Bo Reid is the author of homicidal contemporary romantic why choose suspense series The Reapers, book two of which was recently released and two more books announced, and contemporary romance The Heart Duet, with the second book on the way.
I picked up Bo Reid’s first novel because she promised me a lot of murder. And she delivered. And some. I fell in love with her work instantly, and her characters made me love them as well. Madly and wildly. Her second book in the series wouldn’t let me sleep, and made me fall in love with her all over again. Now I am reading The Heart Duet in anticipation of her next book. She is freaking amazing, true murder queen, and I will love her forever. She graciously agreed to answer several questions about herself and her writing.
Q1: Please tell us a bit about yourself. What made you become an author and how did your life change since you published your first book, then the first book in the other series, and now you already have the third book out and several have been announced? Please, please, please give as many details about how you decided to write your first book.
A1: Well unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I don’t have a grand story about how I always dreamed of becoming a writer, or about going to school and studying for years to make this a dream come true. My story is much simpler than that. I have always been an avid reader, and when I discovered Kindle Unlimited my budget no longer restricted how many books I could read in a month so I basically binge read everything I could get my hands on for six straight months; I must have read something like 280 KU books in that time.
My husband got pretty sick of me reading none stop, and one day just said “Why don’t you just write a book.”
I scoffed at him, told him he was crazy, and that it was the stupidest thing I had ever heard! He countered with I would never know if I could do it unless I tried. At this time our son was heading off to preschool and I was trying to figure out what I would do after five years of being a stay at home mom. So in order to prove to said husband just how stupid he was, I grabbed my laptop and started writing… Then I just never stopped.
The Reapers wasn’t the first story I wrote when this happened, not even close, but it was the first one that I knew I HAD to publish.
After Betrayal came out, things took off in a way I truly never expected. People liked it, people recommended it, people fell in love with a character I thought everyone would hate. And yes I truly thought no one would like this story, but it didn’t matter to me, it was my story, the one I had to tell, and that’s why I published it. When people liked it I was shocked beyond words. Since then honestly my life hasn’t slowed down once, and I love it. I’m the type of person that loves to be busy so having so much to do, while exhausting, is what I love.
Q2: The Reapers is contemporary murderous novel but it reads like urban fantasy. I have a question about the tone or atmosphere of your book. How did you manage to achieve this atmosphere and how come you decided not to include a traditional monster or two? I mean, Morana is a crazy murderous monster (and I freaking love her for it), she could have easily been a demon or some kind of immortal. But you chose to leave her a regular murderous human. Don’t get me wrong, I love you for it, this makes The Reapers quite unique and unusual series. I am just curious how and why you decided not to go mainstream?
A2: Morana is not a classic fantasy reaper because they’re too easy to forgive in my opinion and that’s not what I wanted. If you have a demon, immortal, reaper, devil etc. its literally their job to be evil, that’s easy to look past. When I created Morana, I wanted someone that by their dark actions alone they should be impossible to love, but by her personality, the way she protects and loves her family, her guys, she makes you cheer for a happy ending.
I didn’t want her to be forgivable, but I wanted readers to forgive her regardless; it’s not an easy feat to accomplish, creating someone so dark and to still have readers love them.
She also portrays the darker parts of the human nature, while still having a heart. No one is perfect, least of all Morana, and yet by the end of the book you still want her to make it out of whatever situation she’s in. You want her to have a happy ending and stick it to the bad guys.
She’s not a classic monster, because she’s much worse… She’s the monster we all hope isn’t out there, but that we know is.
Q3: And of course I have to ask whether you ever have plans to maybe go that way and write urban fantasy, because I think you would be amazing at it. And of course putting pressure helps, I say you would write a great urban fantasy, and then you will write it to prove me you can’t, and it’s going to be one of the best urban fantasy series of the decade. Win win situation.
A3: I’ll let you in on a secret… don’t tell… Yes, I do have plans for a future fantasy project, it’s been a fun learning curb, and I’m no where near ready to share the details of this yet, but as soon as I am, The Graveyard will be the first to know.
Q4: I have to ask about Morana Valdis, my favourite person in the whole imaginary world. You managed to create pure perfection. She seems so much more than a regular human. What or who inspired you to write her? Why is she the way she is?
A4: Truly I don’t know where this story came from, I had a single scene in my head, and a very basic character structure, but Morana just bloomed into her own person. I wasn’t going to add any romance, but the story went in that direction and I’m happy that it did. I try not to tell the characters who they should be, instead I let them tell me.
Q5: And Morana’s family, was it created like this on purpose, I mean, did you know it would turn out like this, or was it a spontaneous creation, just like puzzles falling into place where they belong? Did you have a particular inspiration for some or all of the characters in her family?
A5: In the sense of this being reverse harem I had no idea that’s where it would go, but when I got to that section in Betrayal there was literally no way for me to choose, so I just didn’t.
In the sense of adopted brothers, yes, I knew that’s where it would go. Morana’s family is made up of blood that isn’t shared, but that is spilled instead. I like to think that in life we have two families, one that we were given, and one that we have chosen. Morana’s family is one that was presented to her, with the option of bonding over blood, and they did. Her family may not be perfect, but family rarely is. Instead her family is built upon love and loyalty, shared secrets and bonds that run much deeper than simply shared DNA.
The family Morana ends up creating throughout the series is one that I think we all strive for – okay maybe we don’t strive for all the spilt blood – but we do strive to have people close to us, who love us and accept us for the fucked up mess we are, and we hold onto those that have shown their love and loyalty to us over and over again.
