Tag Archives: Kris Ripper

Judith Utz Interviews Kris Ripper on Kith and Kin, Writing Personal Experiences, and Why Co-Authoring is Off the Table

Today on the site we’ve got two familiar contributors: Judith Utz, owner and curator of Binge on Books and Open Ink Press, whom you may recognize from this interview, and Kris Ripper, author of more than thirty queer novels (many written about here) with gender and sexuality rep all over the spectra. They’re discussing Ripper’s latest, Kith and Kin, a multi-POV look at family, connection, and perception that releases today from Brain Mill Press: 

What does it mean to have a family?

Singer and Lisa Thurman did everything right for their entire childhood. Their mother wanted a perfect life, and they knew how to fit that vision.
Then they grew up. Singer came out of the closet and Lisa joined a cult.

Singer and his partner are adopting a son. Unfortunately, all that practice being the perfect child didn’t prepare Singer to be a merely adequate father. Lisa’s just trying to get through the day. After three years in a cult, it’s almost impossible to leave her bedroom, so redemption is going to have to wait.

What does it mean to be a family?

When their mother shows up and attempts to reclaim the illusion of her perfect family,  old lives clash with new ones.

Recovering from perfection is messy, complicated, and fraught, but the riotous clan that rises from the ashes is full of joy—and the best kind of trouble.

A groundbreaking, honest, and provocative novel, Kith and Kin is contemporary family drama that grafts an entirely new species of family tree.

Family is what you make of it.

Buy Kith and Kin

And now, here are Judith and Kris!

Judith: Ripper, hi! Thanks for joining me on LGBTQReads to celebrate the release of Kith and Kin. Tell me all about this latest book that is “not a romance”.

Kris Ripper: Kith and Kin is a great big family drama. Its code name for a long time was Domestic Rock Opera because it gives the impression of a whole lot happening at once (but no actual rock, sorry).

Whether it’s a romance…I leave genre calls to readers. But if I read this, I wouldn’t read this as A Romance. It does have loads of romantic relationships, all of which end on a positive note!

I come from a huge family of origin, and I built a family of choice. This book is essentially about the intersections between all different forms of family.

Judith: With such a big family, did any of your own experiences infuse Kith and Kin?

Ripper: My experiences infuse everything I write, but I don’t veer autobiographical. Though some of these scenes have been redrafted so many times that they feel like memories. I’ve written six versions of the first scene. The one that’s in the book was written the night before copyedits were due.

Judith: Since you are constantly reworking scenes and drafts, was there anything that was edited out that you wish you could have kept in?

Ripper: Ohhh, good question. Absolutely not, in that the book is stronger without everything I cut. But man, I cut a lot. I cut an entire scene when K&K was in copyedits. I’ll eventually release all of those either on my blog or on Patreon, so if you’re into cut scenes, check that out!

Judith: Can you talk about your creative process. How do the ideas come? How do you process them? How much research goes into a story?

Ripper: HOW ARE ALL OF THOSE ONE QUESTION?

Ideas come from everywhere. The shower and during a run are my favorite places to get them. Or a friend says, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to place a book in a comic book shop?” And then you plan a series in a comic book shop.

I will always have more ideas than I can write. There’s basically a big holding pen in my brain (I picture it as a netted off area of ocean) where all the ideas swim around. Some are bigger than others. Some eat others and get bigger. Some die off. I go fishing and hope I catch something good.

Every story requires some research; some require a metric shit ton of research.

Judith: With all these characters and books percolating in your mind, which of them do you most identify with and why?

Ripper: All of them and none of them, I guess. I know that’s a boring answer, but I don’t write a lot of “this really happened” into my books, even in small ways. People have told me I remind them of Hugh Reynolds in the Scientific Method Universe books, which is kind of hilarious. (Hugh’s an arrogant know-it-all control freak. I can’t say that assessment is inaccurate…)

Judith: Ha! Well, I won’t comment about the veracity of that here but knowing both you and the character? Umm….well….uhhh…on to the next question! Would love to hear about what are the top influences in your writing?

Ripper: Watching people—in bus stations, in coffee shops, on street corners, in grocery stores. Listening to the way people talk to each other. I’ve learned a lot about series storytelling from Lois McMaster Bujold. I love Stephen King and Nicola Griffith and Guy Gavriel Kay. I could lose myself forever in Audre Lorde. I also really love TV, but I haven’t hit anything that made my fingers itch to write lately.

