Interview with romantic suspense author Ryshia Kennie

Romantic suspense author Ryshia Kennie is stopping by today as one stop of a 16-week virtual book tour for her newest novel, Fatal Intent.

At
each tour stop (like this one!), Ryshia will award one commenter an e-book
copy of From the Dust, a historical
romance set in Depression Era Saskatchewan. The grand prize for the tour will
be an autographed copy of From the Dust,
a book unique bookmark, and a Region 1 DVD of “East of Borneo,” a 1931 b&w
movie. For a chance to win, just leave your e-mail address with a comment
below. For more chances to win, visit
other tour stops (each Monday until May 6)
and leave your e-mail with a
comment at those stops.

Bio:
Ryshia Kennie
is the author of two published romances. From
the Dust
, is a romance set during the Great Depression. Her second book, Ring of Desire, was set against a
backdrop of magic and mystery, in medieval England. An award winning author,
her recent novels now focus on suspense and women’s fiction – always with a
hint or even a dollop, of romance. The Canadian prairies are home where she
lives with her husband and one opinionated Irish Terrier.
Welcome, Ryshia. Please tell us about
your current release
.
Fatal Intent is a murder-mystery tangled in a
romance. When Garrett Cole sets off in what she sees as a potentially career
setting moment leading a team of entomologists into the Borneo jungle, she
doesn’t expect to be lost and face to face with tragedy only days later. But
that’s what happens when her guide is discovered headless and she must get her
team to safety without even a compass to guide her.
It is then
that Aidan makes an appearance. Adopted into the jungle at an early age, he is
a man with a foot in two worlds. Garrett is forced to trust Aidan for he is the
only person who might be able to get them out of the jungle alive.
Aidan is
immediately drawn to the feisty, small blonde woman who is obviously in charge
of the rag-tag group of men. He’s also suspicious, the guide’s death screams
foul play, and he can’t rule out Garrett or her team as primary suspects. But
his method of investigation draws them further into the jungle and as hours
lead to days, passion and betrayal become uneasy bed partners.
In a game
of wills with two opposing agendas, Garrett and Aidan might find love but can
either of them be trusted?
What inspired you to write this book?
The idea for Fatal Intent came out of a trip to
Borneo where I visited an Iban longhouse. I remember walking up those worn,
steep wooden steps from the river and seeing the verandah stretched out with
mats and rice drying, the weather beaten old women looking at us almost with
distrust or possibly disdain, and the human skull hanging from the rafter. Now
the skull might have been there for the benefit of tourists but I like the
explanation our guide offered, that it was the last head hunted over a hundred
years ago. That skull and the longhouse were the seed of the story.
Excerpt:
Aidan moved vines back, exposing his face. They only had to
look in his direction.
He was so close he could have reached out and touched her.
She was delicate, out of place here in the midst of this wilderness. Her skin,
even beneath the sweat and exertion-stained flush, was fair. She wasn’t built
to be here, she was too slight to survive, too weak, too . . .
She glanced up. A frown immediately seared her face.
“Who the hell are you?” she snarled.
He bit back a smile. She should have screamed. She hadn’t.
All tiny limbs and fragile beauty, and yet she attacked first.
He let his gaze rove over the group, refusing to be
corralled by her attack.
One of the men looked panicked, the others seriously
stressed. He shifted his spear to his other hand and waited, taking the warrior
advantage of time and observation. The silent often learned much about their
enemy.
“Put that down.” She gestured to his spear.
His fingers loosened for a millisecond before gripping the
spear tighter. Was she out of her mind? Green, innocent, and totally
forest-illiterate, but she was feisty.
Feisty? She was seething, hot, absolutely pissed—about what,
he wasn’t sure. Her anger didn’t make much sense. Nothing about this afternoon
made much sense.
What exciting story are you working on
next?
I’ve been
tossing a couple of ideas around and while I am finishing up a women’s fiction story
that needed some revision, I’ve begun the first chapters of another romantic
suspense. This story is set in North America in a place so mired with legend
and haunted by real-life ghosts that it’s difficult to keep the current day
mystery from sliding into the reality of the setting’s past. It’s a place that
