I met Rhys at GayRomLit 2012 and after talking to her for hours I knew that she would be dynamite if I let her loose on the site. I wanted to profile her because she was so damned interesting and vibrant, and I thought that other readers should get to know her and appreciate her sense of humour.
As you may remember, for author profiles I don’t ask the questions, you do, so please feel free to ask Rhys about her writing, why she has so many animals, or anything else you would like to know. She won’t mind – she loves to talk.
Hello, I am Rhys Ford and Wave so kindly let me pitch a tent here today to serve up a bit of nonsense and coffee. Thank you very much Wave for giving me camping space. I promise to leave a bunch of s’mores and maybe a bottle of whiskey.
Let’s see… the first order of business is a bio of sorts to introduce myself but those things are so odd to write, don’t you think?
Obviously the place to start is in Hawai’i… specifically on the Big Island in the town of Hilo where I was born. It’s a very small place. Larger now than when I was born but pretty much the same place. You can get fantastic breakfast at Ken’s House of Pancakes and sit on the stretch of road next to the airport the locals call Blue Lights until the cops come and roust you for loitering. While I was born in Hilo, I was raised pretty much on O’ahu. Raised being a relative term. If you’re a kid in Hawai’i, you sort of run in packs with the other kids until they figure you’re a reasoning creature then suddenly you’re able to drink and vote. There’s a lot of time spent on the beach.
I was an odd kid. I liked to read. And since I come from a family of liars, storytelling was the next step of evolution. Kind of like a Pokemon. I went to the Kamehameha Schools on O’ahu and graduated probably by the skin of my brain. I’ll be the first one to say I was an odd hot mess and probably should have spent my teenaged years wrapped up in thick white coats with wraparound arms but no one saw to fit one on me.
After wandering around a bit… like a lot… between continents and Hawai’i, I landed in So Cal where I make my home.
I think the biggest question I get asked is why did you start writing about Asian men? Easy enough answer. I’m Asian… Part Japanese and really if you grow up as a local kid in Hawai’i, you’re going to have a lot of Asian influences. But mostly because it was familiar but at the same
time… since I’m writing from Cole’s very “single cultured” point of view in the Dirty series… a challenge.
Also, Asian men are fricking hot.
Actually hadn’t planned on being an official M/M writer. I’ve been writing for an Asian audience for a few years and thought; You know, I should write these for a more mainstream global market. And I wanted to take a stab at mysteries. No pun. Honest. I wrote Dirty Kiss and it sort of sat for a while. Then one day said, off you go and into Dreamspinner’s clutches it went. They were gracious enough to accept it and the sequel, Dirty Secret. The third book in the series is Dirty Laundry and will be coming out probably early next year.
I have a new series coming out. The first book is called Sinner’s Gin and will be published by Dreamspinner Press in mid-December. Wonderful people there. They take good care of me.
Let’s see, final notes. I live in Southern California and have a lovely group of dear friends who put up with me and my coffee addiction.
Currently, my house is host to three dogs and three cats. It was never supposed to reach that high of a number but honestly, a couple just moved in and suddenly… I had a crazy animal lady starter kit. The cat in the Dirty series is based off of my own cat, Koneko-Chan. The dog in the Sinner’s series is an homage to a few of the sweet and terrible cairn terrorists I’ve had in my life. He does resemble my current cairn, Gus Gus.
I am also the proud caretaker of a 1979 Pontiac Firebird who is my baby. I like to cook, visit with friends and mutter in a corner to write when I’m feeling antisocial. Words with Friends will be my downfall and despite what anyone tells you, I am more than likely an annoying git who doesn’t understand the difference between a joke and sarcasm.
I can usually be found most days on twitter, @rhysford, or on my blog, www.rhysford.com. I do try to answer emails and any comments people leave me. I owe you all everything for reading my stuff. Really, can’t thank you enough for having me by.
The Cole McGinnis Mysteries
Cole Kenjiro McGinnis, ex-cop and PI, is trying to get over the shooting death of his lover when a supposedly routine investigation lands in his lap. Investigating the apparent suicide of a prominent Korean businessman’s son proves to be anything but ordinary, especially when it introduces Cole to the dead man’s handsome cousin, Kim Jae-Min.
Jae-Min’s cousin had a dirty little secret, the kind that Cole has been familiar with all his life and that Jae-Min is still hiding from his family. The investigation leads Cole from tasteful mansions to seedy lover’s trysts to Dirty Kiss, the place where the rich and discreet go to indulge in desires their traditional-minded families would rather know nothing about.
It also leads Cole McGinnis into Jae-Min’s arms, and that could be a problem. Jae-Min’s cousin’s death is looking less and less like a suicide, and Jae-Min is looking more and more like a target. Cole has already lost one lover to violence—he’s not about to lose Jae-Min too.
Loving Kim Jae-Min isn’t always easy: Jae is gun-shy about being openly homosexual. Ex-cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis doesn’t know any other way to be. Still, he understands where Jae is coming from. Traditional Korean men aren’t gay—at least not usually where people can see them.
But Cole can’t spend too much time unraveling his boyfriend’s issues. He has a job to do. When a singer named Scarlet asks him to help find Park Dae-Hoon, a gay Korean man who disappeared nearly two decades ago, Cole finds himself submerged in the tangled world of rich Korean families, where obligation and politics mean sacrificing happiness to preserve corporate empires. Soon the bodies start piling up without rhyme or reason. With every step Cole takes toward locating Park Dae-Hoon, another person meets their demise—and someone Cole loves could be next on the murderer’s list.
The Sinners Series
There’s a dead man in Miki St. John’s vintage Pontiac GTO, and he has no idea how it got there.
After Miki survives the tragic accident that killed his best friend and the other members of their band, Sinner’s Gin, all he wants is to hide from the world in the refurbished warehouse he bought before their last tour. But when the man who sexually abused him as a boy is killed and his remains are dumped in Miki’s car, Miki fears Death isn’t done with him yet.
Kane Morgan, the SFPD inspector renting space in the art co-op next door, initially suspects Miki had a hand in the man’s murder, but Kane soon realizes Miki is as much a victim as the man splattered inside the GTO. As the murderer’s body count rises, the attraction between Miki and Kane heats up. Neither man knows if they can make a relationship work, but despite Miki’s emotional damage, Kane is determined to teach him how to love and be loved — provided, of course, Kane can catch the killer before Miki becomes the murderer’s final victim.
Rhys Ford’s Contact Information: