Interview with Rhys Ford

~ RHYS FORD ~

Hi, Rhys! Welcome to Under the Covers – we’re so happy to have you! Thank you for taking the time to chat with us!

Thank you for having me. Really. I am very happy to be here. *does happy dance with you*

file0007020429Whiskey and Wry is the amazing second novel in your Sinner’s series, which we at UTC just loved. Can you give your readers any insight as to what we have to look forward to in the rest of the series?

The next book is called Tequila Mockingbird and features the Morgan at the end of Whiskey and Wry. I’m going to attempt writing something I’ve never written before and have been talking things over with friends and casual acquaintances to get a feel about how I’m going to write it. It’s daunting but I am hoping I can do it justice.

The last book in the series is called Sloe Ride and there will be a novella with Miki and Kane (And Damien) as Miki deals with his past. That’ll be a good one to write, I think.

The way Whiskey and Wry ends gives us the idea about who the next main character might be, which was shocking – didn’t see that one coming. Might I be right???

You are totally right. Wish me a LOT of luck with that one. *grins*

Do you have the rest of the series and the characters planned out?

file0001837783109Actually yes. I knew going in who the four couples were going to be. Some tweaks along the way… major tweaks but they were pretty much sketched in before I wrote Whiskey and Wry. I also wrote Sinner’s Gin knowing Damien was alive and would be the subject for the next book.

Without going into spoilers, I wanted to tackle a bunch of topics and at the same time, enjoy the murdering spree I could cause. No, that wasn’t right. I wanted to show family. And the different types of families. *nods*

One of the things that I loved in Whiskey and Wry is the relationship between Miki and Damien. It was simply beautiful. Will we get to see more of that in the rest of the series?

You’ll see a lot of Damien and Miki because really, the foundation of the series is their relationship. The next two books will be about them building a band and the musicians they find to do that with. I wanted to do a series about musicians but more about the people they were, rather than the fame or the trials they experienced as rock stars.

Damien and Miki have been great to write. I don’t intend to let them go off into the sunset. I’ll have them along for a few rides after the series. I am sure of it. Just don’t know what or when.

file4331274239752How do you get the ideas for your books? Do the characters talk to you in your mind? Do your books play out like movies?

Wow. Believe it or not, that’s a hard question.

The ideas usually start off with a character. In the case of Sinner’s Gin, I knew Miki and Damien. Miki was a bit more civilized in the beginning and Damie was more of a douchebag but when I started writing things down, Miki actually turned a bit feral. Which made sense since really he grew up raising himself on the streets. Damien in contrast was broken in a different way. He lacks balance. Or did. Someone to anchor to. Miki became someone to take care of AND someone to take care of him in return. Damie really wasn’t very street smart before he met Miki. So they balanced out.

Kane was difficult because I needed someone stronger than who I’d originally wrote Miki for…basically Quinn. Quinn didn’t fit. Can’t explain it any more than that but really as I started to write Sinner’s Gin, I realized the other half of the Sinner’s Gin couple had to be a bit stronger, someone who could guide Miki in certain things but would eventually learn that Miki could really take care of himself.

file9841234740545Damien was different. He needed someone to balance out that part of him that needs to be loved. Miki’s love is brotherly, a comrade in the trenches. Damie needed someone who could appreciate the insanity of his soul and at the same time, recognize the importance of Miki in D’s life. Sionn was perfect for that because he’s less than perfect. He’s a bit rougher than Kane. Not as smooth. Not as accomplished. But at the same time, it’s okay for him to be searching out where he wants to be in life at the moment. He doesn’t have the onus of the Morgan civil service creed but he does know how lucky he is to have family…and especially that family.

Quinn became someone I would have to match up with another character, which will happen in the series. *nods* I loved Quinn’s character but he wasn’t right for Miki. I knew that within ten thousand words.

Sometimes I have to write something to see if it fits. I’ll have the characters before I have the secondary murdering plot. The characters have to fit, first and foremost.

My books play out as movies sometimes. The Dirty Series certainly does. Cole’s life is a bit on the fantastical side but really, I planned it on being like that. I kinda wanted that old Police Show feel to it. Very Mannix, Starsky and Hutch and all of that. A bit beyond belief with a bit of romance tossed into it. Close enough to real life but just a step beyond. I want to entertain with the books. They should be a bit of escapism amid the angst, blood and gunfire.

Sinner’s Gin is more…sedate, I suppose is a good word. More procedural but still, a bit of the romance with some social issues alongside. Just real enough. And hopefully emotionally enough.

That has always been key. When to step up the emotion and when to dial it back so the starkness of the scene brings the point across.

Have you always written m/m romance? Was there anything in particular that promoted you to do so?

I think I’ve always just written. I don’t think really of it as M/M romance so much as I think of it as suspense-romance with a couple of guys in it. I liked developing the characters and playing around with the situations. Nothing really in particular other than it seemed right to create these books. It was something I’d wanted to do and took a shot at it. I wanted to write a good story or five. *grins*

file0001421689757You have some of the most amazing, and sometimes jaw-dropping and shocking, book openings and endings I’ve ever read. Does it take long to come up with ways to give your readers coronaries?

