Welcome to BRB, everyone! I haven't written a post in eons. Unfortunately, with school, work, writing and preparing for multiple publications next year and Christmas (which is nearly upon us-yikes!), I just can't seem to find the time.
Kiss the Reaper came to me in a flash—a short story with a plot that could easily be expanded into a series. I envisioned Z first: an unassuming, young male prostitute with a kind heart. Brody emerged from the shadows behind him. He wasn’t a solid persona to start, but eventually, he took control of my fingers as I typed. By the end of the book, both men had grown on me, Brody in particular. His cold-blooded indifference gave him an indefinable sexual allure. I thought that if I peeled away enough layers, maybe I’d find a little humanity.
Of course, the story did evolve, expanding into a five-book romantic thriller series about a prostitute’s burgeoning affection for a serial killer: Kiss the Reaper, Maximum Kill, Jack the Anthropophagite, Apprentice Killers and Embrace the Reaper. I know it sounds strange for a gay romance author, who typically pens drama to tread into the world of dark romantic thrillers, but when I started writing this series, it seemed a natural progression. I’ve always written off-the-cuff. When an idea resonates with unique characters who have a fascinating story to share, I will write until my muse tells me otherwise.
Honestly, my brain never stops. I am constantly jotting down ideas—scenes, dialogue or character descriptions—while writing my latest novel. I know it sounds crazy, but I regularly work on several projects at once. I can’t seem to help it. When I first started publishing, I couldn’t focus or control the flood of information, and it was difficult to produce an adequate amount of completed material on a regular basis. But now, after so many years, I have finally found my groove. I have a routine—a daily regimen that I follow.
First thing in the morning, I exercise and drink water before I begin. I do this because, depending on what has to be done, I’m on my Mac between eight to twelve hours a day, and this includes working from home. So, I need to keep my mind and body healthy as possible. I also try to keep my weekends free.
I do what must be done first (emails, marketing, etc.) then I will put in a solid four to six hours writing anywhere from two thousand to nearly ten thousand words, again, it depends whether it’s the first draft or I’m editing for publication. I’ll work on my main project for most the day then once I’ve had enough I switch to a secondary project for a brief period. At most, I will have three WIPs on the go. At night, I read for an hour before bed. And I’ll read anything and everything no matter the genre—magazine articles, online blogs, novels—whatever I find interesting. Variety is the spice of life and the key to inspiration.
Speaking of inspiration, I find it in everything from movies to books and manga to animation and beyond. Even a simple conversation with one of my girlfriends can give me an idea. Usually, the only time I experience the dreaded “writer’s block” is when I have to come up with a synopsis, or I need to make significant changes to a plotline. Ugh. That’s when I get up and walk away. If I become preoccupied with something else, the answer will usually come to me. My husband is also excellent in these instances because he always offers a fresh perspective.
Some of my all-time favourite authors are JRR Tolkien, Joseph Wambaugh, Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, Oliver Bowden, Anne Rice, Morgan Llywelyn, Diana Gabaldon, Michael Slade, Minette Walters, R.D. Wingfield, Lee Child, Michael Crichton, Brian Jacques, Stephen King and, so on…
Some of my all-time favourite mangakas’ and comic artists are Tite Kubo, Kazuma Kodaka, Ayano Yamane, Youka Nitta, Naoki Urasawa, Kentaro Muira, Enzou, Mike Mignola, Yoshitaka Amano, Jack Kirby, Akira Norikazu, Kotetsuko Yamamoto, Kimi Ichinashi, Yamato Nase, Kei Sanbe and, so on…
I’d have to say that some of the narratives, I've enjoyed the most are:
The Lord of the Rings
Murder on the Orient Express
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The World’s Greatest First Love (Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi)
Brian of Boru
Erased (Boku dake ga Inai Machi)
Of course, there are much more, but these are the first that came to mind. The reason being, each of these stories has great characters. I’m a character whore, to put it bluntly. Yes, the plot, setting, and dialogue are essential too, but a really good character driven story is where it’s at. A strong protagonist and equally as wonderful antagonist can build a narrative from literally nothing. For me, that’s how most of my ideas begin. I see the characters, and their lives unfold as I write. And, the more characters, the more in-depth the plot, and I do enjoy a well-thought-out complex plot. But it wouldn’t exist without the characters.
Which brings me to the protagonist and antagonist archetypes. Out of all the protagonists, I prefer the antihero. And in my latest series, Brody fits that archetype quite well because his personality is split between the “pragmatic and unscrupulous”. He lacks the conventional heroic qualities, and he always does the “right thing” even though it generally only serves his self-interest. The “unscrupulous” half is the darker side of his personality, the fact that he’s a serial killer with an agenda, who doesn’t care about collateral damage. This makes him one of the most interesting characters I’ve created to date. I hate to admit, but I really love him—he’s cold and calculating but for good reason, and he’s fearless even in the wake of insurmountable odds. As for an antagonist, I prefer a bad guy, and I like it if he or she remains villainous until the bitter end. But it’s important to note that not every protagonist is a “good guy” and not every antagonist is a “bad guy”. Sometimes mixing it up is better.
