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THE MURDER I WRITE
I’ll be honest. I like murdering people. They don’t have actual faces and they in no way actually are standing in the place of other people. They are faceless, sometimes given just the rudimentary of names and even the sketchiest of backgrounds… but oh they die just the same as everyone else.
When I first started writing the Dirty series with Cole McGinnis and Kim Jae-Min, I had no intention of having a high body count. It just sort of happened. It was kind of like watching the Blues Brothers. There are a lot of cars but really, they have finite lives. Such is the case of a lot of my secondary characters.
I try to make their deaths interesting. I even try to make them meaningful by pushing the story forward. Sometimes the reader meets them for the briefest of moments and other times, the reader might actually know them for a bit longer but still, ask not for whom the scythe swings, it swings for thee.
Someone asked me if I’ve researched on how to murder someone. Well, no, not really. I’m just naturally macabre and like things like body farms and carrion feeding stations. I love crime shows. I love crimelibrary.com and hell, shows like Justified and Supernatural. Boondock Saints? LOVE those movies. Se7en? One of my faves.
But see, I also love Buckaroom Banzai and dramas like Sungkyunkwan Scandal or Faith.
Sungkyunkwan Scandal Clip
Because not everything has to be about blood and gore. Sure, it’s nice. Like one of those little Victorian crème cakes and a nice cup of espresso. Rich, filling and oh so satisfying but truthfully, a diet of cakes and coffee can well, blow out your taste buds so it’s good to change things up.
In the case of Cole and Jae, there’s a bit of cultural tension but really, the bottom line for them is their relationship. And the building of that relationship.
I knew when I started the book it wasn’t going to be one of those two-hundred pages of kiss and everything is going to be okay. And I’ve written that but for Cole and Jae, their book needed to be built. Layered up in places and torn back down. Jae’s world needed to be established for the reader that his conflict was something he couldn’t just overcome immediately. It tears at him. He hates being gay because of his Korean family and his conservative upbringing, never mind that his family treats him like shit. It’s a screwed up world he lives in and he has to survive as best he can.
Until a damned Irish-Japanese man with green eyes walks in and blows his resolve to not fall in love with a man right out of the water.
Jae fell just as hard as Cole did. In a much more hidden fashion because the books are written from Cole’s POV but really, Jae fell. It’s shown in different ways. More subtle. The meals Jae makes for him. The phrases he uses… intimate words that might not mean a lot to Cole in the beginning but as Cole begins to understand his boyfriend, their import become apparent. So while people are dying around them for one reason or another, there is a greater arc push-pulling at them in true two-headed llama fashion.
That thing pulling them together is their relationship and both hope it is stronger than what pulls them apart.
Despite the death and destruction, the building of a relationship…. of a love that might be a bit of a stretch is much more interesting and complicated to write than a simple chopping a head off or a gunshot storm. Sure, it takes longer but the payoff is so much better.
Except for writing the sex scenes. Those can be a bitch because well, you want those to be at least simmering and interesting. Nothing like murder. Again, the payoff is better. I hope that the reader gets that payoff in Dirty Laundry. Besides the murder mystery…which was a lot of fun to write… Cole and Jae grow closer and appear to hammer out their troubles after a bit of a tempest.
I brought this all to a point in Dirty Laundry, the latest in the Cole McGinnis series. Cole and Jae are stressed by their families’ demands on them and it takes a toll on them. But see, it’s also about not murdering their relationship. Despite their problems, they truly want to be together… even through all the crap and dead bodies and trauma… Cole and Jae reach for one another.
If you’ve read the books, I hope you’ve enjoyed them. They’re meant to be a bit fantastical at times. A bit old-fashioned over the top detective novels with a bit of spice and a lot of developing affection. I can’t promise you that it’ll be a perfect ride for Cole and Jae. It is going to take them a few books to get it right but let’s face it, love is more powerful than murder.
And honestly, as much as I adore slaying people, I love the idea of romance a hell of a lot more. *winks*
SINNER’S GIN by Rhys Ford
Review by Heather C.
I actually read Sinner’s Gin several months ago and am just now getting around to writing a review for it. You know how sometimes you love a book so much, but just can’t figure out the right words to say? Well, this is one of those occasions, and I figured it was finally time for me to do my duty as a reader/reviewer and get off my butt to share with you why I loved it.
I fell in love with Rhys’s writing back when I read Dirty Kiss, the first book of the Cole McGinnis Series. So when I started Sinner’s, I was expecting something along the lines of a similar style: something with a twisted mystery and heavy Asian influences. In my opinion, Sinner’s is totally different, more focused on the romance and not the mystery. Yes, the mystery is still there, but it takes more of a backseat role, and I wasn’t too worried about trying to figure it out.
This is about Miki and Kane. Miki St. John was the lead singer of the popular band Sinner’s Gin until the night he loses all of his band mates in a horrible accident. Now, Miki is alone in the world, living in a warehouse with a mutt he calls ‘Dude’. His seclusion is interrupted once Detective Kane Morgan discovers a dead body in a classic car stored in Miki’s warehouse.
There is an immediate attraction between them, even though Miki is still a suspect in the murder. But Kane doesn’t care; he feels a connection to Miki and makes it his duty to protect him. Let me just tell you that I loved these guys together! There was some good sexual tension and romance. My only complaint is that it was a little too insta-love-ish for me, but I tried not to let it bother me too much because I really felt the connection between Miki and Kane.
“Oh, Miki love, I more than need you. You’re my temptation. My sin. I’ve got no intentions of being anywhere but next to you. We Irish? We like bathing in our sin.”
This story was pretty dark and gruesome as it tells the history of Miki’s abuse which was pretty graphic; my heart really broke for him. He really needed Kane at this point in his life to help pull him out off all that darkness. Kane’s family of Morgans were just amazing! Hope we get see more of them in the future.
Once you finally get to the ending, hold on to your pants, because its a shocker! But don’t worry too much because it’s not really a cliffhanger; just setting up the story arc for the next book. Still, it’s a pretty big surprise and will have you begging for the next book!! The good news is that Whiskey & Wry will be released from Dreamspinner Press later this year.
Other Books by Rhys Ford
(As rated by Heather C.)
Heather C. is one of the official reviewers of The Blog of Sid Love