I am so happy to be on The Lupa Schwartz Mysteries Blog! Hello, Dave and all you wonderful readers of his blog. What a great day to do an interview! Also, stick around after the interview to learn about our books and enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card!
Dave: Who are your influences?
Deek: Erin Rhew! Hands down my fav author of all time. We joke that I loved her writing so much I had to marry the author. :-)
Other than my bride, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Nelson DeMille. You will see each of these gents' influences in my writing.
Mr. King could write the danged phone book, and it would be an awesome tale. He's one of the most brilliant storytellers of all time. IMHO.
Mr. Koontz is an amazing story teller, but what he does is create incredible characters that you think about long after you've closed the cover. Christopher Snow is easily my favorite character of any book ever. Dean also has an elegant, beautiful writing style and description capability that I could only dream of matching.
Mr. DeMille weaves these intricate action plots with humorous but serious characters. If you've ever read the John Corey novels, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. John is tough and complicated and funny.
I'd love to go on an adventure with John, Christopher, and Samson. I think we'd have a marvelous time.
Dave: When did you begin writing?
Deek: I wrote a lot in high school, but at that time my focus was on music. After living the musician's life for a while I realized something very important: A musician's life blows chunks. Hard. Awful pay, long hours, drunk fans. After I switched majors, got my degree, and a job that, ya know, let's me eat on a regular basis, I returned to writing.
I've started several stories, but each time the story fizzled out. Those were more of learning who I am as a writer...actually I think I'll always be learning. But when I fell in love with the characters in 122 Rules, Birth of an American Gigolo, and "Norman and Demon," I fell in love with storytelling and the writing process.
Dave: How do you come up with your stories, characters, character names, POV, etc? and Do you work from an outline?
Deek: I'm combining these two questions, because the answer is basically the same.
I don't come up with the stories, characters, so forth per say. It's more like they find me. In Stephen King's book On Writing, he talks about how stories are found things. He describes it like this:
You're walking in the desert and you find the tip of something sticking out of the ground. You uncover it a little and see that there is more buried deeper in the soil. You dig and dig uncovering more, discovering the object's details. You brush away sand revealing intricacies and fine lines. Eventually you have revealed all there is to reveal.
The thing you first find is an idea. A question. Erin and I talk all the time and sometimes out of those conversations come questions or situations. What-if's. What if this? What would happen if that? So we explore that. Sometimes, there's not much there, and we cast it aside. But other times, we find there's something significant buried in the sand.
I don't work from an outline. I just start with the idea and see where it leads. Usually I'm as surprised by what happens in the story as my readers!
Dave: Tell me about your favorite scene in your novel.
Deek: Okay, I have a couple but there is one that ALWAYS makes me laugh. Monica has been in Witness Protection for over a year and gets away after someone tries to kill her. She calls her best friend, Angel, and together they flee across the country. They've been driving all day and stop in Colorado, parking way up on a hill overlooking the Colorado flatlands. Monica is depressed about the state of her life and been grousing about it. She is standing on the edge of a cliff, looking down at the rocks below, contemplating, when Angel comes to her rescue:
Monica reflected for a moment, her gaze not focused on anything. When she came back, her eyes found Angel’s in the deepening twilight. “I can’t believe how badly I’ve messed up my life. Everyone tells me how smart I am, but I had to call you because I couldn’t figure out what to do on my own. I can’t even take care of myself: how am I supposed to help the kids of the world who need it? I’d probably make things worse.”
Angel came up and stood next to her on the edge of the bluff. She took Monica’s hand and said in a quiet voice, “Why don’t we just Thelma and Louise it then?”
“Huh?” Monica stared at her friend.
“You’re a complete and utter loser. A failure. A pimple on the donkey’s ass of society. What’s the point in going on?” Angel took a step closer to the ledge. “Right now. Couple of steps and we’re flying, at least for a few seconds, then it’s all over. No more Peter, Jon, Crew Cut, your mom, the mob, the dream, any of it. A quick, neat end and all your little problems are solved. Come on, let’s do it!” She pulled Monica’s hand. “Right here. Right now. I’m not screwing around. Ready? On the count of three. One…”
Monica gaped at her, looked over the edge of the cliff, and then back at Angel.
“Two…” Angel took a step back, tensing to run.
“Ang, I don’t know.”
