Thursday, 11 October 2012

Q & A with author Riley Banks

Title: The William S Club

Riley Banks

Genre:  Adult

  September 8, 2012

Page Count:  326

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A beautiful Australian journalist who changed her name and fled her homeland. A billionaire property magnate who dredges up her tortured past. An elite club with a secret they have killed to protect.

Sydney is the one place Charlotte Burke swore she'd never return but The William S Club have other plans.

Lust, sex, violence, blackmail and even murder, they will stop at nothing to keep their secret hidden, pushing Charlotte and the other players towards their dangerous end-game

Q:  When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
A:  I can't remember not wanting to be a writer. Even as a child I loved to write. I was forever crafting short stories starring my friends (some of which they have kept). In school, English was my favourite subject and I always had a book in hand – either a fiction novel or just a dictionary (yes, I was known to carry a dictionary around as I loved finding new words).

Q:  Do you see any of yourself in your characters, or were they based on people you know?

A:  Definitely. I lived as an expatriate for more than 10 years so my writing often features characters in similar situations – people living away from their home country. As a redhead, there are often token redheads in my books (and in The Vampire Origins, there are a whole tribe of redheads with kickass superpowers). I have written my children into my books, my friends and even my enemies. I think, as writers, it is unavoidable not to include what we know. We learn the craft of characterisation by watching the world around us and that includes ourselves, our friends and our families. And sometimes, even our pets. Thankfully, we are gods of our own universes and are not limited by the constraints of real life, which reminds me of a saying I recently read – don't piss off an author. You may find yourself being written into a book and killed off. 

Q:  Tell us about your leads.

A:  Where do I start? The William S Club has a number of interesting characters. 

There are the Harvey brothers – BJ and Damon. 

As the oldest, BJ was always going to be heir to the family fortune. A member of The William S Club - a disparaging term used to describe the tight, inner circle of the family leadership - BJ has been raised on a lifestyle of secrets, depraved sexual appetites, violence, blackmail and murder. 

Ignored by his father and left to become a surrogate parent to his younger siblings, Damon is the antithesis of his older brother. He is kind, compassionate and dependable. But when Damon is ordered to accompany a group of journalists on a cross-continental press trip of his family's business interests, he is reluctantly drawn into the dark underworld of The William S Club.

Charlotte Burke is an investigative journalist. Having changed her name and fled her tortured past, she swore she would never return to Australia but The William S Club have other ideas, pushing her towards Sydney and their dangerous end-game. 

Miranda Evans is as carefree and fun as her style of journalism. Until now, she has only ever written about celebrity gossip and scandals. When she accidentally stumbles onto information that might prove Damon's mother was murdered, she doesn't realise how much she is in over her head until it is too late. 

A week ago Nancy Robertson was a twenty-five year old virgin but since joining the Harvey press tour, she seems to have traded her V-card for one with a big scarlet S on it. How else can she explain waking up with a naked man in her bed and no memory of how he got there, or having sex with a woman she just met? When photographs emerge of her sexual encounters, she is horrified to discover they have been sent to her father; that she has simply been bait to force her father's hand. How can she ever return home knowing he has seen her at her worst?

Paul Baker has just been released from prison and has one aim in mind – to find his daughter and make restoration for the pain he has caused her. But finding Victoria just got a lot more complicated. Framed for a murder he did not commit, Paul soon finds himself the most wanted man in Australia. However, the police are his least concern. It is Bill Harvey he fears the most – the man who sent him to prison in the first place and destroyed his life. Now Harvey has his daughter and will use her to get what he wants from Paul. 

All of these characters and more will find themselves as pawns in The William S Club's latest power game. 

Q:  How would you describe your writing style?

A:  That's a hard one. With a background in journalism, there is definitely a journalistic element to my writing. It's generally fast-paced. I prefer shorter, punchier sentences to long paragraphs of flowery prose. I don't want to spell out exactly what a character looks like. I'll give you a few pointers and let you come up with the rest. If I was to align myself with one author, The William S Club has got enough sex, betrayal, intrigue, blackmail and murder to be listed beside a Jackie Collins bonkbuster.

Q:  What was the hardest part of writing your book?

A:  Writing the book was easy. Condensing 326 pages and a number of characters down to a two paragraph blurb was absolute torture.

Q:  How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?

A:  I grew up as the youngest of eight children. As you can imagine, we didn't have a lot of money. One of my sisters used to encourage us to make up alternate universes where we lived a different kind of life. Most of my siblings couldn't be bothered with make believe fantasies but in my alternate universe, I was rich, we went on lots of holidays and I didn't have to wear hand-me-down clothes. What is funny, as an adult I got to live out that fantasy when my husband relocated overseas for work. We went from a very normal lifestyle to an extravagant world full of servants, privilege and money. I got to go on all the holidays I had dreamed of as a child - and more. While we weren't rich in the true sense of the world, we lived a very pampered life that was worlds apart from the one I grew up in. Both have had an impact on my writing.

Q:  What do you do to unwind and relax?

A:  I have always loved to read: in the bath, in bed, on the train… even on the toilet. However, the more time I spend reading and writing for a living, the more fussy I become with what I read in my downtime. In the past, I would have persevered through a bad book just to see what happened at the end. Now, if a book doesn't grab me in the first couple of chapters, I'm unlikely to finish reading it. Apart from that, a glass of wine, a hot bath and a night in front of the television is my idea of bliss.

Q:  Is there a place you’d like to visit, but haven’t yet?

A:  There are many places I haven't been yet and intend to go but if I had to name just one, it would be Russia. There is something about the vastness and diversity of that country that draws me to it like a magnet. While I definitely want to see St Petersburg and Moscow, I also want to go further afield. I want to explore the untouched wilderness of Kamchatka and the Eastern beauty of Vladivostock and drive along the Road of Bones.

Q:  Are you working on anything new?

A:  I have a couple of books on the go at the moment. I'm putting the finishing touches to The Vampire Origins (R.A. Byfield), I am writing Dirty Little Secrets about a group of expatriate women in Dubai with far too much time and money on their hands (and yes, there will be quite a bit of that based on real life people I have met). I'm also in the planning stages of The Pact, which explores how far a mother will go to protect her children. 

About the Author:  
Riley Banks write sexy contemporary novels a la Jackie Collins and Sidney Sheldon.

Her background is in journalism, which shows through in the fast-paced action of her novels.

Having spent more than a decade living the pampered life of the expatriate wife overseas, Riley has plenty of rich experiences to colour her books and has created larger than life characters you love or love to hate.

With plenty of raunchy sex, passion, scandals, drama, corruption, affairs, murders, glamor, suspense, love, heartache, secrets, betrayals, big money, power and exotic locations, there is more than enough for fans of many different genres.

The William S Club is Riley's debut novel but she has two more books on the way.

Author Contact: 

Rebecca Byfield (Freelance Journalist and Author of The Vampire Origins)
AKA Riley Banks (Author of The William S Club  

Other Works:

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