Hello Rhyll Biest and welcome to Author’s Limelight! Congratulations on the recent release of Risk.
What was the first story you ever wrote?
I vaguely remember, around age ten, writing something involving dinosaurs with diamonds. Bling-a-saurus, anyone?
Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character?
My character Jane, the surly bartender in A Sporting Chance, is my favourite. For some reason I find surly characters amusing and endearing.
Has being published changed you at all? If so, how?
God, yes. The private jet, the adoring fans, the wads of cash I burn to keep the fireplace lit…Actually, none of that has happened. But I do like the idea that other people read my stories now instead of just me.
What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader?
I’m so thankful the e-reader was invented, because I was running out of shelf space, and because e-books are so much cheaper than print books I now get to live above the poverty line. On my shelves and e-reader, you’ll find too many writing craft books, and a lot of Kylie Scott, Charlotte Stein and Cara McKenna/Meg Maguire. And poetry and books on metaphor. I’m a shameless metaphor-hungry vixen.
What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten?
My toenails. Just kidding. Liver, I think. I hate peas, too. They’re the boogers of the vegetable world.
That’s hilarious, Rhyll. I think my kids would agree with you there – they all hate peas.
If you could be any of the following characters for one day, who would you be and why? How would you re-write the ending?
a) Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind.
b) Thelma or Louise from Thelma and Louise.
c) Princess Leia from Starwars.
d) Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys.
Definitely Louise. I have a thing for vengeful women with guns…
I’d rewrite the ending so Thelma and Louise lived and could carry on their bad-assery forever.
Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why?
Oooh. That’s a tough one. There are so many wonderful books and writers out there. But I have to admit that more than a mega-bucks best-seller, I wish I’d written something unique and beautiful, with strong emotional impact. Something like Lucky, by Alice Sebold, or Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Jodi Picoult’s books also amaze me.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
I want to be a female Wolverine. I’m not sure if that counts as a superpower, but that’s what I want. Actually, I’d settle for claws and fangs. If you met some of the people I work with at my day job, you’d want them too.
If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you?
I’m fascinated by the whole World War 2 period and would like to be a fly on the wall in many European countries. But I’d have to take a loaded Kindle and a big supply of peanut M&Ms with me. That’s two things, so I’m screwed already, aren’t I?
Can you tell us about your works in progress?
A paranormal romance set in Russia, a post-apocalyptic tale set in Prague and a survivor story set in Australia.
Finally, can you give us a sneaky excerpt from Risk, please?
Most women and plenty of guys would be filling the silence with inconsequential yap, dissecting the dinner in a pointless narrative replay. Not Jane, she preferred to quietly digest the world in her own time and keep her immediate feedback on mute. She incubated thoughts oyster-style, letting irritations form a pearl of perfectly coherent thought.
Holding her hand, he let their skin do the talking for a while before finally clearing his throat.
“What were you ladies discussing? You looked thick as thieves over dessert.”
“Really? I guess it’s kind of private.”
“Private? What kind of private?”
Another Jane trick, presenting him with a wrapped mystery on the conversational carpet and teasing him with it. Usually it turned out to be something mind-blowing.
They caught another red and he followed her gaze to a shikumen entry. Floating mops, mopeds and empty clotheslines narrowed the flooded lane to a capillary. The tops of bicycle handlebars gleamed dully under the soggy moon. Fuck, the water was getting higher the closer they got to their district.
“Promise you won’t judge?” she asked.
His brows shot up at the question. “Course not. But you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.” I can just quietly die of curiosity.
“I’m aware of your little reverse psychology ploy, Mr. Ransom, but I’ll tell you anyway.”
“Thank you.” The light changed and they drove on, rain-slick tires swishing through flooded gutters.
“Lena told me something. Something sexual.”