Blak Rayne is the author of gritty, true-to-life, dramatic romance that will take the reader on a thrilling ride!
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer? How did you start?
My father was and, still is, an avid reader who read to me as a child, which instilled the love of new worlds and strange creatures. He told me ‘always keep an open mind’ and ‘be willing to read anything’. Of course, it didn’t take long for the reading to spill over into a passion for writing. So, by grade seven, I finished my first novel; a story about an all-female rock band who get caught up in drugs; I based it on my favorite band of the time The Beatles. I guess it’s obvious where my mind was at that age.
What genre(s) do you write in? What is it that you love about them?
Currently, I write under two pseudonyms; one published the other soon-to-be. Since I’m a big romantic at heart, I write both gay and straight romance. Women’s Fiction, because I enjoy writing slice-of-life dramatic pieces with quirky characters. And I also pen fantasy (science, urban and high). This genre is my all-time favorite because my imagination can run wild, and playing God is super fun. Of course, there are numerous subcategories my books fall under thriller, suspense, and drama.
What was your path to publication?
Accidental. I had written a book for an online contest (many moons ago), and after receiving decent feedback I decided to submit it to a publisher. I found a number of small houses that accepted submissions, picked one, emailed the EIC, and Bob’s your uncle. Honestly, it was a fluke. But I’m thankful; I learned so much from the EIC and that publisher.
I’m currently a hybrid author and, honestly, it’s the best choice for me. Self-publishing encourages my imagination and traditional publishing helps my career flourish; both are a benefit.
All writers are readers so who are some of your favorite authors and why?
Okay, this is a difficult question. There are too many authors I could list and each for a different reason. But here are a handful I love for their ability to drawn me in and their unusual characters. No one can write a “whodunit” like Agatha Christie. She had the knack, and she didn’t need to write six hundred pages to get you there. JRR Tolkien for his intellectual ingenuity and Bilbo Baggins, who is my favorite sassy hobbit. Naoki Urasawa for his masterpiece Monster, the physiological thriller, where a brilliant surgeon Kenzo Tenma plays a dangerous game of “cat and mouse” with the (fan loved) serial killer Johan Liebert. Another Japanese author/artist that comes to mind for a masterful mystery series is Kei Sanbe for Erased. Tite Kubo for his fascinating but brutal world of shinigami (soul reapers) in Bleach. Minette Walters for her in-depth but enthralling crime thrillers. Joseph Wambaugh for his gritty realistic police stories. Stephen King for his unforgettable descriptions that give me the heebie-jeebies. And Kazuma Kodaka for her funny but touching romantic series Kizuna: Bonds of Love that changed my view of gay romance.
What inspires your ideas? How do you come up with them?
Anything can inspire me, a picture or something as simple a few words from a friend, but some of my best ideas have come from music. I listen to a wide variety, all kinds of artists from classical to dubstep. My preferred is epic scores used for film and television and classical or instrumental.
What are you working on now? Do you outline or write by the seat of your pants?
Since I’m crazy and can’t seem to stop the creative flow, I will have three different projects on the go at any given time. Right now, I’m working on a science-fantasy-thriller, also a romance, and a high-fantasy series. I write by the seat of my pants. But I will also outline, especially for my larger more in-depth projects. Keeping track of numerous characters, his or her traits, backstories, races, etc. isn’t easy, so taking notes and the plot outline does come in handy.
What have been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned on your writing journey so far?
Education is a must as is being well-informed. But don’t overdo it. You’ll know when you’ve found the perfect balance.
Anything else you would like to add or talk about?
Kiss the Reaper came to me in a flash—a short story with a plot that could easily be expanded into a series. I envisioned Z first: an unassuming, young male prostitute with a kind heart. Brody emerged from the shadows behind him. He wasn’t a solid persona to start, but eventually, he took control of my fingers as I typed. By the end of the book, both men had grown on me, Brody in particular. His cold-blooded indifference gave him an indefinable sexual allure. I thought that if I peeled away enough layers, maybe I’d find a little humanity.
Of course, the story did evolve, expanding into a five-book romantic thriller series about a prostitute’s burgeoning affection for a serial killer: Kiss the Reaper, Maximum Kill, Jack the Anthropophagite, Apprentice Killers, and Embrace the Reaper. I know it sounds strange for a gay romance author, who typically pens drama to tread into the world of dark romantic thrillers, but when I started writing this series, it seemed a natural progression. I’ve always written off-the-cuff. When an idea resonates with unique characters who have a fascinating story to share, I will write until my muse tells me otherwise.
Thank you so much! Where can people find out more about you and your books?
‘Taking erotic to a sinful new level.’
Website: Blak Rayne Books.com
Blog: Blak Rayne Blog.com
Amazon: Blak Rayne
Smashwords: Blak Rayne
Xin Xii: Blak Rayne
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