Today we welcome, Deek Rhew, author of the newly released 122 Rules.
Instead of me providing the usual list of question that bloggers normally ask I thought it would be fun for Deek to be interviewed by this wife, Erin, who also will be featured on Lisa Writes and Reads in a few weeks! Please sit back, enjoy a drink and let’s get to know Deek better.
E: What a pleasure to get the opportunity to interview my husband! Since we talk ALL the time, I know most of what there is to know about Deek, but I’ll use my “insider knowledge” to show you some different aspects of his personality.
D: Woop! Let’s do this thang!
E: First, I’ll start with his books: 122 Rules and Birth of An American Gigolo as well as his work-in-progress, 122 Rules Redemption.
We talked about the fact that Birth of an American Gigolo might be controversial. Talk a little bit about how you felt about that aspect as you prepared to publish and market it.
For those that don’t know, Birth is about a domestic diva that catches her husband cheating on her. Because of finances she can’t leave him, so she starts a business to support herself…a gigolo business.
To answer your question, the controversy–especially the part at the very end–was a huge concern of mine when I was writing it. I remember thinking that Lindsey’s antics might get me shunned right out of the writing world before my career even began. Then I got to the end of the story and I was like, oh wow, even if they didn’t hate me before, people are REALLY going to stone me now! But my characters had a story to tell, and I wasn’t going try and stifle it. That would be an injustice to Lindsey, Dios, and Angel.
I wrote a blog post during the tour giving out my own top 10 writing tips. In it, I said to write what scares you, and the potential controversy of Birth scared me a little. But I let that go and let the characters’ story carry me.
You have some of THE most hilarious and creative descriptions in your books. When your mind is thinking of how to say something, what’s the process that goes on in there? How do you manage to strike the balance between clever and witty?
As always, you give me WAY too much credit! I don’t really think about it when I’m writing. The funny stuff is just Angel and Chet being Angel and Chet. The stuff they come up with just slays me. Chet’s humor comprises almost entirely of mocking Sam. Chet has access to information that no one else does, and it makes for fertile ground for derision to grow.
Monica is super-smart, but the ultimate straight man. This gives Angel the chance to play up on Monica’s obliviousness. There’s this scene when they are driving down through the central US and they have this conversation about the Girl Scouts and a French rock band named Pimps and Whores. This is Angel at her best, and it cracks me up every time.
I see parallels everywhere, so maybe that’s how I come up with the descriptions. I’m not sure. This is like this, and that is like that.
When you’re over there editing 122 Rules, I often hear you laughing. What, in particular, amuses you most about your characters?
Some of the stuff that my characters come up with just amuse the stuffings out of me. Chet and Angel say the darnest things. Chet is merciless in his mocking of Sam who thinks he’s the sniz. Sam really does think he’s got all his ducks in a row and that he’s above reproach. Nothing quite like smacking someone like that down.
Angel just says the most unusual things. In one of the “inspirational” speeches she gives to Monica when Monica is thinking about giving up, Angel actually calls her a pimple on the donkey ass of society. What? Yep. And the best part: It works. She raised Monica’s spirits and together they rally.
Forget Trump, Hillary, and the Bern, let’s vote Angel for president!
Tell everyone what happened when you started writing 122 Redemption and how your books grew from two to three…
Oh, man. So when I first wrote 122, I missed the memo about debut novel length. My first draft was over double the legal limit. Okay, I’m an adapter, so I broke it up into two books. Well, during the edits of the new version of 122, a funny thing happened. A bad guy, a really really bad guy, decided to NOT die. He survives and turns up in Monica and Angel’s home town of Alabaster Cove.
Well, stink. This messes things up a little bit. Suddenly what was supposed to be book two becomes book three because, ya know, because there’s a mad man running around The Cove. Now Sam, Angel, Monica, and a slew of new characters have to deal with him. This means that all the trouble Sam has in the future–including a certain lady love interest–is bumped out. Sorry, Sam. Gonna have to go stag just a bit longer!
In 122 Redemption, we see some of our favs return from 122 Rules, but there’s also a whole host of new characters. Who’s your favorite and why?
Oh, wow. It’s so tough to choose just one. Of course I love the trouble twins: Angel and Monica. Love ya, ladies. Sam and Chet are the dynamic duo. <fist bump to my bros> One of my new favorites from Redemption is Max. He’s laid back and smart and a self-starter. He’s got dreds, builds surfboards for a living, and practically lives on the water. I also stole his name.
Yep. Originally his name was Deek, a nod to one of literary heroes, Stephen King. But I was looking for a pen name a ton less common than my birth name, so I stole it and gave Max a new one. Now, I can’t think of him by any other name but Max.
