Interview with author Deek Rhew about 122 Rules

My special guest
today is super-fun author Deek Rhew. He’s volunteered to sit under the
spotlight and talk to me about his new adult thriller, 122 Rules, which, coincidentally enough, releases TODAY! 

Yes, you’re getting in on the action as it happens, readers. Please check out this interview!

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.
Welcome, Deek. Please tell us about your current release.
In his black
and white world, Sam Bradford–former Marine turned government
assassin–finally sees a speck of grey. He has always followed orders without
question, but his latest assignment threatens to disrupt the precision of his
universe and may either severe or redeem his last remaining sliver of humanity.
Using his
mastery of the 122 Rules of Psychology, Sam hunts down everyone The
Agency sends him to find and eliminates them. Just as he has his rifle scope
focused on his latest victim, Monica Sable, a SoCal girl entangled with the
mob, his long-dormant conscience reappears for a final performance…one last
ditch effort to save the sinking ship of Sam’s soul. He’s killed innocents
before, but tarries on pulling the trigger this time.
When Monica
escapes his crosshairs and fumbles her way across the country in a pathetic
attempt to elude capture, Sam gives chase. But he’s not the only one after her.
Ruthless henchmen, hired by the mob, froth like bloodhounds and nip at Monica’s
heels. Now Sam is faced with a choice: turn his back on the rules and
jeopardize his way of life by helping her or join the pack and rip her to
What inspired you to write this book?
I don’t think I
had a main inspiration for 122; it just sort of popped into my
head. Actually what popped into my head was a scene. I was on my way to work at
o’dark 30 in the morning, and an image so vivid came to me that I had to pull
over and type it out on my phone. Funny, the scene is the opposite of “It
was a dark and stormy night.” It was actually a beautiful bright morning
in a little SoCal beach town called 
Alabaster Cove.
Excerpt from 122 Rules:
Okay, I have a
couple of favorites but there is one section ALWAYS makes me laugh.
Setup: Monica
has been in Witness Protection for over a year and gets away after someone
tries to kill her. She calls her best friend, Angel, and together, they flee
across the country. They’ve been driving all day and stop in Colorado, parking
way up on a hill overlooking the Colorado flatlands. Monica is depressed about
the state of her life and been grousing about it. She is standing on the edge
of a cliff, looking down at the rocks below, contemplating, when Angel comes to
her rescue:
Monica reflected for a moment, her gaze not focused on anything.
When she came back, her eyes found Angel’s in the deepening twilight. “I can’t
believe how badly I’ve messed up my life. Everyone tells me how smart I am, but
I had to call you because I couldn’t figure out what to do on my own. I can’t
even take care of myself: how am I supposed to help the kids of the world who
need it? I’d probably make things worse.”
Angel came up and stood next to her on the edge of the bluff. She
took Monica’s hand and said in a quiet voice, “Why don’t we just Thelma and
Louise it then?”
“Huh?” Monica stared at her friend.
“You’re a complete and utter loser. A failure. A pimple on the
donkey’s ass of society. What’s the point in going on?” Angel took a step
closer to the ledge. “Right now. Couple of steps and we’re flying, at least for
a few seconds, then it’s all over. No more Peter, Jon, Crew Cut, your mom, the
mob, the dream, any of it. A quick, neat end and all your little problems are
solved. Come on, let’s do it!” She pulled Monica’s hand. “Right here. Right
now. I’m not screwing around. Ready? On the count of three. One…”
Monica gaped at her, looked over the edge of the cliff, and then
back at Angel.
“Two…” Angel took a step back, tensing to run.
“Ang, I don’t know.”
“What?” Angel snapped, turning to her. “What don’t you know? It
sounds like you’ve got it all worked out! It’s been kinda tough, so let’s just
fold up and let those bastards win. Oh, poor me. I’ve been so abused. My dad
died, and my mom’s a whore. Sure, I’ve had a friend that always, always has my
back and a surrogate family. Sure I got straight A’s in high school, a full
ride to NYU, and had plans to be a big-shot lawyer.”
Angel threw her arms up in the air. “But shit got a little rough
for a while ’cause I was helping take down some low-life scumbags. Life hasn’t
been ideal lately, and there’s simply no way to get back to the dream. I can’t
do that with another identity, which is what my friend is going to insist on
when we get to the effing FBI headquarters. Oh, poor me.”
Angel turned back to the cliff and took another step back, tensing
her body for the final leap. “Come on! You’re right. There’s no turning this
boat around. Let’s do it! Let’s end this thing! Ready?”
Monica’s mouth still hung open. Her jaw bobbed up and down, but no
words came out, making her feel like a guppy. As hard as she tried to stop
them, the edges of her lips curled up, and she giggled. She tried to stop, but
the giggles were relentless and attacked her. She laughed harder than she had
in years as she mimicked her friend. “Right here. Right now. I’m not screwing
“I’m not. Come on, let’s go.”
Angel’s serious demeanor only made Monica laugh harder. “Let’s
Thelma and Louise it.” She fell on her butt in a cloud of dust, not caring
about the dirt. Tears streamed down her cheeks.
Angel’s face cracked, and a smile played across her lips. A groan
turned to snickers, growing until the full belly roll took her. Their combined
laughter echoed, amplified by the canyon walls until it sounded like an
auditorium full of spectators at a Jack Benny premiere. They lay on the flat
rock, the dust clinging to their sweat and tears.
As they regained control, Monica looked at her. “I love you, you
know that.”
“Of course you do. I’m awesome.”
Monica started laughing again, and they lay on the ground holding
