Tuesday, January 26, 2016

[Author Interview]: Gretchen Rily


Gretchen Rily writes sexy contemporary and paranormal romances with strong heroines, bad boys with good hearts, and offbeat humor. A happy hermit, she is eternally grateful her friends let her text instead of call and pull her out of the writing cave every few weeks. She has too many book hangovers, listens to 80s/90s rock music way too loud and eats way too much guacamole. 

Where to Find Gretchen:

The_Book_Queen: Hi Gretchen! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Gretchen: Hi Book Palace Readers! Thank you for having me! Let’s see, I almost fell down the academia/corporate rabbit hole, but I escaped! I spent way too long in food service and retail, but now I spend part of my days at the county historical society and the rest freelance copy editing/proofreading for other authors and writing my own books. I live with two rescue cats, have some of the best friends I could ever wish for, and can’t wait do more hiking this spring and summer now that my deviated septum is finally fixed. Breathing – not overrated lol

TBQ: Hehe. Yay for breathing correctly again! :) 

What made you decide to start writing, and why romance?

G: Well, I wanted to be a rock star, but I have very little musical ability, I’m intensely introverted, and there was no way I was waking up at 5am to do radio interviews. I’d always loved to tell stories though. When I was four or five, my parents set up a tape recorder, figuring a tape of me would be a fun present to send to my grandparents. Well, four tapes later, I finally finished making up stories. I have no idea what happened to the tapes, but even ten years later, my grandfather would tell me how much he loved listening to them. 

I started writing them down in junior high, and they just sort of turned into romances. Even if they were about rock stars or crazy worlds or vampires, there was always an element of people discovering what it meant to care about someone and have someone care about them. It was probably about this time that I started reading romances. There’s so many subgenres and the “rules” are so bendable that a romance can also be any other kind of story that you want. This holds a great deal of appeal, since I enjoy writing so many different things, but I like knowing there’s a happy ending. There are enough sad endings in the real world. It’s good to have things that make you happy. 

So writing was something I always did, but deciding to publish was a longer decision. It was always on the agenda – I’m not cut out for most normal employment – but I’ve always been DIY, and I wasn’t sure traditional publishing was going to be a good fit. Luckily, there are now a plethora of ways to publish and reach readers, and while I’m still figuring out what works best for me, I’m loving the adventure!

TBQ: I couldn't agree more; there's so much to the romance genre, and really something for every reader. 

Every Last Mile kicks off your Mutiny Dolls series. Can you tell us a little bit about this book, and why readers are going to love it? 

G: Fun, this series is all about having fun. When the ideas first started coming together, I knew it was going to be about a close-knit group of kick ass women that always had each other’s backs. At first, it was a little more angsty, broody, and dark, especially some of their heroes, but as it came together, I realized that wasn’t a world I was wanted to spend time in right now. The world is sort of angsty and broody and dark enough these days. 

My best friend of almost thirty years and I try to go to several rock concerts a year. It’s good to let loose and scream along and hang out for a day. It was while sitting in the traffic jam to leave after a show in June that I realized that was what I wanted the series to be, like the perfect summer Saturday: great friends, lots of laughs, a long ride on a cool bike, a few drinks, loud music, great food, and not a care in the world.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a romance without some conflict, but within the hour it took us to get out of the parking lot, we’d figured out how each of the Dolls could get their HEA and the characters could overcome and grow without losing the element of having a good time. These are women with their middle fingers firmly in the air against any sort of conventions society tries to put on them. The heroes are much the same way, as well as sexy and dirty and strong enough not to be intimidated by the Dolls. They’ve got pasts to overcome and problems to solve, but they never lose their senses of humor.

Every Last Mile is the shortest book in the series, but it gives readers a feel of what they can expect from the Mutiny Dolls. The first series is five books, but I have plans for at least two more series after that, so I’m really hoping readers love these chicks and this world as much as I do!

TBQ: Kick-ass women. 'Nuff said. :D

Why do Jaime and Stella belong together?

G: Jaime and Stella are a case of unbreakable lifetime bond. Even though they’ve been apart for quite a few years, they were each other’s Most Important Person for almost their entire childhood/teenage years. They still have close friends in common, and Stella is still close to Jaime’s family. When he comes back to Sunflower, there’s no way they won’t be in each other’s lives in some way. And when they find out who they’ve each grown into, they find out they are exactly what each other needs.

TBQ: Awww!

When writing each novel, do you listen to certain songs, like a playlist for the story? If so, what was the playlist for Every Last Mile?

G: I have a playlist for the entire series of about 100 songs. Lots of rock and roll, some blues, some pop. Specific to Every Last Mile is “Sure Feels Right” by Sixx:AM, “You Got That Thing” by Uncle Kracker, “Crazy Bitch” by Buckcherry, and “The Great Escape” by Pink. “Sure Feels Right” is actually the song I associate with Jaime and Stella’s dance at the make-out spot, but I didn’t specify in the story, because the song came out years after what would have been their prom. 

TBQ: Ooh, a lot of good songs. Annnd now I'm tempted to go listen to them all on Youtube. THANKS. :P

In 5 words or less, describe Stella for us. And let's not forget Jaime -- what's he like?