I actually don’t usually take long with a scene. Well the initial scene. Sometimes I have to “move the camera” to a different starting point but for the most part, it comes off first from an idea on where I want the character to begin.

With Cole, I always want to start the reader off with him in the middle of another case. It actually serves to introduce Cole to a new reader and play catch up with what’s going on from the previous books. I loathe info dumps. You know the ones; where you end up reading paragraph upon paragraph of what happened last time…which is important but oh, sometimes it feels forced. Too forced even for me. So, I prefer to slide in the information through the opening chapter and at the same time, set up the book’s theme.

I think character introduction can be done with a bit more…oomph than having him wake up, shave, get dressed and introduce his life. I’d rather start off with a bit more excitement and back fill.

Ah the endings. No cliffhangers. *grins* That’s a firm mantra. Really, they aren’t cliffhangers. Previews! Yeah, we’ll go with that. I usually try to end a book with something solid or something to lead into the next book. Nothing dire like someone dying on a railroad track with the engine coming but a bit of spice.

file0001393790751

One of the things I love about your books is how diverse they are, introducing the reader to a variety of ethnicities and cultures – Japanese and Korean in the Dirty series and Irish in the Sinner’s series. Do you have any new cultures to introduce in upcoming books and/or series?

Strangely enough, Fish and Ghosts deals with a family of sorts. Not necessarily a culture per se but a lifestyle. But I won’t go into spoilers there.

I will be dabbling a bit with the Thai and Vietnamese cultures in Dirty Deeds and of course, Scarlet is Filipino, so the pinoy thread will always be there. I don’t know really. We’ll have to see where things go. So many things to do. *nods*

All of the main characters in your books are so wonderful – damaged yet fabulous. Do you think any of the characters on your series will ever meet each other? Cole and Jae meeting Kane and Miki? Neko meeting Dude??

I haven’t really thought about crossing over to other series. It sounds lovely in thought but oh, explosive. Neko would beat the hell out of Dude just on principle. I won’t say never but for right now, no. I do sprinkle a bit of one series into another here and there for people who look for it. *winks*.

Okay – last question. Is there anything about yourself or your books that you would like to share with your readers?

Who knows where the “write novel” button is in Word? Really, that would make things so much easier.

Um, let’s see. I’ll be at GayRomLit in Atlanta and hope to see everyone there. Hunt me down. I’m hoping to bring out some swag. If I can pull it off. *grins*.  Am definitely a part of the Dreamspinner crew there.

Fish and Ghosts, a paranormal contemporary will be coming out in November. THAT was great fun to write. I’m hoping everyone gives Tristan and Wolf a warm welcome. They’re the first book in the Hellsinger series. Really. So much fun with them. They’ll be debuting in Novemberish this year.

I have a steampunk novella called Clockwork Tangerine coming out through Dreamspinner Press in Marchish of next year.

Thank you, Rhys, for taking the time to stop by UTC! It was wonderful having you!

Thank you! Really. So much love. Thank you! I am so glad to be here.

Whiskey_Wry Cover_Rhys Ford_Small

Sequel to Sinner’s Gin
Sinners Series: Book Two

He was dead. And it was murder most foul. If erasing a man’s existence could even be called murder.

When Damien Mitchell wakes, he finds himself without a life or a name. The Montana asylum’s doctors tell him he’s delusional and his memories are all lies: he’s really Stephen Thompson, and he’d gone over the edge, obsessing about a rock star who died in a fiery crash. His chance to escape back to his own life comes when his prison burns, but a gunman is waiting for him, determined that neither Stephen Thompson nor Damien Mitchell will escape.

With the assassin on his tail, Damien flees to the City by the Bay, but keeping a low profile is the only way he’ll survive as he searches San Francisco for his best friend, Miki St. John. Falling back on what kept him fed before he made it big, Damien sings for his supper outside Finnegan’s, an Irish pub on the pier, and he soon falls in with the owner, Sionn Murphy. Damien doesn’t need a complication like Sionn, and to make matters worse, the gunman—who doesn’t mind going through Sionn or anyone else if that’s what it takes kill Damien—shows up to finish what he started.

Buy Now: Amazon

About the Author

Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats, a black Pomeranian puffball, a bonsai wolfhound, and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a red Hamilton Beach coffee maker.

Website: http://rhysford.com/
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/RhysFord
Twitter: @rhys_ford

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[…] a very long rambling piece where I obviously had too much sugar and waxed on and off about writing. Check out the interview here and delve around the site. They’ve got a lot going on over […]

Rhys Ford

Thank you for having me over! *hugs*

Leigh

You are sooooo very welcome!!!! Thank YOU for joining us! 😀

Cathy Romanczuk

I enjoyed this interview tremendously. Thanks for sharing.

Debra E

Can’t wait to read this one!

Timitra

Great interview!

Maria D.

Good interview! I haven’t started this series yet – thanks for the info

Lori Meehan

Great interview. The book sounds intriguing.