Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Writers Wednesday: Johnny Ray, Master of the Romantic Thriller

Please help me welcome the Master of the Romantic Thriller, Johnny Ray. But Johnny's involved in much more than writing. He has a special Facebook page devoted to fans of Romantic Thrillers. And-- he just sent me a ‘news flash’ about a brand new project. Johnny?

I have just started a blog talk radio station, which I am excited about. Stop by at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/johnnyray. But today we’ll talk about writing.

All right. Let me do a little more introduction, here. Pretend we’re on radio. LOL.

Johnny has a passion for life and adventure that he loves to share with his readers. He lives in Clearwater, Florida, where he works full time as a writer, and he can be often found in one of the hundreds of coffee shops along the beach working on his next novel. Sounds like an ideal life, if you ask me. You’ve got a great writing ‘brand.’ How is a romantic thriller different from a romantic suspense?

Thanks. Actually, I think it would be good to explain the difference between a mystery, a suspense, and a thriller. In a mystery the novel is about a crime where someone is trying to solve the “who did it”. In suspense it is about trying to decide “what might happen”. Finally, in a thriller it is about “stopping something from happening.”

An excellent distinction. What draws you to this genre?

Many people say they write romantic suspense, but few call their work romantic thrillers. In fact, most writers don’t write these. However, they are what I love to write. In many ways, I am helping to develop this genre. On Facebook, I have started a group called HOOKED ON THE ROMANTIC THIRILLER, which is open to everyone.

Would you tell us about your latest release?

HER HONOR’S BODYGUARD is a good example of a romantic thriller. Someone wants to remove by heroine from her seat on the bench, and by force if necessary. In order to save her life, the hero has to work through their old relationship and admit their love in order to determine who it is that wants her removed or dead.

Do first loves ever really die? While reunions can take many forms, there is always one question that has to be answered sooner or later—what happened?

Vance had always been extremely proud of Noella, and just because his life had been ruined, he saw no reason why she had to have the same faith. When his dad died, leaving him and his mother penniless, he dropped out of law school and ended his relationship with Noella, but in doing so, he stopped a scandal that could have ruined her family. These secrets he would never let her know.

Ironically, years later, he would have never guessed she would be instrumental in ruining his career with the Tampa police force. After Noella finished law school and started pursuing her goal of working up the ranks in judgeships, she never considered inviting another guy into her life.

As such, when someone attempts to threaten her into vacating her seat on the bench, and by force if necessary, she knows of no one else she really trust as much as Vance, who now has a successful bodyguard and private detective business.She knows that Vance might hate her for her part in having him dismissed from the police force, but what he will never know is that she actually saved him from going to prison.

Additionally, she now thinks he was framed, and perhaps by the same people who are threatening her. She had to talk him into taking her on as a client . . . but would he agree to her request?As the number of attacks on her life increases, Vance soon has no choice but to offer her his protection, and in spite of everything, when they see each other again their old attraction for each other returns.

She wants the truth. He wants the truth. However, making the ultimate sacrifice is not always easy to understand, whether given or received.

Ultimately . . . could they now trust each other with these secrets? While their lives depend on discovering the truth to their past, these truths are locked in deep secrets that could also destroy them.

Sounds very exciting. And I like your question, "Do first loves ever really die?" We romance readers say, "No." Now, what’s your next project?

I have several in the mix. However, I think an international romantic thriller with the tentative title of FOR LOVE AND REVENGANCE will be next and maybe as soon as a month from now. This is a double spy thriller that covers the globe.

What one tip would you offer writers?

Make fiends along the way, and develop a system of keeping up with them.

Good advice. Especially finding a way to keep in touch. Do you have a special place you like to write?

Every morning I write in coffee shops along the beach. Where I live consist of four islands, which are about 35 miles long, and we have hundreds of coffee shops, so this is a great place to write.

How do your story ideas come to you? Which do you visualize first, characters or plots?

I always go with plot first, then I start to interview characters. I think this is true of most thriller writers.

Is there anything you haven’t been asked that you’d like to share with us?

I have a blog http://www.sirjohn.us/ that you can follow for updates, and there is a place on it where you can sign up for my newsletter that will let you know when I have a new release.

On my blog, you will also see a list of my media connections under media connection. I love to connect on the internet. On Twitter I have over 75,000 followers.

Here is the link to Johnny's latest novel http://www.amazon.com/HER-HONORS-BODYGUARD-ebook/dp/B008550EV2

Thanks again for being here, Johnny. Best of luck with your new release.


  1. Hi Johnny, I'm so glad you're here today. Love the description of your book. I can't wait to read it. I haven't been able to get over to the talk radio blog yet, but I will.

    Good luck with the book and the new project.

  2. Thank you so much for this--it looks fantastic. You are so kind to me. This book was downloaded 8000 times yesterday on amazon.

    1. Wow, Johnny, that quite a download day. Congratulations on the success. (And thanks;>)

  3. Your book sounds wonderful. I've added it to my TBR list. Thanks for the distinction between genres. Best of luck on your next book as well.

    1. Hi Toni Sue. I found the distinctions very intersting, too. I hadn't really thought of it before. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Thank you for the interview, Barbara. I am one of Johnny's 75,000 Twitter followers and it was nice to get a short glimpse of him in more than 130 characters. :) Good luck with your continued reading, writing, and blogging!

    1. Hi Valerie, I enjoyed getting to know Johnny and I'm so very glad one of his Twitter friends stopped by. Thanks for the kind words.

      Great to meet you. I hope you can drop by again.

  5. I never knew the distinction between romantic thriller, suspense, and mystery. Thanks for the easy-to-understand reference. Very useful. I love the sound of your romantic thriller and you seem s very busy guy. Awesome interview. I learned something today.

  6. Hi Cherie *waving madly.* So good to see you.I agree that Johnny's schedule is fascinating--and so busy. Hope your writing is going well, too. The first book was super.

  7. I've never read a romantic thriller, but I may have to start. Sitting in coffee shops, plotting the next book sounds so taxing. Hard life. LOL. I do think a man that can write a good romance is nice to meet. Best of luck, Johnny.

  8. Sorry I'm late! The book sounds great and you have some great tips in the interview. Thanks for sharing Johnny and Barb!