Author Interview & Giveaway: Paradise, WV by Rob Rufus
We are back chatting with Rob Rufus for his latest book, Paradise, WV! We’ve been longtime fans, starting with his debut memoir and following through his journey to his first adult book. We are excited that Paradise, WV is in development for a series with Paramount Television. Fans of OZARK and SHARP OBJECTS will look forward to this TV adaptation. But for now, check out our interview with Rob and enter below for a chance to win a finished copy of Paradise, WV!
Thank you so much Rob Rufus for being here with us today and to Keylight Books/Turner Publishing for the generous giveaway!
Paradise, WVby Rob Rufus
Published by: Keylight Books
on July 20, 2021
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
In a poor West Virginia town decimated by the opioid epidemic, teenagers Henry and Jane have it worse than most. Their father is Hollis Lusher, a convicted serial killer known as “the Blind Spot Slasher.” Despite being bullied and ostracized, the siblings maintain their father’s innocence. But now, a popular true-crime podcast is coming to town, and their presence turns all eyes to the Blind Spot Slasher’s case...and Henry and Jane.
Meanwhile, an eager young officer, Lieutenant Elena Garcia, is put on the case of a missing girl. Despite warnings from her superiors, Garcia begins to dig deeper into the case and realizes there may be other mysteries buried in the flood of opioid-related crimes. With many deaths quickly labeled as overdoses, or “No Human Involved,” she fears the drug epidemic has created the perfect storm for a Blind Spot Slasher copycat to thrive. Unless that is, they never caught the real Blind Spot Slasher.
An amateur private investigator is also on the case: Henry’s new friend, Otis. A home-schooled genius with his own family issues and a suspicion their father might be innocent, Otis makes it his mission to help Henry and Jane find the real killer. As the three probe into the evidence, they discover a possible connection between the killings and a doomsday, snake-handling cult―propelling them all down the dark backroads of Appalachia to find justice for Hollis and themselves.
Interview with Rob Rufus
1. You’ve written a memoir, a historical novel, and now a thriller (and music, too!). How have you adapted your writing style as you’ve moved through different genres and mediums?
My writing style didn’t change much through the first two books because they were both first-person. Paradise WV was my first third-person book with multiple storylines, so it was definitely an adjustment. I’ve been getting into the movie/TV world over the last few years, so writing scripts has definitely helped me get a better grasp of intersecting-narrative storylines and pacing, which was invaluable for a thriller like Paradise WV. The thing that changed my game the most is my author friend Kristin Russell (if you haven’t read her novel A Sky For Us Alone you’re tripping) kinda showed me how to OUTLINE a book. Something which I’d never done! Seems pretty fucking elementary when I say it out loud, but it’s true. Goes to show the classic rules are classic for a reason, kids.
2. Which of your Paradise, WV characters was the most challenging to write and why?
Otis’ father was the most challenging for me to write. Not because I am unfamiliar with the plight of addicts, but for the opposite reason—coming from West Virginia (not to mention the rock and roll world) many of my loved ones have struggled with substance abuse. I tried to be as empathetic with the character as possible without glossing over the real pain and the ripple effect of addiction causes to anyone in the general vicinity. It’s hard not to pull punches on a character you feel empathetic towards.
3. Music is a theme throughout all of your books. Tell us how music intersects with Paradise, WV.
Heavy metal and horror genres seemed like the perfect music for Henry to latch onto. He has so much rage (and with good reason) and that sort of cathartic intensity made sense and was fun to put into the story. The other major musical element was Mammaw’s groupie days. Mammaw was based on my own grandmother (basically just a real character in a fictional story) who had legendary (though short-lived) love affairs with George Jones, Boots Randolph, and who the hell knows who else. She had endless amusing anecdotes and it was fun slipping them into the story.
“Paradise, WV strikes like a copperhead, filled with dark hilarity, crackling Appalachian gothic mystery, and buzzsaw punk rock energy. Fans of Elmore Leonard, Harry Crews, and Daniel Woodrell, take note.”–Jeff Zentner, award-winning author of The Serpent King
Enter on the rafflecopter for a chance to win a finished copy of Paradise, WV by Rob Rufus & Keylight Books. You can also get another chance to win over on Christy & Kelly’s instagram posts!
Open US/PR only, ends on 8/6/21 at Midnight EST.