hands as the sun finished its decent to the west, and darkness claimed the
And scene.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m about ⅔ of the way done with the follow-up book, 122 Rules –
. It’s got a lot of your favorite characters from the first book
and a slew of new ones. It’s also got one of my favorite bad guys from 122;
he’s crazier and raising havoc on a mission of destroying the town of Alabaster
Cove. Actually his entire purpose in life is to right a wrong that had been
done to him by a particular female protagonist, but he doesn’t mind killing a
lot of other people to make that happen.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I pondered this
question for a really long time, and at first, I didn’t think I’d consider
myself a “real” writer until I’d been published. But I read several blogs about
the topic, and at some point, I decided that I was really a writer after I
finished the first draft of 122 and began working through the edits. So
many people start to write a book or want to and will add the title “author” to
their bio. But I don’t think you really are one until you’ve actually finished
the raw book. Editing can take for-ev-er! So you don’t have to wait until
that’s done…well, at least I didn’t. 🙂
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?
Man, I wish!
Erin and I have plans to become professional vagabonds, living in one place for
six months at a time, picking somewhere new and moving there. We want to travel
the world and experience life everywhere. Even within the United States,
cultures can be so vastly different; it’s as if you’ve gone to a different
country. Part of that vagabond dream is supporting ourselves on our writing.
Between the two of us we have five books out now, and we are each working on
new ones.
We squeeze in
time to write whenever we can! Being an author is a ton more than just writing
though. After I finished with the edits for 122, I turned right around
and began the edits on Birth of an American Gigolo. We released that
book in January and became marketers in December through February. Most of April
is spent marketing for 122. It’s awesome and fun, and I get to talk to a
lot of interesting people, but it doesn’t leave much time for actual writing.
Next, I’m going
be working on edits for Erin’s new historical fiction book—this story is
completely amazing and beautifully written—then back to my current work in
progress: 122 Rules – Redemption.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Well, I don’t
know if you’d say it’s a writing quirk, but it is definitely something quirking
about this writer: I stole one of my character’s name. Wut? Yep! There is a
character, Max, you’ll meet in 122’s follow-up book, 122
Rules – Redemption
, who originally was named Deek, but I liked his name so
much I took it for myself.
My birth name is
VERY common, so trying to make my name stick out among the millions of others
was almost impossible. One of my all-time favorite Stephen King books is Needful
. In that story, there’s this character, Deek, that doesn’t get but a
page or two of face time. I always loved the name and stole it for my character
as a nod to the great author. Well, flash-forward a bit, and I decide to give
myself a pen name. I took Deek as my first name. Rhew is actually my wife’s
maiden name. Together we are Deek and Erin Rhew of 
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was in
high school, I wanted to follow my father’s footsteps and join the military. I
wanted to fly! To see the world from the clouds and fight the bad guys all
Maverick-like. Sigh, alas the military has no use for people who are
colorblind. Something about the good guys are green on the radar and the bad
guys are red. I don’t know, silly stuff.
After that
devastating blow, I did the next best thing: music. I mean, everyone sees the
transition…right? My friends and I had a rock band, and I did the music major
in thang in college and was set to go. Then something interesting happened: I
started living a musician’s life. Traveling from gig to gig, getting itty bitty
paychecks, and working super-long hours. I love music, but that life blew
chunks. Hard.
So I
transitioned to something geeky that would, ya know, let me eat. I’d been doing
the nerd thing for a while when a friend at work said that he’d read an
interview of men who’d fought in WWII. These guys are all retired now, and the
interviewer asked them what they would do if they could go back and change
anything about they way they lived their lives. Almost universally, they said
they would do something creative. I’d learned to love writing in high school
and decided that I didn’t want wait to scratch that author itch, so began to
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Erin and I work
out and love to go adventuring. Trips to Portland, Seattle, the beach, or
hiking. It doesn’t have to be big. We don’t have the money for anything lavish,
but we love getting to spend time together.
In Portland,
there’s never a shortage of interesting characters. I took a picture of a
unicycle-riding, Darth Vader mask-wearing, FLAMING bagpipe player. I kid you
not. Google him. He’s famous!
We are planning
a Flat Rhew Portlandia trip here in the near future. Flat Rhew is like Flat
Stanley, only, we’re, ya know, the Rhews. Portlandia is a TV show that
they film right here in Portland and basically play up to all the
idiosyncrasies of the city. We plan to selfie ourselves through all the
locations featured in the TV show. Come, join us!

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Thanks, Deek for this fun interview! All the best with your
writing and adventures!

One thought on “Interview with author Deek Rhew about 122 Rules

  1. Deek Rhew says:

    Yaaay! What a great time I had on your blog today, Lisa. Thank you for being such a gracious host. This is a crazy little ride going on and your blog is the first stop.

    That's for the great interview on launch day!

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