Rhys Erika

What is the name of your hometown? Did you spend a lot of time around books as a child? When did you first get into writing?

What was your least favourite subject in school? What was your favourite?

I live in Belfast, a town in midcoastal Maine known for its historic downtown and community of artists and writers. As a child, I was a voracious reader, thanks to my mother, a teacher who stoked my reading addiction with regular visits to the local library. However, although English was my favorite subject, handwriting was my least favorite—my handwriting is still terrible—and I didn’t begin to enjoy writing until my parents bought our family its first computer.

 

If one of your books were made into a movie and you won an Oscar for it, who would you thank first?

If I ever won any kind of award for my writing, I’d thank my BFF and fellow author Christina Ross first—she’s the one who first convinced me to try writing fiction!

 

What are the most pleasant and unpleasant fan encounters you've had?

My fan encounters have been very positive so far, and I especially appreciate the fans who take a few minutes to let me know how they feel about my stories and characters through messages, reviews, etc. While a quick “Loved it!” is always more than welcome, in-depth reviews are truly helpful to authors!

 

What are some ways you've pushed yourself or changed in order to become a better writer?

With each new book, I like to give myself a fresh challenge. In The Gentlemen’s Club, the challenge was writing my first suspense plot. In Heir of the Hamptons, my challenge was writing from both hero and heroine perspectives for the first time.

 

What was the most fun you've had writing a book? Would you say you are funnier or less so than the characters in your books?

I enjoy reading suspense, so writing the finale of The Gentlemen’s Club was deeply satisfying for me. I also had a lot of fun with Ronan and Ava’s sparring in Heir of the Hamptons! While I’ve never written a full-on comedy, my irreverent sense of humor frequently shows up in my books. As for whether or not I’m funnier than my characters, it’s probably a tie.

 

How did you go about creating the characters Nick and Ilana (in The Gentlemen's Club series) and what did you learn about yourself in the process?

What idea or event started the The Gentlemen's Club series? Why do you enjoy writing about billionaires?

Over time, writing has made me more conscious of the qualities that I value in other writers’ books—steamy romance, thrilling suspense, and well-developed, sympathetic characters. It’s also made me tune into what makes me give up on a book and put it down—sex scenes that lack romance, too much backstory, and characters who are unlikeable or one-dimensional. Writing has taught me a lot about who I am as a person and a reader.

 

The Gentlemen’s Club series emerged from the idea of a down-on-her-luck business 

major who ends up working in an exclusive strip club, and grew from there. I like writing pairings of characters who are opposites in some way, and enjoy pairing sexy billionaires with heroines from more average backgrounds.

 

Which of your series was most challenging to write? What do these stories mean to you?

My toughest write ever was my first series, On the Brink. I wrote myself into corners, junked tens of thousands of words, and completely changed direction halfway through the project! While On the Brink is a bit less traditional in the sense that the heroine must choose between two men, it’s very much a traditional romance in that committing to her man requires that the heroine figure out what love means for her, and then fight for it with everything in her.

 

My second series, Over the Edge, was most challenging on an emotional level. I hope that Mia’s story resonates with readers who have had their own experiences with leaving abusive situations and building new lives for themselves.

 

In my third series, The Gentlemen’s Club, I wanted to try a suspense subplot, which was a different kind of challenge again—as with my first series, I wrote myself into a few corners along the way and did a lot of rewriting before I was happy with it.

 

In my current series, the Heirs of Manhattan series, I once again chose a fresh challenge—moving back and forth between the heroine’s and the hero’s voices. Overall, I’m enjoying getting deeper into my hero’s head, although sometimes it’s difficult to choose which parts of the story to tell from his perspective vs. hers!

 

How did you get the idea for "Heir of the Hamptons"? Is there anything about Ava that you particularly relate to or did you go through any similar experiences as she did?

The idea for Heir of the Hamptons came from my desire to write a hero/heroine pairing that began in a combative place. Since Ronan and Ava don’t get along at first, I used a fake marriage plot to keep them together long enough to fall for each other. While all of my characters contain pieces of me, Ava’s struggles with her startup business echo some of the challenges I’ve experienced as a self-employed creative.

 

Do you plan on ever switching the roles one day and writing about a wealthy woman and her sexy male counterpart down on his luck?

How did you guess? Reversing those roles is something I’m currently exploring in my current book project, Park Avenue Player.

 

If you had to give up writing forever or die, what would your choice be?

While writing is a huge part of my life, I also love painting, gardening, cooking, and playing the piano, so if something stopped me from writing, I’d still manage to keep busy!

 

What kind of advice do you normally offer newbie authors?

 

Write the kind of books you enjoy reading, and have fun doing it!

More information about Erika:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ErikaRhys.Author/

Website: http://erikarhys.com 

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