Guam author Reilly Ridgell earns national praise
A Guam author has garnered recognition from around the nation and the region. Reilly Ridgell has been a writer since he was 10 years old, recalling, "In 4th grade, I wrote a Blue Lagoon-type story."
He has since gone on to publish four books, including one textbook, and three novels. Ridgell's textbook, Pacific Nations and Territories, has sold over 45,000 copies, and his other books have won several awards, including honorable mention in the Regional Lit Category and 1st place in the Compilations/Anthology Category at the 2015 Pacific Rim Book Festival. He also won top honors at the 2014 Southern California Book Festival and honorable mention at the Eric Hoffer Book Awards.
"And I was surprised actually because it's a huge number of writers that submit books to that award, the Hoffer Awards, it's like 1,200, and I managed to get an honorable mention in one of the 18 categories that they had," he said. According to Ridgell, both his life experiences in the Peace Corps and his imagination have come through in these stories. He added, "These little stories, these little vignettes, they really help people understand what it's like. I had to write them I had to put them together."
But Ridgell says when he has an idea, it comes easy. His 400-page novel Green Pearl Odyssey, for example, was written in just a few months. "Sometimes you write something and it just flows, and it comes out and you say, 'Hey, that's pretty good!' That makes me feel good," he shared. "Every year there's 30,000-40,000 people that write novels - can you name 30,000-40,000 people? It's just amazing how many people want to write."
His advice for aspiring young writers is simple: "If you're really, really a masochist, then go for it!" he quipped.