To the baddie in Redemption. Man, you know I love ya. You give the world color and the papers something interesting to print. Also, please don’t kill me.
E: Now, let’s talk about YOU! I *love* to talk about you because you’re so interesting and fascinating!
D: I’m just a simple man, my love. You are the interesting one!
You’ve always said your dad is your biggest hero. Tell us what it is that you admire about him so much.
There are just so many reasons. My dad spent his life serving his country. A career in the military made me want to follow in his footsteps. It almost happened too. Like most soldiers, he worked long hours and never complained. When he wasn’t working, he was at home with the family. He taught me how to drive, how to wire an outlet and plumb a sink. My father showed me how to raise children and to treat a lady. He’s self-sacrificing and humble. He’s only a smidge over five feet tall, but he’s the biggest man I’ve ever met in my life.
We’re in the process of turning all the physical pictures we have stored in boxes into digital pictures. How do you feel when you look back at yourself as a child and see where you are today? Did you turn out at all like you thought you would?
It’s SO crazy to see pictures of myself from my childhood. My parents are YOUNG too. Oh, wow. I remember so much: playing in the rock band, hanging out with my friends, playing Nintendo, getting pizza after work at 11 at night, riding my bike to school, and playing ball. Mostly, I think the pictures bring back memories of the adventures I went on and the fun we had. I had a great childhood, and I’m beyond grateful to have grown up with such a great group of friends and with such a loving family.
When I was a kid I didn’t really know what I was going to be when I grew up. In high school, I thought that being a pilot was my destiny. Then it was being a musician. Whatever I did when I grew up had to be fun, because I swore that I’d never retire to a La-Z-Boy and a whole day of TV. Now I’m living that fun life I imagined. Erin and I go on crazy adventures, and there’s always something new and interesting to do. I think that my adult life is just an extension of my childhood in the best possible way.
You’ve always said you’d love to have the ability to fly. Why does this ability appeal to you, and why do you think it’s superior to other super powers?
There’s nothing freer to me that being able to soar through the clouds! Especially if I could just will it to happen. I’m all about simplicity, so driving to the airport, getting a plane ready, getting clearance, and taking off sound like a huge pain in the butt. But stepping out on my porch and just flying is exactly my speed.
There’s the element of being able to go anywhere you want. Look around. There’s nothing to stop you from going anywhere! Heck, in the original Superman moving, ol’ Clark went into outer space (while his cape flapped majestically behind him as he soared). Everything we do on the ground is so two dimensional and subject to limitations of just about everyone around you. In the clouds there’s no traffic, if the weather is bad just go up a little higher, if something is interesting drop down and see it.
Time to get our geek on:
We’ve been watching Vikings from The History Channel. Tell us what you find most fascinating about the Viking culture that you may or may not have known before.
The Vikings were fearless warriors who believed it to be honorable to die in battle. In fact, if you didn’t die fighting, than there was almost no other way to get into Valhalla (their version of Heaven). There was an episode where an old guy wanted to be taken on the raids so he had his chance to die with honor. What? Yep.
I think one of the things I love so much about this show is watching the amazing fighting tactics. No one in England or France had ever seen such a way of fighting. The shield walls, merciless killing, fearlessness in the way they fought is admirable. The Christians were afraid to die, but the Vikings welcomed death. It’s no wonder they conquered Rome!
We watched Justified recently, and you loved how Raylan Givens (“the good guy”) and Boyd Crowder (“the bad guy”) walked a fine line between good and bad: Raylan’s not all good and Boyd’s not all bad. Explain why you like this dynamic and how it shapes your writing.
The thing is that no matter what people say, things are NOT black and white. People cannot be all good nor can they be all bad. Everyone and most situations are a various shades of grey and absolutely depend on your perspective. The moralist difference between the man that kills for the law and one that kills because it gives him power is only slight. Both men have killed, but just for different reasons and even then it’s arguable that their reasoning isn’t all that different.
These two guys are walking the line between good and bad. Raylan frequently crosses that line, doing bad things sometimes for the right reason, and sometimes for selfish reasons. Boyd, too, will come to the rescue when no one else will.
I think that both of these men love one another like brothers. They grew up together, mined coal together, now they just happen to have slightly different occupations. These guys are like amoebas looping around one another in a continuous orbit. This is totally fun to watch.
The writing on this show is beyond brilliant. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen better dialogue–the only thing that comes close is an old TV show called Sports Night–and the dynamics between good and evil fascinate me and push me to be a better writer.
