So you can read my books

Saturday, June 18, 2011


It was an average night at Meilori's : one vivisection, two mysterious disappearances, and only three homicides by various undead patrons.

The beautiful Raquel Byrnes sat opposite me to talk about her latest book, PURPLE KNOT.

Father Renfield sat beside her, sipping his glass half-filled with ...

"Say it's V-8 juice," he smiled. "It will make your blog friends feel more comfortable."

"All but one of them," said Raquel with a swallow.

To keep her mind off his red-smeared canines, I asked, "Who is your favorite author and is your writing style similar to theirs?"

"Ah, my favorite contemporary author is John Sandford. He writes the “Prey” novels. I recently read Storm Prey and loved it. My writing style is completely NOT like his. He writes gritty cop procedurals and I write romance."

Alice Wentworth glided to our table, giving Victor Standish heavy-lidded looks. "I just love romances."

Victor cleared his throat, "Ah-hem, Miss Byrnes, "When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?"

Raquel smiled knowingly, "At first I thought I didn’t, but someone pointed out that all of my heroines have a name that begins with the letter “R”…being that so does mine, I’m wondering if there’s a reason."

Father Renfield put down his empty glass, cocking his head, "I've travelled so much over this weary world. What is the most inspiring place you have ever visited and why?"

"I think that Whidbey Island off the coast of Washington state truly inspires me. A heavily forested place, it’s so different in terms of terrain and sensory input than my own dessert home."

Sam McCord eased like a tiger into the seat next to me. " Where in the world would you love to visit that you haven't been and why?"

Before tonight, I would have said that I would have loved to visit Louisiana, particularly Bayou LaFourche. I did a lot of research for a book on that parish and although it’s not exotic, it has meaning for me."

Sam smiled easy, "Why is that?"

"It gave me my favorite compliment from a reader. "I got an email from a woman who grew up in Louisiana and she had read an excerpt of my third book set in that bayou of Louisiana.

She called to ask me when I’d lived there and she found out I’ve never been, she said I captured it spot on. That made me feel awesome."

I nodded, "Of course it did. It would have done the same for me."

I asked, "Do you write to music like I do? If so, what kind? Does it change what you write?"

"I write to soundtracks. I have music from the movie The Gift, a spooky gothic feel, and I used it to write my third novel set in the bayou.

I usually pump techno like The Chemical Brothers for car chases and fight scenes.

Sweeping violins from Pride and Prejudice for love scenes…than kind of thing. Goes with the movie playing in my head."

Victor smirked, "I've always been fond of BOND."

Alice gave his shin a whack. "You mean their short skirts!"

I raised an eyebrow at the two of them and sighed, "Do any of your characters speak to you?"

"Yes, but I’ll completely deny this. My husband swears he catches me arguing with them."

Victor snickered, "I never argue with Roland. I just point out where he's wrong."

I glared at him and asked Raquel, "What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?"

"I went ice-blocking with friends. We hauled a huge block of clear ice to a golf course and rode the hills on it.

I got run over and then the sprinklers turned on and we could barely stay on our feet. It was November…cold!"

"I hate the cold," murmured Alice.

Victor squeezed her long fingers. "I learned to love it."

Sam cleared his throat, "What is your favorite weapon of choice for slaying?"

"I guess I would have to go with flame thrower for monsters in general…but scimitar for zombies."

Alice shook her head 'No'. "You must never let zombies get close enough that you must use an edged weapon."

Alice bent down. "Those are lovely tatoos."

"I have several tattoos. The ones you can see are on each inner wrist. Left wrist has a quill and ink bottle, the right has a black butterfly. They are reminders to me."

Sam looked off into the shadows. "I have too many reminders."

To get his mind off the pain he was remembering, I asked Raquel, "Which character from The Breakfast Club were you most like in high school?"

Raquel smiled, knowing what I was doing, "I was a cross between the nerd and the outcast. I wrote for the literary magazine and was very dark and artsy with my black clothes, but I was in AP classes and loved pep rallies."

Victor laughed, "I've certainly had to rally for pep some days."

I frowned and turned back to Raquel, "What is the strangest compliment/insult a person has ever given you?"

"When they found out I was an author they said it explained a lot. Not sure what he meant."

Alice twisted about suddenly, looking at the entrance where a tall man in a gray Armani suit was just strolling in. Shadows danced about him as if they were alive.

"Oh, my," Alice hushed. "Not him!"

Sam and Renfield shot to their feet, helping Raquel to her feet.

Sam smiled, his face tight. "Time for lovely ladies to keep their scalps."

Raquel turned her head over her shoulder as she was hurriedly led out the side door. "It's been ... an experience, Roland."
Raquel Byrnes lives in Southern, California with her husband of sixteen years and their six children.

She considers inspirational fiction a wonderful way to minister to others. She writes romantic suspense with an edge-your-seat pace.

Her first book the Shades of Hope Series, Purple Knot, releases on June 3rd from White Rose Publishing.

You can visit her at her website: and her writing blog, Edge of Your Seat Romance


  1. Wonderful interview, Roland! I never knew an author interview could be so entertaining while still giving good insight into the author. Raquel sounds like a lovely and talented person, thanks for sharing her with us.

