Tragic, Manic, Panic
Series: Rook and Ronin Genres: Adult Suspense, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
How far are you willing to go to start over?
Rook Walsh is homeless, jobless, and down to her last ten bucks when opportunity knocks her in the head and delivers a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Antoine Chaput knows the minute he spies Rook in his studio that she's got The Look. The dark and desperate look he must have to land the exclusive TRAGIC media contract.
Rook is paired up with top model Ronin, and he knows exactly what to do to make her blush for Antoine's camera. Her luck changes in an instant and suddenly she's got more attention and exposure than she can handle--both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.
The Rook and Ronin Series has SEVEN books TOTAL
(4) SLACK: A Day in the Life of Ford Aston
(5) TAUT: The Ford Book
(6) BOMB: A Day in the Life of Spencer Shrike
(7) GUNS: The Spencer Book
ROOK & RONIN
(Trilogy - Romantic Suspense)
STANDALONE SERIES #1, #2, #3
Click to buy now or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
This series changed my life. Tragic was my first book that broke the Amazon Top 500 in May of 2013 and I knew that was a game changer. People were buying my book! And not only that, they seemed to like it.
Tragic was the first indication that I might be good at this writing stuff. I might just be able to find a place in this self-publishing world. I might have stories to tell that would inspire people.
So when I finished Tragic, I paused to ask myself, “What do I like to read?”
And I had no answer. I dunno. I just know it when I read it.
But then I was sitting around watching TV one day and Ocean’s Eleven was on. And holy fuck, I just love that movie. So I asked myself, Why? What about that movie makes me love it? And my answer was—those guys were so smart. They pulled off a heist and it was brilliant. No one saw it coming.
So I thought, if I like that, and the movie did well, then other people like that too. And that’s how I got the plot twist in Manic.
I’m not going to say what it is, in case you haven’t read the series, but regardless of what the reviews or description say for Tragic, the series is not about modeling. It’s about criminals. Specifically, it’s about a Team of criminals who value each other above all else. And maybe what they do is wrong, but their relationships with family and friends are their number one priority. They would do anything to protect each other. Even if they fight, they stand together in the end.
That really blew people away in Manic. They never saw it coming. The description says it’s about a reality show. And it is. But that’s all setting. Motorcycles, painting naked girls, the show at the end of the summer at Sturgis, and the sex. All that is secondary to the plot. And the plot is about the past coming back to haunt you.
All three of these books were on a blog tour with Xpresso Tours and I remember during the tour stopping at one blog to read the review. I think it might’ve been Ali’s old blog, in fact. Ginger-Read reviews. (She’s at Black Heart Reviews now). And people were commenting on her review and one person mentioned something like, I can’t wait to see what Ronin’s secret is.
That was for Tragic and I have to be honest, I had no clue! None. I started writing Tragic and then I took a class on genre structure online. And this was the best move I ever made. Because I’m a scientist people. I had seriously never taken a writing class aside from that whole reasearch paper thing they make you do as a freshman. I had written a maser’s thesis and more than 200 science books before deciding to write fiction, but it’s all very different.
I had 45,000 (thousand) words written in Tragic when I deleted 27,000 of them and started over. I was doing it wrong. A romance is about the romance. And Tragic was the first book where I actually followed genre rules. It hurt a little to delete all those words and start again, but it hurts much less now (every book has been a bestseller since).
I really didn’t know if Panic would be a good book or not because when my editor, RJ, sent it back, it was a mess. Just a fucking mess. I had so many rewrites, it needed a second proof. Usually I only do one edit and then I make small changes and maybe I miss a typo of two after I do that, but oh well.
Panic was change after change after change. And I had a lot of reservations about making it so complicated, so I had to rewrite the end so that readers could easily follow what actually happened. Like in Ocean’s Eleven, you don’t know what’s happening until they show the flashbacks. Well, in a book, you can’t do that. You have to use words.
It’s a lot harder than you think.
But in the end it worked. I started Rook and Ronin as a new adult romance and ended it as a romantic suspense. People liked it. I liked it. And so now I think that is my defining genre. I enjoy writing thrillers and romance, and I can do both those things in the romantic suspense category.
The ending really worked for readers and I think that was when I really started to create fans. Because not only did I deliver a completely original story with larger than life characters, but then they turned the page to the epilogue, and they were floored.
To those of you who have read the series and spin-offs, just… Ford.
I’m not sorry about a single word I wrote in the Rook and Ronin trilogy. I love the story. I love the setting. I love the characters. I feel like I know these people. And since I placed them in Colorado, I feel like the world they live in is my world too. Like maybe one day I’ll be in Denver and I’ll see them. They are so real to me—writing about these people is like being in the same room with them. I see that comment a lot in reviews, so fucking A. People get my books. They get my characters and my plots. They get my intentions.
They get me.
Coming to that realization gave me the courage to push a little farther in other series, like Dirty, Dark, and Deadly, which I will talk about on Thursday. It blurs the line between erotica and romance. Thriller and suspense. And if there is one thing I’d like you to take away from my stories, it’s that there is no line.
The whole world is blurry. There are very few “good guys” in the world. Like, very few. We’re talking about the Mother Teresa’s and the Gandhi’s. Let’s face it, most of us are imperfect and that’s why I like to write about characters who struggle with good and evil.
Because we’re all a little bit of both.
There’s a NEW 321 Giveaway Rafflecopter Contest every day this week.
CLICK ALL the links and enter for the most chances to win!
Sunday – How the EOBS Started
Monday – Rook & Ronin (Tragic, Manic, Panic)
Tuesday – Ford & Ashleigh (Slack and Taut)
Wednesday – Spencer & Veronica (Bomb and Guns)
Thursday – James & Harper (Come, Come Back, Coming For You)
Friday – Vaughn and Grace (Follow, Like, Block, Status, Profile, Home)
So check back every day this week for End of Book Shit Take 2 and if you’re so inclined, leave me a comment and tell me how you feel about Tragic, Manic, and Panic!