Thank you for having me on today, Lisa and thank you, Erin for the totally fun interview! Readers, are you ready to learn a bit about our books and enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card? Woop! Let’s go!
Rhew 2 Rhew Blog Tour – 122 Rules Book Blitz Extravaganza!
How’s that for a catchy title? What a crazy adventure this has been FIVE years in the making, and it has finally arrive: 122 Rules has been born unto the world. The stories I could tell just so I could tell you this story…well, let’s just say it’s been an interesting, educational, and life-altering adventure.
This has been a grand journey, filled with hardships, fun, learning, and growth. But of all the things that have happened on the writing road, meeting the love of my life is the most unlikely and easily the luckiest, most blessed things to have ever happened to me.
Erin Rhew and I started out as critique partners, became friends, and now she’s my bride. She’s my best friend and partner in all things. Even if I don’t sell a single copy of my writings, I’ll always be a smashing success because I met Erin.
On this half of the Rhewination tour, I am visiting blogs all over the globe, from Australia to the farthest corners in Canada. Next week, on the second half of the tour, Erin will be gracing the pages of 50+ bloggers!
In addition, we are giving away a $50 Amazon gift card! Prepare yourselves to win!
Today, we are announcing my adult thriller novel, 122 Rules.
In his black and white world, Sam Bradford–former Marine turned government assassin–finally sees a speck of grey. He has always followed orders without question, but his latest assignment threatens to disrupt the precision of his universe and may either severe or redeem his last remaining sliver of humanity.
Using his mastery of the 122 Rules of Psychology, Sam hunts down everyone The Agency sends him to find and eliminates them. Just as he has his rifle scope focused on his latest victim, Monica Sable, a SoCal girl entangled with the mob, his long-dormant conscience reappears for a final performance…one last ditch effort to save the sinking ship of Sam’s soul. He’s killed innocents before, but tarries on pulling the trigger this time.
When Monica escapes his crosshairs and fumbles her way across the country in a pathetic attempt to elude capture, Sam gives chase. But he’s not the only one after her. Ruthless henchmen, hired by the mob, froth like bloodhounds and nip at Monica’s heels. Now Sam is faced with a choice: turn his back on the rules and jeopardize his way of life by helping her or join the pack and rip her to shreds.
What are readers saying?
122 Rules is a fast-paced thrill-ride, filled with rich characters living in an expertly woven world of mystery and suspense. Deek Rhew’s debut novel will take readers by storm, and keep them coming back for sequels.
~Michelle K. Pickett, Bestselling and award-winning author of PODs and Unspeakable.
The perfect, fast-paced novel for fans of kick-butt heroines, creepy killers, and getting caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. An absolute must-read!
Visit the 122 Rules Web Page
While you’re on Deek’s site check out Birth of an American Gigolo.
An old party girl shoehorned into domestic divaship, infuriated by her husband’s cheating and his holier-than-thou, tree-hugging, no-tits and no-hips girlfriend, inflicts her wrath by training a local boy in the fine art of seduction. She and her new boy toy turned love god start a gigolo business as a distraction for the neglected and mistreated housewives of Alabaster Cove.
Take a selfie with your ebook or paper copy of Birth and post it on social media with the tag #BirthSelfie. We’ll post you on the Rhewination web site!
Deek lives in a rainy pocket in the Pacific Northwest with the stunning YA author bride, Erin Rhew, and their writing assistant, a fat tabby named Trinity. They enjoy lingering in the mornings, and often late into the night, caught up Erin’s fantastic fantasy worlds of noble princes and knights and entwined in Deek’s dark underworld of the FBI and drug lords.
He and Erin love to share books by reading aloud to one another. In addition, they enjoy spending time with friends, running, boxing, lifting weights, and exploring the little town–with antique shops and bakeries–they call home.
Connect with Deek!
For the latest and greatest, visit his web page:
Next week be on the lookout for Erin’s:
The Fulfillment Series Blitz Extravaganza!
Erin Rhew is an editor, a running coach, and the author of The Fulfillment Series. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written
word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the “Grammar Police.”
A Southern girl by blood and birth, Erin now lives in a rainy pocket of the Pacific Northwest with the amazingly talented (and totally handsome) writer Deek Rhew and their “overly fluffy,” patient-as-a-saint writing assistant, a tabby cat named Trinity. She and Deek enjoy reading aloud to one another, running, lifting, boxing, eating chocolate, and writing side-by-side.
Authors, do you think the artwork for The Prophecy, The Outlanders, The Fulfillment, Birth of an American Gigolo, and 122 Rules is as stunning as we do? Visit Race-Point.com to find out how you can get the amazing Anita to work on your book as well!