Today is an exciting day for me! This is my first time joining in the fun that new kid on the block Riptide Publishing is providing by having the wonderful Rhi Etzweiler here talking about her new book Blacker Than Black. Not only that, but there's an awesome giveaway that you can sign up for too. So to start us off here's my interview with Rhi.....
Thanks for having me, Jody! It’s great to be here with you today.
TSP: How did you get where you are today with your writing career and if you weren't writing what would your occupation be?
RE: I’m not a full-time writer; my books don’t pay my bills. I have a day job that does that – I work in the retail sales industry. Glamorous, isn’t it?
To be honest, I can’t imagine not writing. I expect that if I hadn’t finally begun a career as an author, I would still be a writer. It is the artist in me that needs an outlet of expression, and fictional prose is my medium of choice. I think I prefer it this way, simply because there is zero financial pressure for me to perform. It allows me to create at my own pace, as my artistic vision leads, instead of worrying about productivity and sales figures and all the rest of it.
TSP: Your first release ever Dark Edge of Honor was co-authored with the amazing Aleks Voinov and Blacker Than Black is your first solo release. How is the writing process different between the two and who else would you consider co-authoring with in the future? (We can make the question even more radical by saying the author can be dead or alive...lol)
RE: The synergy of a co-writing process is invigorating, simply because writing is largely such an insular task otherwise. To turn it inside out, externalize it, share the burden and expression of the creative process with another, transforms the task into a completely different creature. Not only do you feed off one another, but you encourage one another and even learn from one another. The strengths of one, balanced by those of the other.
Hmm. I think I would learn a great deal from co-authoring with Sun Tzu. I expect he would inform me that he’d said all that needed saying in “The Art of War” and that there was no need to belabor the point. But I can dream.
TSP: How would you describe BTB? And how do your vampires differ from the typical vamp?
RE: BTB is …an exploration of genderfuck—that’s my best description of it, at least. In Black’s world, the vampires aren’t bloodsuckers, they’re energy vampires. The term vampire is actually employed as a derogatory slur. And they’re not “made” into vampires. They’re portrayed as the next evolutionary step of the human race. Whether that makes them less or more, though, is for the reader to decide.
TSP: How would you describe your writing style and what sets you apart from other authors?
RE: There’s an old saying about forests and trees. This is like asking a tree how large the forest is. *laughs* You’ll have to decide that for yourself, the tree whispers.
TSP: What do you think draws readers to the m/m genre and is there a different way of writing a m/m couple than het couples?
RE: I think there are as many motivations drawing readers to the genre as there are readers. I think the fresh perspective that the stories provide is probably the biggest draw. For some, it’s the titillation of something foreign—for others, it’s the expression of what’s familiar to them, it’s fiction that they can identify with on some level.
I don’t feel there’s any true delineation between writing one couple and the other—ultimately, a couple is a couple. The nature of the characters dictates their portrayal, and their gender and sexuality has relatively little to do with the writing of their relationship, their interactions, etc.
TSP: How has the digital revolution affected your career and how you market yourself? Do you have a eReader?
RE: For me, my online presence is a public image and one of the assets in my writing career. In other words, I invest time and energy in maintaining a certain image online, and behave professionally. Anyone who is selling something is in business, and I feel that as a writer you’re not just selling your writing but yourself, after a fashion. Or the image of your pseudonym, as the case may be. So that portrayal, and what you make visible, is an asset and should be treated as such.
Without the ability to digitally disburse and market my writing, I strongly doubt that I would have a writing career at all. I have grown and matured as a writer over the years thanks to individuals and communities I would not have encountered otherwise. As with any tool, though, the internet is what you make of it.
I don’t own an eReader device, just yet. My laptop does double duty as an eReader, though… does that count? I’ve lost track of how many books I’ve not bought in paperback because I could get them digitally. It saves production resources…and shelf space, too.
TSP: What do you have coming up next, any top secret WIPs you can share with us?
RE: There’s no release date just yet, but I do have another contracted book with Riptide that will be published later this year. I have a couple sequels in the works, or at least in the muse-writer negotiation phase. And a reinvention of an old, trunked piece—it’s a military fantasy, and I expect it may lean toward serialization.
TSP: My site is all about favorite things. What are some of your favorite things, the things you can't live without?
RE: I think it’s awesome that your site is all about favorite things. Celebrating the little pleasures in life, those slivers that bring you happiness. We’re each responsible for our own happiness after all – I enjoy reminding myself of the small sensations that give me joy.
So let’s see. My list would include:
Coffee, of course! The rich flavor of a dark roast, the scent of cinnamon and sugar blending with the aroma.
Trance music. I use it to create a writing space and get in the frame of mind to write.
Vivid sunsets on warm evenings, with just enough clouds in the sky to create a beautiful palette of colors.
The feel of my favorite old flannel shirt. It’s that threadbare soft, and looks like some starving artist’s painter smock, but it was my grandfather’s.
The grounded, peaceful feeling I get after a yoga session. That calm, cleansed sensation. As though all the negativity has sloughed away and left me with a clean slate for the day.
...Thanks for all the great answers and I look forward to what's coming up for you next!
BLACKER THAN BLACK by Rhi Etzweiler
Apparently, my twin and I are two of York’s most notorious criminals. We’ve been Nightwalkers in the blue-light district since the vamps took over the world. Don’t know how many years it’s been. Long enough that a stream of fellow ’walkers have come and gone. Most don’t last long selling their chi. End up face-down in the gutter, or worse.
For us, one night and one sale change everything.
Monsieur Garthelle is the first john to hunt me down. He calls me a chi thief in one breath and offers absolution—servitude—in the next. Maybe I’m a sucker, but I like living and breathing. Strange that such a powerful vamp would show leniency to a mere human. And something’s not right with the chi I took from him. It won’t go away.
Neither will he, and he’s forcing us to spy on his peers. Then a vamp turns up dead, and we go from playing eyes and ears to investigating a murder. This isn’t what I signed up for. All I ever wanted was to sell a little chi, maybe steal some in return. I should’ve kept my damn hands to myself.
This is my story. Look through my eyes.
WHERE YOU CAN FIND RHI:
Email address: RhiAnon.Etzweiler@gmail.com
Facebook Profile here
Goodreads Profile here
Amazon Author Page here
Google+ Profile here
Get “Dark Edge of Honor” here
There are 2 giveaways associated with Rhi's tour.....Giveaway #1 is strictly related to my site and is for a signed cover card and magnet. Giveaway #2 is tour wide and will have 2 winners. First winner will receive an autographed tote bag and pen, signed cover flat, and large magnet. Second winner will receive a t-shirt (size XL), pen, signed cover flat, and small magnet.
-Giveaway #1 is OPEN TO ALL.
-Giveaway #2 is OPEN TO US & CANADA.
-To be entered in both giveaways, comment on this post along with your email addy. For the tour wide giveaway, the more tour stops you comment on the greater your chances of winning. For a list of all tour stops, go here.
-Winners will be chosen randomly and will have 48 hours to respond to their winner's confirmation email or a new winner may be chosen.
-Giveaway #1 ENDS AT 11:59 PM EST TONIGHT (1/29).
-Giveaway #2 ENDS AT 11:59 PM EST ON 2/2.