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!
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.
Giveaway will end at 11:59pm on March 27th. Four winners will then be selected using random.org 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.