    I'm delayed in making my rounds - but I have an award for you at my blog. :) (6/13 post)

  2. Nicki :
    My apartment's AC is down. It is a sweltering 110 degrees in there. I have only a few bearable moments to access the internet daily, so I have missed going to my friend.


    I'll go to your blog and say thanks "in person" so to speak. LOL.

    Isn't Raquel an interesting person and author. And sweet and kind as well, Roland

  3. Now THAT is how you do an interview! Loved it! I'll have to check her book out.

  4. Heather :
    Thanks. I tried to make the interview entertaining as well as informative. I'm sure Raquel will love you checking her book out. Roland

  5. ...another night at Meilori's, and this time with a guest storyteller. Oh how I yearn for a visit!

    Funny thing, Raquel, I'm also a fan of Sandford, having read every damn thing he's offered in print, including his other two series. "Buried Prey," recently purchased, currently sits atop the accumulating pile of literary jumble on my desk, awaiting my attention.

    Good luck with "Purple Knot," and hoping you make it out of there with every last hair still in place, not to mention, your soul...that seedy establishment isn't without its rumors, you know;)

    Loved it, Roland, as always.


  6. Elliot : Perhaps one day you, Raquel, and I will be as famous as Sanford! (Hey, we can dream. LOL.)

    And one haunted night, we might all find ourselves at Meilori's. (Sit with your back to the wall, But not too close -- sometimes handss have been known to come out of them!) Roland

  7. Now this is a unique author interview. A wonderful idea Roland, one I'm sure only you could have thought of.

    Way cool using your characters to ask pertinent question that are relevant to their characters.

    Raquel, that was awesome. I learned quite a bit about your personally, and as an author in this.

    Congratulations all on an excellent interview.


  8. Thanks, Donna :
    I wanted to make the interview have a fun feel. Isn't Raquel an interesting author? Roland

  9. Very unique interview. Raquel, your tour has been great so far!

  10. Roland still sits with his back to the wall? Even the paranoid have enemies.

    Raquel, come with me on a spacehip to Mars. The view of the moon is spectacular.

  11. Alex :
    Hasn't her tour so far been fantastic?

    Walter :
    Hickok is the bouncer at Meilori's. He taught me that. I could use a seat on that ship!

  12. Nicki - Isn't he amazing. Favorite interview ever.

    Heather - I'm flattered...thank you!

    Elliot - a fellow Prey fan. I can't wait to read Buried either.

    Donna - It was truly a revealing interview. I loved the question and how they were asked. ;)

    Alex - I've seen you all over the blogosphere...truly grateful for your support.

    Walter - Ooh, intriguing offer...I may take you up on that. I'm a stargazer.

    That was truly amazing, Roland! I've always wanted to go to Meilori's. You've been such a wonderful host and got me out of harm's way just in time. Thank you so much for letting me visit! I am in your debt. :)

  13. Great interview! And, for some reason, now I want a drink...

  14. What a fabulous interview! We get to learn more about the awsome Raquel, plus Roland, plus wondrous characters!

    A unique take, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

  15. Raquel :
    Weren't all our visitors and friends great? Thanks for visiting Meilori's. Sam has given you a standing invitation -- just have your pepper spray and gym shoes ready! LOL.

    Bryan :
    The drinks are on the house at Meilori's. It's getting out in one piece that's expensive!!

    Margo :
    I'm very happy that you enjoyed your vicarious visit to Meilori's. Vicarious visits are the safest!!

  16. Loved the interview, Raquel. Congrats on the release of PURPLE KNOT!

  17. Not surprisingly, since it's from the hands of a master creator of fabulous stories, this is the most awesome interview I've ever read.

    I'm a fan of Raquel's and need to go over to her place and cheer her on. I've been slow lately in my blogging because I've been setting up a new WordPress blog. It's finally up! Now maybe I can get some of the wonderful books on my shelf read, including the second and third books of yours. Just never stop writing these wonderful stories or posting these wonderful interviews!
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

  18. Bryan - Hey, me too! ;)

    Margo - Isn't Roland awesome? This was my favorite interview.

    Roland - Tell Sam I will definitely take him up on that. I'll come packing next time.

    Dora - Thank you so much Dora!

    Ann - Aww...that's so nice! Thanks!

  19. Ann :
    Your words made my evening, sweltering though it is from the 110 degree heat and broken AC. I wish you only the best with your new web page!!

    Thanks for visiting< Dora

    Raquel :
    Sam will be looking for you.

  20. Excellent interview, Roland & Raquel! Creative, entertaining, informative and fun! Well done you two. Or should I say you seven?

    Roland, I know your pain. Power was out most of last yesterday and we were A/C-less. But I grew up in 100+ summer temps and no A/C. I'm tough, I can take it - but I don't like it much!

  21. VR :
    Great hearing from you again! I, too, was raised for the last part of my childhood in 100+ temps. I did one day all right. But it's been TWO WEEKS! I am beginning to wilt!

    LOL. Yes, it was 7 in that interview. My mind gets crowded sometimes! Roland