I want to give a great big THANK YOU to Rhys for stopping by today to talk about her new book, The Devil’s Brew. A short story in the Sinner’s Gin series. I was lucky enough to get a chance to read it and I have to say, I LOVED it. Don’t forget to check out my review of it at the bottom. Now lets get back to Rhys!!!
First, thank you for having me here. I am delighted to answer these. I’m even doing these before I cook dinner. But I’ve got coffee so yeah, you came after coffee. Totally reasonable. I needed the fuel.
What made you want to write a Miki and Kane short story?
Funny story this. There was a call for Valentine’s Day stories from DSP and I tossed a few thousand words together and sent it off. Anne R. at DSP came back with a request for it to be a standalone novella. This gave me the chance to flesh out a few things I’d wanted to put in there but couldn’t because of the word constraints for a short.
All in all, I was really happy with what I could do in the “time” I was allowed for the story. Novellas are a bitch and a half because it’s hard to tell a full blown story in that short of a space. So the point…the gist… has to be pretty tight.
I was really glad for the extra room.
Any plans for a Damie/Sionn short story? Cause me personally would love to read it.
I have not given that a thought. I probably should but I don’t know. I would love to do a Damie and Miki one. I imagine people will be getting sick of them soon enough. What’s the saturation point on two guys and a thieving dog?
Damie and Sionn would be lovely to write. Really, the dynamics of their relationship can be explored a lot more. It’s just a matter of whether or not there’s a good reason to and if there’s a story there as well.
What inspired you to write the Sinners series?
Alcohol and a lack of common sense. Um… Wow, it’s been years actually and I can barely recall last week but the original Sinner’s Gin was quite different from the end result. The puzzle of the story and characters took a bit. I’d have to say inspiration came in bits and pieces. I wanted to portray a man who’d had nothing, gained everything then lost it. It sort of went from there.
A lot of editing and rearranging and maneuvering until I felt like the character—Miki St. John— was right. Kane didn’t take as long but near enough. He went through a lot of changes as well.
Dude started off as a cat.
I knew Miki had a brother… one who’d found him. It kind of went from there.
How many books do you have planned for the Sinner’s series?
I currently have a total of five books planned out. Three are already written—the novella doesn’t count because it was a surprise. The fourth is called Sloe Ride and that will be… the band books. The fifth will be about Miki coming to terms with his past and all of that nonsense. So that’ll be bringing it back around full circle.
Who are the authors that inspire you?
I cannot answer this without getting into trouble. Really. Too many to count or name. I’d have to say for the Sinners series, music is much more of a contributing factor. Hyde, Gackt, Metallica, Tool, VAST, Testament—to name a few. Everything from SRV to Queen to Etta James. Lyrics are as much of a story as anything else.
Name one author that you are not, or have not worked with that you would love to write a book with.
I’m going to say Mary Calmes because she’ll kill me for saying that and it would be kind of fun. We have such different writing processes and she complains about her drafts not being good. I call her a liar on that.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Wow. Another hard question. Everyone’s got advice and stuff to say but really, it kind of comes down to one thing—do you want to write to sell your stuff?
If that answer is yes, then pay attention to what the market has going on and more importantly, write what you are passionate about. Write with impact and create personalities rather than archetypes with names. Flaws are good but human is better. More importantly, I’d say give the reader credit for being intelligent. Choose what to show—what to say and when a character has an action.
Actually no—this is probably the “most” importantly—the reader is someone who has worked for your book. They’ve gone to their job and a part of that time is being spent on you—the writer. They are your patrons. Treat them well. Say thank you. Don’t get mad about a poor review. Yes, they hurt like fucking hell and sometimes people like to be mean but every book has its audience. Make sure the audience finds your book and when they do, your greatest payoff is that the reader enjoyed it. That is was worth their time—that it was worth the amount of minutes they worked at their job to give to you
I probably can’t stress that enough. It’s one thing to write a book but to author a book, that takes perseverance and patience. Don’t forget to breathe.
You write alone but oh, you are read in a crowd.
What is the one thing you want readers to take from your books?
See above answer.
No really. That’s pretty much my answer. Did they have fun? Was it good? Will they read it again because it’s like visiting old friends? Did their hearts beat? Was there a twinge in their chests?
If there’s a yes to any one of those questions, then I call it a win. I want them to be happy or pissed or cuss me out or even say; God I’m glad you killed that bastard. I’d want them to feel. Anything.
If someone finishes the book and sighs with pleasure, that’s a damned good day. A book should be a feast for the soul, mind and heart. I’d want a reader to be well fed on all fronts.
Thank you so much for having me! I appreciate it so much! *hugs*