“What?” Angel snapped, turning to her. “What don’t you know? It sounds like you’ve got it all worked out! It’s been kinda tough, so let’s just fold up and let those bastards win. Oh, poor me. I’ve been so abused. My dad died, and my mom’s a whore. Sure, I’ve had a friend that always, always has my back and a surrogate family. Sure I got straight A’s in high school, a full ride to NYU, and had plans to be a big-shot lawyer.”
Angel threw her arms up in the air. “But shit got a little rough for a while ’cause I was helping take down some low-life scumbags. Life hasn’t been ideal lately, and there’s simply no way to get back to the dream. I can’t do that with another identity, which is what my friend is going to insist on when we get to the effing FBI headquarters. Oh, poor me.”
Angel turned back to the cliff and took another step back, tensing her body for the final leap. “Come on! You’re right. There’s no turning this boat around. Let’s do it! Let’s end this thing! Ready?”
Monica’s mouth still hung open. Her jaw bobbed up and down, but no words came out, making her feel like a guppy. As hard as she tried to stop them, the edges of her lips curled up, and she giggled. She tried to stop, but the giggles were relentless and attacked her. She laughed harder than she had in years as she mimicked her friend. “Right here. Right now. I’m not screwing around.”
“I’m not. Come on, let’s go.”
Angel’s serious demeanor only made Monica laugh harder. “Let’s Thelma and Louise it.” She fell on her butt in a cloud of dust, not caring about the dirt. Tears streamed down her cheeks.
Angel’s face cracked, and a smile played across her lips. A groan turned to snickers, growing until the full belly roll took her. Their combined laughter echoed, amplified by the canyon walls until it sounded like an auditorium full of spectators at a Jack Benny premiere. They lay on the flat rock, the dust clinging to their sweat and tears.
As they regained control, Monica looked at her. “I love you, you know that.”
“Of course you do. I’m awesome.”
Monica started laughing again, and they lay on the ground holding hands as the sun finished its decent to the west, and darkness claimed the desert.
Deek: Humility. It's as simple as that. I don't try and direct the story. I know my place. I'm a transcriber, and my characters are the dictators, telling me their tale. I simply write what I see.
More humility: Your editor is your friend and right 99.99% of the time. My bride is a brilliant grammar ninja and storyteller. When she says something needs to be fixed, I usually do what she says. I say "usually" because there is that 0.01% of the time I stick to my guns. My content editor, Anya, also gets the same treatment. She's really awesome at the macro level of a story. I've had to do some very painful cuts and rewrites at her direction.
But the story is #1. Always first it's about story. Ego has no part in telling a story.
Dave: Have you ever tried writing in any other genres?
Deek: That's an interesting question because while I was writing 122, a couple of other stories emerged. I just recently published a humorous women's lit story called Birth of an American Gigolo. The gist of that is that a woman catches her husband cheating, but because of financial reasons can't leave him. Instead she starts a business that she runs out of her home, while getting a really fantastic revenge against her husband and the woman he's cheating with.
I actually wrote Birth right in the same pages of the 122 manuscript. I just happened upon this character, Lindsey, who decided that it was her time for her story.
Man, characters can be bossy!
Dave: Do you have any interesting writing-related anecdotes to share?
Deek: I stole one of my character's name. Wut? Yep! There is a character, Max, you'll meet in 122's follow-up book, 122 Rules - Redemption, who originally was named Deek, but I liked his name so much I took it for myself.
My birth name is VERY common, so trying to make my name stick out among the millions of others was almost impossible. One of my all-time favorite Stephen King books is Needful Things. In that story, there's this character, Deek, that doesn't get but a page or two of face time. I always loved the name and stole it for my character as a nod to the great author. Well, flash-forward a bit, and I decide to give myself a pen name. I took Deek as my first name. Rhew is actually my wife's maiden name. Together we are Deek and Erin Rhew of Rhewination!
Thank you SO much for having me on your blog, Dave! 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 Book Blog Tour|
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.
|Who could resist those stunning blues?|
|Ahhhh! It's cold out here!|
|Do ya feel lucky punk? Well, do ya?|
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
Visit Amazon and Goodreads!
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!
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's book that started it all, The Prophecy!|
|Erin Rhew's The Fulfillment|
|Erin Rhew's The Outlanders|
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.
For the latest and greatest, visit her web page: