Interview with Rhonda Hopkins
Award–winning romantic suspense and horror author, Rhonda Hopkins, has learned firsthand that truth is stranger than fiction. Her two decades of experience as an investigator for her state and family courts give her characters a depth and realism that gives truth a run for its money.
Links To Purchase Rhonda’s Books: Amazon Author Page
- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? In second grade I wrote a short story about how raccoons got their masks. It was fun and I learned right then that I loved making up stories and being creative.
- What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I don’t know if it’s interesting. Maybe just a little insane. But I talk to my characters and they talk back. 😉
- What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? That while I love the act of writing, the business part of it doesn’t really appeal to me. And, I have a degree in business. LOL But it gets easier the more I do it. And while I’m nowhere near ready to start making my own covers, I’ve found I really enjoy playing around with Photoshop and creating images. I never was very good at visual art forms before, so this had been a great experience for me.
- Where did you get ideas for your books? Where don’t I get ideas from? Seriously, just watching people, reading about current events, dreams/nightmares and from life in general – I get so many ideas, I’ll never be able to write them all.
- Out of all the books you have written which is your favorite and why? I don’t know that I have a favorite. I guess it’s probably the one I’m working on at any given time that I get super excited about. But I love them all for different reasons.
- What age group do you think best describes your reader? Why? I write different genres so I think my age group will vary slightly based on that. But my corp group would probably be 30-60. I just finished a zombie short story that I think will appeal to a younger set as well.
- What do you think makes a good story? Believable characters, action and a plot that keeps the reader hooked. I like exciting stories with lots of action, so I hope that my readers feel that I’m giving them that.
- Who are some of your favorite Authors? Dean Koontz is my all-time favorite. But there are so many. I read a lot! Stephen King, J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts), Lee Child, Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, Johnathan Kellerman are some of my favorite traditionally published. As for indie authors, I have a ton of favorites there as well: Gregory Carrico, CC MacKenzie, Stacey Joy Netzel, Cate Dean, Tamara Ward, Liz Matis, TW Brown, Mark Tufo, Joe McKinney, Aiden James…well, I could go on, but I won’t.
- If you could pick one actor to play a character in your book in the movie version, who would it be? Jensen Ackles. Do I really need to explain that one? 😉
- What song best describes your book and Why? I Did It My Way. While I’ve obviously been influenced by some great authors through the years, I like to think I have my own voice and way to tell a story. And I hope it resonates with readers.
- Who are some of the people that influenced your love of writing? My mom read to me all the time until I was reading at the age of four. She also writes beautiful poetry. So I definitely owe my love of reading and writing to her.
- If you had one piece of advice for an aspiring Author, what would it be? Keep writing. The more you write, the more you learn, and the better your work is.
- What would you like to say to friends and family of writers (not just your own)? That writing is a REAL job. When you call and ask what they’re doing and they say “writing” or something similar — please don’t dismiss it as if they’re doing nothing.
- What projects do you have up and coming? I just finished a zombie short story entitled SURVIVAL. I really like it and the characters, so much more than I thought I would. When I started it, I could only see this little piece of it. But now, the whole thing has grown and I’m actually thinking of making it a serial. While SURVIVAL stands alone, there is so much more that I want to tell.
I’m also about to release the first book in a romantic suspense series. PREDATOR is a novella length suspense.
With one young girl dead and two more missing, Fort Worth detectives Greg Matthews and Caleb Simmons are fighting against the clock to catch a predator. One of the missing girls is a pawn in a nasty custody case assigned to family court investigator, Tori Matthews. Could the cases be related? Teaming up with her brother and his partner, they’ll stop at nothing to find the missing girls before another child is lost forever.
The romance kicks in within the second book (full-length novel), ILLUSION OF SAFETY.
- Is there anything else you want to share with your readers? Just that I really appreciate my readers and I hope that you enjoy my work. While I know that not everyone likes everything, I never want to disappoint anyone if I can help it. Thank you to all of you!
SURVIVAL: A ZOMBIE SHORT STORY
Sarah’s gaze met her twin’s fear-filled blue eyes. “I—”
“It’s no use. The cuff is too tight. You’re going to have to leave me.” Dana put her free hand on Sarah’s, stilling their frantic motions.
“No. I won’t leave you. Maybe I can …” She turned, taking in the empty basement – the cement walls, exposed pipes, and her sister handcuffed to one of the metal cylinders. A small amount of light trickled in through the one lone window, but there was nothing she could use as a weapon. Unless…
She strode over to the dangling pipe from which she’d managed to extricate herself earlier. Grabbing the unattached end, she tried wresting it clear of its fittings, her own wrist dangling handcuffs which clinked against the metal with each pull. Rust and time made it impossible to remove.
“No.” Tears ran down her face. “I can’t leave you, Dana.”
“You have to. It’s the only way we’re both getting out of here. You have to go for help.”
Sarah knelt beside her sister who reached out and wiped her thumb across her cheek, brushing the tears aside.
“I’ll be okay until you get back. I won’t give them any excuse to throw me out to those…” Dana choked back the word they’d both been avoiding. “Creatures.”
Realizing there was no way she could take on all three kidnappers without a weapon; Sarah accepted she had to have assistance to save Dana. Hugging her sister, Sarah kissed her cheek. “I love you, Dana. Be strong. I’ll be back just as soon as possible.”
Heavy footsteps reverberated on the stairs. Dana pushed Sarah away. “Go now. Before it’s too late.”
Stretching upwards, she tried to raise the window but it wouldn’t budge. She took off her t-shirt, wrapped her hand and knocked out the glass, ducking as shards rained down on her. Pain shot through her palm all the way to her shoulder, but adrenaline fueled her and minimized the ache. She unwound the red fabric and smoothed it hurriedly across the sill.
The door crashed inward as one of the men who’d captured them ran into the room. “What’s going on here?” He took in the situation and bee-lined for Sarah, grabbed her legs and pulled her down from the window. Still holding one arm, he backhanded her across the face. The edge of his ring ripped across her forehead; the pain almost blinding. Blood gushed from the wound.
She jerked away from him and took on the fighting stance she’d been taught, feet set apart at shoulder width. Sarah grabbed the dangling cuff in her hand and put all her force in the punch to the man’s jaw. His head snapped backwards. Before he could react, she stepped back and struck out with her right foot, making contact with his left knee. The crunch of breaking bone and his scream told her she’d done some major damage even before he fell to the floor.
The other two kidnappers pounded down the stairs.
“Sarah! Go!” Dana screamed.