appears raw and barren until you begin to dig and then the layers never stop. One
of those settings, kind of like the Borneo long-house and the skull of the last
man hunted, where the setting inspired a story that just had to be written. And
of course, my characters – well, they’ve got themselves in a world of trouble
and while they don’t know it yet – they need each other.
When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
I
don’t remember ever not wanting to write. But I think the true beginnings were
in the later years of grade school when I was inspired by my English teacher
who loved my first line, a historic barber shop where the barber slits the
man’s throat – I believe that was the premise of that first line. After her
encouragement, I was hooked and wrote in the margins of my notebooks all the
way through school.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
I
begin early in the morning usually about six and write through the morning or
as long as my dog will let me before he demands his walk. While the dog is slightly
geriatric, we try to walk three kilometers on a good day. It’s in the morning
when I can write with less interruption from family needing this or that.
Through the rest of the day there’s always something going on and I write in
the spaces around it.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I’m a
sucker for slap me upside the head beginnings – usually something dire. Like a
human skull in Borneo, or death by arsenic in From the Dust or water torture in
Ring of Desire. While they all didn’t end up in the beginning sentence, they
were all elements that in some way influenced the beginning of a story.
Another
writing quirk is I keep a good luck charm or two on my desk. I have a little
bronze Buddha that reminds me to take a breath, remain calm, and hang in –
everything will work out. And in case the little Buddha isn’t enough I have a
rock from Mount Vesuvius that a friend brought back from a trip to Italy. The
rock isn’t a big piece of that powerful volcano but it reminds me that while it
might be small, the volcanic blast of its origins was mighty.
As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
I never
thought I wouldn’t become an author. The only thing I didn’t know was how or
when I was going to get published and if I could make a career of it. So I went
for plan B. A brief interest in medicine led to nursing training where I
discovered that other than textbook medicine, the only thing I was truly
interested in was surgery – watching that is. In fact the few surgeries I
attended, my interest was so apparent that at one point the surgeon had a stool
brought in so I could peer over his shoulder while he performed abdominal
surgery. It was fascinating but medicine wasn’t for me. I suspect even then that
I was just collecting research for future stories. After that my education
veered to administration and a career that allowed me to write in the evenings and
build my writing toolbox.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
When you
step out into your day, imagine that it isn’t just the mailman walking down the
street mundanely delivering mail, that maybe he looks nervous, glances over his
shoulder like he’s afraid of something. Imagine that your next door neighbor
possibly has a secret, something that might change the entire neighborhood. Stories
just aren’t in books – everyone has a story, which was very apparent when I
researched my first novel, From the Dust
and interviewed some of the survivors of the Great Depression. Those stories
were as interesting as anything I could make up.
That said,
no I’m not veering into non-fiction, not yet. Fatal Intent, other than the research to see the Borneo Jungle and
create a believable setting, is completely fictional and I hope, if you have a
chance to pick it up – that you enjoy it!
Ways to
connect with me:
Thanks for stopping by today, Ryshia.
Happy touring!

5 thoughts on “Interview with romantic suspense author Ryshia Kennie

  1. Ryshia Kennie says:

    Thanks for having me Lisa. It's a snow day out here on the prairies so I'm looking forward to staying warm and hanging out at your blog.

  2. campfirestars says:

    Given the Excerpt,looks like the strength and determination of the characters will provide some very enjoyable excitement. Let the battle begin!

  3. Ryshia Kennie says:

    Hi campfirestars – Garrett and Aidan have a battle of wills throughout the story – never mind her eclectic team that manage to blunder along and insert their opinions at all of the wrong moments – they were definitely a fun crew to create.

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