G: Stella: Artistic, anxious, loyal bad ass
Jaime: Laid-back, hardworking carpenter, great lay

TBQ: Hehe. Loyal bad ass meets great lay . . .  Yep, I'd buy that book! 

Do you have a favorite part from Every Last Mile?

G: Probably the scene where Jaime is looking at Stella’s bookcases and he finds the cat gargoyle he carved her for her 16th birthday. It’s a quiet scene, but it packs a pretty big emotional punch for him and ties their past and future together in what I hoped was a satisfying but subtle way.

TBQ: I know we all hate this question, author and reader alike. :) But I have to ask: What are a few of your all-time favorite books or authors?

G: I do have a strong dislike for this question lol Okay, all-time makes it a bit easier. Anne Rice, The Vampire Chronicles and Cry to Heaven; Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing; Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tuscon; Lauren Dane, Brown Family and Delicious series; Kit Rocha; Jill Shalvis; Erin McCarthy, Fast Track; Bethany Clare, Morna’s Legacy; 

TBQ: Kit Rocha is dirty, fantastic crack. (happy sigh)

We've all fallen for a hero (or two, or three, or....ahem.).  Tell us one hero that you've fallen for—who is he and what drew you to him? 

G: Can I cheat a little and pick a TV character since I’ve been binge re-watching lately? Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Everyone can fight over Angel and Spike, I want Oz. He’s unassuming, self-deprecating, intelligent, funny, emotionally available, and quirky. He’d be fun on a road trip and not bring a trunk full of angst. Okay, werewolf, but in terms of relationship hurtles, it’s minor.

TBQ: HA! Just a minor hurtle, nothing too big at all. :D

What's next-- Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming releases or WIP?

G: More Mutiny Dolls! Book two, In Too Deep, is in the final stretch. Maya and Theo gave me a hell of a time, but the book turned out well and I’m excited to bring readers deeper into the MD world. We get to know all the Dolls better in this one and take out the bikes! Then it’s off to Bayside Point, California for Lizzie’s story. I’m sure she’s going to give me all kinds of trouble too! 


A day on a secluded island OR a day at the spa? Secluded island.

Reading a spicy romance novel OR a sweet “my-heart-skips-a-beat” one? Spicy!

Which would you rather have an affair with: a sexy highlander OR a devilishly handsome English lord? Hrm. Kilts or accent? English lord.

Hot summer days OR cold winter nights? Summer. Always summer.

Where would your dream house be: in the city, where all the action is OR nestled in the mountain where you can enjoy the quiet and the wilderness? Beach.

If you could live in any time period, past or future, which one would it be? Right now.

Cover Lover OR Blurb Fan? Cover, then blurb

Steamy Novella OR Sweet Novel? (aka, Quickie or Slow Build Up?) Steamy any length :)

Quick—name the one food that you cannot live without? Peach Mango V8 Energy Drink

And finally, tell us 3 unique/wacky/fun things about yourself:

My cats are named Motli and Mayhem: Motli for Motley Crue (and her coloring is mottled) and Mayhem for Tommy Lee’s stomach tattoo, and well, alliteration and those two words just seem to go together. By the way, never name a feral kitten Mayhem. It’s just asking for trouble. [Oh, I can imagine. She's not feral, but my cat, Sassy, took her name as a self-fulfilling prophecy, I think...]

My first legal act as an adult was signing the release form for my first tattoo. [All in all, a fantastic way to start adulting!]

I hate shoes. I could happily spend the rest of my life barefoot or in flip-flops. Well, I’d probably need a pair of hiking shoes sometimes too, but that’s it. I don’t like socks either. 

The_Book_Queen: Thanks so much for stopping by, Gretchen, and please know that you are welcome back anytime! Do you have any questions for our readers—something to spark a good discussion? :) 

Gretchen: Thank you for having me! 

What's everyone's idea of a fantastic summer weekend? And if you're out riding, what's your favorite type of ride? Long stretches or twisty curves?

Every Last Mile by Gretchen Rily
Publication Date: October 9th, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Eight years ago, Jaime pushed her away and left town. 

Stella Krasinski is miles away from the night her childhood best friend broke her open. Her tattoo shop is a success, her motorcycle is ready to ride, and she’s a Mutiny Doll: a sisterhood of friends who will always have her back. She’s smashed all her insecurities, but there’s one person who could bring them back…or help her eradicate them for good. 

Now he’s back for good…and pulling Stella in tight. 

Jaime Burkett was warned, but he still isn’t prepared for what Stella has become. History and friends give them common ground for a fresh start, but one kiss and his plans to take it slow are left in the dust. He knows there’s hell to pay for the damage he did – and that Stella won’t hesitate collect. 

Can one night be so good she’ll give him a chance to be her man? 

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Thanks again for stopping by today, Gretchen, and sharing more about your new series with us! 

Last note: In Too Deep should be live by the end of January. Check out the website www.gretchenrily.com or the FB page www.facebook.com/GretchenRily for the latest. I send out a newsletter when each book is available, sign-up form is on the website.

Remember Gretchen's questions for you: 

What's everyone's idea of a fantastic summer weekend? And if you're out riding, what's your favorite type of ride? Long stretches or twisty curves?


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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