influences on his writing.

Readers have asked me how extensively Jean Auel‘s Earth’s Children series of novels, beginning with The Clan of the Cave Bear published in 1980, has influenced the writing of my Promised Valley novels. The question is especially pertinent in view of the March 29, 2011, release of her sixth, and presumably last, novel in the series, The Land of Painted Caves.

As the most prominent writer of prehistorical fiction—which is a subcategory of both historical and speculative fiction, but perhaps most like scientific fiction in its need to posit alternative worlds—Auel has without question laid down a path I’ve followed like a child into a realm far more fascinating to me than the one in which I live.

If I were asked whether I’d rather be, with all their
prehistorical limitations, any of my characters—or at least the ones I wish the reader to sympathize with—than the person I am, I’d instantly answer I would.

I haven’t yet read The Land of Painted Caves, but I’ve seen, once again since her fourth novel in the series, that Auel faces criticism for what reviewers describe as repetitious details and lack of plot.

Those points of views haven’t bothered me as a reader. When you fall in love as deeply as I’ve done, you can never cease being a lover. I care what her characters do and what becomes of them.

As a writer, though, I’ve taken an approach different from Auel’s. One difference is obvious. Auel’s Earth’s Children series is set 25,000 to 28,000 years ago and deals with interactions among Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon humans. My Promised Valley series is set 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, near the end of prehistory, and deals with conflict between hunters following a traditional way of life and farmers pursuing, as we do today, the new.

To me, more importantly, the story is everything. I imagined and wrote mine, from its beginning to its end, before I dared bring its beginning to light.

I’m as interested as Auel is in what archaeologists have to say about the people and times we’re writing about. As a writer of realistic fiction, though, I rely upon their findings only to make certain that what I’ve written could’ve happened—and might’ve led to a far better world for humans to live in than the one we inhabit today with its endless, mindless wars.

Ron, thanks for guest blogging today. Your take on writing is quite interesting.

Now a bit about Ron. He grew up in rural northern Illinois. Because he inherited the gift of a good memory he obtained a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Illinois (major: history; minor: English literature) and a law degree cum laude from Harvard Law School.

After his abrupt dismissal from the upper reaches of the legal profession, he became a public-service attorney representing indigent and disabled persons, and—at the end and most challenging part of his work—abused and neglected children. All during his life as a lawyer, he spent most of his time writing arguments on behalf of his clients, in the trial courts as well as the higher appeals courts.

Ron is writing and publishing a tetralogy asking whether history and civilization might’ve begun and proceeded differently than they did. He’s doing it not because he hopes to become rich and famous but because he wishes to share his story with the world. For more information about Ron, you can visit his website at

What are your thoughts on stories dealing with civilizations that might have lived thousands of years ago?


  1. What a lovely happy photo :)

    Can I just say thank you Mason for your comments and support throughout my A-Z. It has meant the world to me. You are a special bloggie friend XX

  2. Ron, thanks again for guest blogging. Your story sounds very intriguing. Wishing you much success with your writing.

    Niki, thanks for stopping by. Always enjoy your post. Folks you should stop by Niki's if you don't already, a fun look at New Zealand.

  3. Mason - Thanks for hosting Ron.

    Ron - Historical fiction is really interesting to me. I would guess that doing the research involved must be fascinating, too. I wish you much success with Promised Valley Rebellion.

  4. wow, as you know I adore historical books! The story and the period seem extremely interesting.
    And Ron seems like a very charming gentleman!

  5. I read Clan of the Cave Bears and thought it was brilliant. This sounds like another cool series. Farmers and Hunters back to when it all started.

  6. Mason, thank you for letting me make an appearance on your wonderful blog. I only hope I can live up to Dezmond's "very charming gentleman" characterization! Thanks again.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.