Sunday, March 13, 2011

Author Interview and Giveaway: Raymond Rose (The Fire Inside)

I have the great honor of interviewing the author of The Fire Inside.  Please welcome Raymond Rose!

Hi Raymond, and thank you for joining us today at Reading Between the Wines!

I am a self proclaimed "action flick junkie" and look forward to every summer when all the new "super hero" and action movies are released. This is the first book I have read in the genre though and I enjoyed it very much!

Your character, Jack (or Sparks) reminded me of a much more intense, dangerous yet controlled Johnny Storm from Fantastic Four (although I have to admit, I like Jack much more). Can you tell me about the inspiration behind Jack and the rest of your characters?

In the beginning, I had a rough idea of the story. So instead of hyper-focusing on the characters, I cast already established characters in the comic book universe to stand-in for the characters that I would eventually create. So you got Johnny Storm being friends with Dick Grayson (formerly Robin). Batman was their mentor. Superman was part of the picture.

Then, when the story felt pretty solid, I dove into the characters and they stopped looking and acting like the established ones. For me, Johnny Storm as Jack was just in style and powers. I knew Jack had red hair, was broad rather than tall, and was more than just a hot head. He was a powder keg. I wanted to write about a character who’s life has been full of people who have hurt and rejected him. I wanted to know what small footholds he would need to keep hold of his sanity and not just destroy the world! Those footholds are Bruce, the kindness that The Rook showed him, and his time that he spent with Ox and Minotaur. That’s it. So what happens when everyone is dead and Bruce is taken away?

The other characters just kept popping into my head. Karen came about out of the idea of this beautiful woman stepping out of a computer. Fantasy made flesh. Fey from the idea of fairy magic. Jonathan was an extension of another character. And Manning came from the desire to write a detective story about a man with x-ray vision.

My favorite character from this book was Fey (although she was more of a side character). Do you have a favorite character from this book?

Fey’s a side character in The Fire Inside but she’ll be front and center in the next and other novels. She had to be ‘called’ during the course of the novel and, unfortunately, didn’t have a lot to do with what was happening in the beginning.

My favorite character is probably Manning. He’s a complex character who keeps getting more and more complex as I write him. He can see everything so clearly except what’s in his soul. I kind-of like that.

It seemed that you left room at the end of the book for a second novel? Are there going to be more Sidekicks books? If so, how many are planned?

Oh yeah! At this point, I have nine or ten books planned for the series. I know where it’s going to go, what’s going to happen, and how it will end. I have left a few open areas along the way to allow for surprises and any new ideas that might come along.

I am working on the sequel right now. It’s called Black Mirror. It is, in many ways, a direct sequel to The Fire Inside because it answers some of the questions that weren’t resolved in the first book. Black Mirror is action-packed, massive in size, and very changing for the characters. Plus it has a villain that will creep the crap out of you. My wife is reading it in segments and she’s totally skived out by the villain.

That's great! I'm already excited about the next one!

What is your favorite genre to read?

Mostly Mystery. I’m a big fan of well-written crime dramas like Robert Crais, Ian Rankin, Tana French, Elizabeth George, Laurie R King’s novels.

I do read other genres, though. I love contemporary novels by the likes of Michael Chabon, Richard Russo, Marissa de los Santos, and Audrey Niffenegger. I’m a big sci-fi fan and have a soft spot for historical fiction and steampunk novels.

I’m reading The Hunger Games right now and, seriously, can’t put the book down. I’m totally hooked!

Do you have a favorite author?

Stephen King, hands down! I’m a big King fan. He inspired me to be a writer and has taught me how to do it with every book he’s written. Finishing The Dark Tower series was a major moment in my life. That series is, to me, in the same vein as Lord of the Rings.

What is your all-time favorite book? Why is it your favorite?

The funny thing, my favorite book is The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I’ve read the book four or five times and, each time, found something new to love about it. There’s just something magical about the book. It’s her characters, the story, the way she sets up scenes, the locales in the books, her switch in narration, her language,... everything. I’m a TTTW addict!

And finally, if you could have one super-power, what would it be?

Well, right now, I would have to say it would be nice to have a little prophetic powers. I’d like a few glimpses of what the future might hold so I can figure out if I’m on the right path. A little surety every once in awhile would be a nice thing.

Thank you so much for joining us! It was great to get some insight into the characters and I can't wait for your next book!

You can keep up with Raymond at the following links:

You can find The Fire Inside HERE, or you can enter to win one of four ebooks (We have two copies of The Fire Inside and two of his other book, Better Together!) that he is so generously giving away here at RBtWBC by answering the last question. If you could have one super-power, what would it be? Please leave a comment with your answer and also include your email address and type of reader so we know what format to send you.

Good luck!

Giveaway will end at 11:59pm on March 27th. Four winners will then be selected using and contacted via the email address provided. Winners will have 48 hours to respond to winning notification or another winner will be chosen. Open internationally.


  1. Great Interview! What superpower would I want? Thats hard. There are so many to choose from. How about speed? That way I can speed through cleaning the house and have more time to read!

  2. I would want the power to heal people. That way no one would have to die. Please enter me in contest.

  3. Thanks for the interview! I enjoyed reading it :)

    If I could have one super-power, I think I would choose to have the ability to fly! I think it'll be fun and super convenient to get to places!

    As I don't have an e-reader, I would prefer ebooks in PDF format... or Kindle format works too if I can read it on the app on my computer. Thanks for the giveaway!


  4. Awesome interview!!!
    Special ability???That is tough but I would like to be invisible from time to time.Oh the trouble I could stir

    pdf format

  5. I've thought about this before and my super power would have to be teleportation. You'd be able to go anywhere you wanted and be totally in control. And it'd be sooo much fun and you could do so many things you couldn't normally, ie sneak into places, be nearly in two places at once.

  6. Thanks for the giveaway! If I could have one superpower it would be teleportation, especially during rush hour traffic. I just don't have the patience anymore!



  7. If I could have one super power, it would be teleportation. How great to be able to go to another country at the drop of a hat?!
    GFC follower: Christy
    email: shortcut_2_mushrooms(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)nz
    format: nook

  8. Thanks for the giveaway! apereiraorama[at]gmail[dot]com

  9. I'd love the power to fly.. lately I have been having many dreams that I can!
    Kindle for Mac would be best, thanks!
    girl23rocks at hotmail dot com

  10. I've always thought about this and if i could have a superpower it would be paiges power on the tv show charmed, ORBING. At lease thats what they call it in the show.
    Julie Meyers

  11. If I could have one super power it would be the ability to teleport to any destination any time I want. Maybe I wouldn't be late for things anymore... lol
    I have a Sony e-reader.. not sure what the proper format is for it.

    swaggirl01 at gmail dot com

  12. Looks good! please count me in =D

    If I could have any power, I would wish for teleportation so I could travel to any place, any countries I want =D

    my email is


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