Family isn’t about what’s been given to you, it’s about what you have made.
Q6:I have to ask about the future of the future of the series. You have announced once that book 4 will be the final book. Is that going to be the final goodbye to Morana and her little family, or is there a chance that you might continue in her world with a spin off of some sort? Or short stories?
A6: Ahh wanting more of my secrets I see, I’m onto you.
Without giving too much away I can say without a doubt book four – Redemption – will in fact be the final book in the main story of The Reapers. However, A Reaper Halloween is a short story, that will release October 31st 2019. I have in the works a few prequel shorts that will give readers more insight on exactly how The Reapers came together, in more detail.
And I do have plans for a spin-off, but I can’t really say who all will be in it because I don’t want to spoil the rest of the main series. But I can say I am over the moon excited to keep the murder going and to introduce new characters into the world of The Reapers.
I don’t have any projected dates for the spin off, or the prequels.
Q7: I have just started reading The Heart Duet. Well, I’m almost half way through the book and I had serious problems stopping to write this question. I love it, it is so touching and sweet. I know, I know, the ugly stuff is on the way and I will get to it, but still, this series has a completely different tone than The Reapers. I am not suggesting all your books should be super murdery, but what I mean is, there is so much love in both series, but this love is completely different. Can you tell us more about The Heart Duet without giving spoilers? And especially what was your inspiration for this story? I have to admit that I deliberately did not read the blurb, have no idea what the book is about, I just got it because you wrote it. I expect to be done when I receive your answers.
A7: My inspiration was to create two people who should not work together, but fit so well that you can’t see them with anyone else. The whole cast, not just Kasen and Hartley, complement each other, and that’s what I wanted. I knew Hartley would need a foundation of people apart from Kasen, and I wanted to make sure she had that; the story while completely being a love story, couldn’t hinge on the man coming in to save the day.
Pieces of these characters and this story were inspired by many real people in my own life, and I think that’s why it means so much to me.
Q8: Hartley and Kasen, I have no words. Their relationship is just so touching, at least as far as I have gotten, just puts tears in my eyes. If there are more characters, please include them in the answer. I wanted to ask you what was your inspiration for these two characters, their hardships, their relationship, and especially the timing? The whole premise of your story rests on them being at the right place at the right time to meet.
A8: Timing is truly everything, and so much of our lives hinge on timing we just don’t stop to think about it. Before I met my husband he saw me for a brief moment as I walked into my house. He was working in the area and I didn’t even realize he was there. He decided he wanted to know me, so he set out to find me on Facebook (I swear he isn’t totally a stalker, just a little bit) he found me, we talked, we had a lot in common so we met up; here we are seven years later, married, with a kid, and I only want to murder him like 30% of the time.
My point is that, that day I got off of work before I normally did, he had a random one-day job in the area, and I just happen to be getting out of my truck and walking up my driveway at the moment he saw me. So many things could have happened that day to where he never saw me. There is still a chance we might have met later on, under different circumstances, but if we did meet later what would have change in our lives during that time?
Back to their relationship, the foundation of which is a friendship, again I’m going to bring it back to my husband; we had an interesting start to our relationship in which we did things together, we hung out nearly everyday, but we weren’t a couple. It took four months from the time we met, for him to officially ask me to be his girlfriend, and by that time it was clear to everyone but us that we were already so far past that friendship line the line wasn’t even a dot. Kasen and Hartley are a lot like that, friendship first, relationship second.
Their hardships; Kasen’s record was inspired by my brother, I took many creative liberties with this, but still the base remains the same. Kasen is a good guy, a wonderful person, but he made a mistake like so many do. Instead of letting his life become one mistake after another he vows to make his life better, and he does; if you’re wondering my brother is the best person I know, he has had some struggles in his life – who hasn’t – but he never let his past stop him from making a better future.
Q9: What kind of books do you like to read?
A9: I will read just about anything if I’m in the right mood and the plot is a good one. My favourites are non-fiction true crime stories, and a good old contemporary romance.
Q10: What have you planned for the readers in the next year or two?
A10: The next two years I’m bringing a lot to you guys, The Reapers and The Hart Duet will be completed, there are a few co-writes in the works, The Jinx Family novella series just launched with book one, so there will be more of those. I’ll be at an event in NOLA in 2020 that I am very excited about.
And other then that y’all can expect lots of murder, all the feels, and so much snark.
Books by Bo Reid
The Reapers Series
This is homicidal contemporary romantic suspense series with an urban fantasy feel to it. The main character Morana Valdis is an anti-hero, who I adore beyond words. There is tons of graphic violence in this series and some of the best sexy scenes ever. This is not for the faint of heart but for readers who do not shy away from gore. It is one of my favourite series ever.
Redemption (The Reapers Series Book 4)
The Heart Duet
This series is something completely different from the murderous one. This is the beautifulest and bestest love story ever. It is beautifully written about two wonderful amazing people who did not always have it great. It is all about timing, being at the right place at the right time, and little decision that change your life. The main characters Hartley and Kasen meet as a result of the right timing and series of random events. The chemistry and love in the story is off the charts and I loved it immensely.
A Jinx Family Novella Series
This is a supercute new surprise series about wonderful, lovely, nice people who sometimes fall on hard times. It revolves around Jinx family, and it starts with Serendipity. It is suitable for everyone, it is super enjoyable and I loved it to pieces.
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