About Deek Rhew
Deek lives in a rainy pocket in the Pacific Northwest with the stunning YA author bride, Erin Rhew, and their writing assistant, a fat tabby named Trinity. They enjoy lingering in the mornings, and often late into the night, caught up Erin’s fantastic fantasy worlds of noble princes and knights and entwined in Deek’s dark underworld of the FBI and drug lords.
He and Erin love to share books by reading aloud to one another. In addition, they enjoy spending time with friends, running, boxing, lifting weights, and exploring the little town--with antique shops and bakeries--they call home.
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1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a Pacific Northwest transplant! I was born in California, but since my dad was in the military, we moved around a bit—Colorado to Montana to Washington before settling in Portland, Oregon. After having lived there most of my life, I recently moved with my beautiful bride, Erin Rhew, to the South.
I’m a little crazy. I love to travel and adventure. I have an over-the-top sense of humor; the more zany something is, the more I’ll probably like it.
I was fortunate enough to meet and marry my soulmate, Erin Rhew. She is just as crazy as I am and rolls with my being nutz!
2. What kind of books do you bring with you when you go on holiday?
Reading? What’s that all about? LOL! I have a lot of books on my TBR list. Recently I finished Vincent Alcaras’ No Rest for the Wicked. Right now, I’m reading Jessica Calla’s amazing book, She Laughs in Pink.
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3. If you could spend a sunny day anywhere how would your perfect day look like?
Man, do I love the sun, and fortunately, here in the South, there are a ton of sunny days. Erin and I went to Carolina Beach for our honeymoon—she wrote a great blog post about it. We lounged on the sand, soaked up some rays, played in the ocean, and explored the small town. What I loved most about that is that we got spend time together in our bubble--being lazy and talking. This is easily one of my favorite vacations of all times. So if given the chance of spending another sunny day—or several!—like that again, I’d jump at it.
4. Could you tell us about your hobbies (when you are not writing or reading)?
I love to adventure! Erin and I recently went to South of the Border, a little amusement-type city on the northern tip of South Carolina. Here’s my blog post about our trip. If the 1990’s movie, Total Recall, and a cheap Mexican restaurant had a lovechild, this is what would come out. It was so campy that we fell in love with the place right away.
When we lived in the Pacific Northwest, we explored the region from the giant Redwoods to Seattle, Washington. That’s what we love to do. It doesn’t have to be grand or exotic, just fun and interesting. I love doing things with Erin. She makes any adventure a blast!
5. Where do you find the inspiration for your stories?
I don't come up with the stories, characters, so forth per say. It's more like they find me. In Stephen King's book On Writing, he talks about how stories are found things. He describes it like this: You're walking in the desert and you find the tip of something sticking out of the ground. You uncover it a little and see that there is more buried deeper in the soil. You dig and dig uncovering more, discovering the object's details. You brush away sand revealing intricacies and fine lines. Eventually you have revealed all there is to reveal.
The thing you first find is an idea. A question. Erin and I talk all the time, and sometimes out of those conversations come questions or situations. What-if's. What if this? What would happen if that? So we explore that. Sometimes, there's not much there, and we cast it aside. But other times, we find there's something significant buried in the sand.
I don't work from an outline. I just start with the idea and see where it leads. Usually I'm as surprised by what happens in the story as my readers!
6. If you could be any leading character from a bestselling book, who would you be and why?
Oh, that’s tough! Right off the top of my head I’d say Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne. I mean, dude, it’s frigging Jason Bourne! I love the idea of being a super strong, super smart guy that out-thinks and out-maneuvers everyone.
7. What's your favorite reading spot?
I love both reading and writing in bed! Erin and I have this super large, super comfortable bed. We watch TV, read, lounge, eat—there may be a lot of popcorn salt in our sheets—and write from the comfort of its quilted softness. Plus, our room is decorated with pictures we love, and we have rope lights running along the edges of the ceilings. What an awesome place to hang out.
If it isn’t in our room, then I’d say the warm sands of Carolina Beach. ☺
8. What is your favorite holiday destination and what do you like so much about it?
Okay, so I already wrote about where I like to go on vacation, so I’m pulling a creative liberty and using the US definition of holiday. ☺
I love the fall and winter and all the holiday celebrations. The fall brings fall harvest and the fairs. The smell of hay and apples is nothing short of heavenly. Christmas is a super amazing with all the festivals, tree lightings, light displays, food, friends, and family. Erin and I try and take in all the parties and adventuring we can squeeze into our schedule, but there’s always more.
9. Do you have any advice for authors who would like to write a sunny story?
You need to be prepared for your editors to teach you some lessons. Erin is so super smart in grammar, and I can't even begin to tell you how much she taught me about passive voice, leaving "this" dangling without pointing to things, the evils of adverbs, and so forth. My content editor, Anya, is so good at the macro level of a story. We moved, removed, and added things like crazy for the better part of five months. Some of it hurt SO bad. Erin's friend, Heather, taught Erin and I both about "talking heads"--long strings of dialogue without any character action--and how to fix that.
It's indescribable how much better this story is because of all the people who've helped me learn the writing craft. I've still got a ton to learn, but I'm beyond grateful to have such wonderful peeps willing and able to help.
I think the biggest takeaways from all of this are:
A) Be patient - This is a SLOW process. You are learning a new craft, and the writing/publishing process NEVER moves as fast as you want it to.
B) Be humble - You will think your story is pretty good. It will resonate with you, and you'll nod and pat yourself on the back. Then an editor comes and takes you down a few pegs, as my mom used to say. This isn't personal. The road to getting better is anything but easy.
C) Listen - These people are trying to help you become a better writer and to make your book better. Listen to them.
D) Learn - Everyone wants you to succeed, but you have many, many lessons to get there. Learn the lessons and incorporate them. Do NOT listen, nod, then go back to what you were doing.
Remember: You can always be better.
10. What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m currently working on the edits for 122 Rules – Redemption, the second in the 122 Rules series. This book starts about month after the end of 122 Rules. We pick up the story from the point of view of the villain, Tyron Erebus. He’s seriously demented and might keep you awake at night.
I’ve got about half a dozen books in the queue. As soon as Redemption is done I’ve got one that’s been banging on my head—sometimes it feels like it’s using a hammer—to be written. I’m very excited to see what that story is all about and meet a host of new characters.
Thank you SO much for hosting me today, Anniek and Suze! It’s been a total blast!
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One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will win an eBook of 122 Rules (International) and one very lucky reader will win a signed book of Birth of an American Gigolo (US Only) by Deek Rhew.
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