The Reaper Complete Series!
Love, fidelity, and commitment—Brody is all those and more. Captivated from the moment they met, Z’s growing affection for his favourite john, a serial killer, changes his life forever.
Brody exited the room to the blare of the central alarm, frantic shouts from staff members, doors slamming, and the tremor of movement as guards approached a pair of men who were stabbing each other. He turned west and stepped around a dead woman on the way to the communal showers, where orderlies struggled to subdue a male in his late teens. As he passed the commotion, his eyes locked with the teenager’s, and he knew the kid was an inductee—glazed, lifeless pupils were a definite sign of Doctor Günter’s methods of proselytization. But as the four crashed into the doors, he noticed something else. The kid was holding a steel pipe pitted with rust.
He immediately changed his course, entered the concrete room, shot each orderly dead, then aimed at the teen, who hastily crab-walked back into a row of lockers.
“I know who you are.” The kid stared blankly.
“Give it to me.”
“This?” The kid looked at the pipe in surprise. “What’s a gunslinger like you want with a dinky piece of metal?”
“I prefer well-used things.”
“You really wanna sock it to someone.”
“I enjoy the sound a bone makes when it breaks.” Brody frowned and pointed the gun at the kid’s forehead. “But I also enjoy watching the trail of carnage a bullet leaves behind as it burrows through human flesh.”
The kid laughed nervously, tossing the pipe on the tile floor with a loud clank that echoed off the brick tomb. “Take it. It’s yours.”
“A wise decision.” Brody was scooping up the pipe and heading for the door when he heard a click. Whipping his arm back, he fired, and a bullet drilled the teen’s chest dead center. The kid gulped, wide-eyed, shakily setting a revolver on the floor. “However, that decision was not,” Brody said gravely, as the boy breathed his last. He’d taken no enjoyment in killing him. Perhaps he was losing his taste for it because the only objective he had in mind was to save Zeus. Zeus had become his reason for living—and his pretext to eliminate anyone who stood in his way.
Discarding the gun, he strode out of the communal shower with his newly acquired weapon. No one was in sight. At the end of the wide corridor, he pushed on the exterior exit door and walked into the glow of silvery moonlight and the stale humidity of a muggy summer evening. The alarm wasn’t so deafening outside. He noted several black lumps—bodies lying in the grass—before a gunshot, and the barking of dogs in the distance caught his attention. Studying the forested area, he allowed the pipe to slip a bit lower before retightening his grip. There were four directions he could take, and he chose north. His instinct told him it was the correct path, and he took off running, to be swallowed by the murky woods.
He saw every living thing, frame by frame: the pine needle–littered forest floor, rocks, the gnarled roots of trees, ferns, toadstools, and the white luminosity of tiny, bell-shaped white flowers that perfumed the air with an intoxicating scent. In all the years he’d spent in captivity, he’d never bothered to appreciate his surroundings. But now he noticed the beauty; he was drenched in it. Zeus needed to see the forest. And he wanted to show him. Maybe there’s hope for my wretched soul yet. He smirked and sped up.
Soon the trees thinned, and he came face-to-face with a new challenger. The blond was one of Günter’s personal guards, of German descent, tall and ripped. His body language made it clear he wasn’t about to back down.
“We can either do this the easy way or…” Adalard pitted his fist into his palm and flexed his biceps.
Blak Rayne is an author of gay romance. She loves to write and believes it’s one of the greatest forms of self-expression. What better way to see inside the human soul? Blak Rayne resides in Canada, and yes, she is a woman, wife, and mother. She’s been writing and drawing since elementary school, and she loves anything that involves the arts. As for family, her daughter is her toughest critic and greatest support!
Thank you for reading The Reaper Complete Series! I hope you enjoyed it. Sign-up for my newsletter to receive information on my latest releases, author promotions, news-blog posts, contests, giveaways and special offers. Radioactive, my latest novel is coming to eXtasy Books! Did you know the best way to show an author support is by posting a review? If you liked The Reaper Complete Series or any novel I've written please consider posting a review anywhere my books are sold.
Also by Blak Rayne
The Ideal Side of Love
The Ideal Side of Life
Older the Better
Tease to Please (multiple authors)
Put Your Ho Ho’s On (multiple authors)
Kiss the Reaper
Jack the Anthropophagite
Embrace the Reaper
The Reaper Complete Series
Coming to eXtasy Books
‘Taking erotic to a sinful new level.’
Visit her online!
Amazon: Blak Rayne
Smashwords: Blak Rayne
Xin Xii: Blak Rayne
Website: Blak Rayne Books.com
Blog: Blak Rayne Blog.com
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Tags: Gayromlit, Gay, LGBTQ, Dark, Dark Romance, Love, Sex, Adult, Fiction, Short Story, The Reaper Series, Killers, Murder, Thriller, Reaper, The Reaper Series Book 5, Orphan, Prostitute, Pharmaceutical Company, End Life, List, Guns, Knives, Romance, MMRomance, MustRead, New Release, Men, Sexual, Sensual, Torture, Killing, Assassins, Serial Killers, Brody, Zeus