Judith: Speaking of writing lately, who would you most want to write a book with and why?

Ripper: What like, collaborating? Please see “control freak” comment above. I’d be a horrible collaborator. And if I ever did it, I’d want to do it old school, like Peter Straub and Stephen King, trying to trick readers into thinking certain lines belonged to the other author.

Judith: And lastly, after Kith and Kin, what’s up next for Kris Ripper?

Ripper: The next thing I’m super excited to write is the Scientific Method Universe New Year’s book, Let Every New Year Find You. The narrator of that one will be Davey, whom we last saw in Roller Coasters, dumping Will on a sidewalk, and I’m so damn excited to see how he’s doing that my fingers tingle when I think about it.

Also, this is Amy Jo Cousins’ fault. FYI. She’s always been a book rec machine, but I had no idea she could reach into my brain, snap her fingers, and make stories appear.

Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a toddler, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.

The site: krisripper.com
The email: kris(at)krisripper.com
The Facebook group: Ripper’s Irregulars: https://www.facebook.com/groups/405062456366636/
The Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SmutTasticKris

Fave Five: Physically Disabled LGBTQA MCs in Contemporary Romance

Long Macchiatos and Monsters by Alison Evans (m/nb)

Sated by Rebekah Weatherspoon (m/f)

Just Business by Anna Zabo (m/m)

Gays of Our Lives by Kris Ripper (m/m)

All in the Family by Q. Kelly (f/f)

Bonus: Second Position by Katherine Locke is not demisexual on page, but is a great choice for those seeking a demi m/f romance, and features an amputee hero

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Fave Five: Interracial Contemporary LGBTQA Romances

These are Adult Contemporary Romances; for NA, check here!

Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell (m/m)

A Gentleman in the Street by Alisha Rai (m/f, B)

Finding Your Feet by Cass Lennox (m/f, A, T)

Such a Pretty Face by Gabrielle Goldsby (f/f)

The Queer and the Restless by Kris Ripper (m/f, T)

Bonus: On the more erotic front, there’s The Fling by Rebekah Weatherspoon (f/f), whose Sated and So Sweet also fit the list as m/f bisexual interracial romances!

Double Bonus: For Historical, check out Wanted, a Gentleman by KJ Charles (m/m)

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Seven Polyam Books Under $5

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Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver ($2.99, Sci-Fi)

Sweet Ruin by Nazarea Andrews ($2.99, Contemp NA)

3 by Hannah Moskowitz ($3.99, Contemp YA)

She Whom I Love by Tess Bowery ($4.24, Historical)

Kneel, Mr. President by Lauren Gallagher ($4.24, Contemp Romance)

One Life to Lose by Kris Ripper ($4.99, Contemp Romance)

Poison Kiss by Ana Mardoll ($4.99, Fantasy)

All links are Amazon Affiliate; income goes back into the website.

 

The Colorful Catalog of…Kris Ripper!

Hi there! I’m Ripper. Please allow me to apologize for writing way to many freakin’ books.

It’s sort of like showing up for a pot luck with a van full of food. On one hand…hi, y’all, I brought some food! On the other…um, er, I have no self control AND I HAVE MADE ALL THE FOOD.

I have no self control. I write a lot of books. And I also write a lot of short stories based on readers going, “I loved it when X happened, and it’d be so cool if Y happened after that…” Three hours later I’m bashfully presenting my Facebook group, the Irregulars, with another story.

(The Irregulars have never once complained about my habit of scrawling stories and dropping them at random, mind you. I think they like it. It’s like surprise cupcakes at odd moments: here, this one’s got raspberry icing. Enjoy!)

Just to start with broad strokes: nearly everything I write is queer, and almost all of it has some elements of kink. Because I’m…queer. And I may contain…elements of kink. Er.

Ahem.

Grab and Go!

29862883In case you only have a hot second, let me start by suggesting two places to start.

Do you like kink, emotional vulnerability, and a grumpy-pants narrator? Start with Gays of Our Lives (M/M), which is the first Queers of La Vista novel. Emerson’s ornery as hell, Obie sweetly refuses to put up with his crap, and the sex is smokin’. GoOL intentionally disrupts common tropes about disabled characters in romance as frequently as possible.

