Susan interviews Rhys Ford author of “Whiskey and Wry”
He was dead. And it was murder most foul. If erasing a man’s existence could even be called murder.
When Damien Mitchell wakes, he finds himself without a life or a name. The Montana asylum’s doctors tell him he’s delusional and his memories are all lies: he’s really Stephen Thompson, and he’d gone over the edge, obsessing about a rock star who died in a fiery crash. His chance to escape back to his own life comes when his prison burns, but a gunman is waiting for him, determined that neither Stephen Thompson nor Damien Mitchell will escape.
With the assassin on his tail, Damien flees to the City by the Bay, but keeping a low profile is the only way he’ll survive as he searches San Francisco for his best friend, Miki St. John. Falling back on what kept him fed before he made it big, Damien sings for his supper outside Finnegan’s, an Irish pub on the pier, and he soon falls in with the owner, Sionn Murphy. Damien doesn’t need a complication like Sionn, and to make matters worse, the gunman—who doesn’t mind going through Sionn or anyone else if that’s what it takes kill Damien—shows up to finish what he started.
Welcome, Rhys, to The Blog of Sid Love! So excited to have you here!
RF: Thank you for having me here. Really. So much love to all of you here. Much much love.
BIG DAY today with the release of Whiskey & Wry! Can you tell us a little bit about the book?
RF: Whiskey and Wry continues where Sinner’s Gin left off. The reader is introduced to Damien, Miki’s supposedly dead best friend and Sinner’s Gin lead guitarist. Damie escapes the institution someone hid him in. He flees to San Francisco with not all of his memories in place but driven to find the one person he knows can bring him home — Miki St. John.
Sionn Murphy is the current owner of Finnegan’s Pub, a pier-front Irish pub known for keeping street musicians off its front door. He makes an exception for Damien and well, things go from there.
I have to admit, as much as I adored Miki and Kane, I think Damian and Sionn are my new favorite couple. Do you have a favorite of all your MC’s?
RF: A favourite? Wow. That’s really difficult. Because everyone’s so different. I love Miki because he’s the most unexpected amongst the bunch. Cole is the crazy voice in the back of all of our heads but mingled with the Great Damn Big Hero because he has a good heart. Shit, I could go all day. Damie fits into Miki in this odd symbiotic relationship and anyone in the Morgan circle kicks ass to write. Really way too many. And there are several couples waiting in the wings on the to be published— Wolf and Tristan, Robin and Marcus… and well others. *grins*
(*rubs hands in anticipation*…Can’t wait to meet the newbies!)
At the end of Sinner’s Gin, book 1 in the series, you left all of our jaws on the ground with the revelation that Damian is alive! Did you have his story already planned in your head? Or did it take some…work?
RF: I knew before I wrote Sinner’s Gin that Damie was alive. I wrote the book knowing that. It was important to lie to the reader. Because we all had to go through the whole book feeling what Miki felt and I wanted to show his relationship—the depth of that relationship. I think a major part of Sinner’s Gin was the loss of Miki’s entire world. In Whiskey and Wry, it was about the redemption of that world and Damie’s as well.
This book may be one of your darkest/freakiest and features a sadistic psychopath killer named Parker. It is frightening some of the places you took the reader while in his head. What preparation did you do to write this character and what effect did his dark side have on you?
RF: Um, writing Parker was very easy. I have no idea why it was so easy. Really, like water off a duck’s back. No preparation at all. I might have made the coffee a bit stronger that morning but nope, pretty much easy going with him.
Parker was interesting because really he did nothing much on screen but his intent was so wrong. I hesitate to say evil because really that implies a calculation to his wickedness which isn’t the case. He’s like a crocodile. He’s a creature of his instincts and habits.
I slept perfectly fine while writing Parker. Probably should call my therapist or something.
(That’s probably a sign of creative brilliance! I thought Parker was an outstanding villain…and he CREEPED me OUT! ha!)
Having lived in San Francisco for many years, I have to say, you represent it well in this series. Have you ever lived there and how do you get those details all spot on?
RF: I love San Francisco and really, when we go and visit, it’s usually an immersion into the city. I tend to stay in Chinatown or that area. It feels very comfortable and the food places are great. I usually avoid the pier area unless I’m bringing non-natives with me in which case I’ll take them down there to the Blues club or we’ll get some crab. There’s a little shop down there that has some crazy netsuke so sometimes we’ll head in there. I usually try to hit the New Years that are important to me; Dragon for my birth year, Bunny for my sister’s and well a few others.
It’s pretty much my take on San Francisco. I try to capture the city I know and show it on the page.
Now Rhys, you and I both know that we share a common love for great FOOD! 🙂 If you had to pick a meal to represent each of your series (Sinners, Cole McGinnis, and Kai Gracen) what would each be?
RF: Wow. Difficult one. A meal? Let’s see.
The Dirty Series: Rare steak marinated in kalbi sauce, purple rice, panchan and mango sherbet.
The Sinners Series: Roast beef with red wine gravy, roasted rosemary and garlic potatoes, glazed carrots, sautéed Brussels sprouts with bacon and hot berry pie with vanilla ice cream. (Morgan Sunday Dinner)
Miki would just like macaroni and cheese, fried jalapeno spam and carne asada fries. Damien would throw in some braised unagi with eel sauce over rice.
Kai Gracen: Beef chow fun dry style, Mui Choy with Mei Cai Kou Rou (Mustard Greens with Pork) and Miso ramen. Nothing with egg yolks. In fact, he’s never going to have wiggly eggs ever again. Scrambled or omelettes only.
(Dang, those all sound mouth-wateringly amazing! I am SO THERE!)
Before you go, can you tell us what you’re working on and what we can expect next from you?
RF: Let’s see. I am working on Dirty Deeds which I hope to get done within a couple of months. Lots of pressure there. *grins* Fish and Ghosts will be out in November-ish of this year. That’s a paranormal contemporary with a new couple, Wolf and Tristan. That was a lot of fun to write. And I have a steampunk novella out March-ish called Clockwork Tangerine. After I get Dirty Deeds done, I’m going to start Tequila Mockingbird, the third book in the Sinners Series and one I’m both happy about and dreading. So wish me luck with that one.
(Good luck…and CAN’T WAIT!)
Thanks, so much, for being SO GREAT and joining us here at the blog! *hugs*!
RF: Thank you for letting me stop by! Really! *HUGS*
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.
Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats, a black Pomeranian puffball, a bonsai wolfhound, and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a red Hamilton Beach coffee maker.
Rhys is the author of the Sinners series along with the Cole McGinnis series and the Kai Gracen series.