Monday, August 15, 2016

Summer Splash Book Blog Tour: Special Guest Feature--Meet R. R. Virdi!

R.R. Virdi is the award-winning author of The Grave Report. He is an avid fan of science fiction, fantasy, and especially mythology and urban fantasy. He has worked as a mechanic, retail, the fitness industry and the gaming PC world. Ronnie has a deep love of all things mechanical with a heavy emphasis on automobiles, especially American classics. He enjoys building things and tinkering with computers from his home in Falls Church, Virginia. There are rumors that he wanders the streets of his neighborhood in the dead of night dressed in a Jedi robe and teal fuzzy slippers, no one knows why. Other such rumors mention how he is a professional hair whisperer in his spare time. We don’t know what that is either.

Author Links:

1. So far you have two novels in just the one series, The Grave Report, out. Now, some of my followers that have been with me from the start may have seen my reviews of both Grave Beginnings, and Grave Measures here on the Upstream Writer—but for those who maybe are new or missed the hype, can you give us a basic rundown of Vince Graves, his situation, and the sort of world he functions in?

Absolutely. Vincent Graves is a paranormal investigator in a world where the things from mythology and dreams aren’t content to stay there. They exist. They’re hungry, and they’re not so nice. Guess who’s on the menu? Vincent’s a soul without a body, murdered by the paranormal himself and unaware of what did it. He’s tasked with inhabiting the bodies of the recently murdered and using their minds, bodies, memories and skills to solve their murders. It comes at the cost of retaining many of their memories in place of his original own. The series begins in media res and he’s been doing this so long he’s forgotten his own name and original identity, working under the moniker, Vincent Graves. It’s a fast paced detective thriller series set in an urban fantasy world that predominantly takes place in modern day New York. 

2. Now I know you've had reviews flooding in lately, so what would you say is the thing most readers are raving about?

Either comparing me to Jim Butcher (something that is flattering and terrifying) "When will there be a tv show?" (Trust me I wish I could answer that) or  "When will book three come out?" (Trust me I wish I could answer that one too, haha)

3. Here's what I would like to know: which came first, the paranormal world of vengeful beasties or the wisecracking, "undead" protagonist?

Um, both? I had the character, who was going to be a CIA a different series. And, I had the world which belonged to another series…. and I smashed them together and needed a paranormal reason to throw Vincent in there. I ended up with this. Not so bad. ;)

4. This sort of paranormal investigator thing has been done before; what motivated you to throw your hat into the ring? What compelled you to write Vince Graves?

A: Because I love the genre, my favorite. And you’re right, it’s been done before, but it hasn’t been done like this! I love the challenge. Like all the reviewers say, it’s Quantum Leap meets Dresden Files. It’s something new and unique. Heck, many people still can’t figure out what genre it should really be in. I’m okay messing around like that. :)
And Vincent already existed with that name. He was supposed to be a dour, brooding CIA agent and have a thriller noir series...until I couldn’t really come up with the story for it but had an urban fantasy world I couldn’t stop thinking about. Threw him in there and realized he couldn’t make it being this dark, grim character. It works great for novels where you go around punching humans and uttering cliched one liners. Vincent needed to bring some light and humor to a dark world. Enter my own wit. Here we are.

New book!
Release date: December
5. Rumor has it (because I happen to be a Minion) that you have another series in the works, launching this winter; what can you tell us about that one? Will it take place in the same universe as the Grave Reports?

I do have a new series coming out this winter. I can say that the book, and following books will be larger and show a different side of this world. Yes it takes place in the same literary universe but you do not have to read any of The Grave Report novels (not that you shouldn’t. Go. Read them!) it will stand alone as its own series. But, if you do read my other stuff, there will be nice easter eggs.

Button swag. Must haz.
6. What kinds of non-book merchandise (aka "swag") do you have available?

At the moment, I don’t have any more merch. There will be a line of custom, handmade etched glasses with The Grave Report art over them. Not to mention other things.

7. What do you do when you aren't writing? What kinds of hobbies do you have?

Reading, video games, working out, DIY maker stuff. Lastly, tinkering with cars. Having the money to do those things is another issue. 

Fan art of
Agent Camilla Ortiz
8. What has been your favorite experience with a fan so far?

Oh, God. All of them. I never imagined the fan letters/mail, the fan art, driving out to meet me and get signatures, the lot, would ever happen!

9. What is the geekiest/craziest/nerdiest thing you've ever done?

I don’t really know. I’ve never actually done any of the cool, over the top nerdy things. I really should though.

That one time Ronnie
went to a convention
and met Jim Butcher.
Fandom WIN.
10. What one book or author would you say affected/inspired you so much that it changed the way you wrote?

Jim Butcher. He taught me it’s okay not to have these super, all-the-time-serious brooding anti-hero like characters. There’s been this annoying craze happening a lot where that’s what so many MCs are like: My life sucks, the world is dark, everything is dark, dark, dark I must be darker. Oh my God, lighten up a little. The world can be dark, it’s why you should try to brighten it up occasionally. Also, I learned it’s okay to be an insufferable wise ass. 
11. What is one Bucket List item that you haven't completed yet?

Finish an entire series. <--Most important!

12. What is the single most important piece of advice that motivates you to keep writing?

Don’t stop. If you do, you’ll never know how far you could’ve gone. Worth knowing the answer to that one I believe.
Dude makes his own character Funko Pops... That's awesome!
L to R: Vince (book 1), Church, Ortiz, Vince (Book 2), Lysshae

Did you enjoy this interview? Do you have a question of your own for Ronnie? Let me know in the comments and I'll pass it on to him! Meanwhile, don't forget to check out my previous interviews in the Summer Splash Blog Tour, and tune in next week for more awesome author shenanigans!