Do you like intimacy, deep power dynamics, and slow-growing romance? Start with Catalysts (M/M/M), which is the first Scientific Method Universe novel. Will is young and searching and hopeful, Hugh thinks the world holds no more surprises, and Truman is just a regular dude, who had no idea he was waiting for a mercurial lover with a good friend in tow.

Pot Luck!

Let me briefly introduce you to each series. This is basically the bite-sized pizza roll version of my books. And I’m…somewhat verbose. So this should be really hilarious.

Scientific Method Universe: an exploration of love, kink, romance, and family over quite a few books. Ideal for folks who enjoy the psychological side of, well, everything, and anyone with an intimacy kink. (Pairings include M/M/M, NB/M, M/F.)

Queers of La Vista: all the queer community, a lot of romance, and a little bit of murder. Ideal for folks who enjoy getting to know a group of characters well and watching them fall in love. (Pairings include: M/M, F/F, transM/cisF, M/M/M. Also includes a trans teenager.)

25116938New Halliday: a small town, and a lot of kinky fellas falling for other fellas. Ideal for folks who love M/M romance, and anyone who’s into food. This series will make you crave grilled onions (if you’re into that sort of thing). (M/M. Also includes a parent with a trans kid.)

The Home Series: an alternate universe exploring themes of power dynamics and politics. Ideal for anyone who’s read a master/slave fic and gone, Ewwww. Also, all about chosen family and reclaiming personal narratives. (Pairings include M/M, transM/cisF, M/F/F.)

And for dessert…

Little Red and the Big Bad: a blisteringly hot look at a kinky one-off that builds and deepens until two guys find themselves in a damn serious relationship. Ideal for folks who need a book to take back to their bunk. *hint, hint* (M/M.)

Leftovers!

Now that we’ve feasted, I’ll wrap you up some leftovers to carry home. For something poly and playful, do feel free to enjoy my longish novella The Spinner, the Shepherd, and the Leading Man (M/M/M) from the New Halliday series, which you can download from my site. For something with a sharper edge, please take a peek at the short story “Seen” (NB/M).

And for a far more complete idea of my books, definitely check out this shiny list: http://krisripper.com/blog/all-the-books/

*****

ripperpicturemediumKris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a toddler, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.

TBRainbow Alert #6!

For those of you who feel like you’ve already read every LGBTQIAP+ book in existence, not to worry – there’s plenty still to come! Every TBRainbow Alert will have a mix of five LGBTQIAP+ titles to make sure are on your radar, along with why I think they should be on your radar. If you missed the earlier alerts, you can check out those titles here. And now, because I can’t wait to get these books on your reading lists, check out some of what awaits in 2017!

How to Make a Wish (May 2)
Author: Ashley Herring Blake
Genre/Category: Contemporary YA
Rainbow details: bi MC, lesbian LI
Why put it on your radar?
Bi MC! Great bi rep! Also a really beautiful mother-daughter story with a great romance that is definitely sex-positive.

As La Vista Turns (February 27)
Author: Kris Ripper
Genre/Category: Contemporary Romance
Rainbow details: f/f
Why put it on your radar?
God, just the names of the books in this series (Queers of La Vista) make them all auto-buys for me, and I love how much varied representation is in it, too.

Looking for Group (April 25)
Author: Rory Harrison
Genre/Category: Contemporary YA
Rainbow details: Gay MC, bi/pan trans girl LI
Why put it on your radar?
So much rainbow! Plus I love the POV of a main character who’s in remission. We’ve seen so much YA about teens with cancer but so, so rarely what life feels like afterward. And I’m always a sucker for romances between people who meet through gaming.

Honestly Ben (March 28)
Author: Bill Konigsberg
Genre/Category: Contemporary YA
Rainbow details: Bi MC
Why put it on your radar?
Most obvious reason: if you were a fan of Openly Straight, as I was, it’s bi boy companion time!

At the End of the Universe (February 7)
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Genre/Category: Contemporary YA
Rainbow details: Gay MC
Why put it on your radar?
I dunno, by now shouldn’t “Shaun David Hutchinson” be enough? Especially after We Are the Ants? Just read the damn thing.