For the February theme of Males in Romance, I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Romantic Comedy author Rich Amooi. I hope that you find as much joy in his responses as I did. His bio will be included below the interview, as well as links to where you can learn more about this fantastic author. Please allow me to introduce Rich Amooi.
Jason: You were once an on-air DJ, which had to be a fun career. What made you decide to become an author?
Rich: It was a lot of fun and I had an amazing radio career that spanned thirty-three years. Part of that career included writing and producing radio commercials. My favorite commercials to write were comedy sketches where two people were talking, the product magically appeared, and they lived happily-ever-after with that product. My wife loved some of the commercials and encouraged me to take creative writing classes at Stanford to get into fiction writing. I had been considering writing movie scripts at the time but she told me I should write novels and let someone else make them into movies. Smart woman! The first class I took was on crafting short stories and I wrote over twenty-five of them. She fell in love with one of the stories and told me I had to turn it into a full-length novel. It ended up being my debut romantic comedy, Five Minutes Late, and has done very well. It’s wonderful to have such a supportive spouse who believes in me and encourages me.
Jason: Romantic comedy. While so many males seem to run away from the word ‘romantic’, what made you choose your genre?
Rich: It was a no-brainer for me since I’m obsessed with romantic comedies. It’s almost impossible to go to the movies with my guy friends since most of them want to watch things that blow up. Give me humor and romance and I’m a happy man.
Jason: Are there any particular challenges you have faced as a male writing romance?
Rich: The main thing is getting the female point of view right since ninety-nine percent of my readers are female. I think I’ve done a pretty good job and it certainly helps to have three female beta readers.
Jason: The romantic genres are typically dominated by women. Do you have any thoughts on why more men do not take those genres on?
Rich: They’re too busy drinking beer, watching football, and grabbing their crotches. Seriously, I have no idea. The guys I know usually want to talk about cars, money, and technology when we get together for barbeques. I rarely hear them talking about relationships, so my guess is they’re just not that much into romance.
Rich: I’ve got a hot Spanish wife at home, so nothing on paper can compare to that. I personally skim past the sex scenes when I’m reading romance novels. It didn’t make sense for me to write something that I personally don’t enjoy reading. For me, the most romantic part of a romance novel or movie has nothing to do with sex. I love the anticipation. The connection. Meeting someone new, getting to know them, and having the feeling that it could be something very special. All of that happens before the sex. And I LOVE dialogue. That’s why you’ll notice my romantic comedies have much more dialogue than the average romance novel.
Jason: Does your wife get the first look at your manuscripts, or does she have to wait until they are published? What is her typical reaction to your work?
Rich: Lucky for me my wife is my biggest fan. She’s my alpha reader and the first person who reads my stories. After I get her crucial feedback, I revise the story before sending it to my beta readers. She’s also the first one to tell me if I nailed the female characters (no pun intended) or was off the mark in terms of what I had a female character say or do.
Jason: If you attend or speak at conferences, what is the reception like being a male in the world of romance?
Rich: I attended the Romance Writers of America conference in New York in July of 2015. Over two thousand romance writers in one place—only a handful of them men—and it was amazing! I stood out which made it fun. I felt very welcome there and met many of the top romance authors
in the world. Can’t wait to go back again this year!
Jason: What are your thoughts on Self-published vs. Traditional?
Rich: I never considered being a traditionally published author. I did a lot of research before I wrote my first book and knew self-publishing was for me. I like having complete control. That being said, I’m open to being a hybrid author if the right offer came along.
Jason: You describe your work as “light, fun, silly, crazy and romantic”, but do you have a theme or a lesson that usually appears in your work?
Rich: I think all my stories have lessons even though I’m not specifically writing them with a lesson in mind. Love always wins. Don’t let what happen in the past determine your future. You can over-come any obstacle. Believe you can do it and you will. Don’t let the negativity of others drag you down. There’s someone for everyone. You can love again after heartbreak. And most importantly, kissing is healthy and fun.
Jason: What is the first romantic comedy you remember reading or watching that really hooked you in the genre? Why?
Rich: This is an easy one. In 1989, there was a movie that caught my attention, slapped me
upside the head, and changed me forever. When Harry Met Sally. It was the dialogue that drew me in. I still love watching that movie.
Jason: Of the few males writing in the romantic genres, many have chosen female pseudonyms. Is there a reason you didn’t?
Rich: I was actually advised by an industry expert to make sure to use a female pen name because she was certain women wouldn’t want to read romance novels from a guy. So glad she was wrong! I’m proud of being a man who loves romance. I want everyone to know and want to shout it to the world. I love romance!
|Rich Amooi is a former Silicon Valley radio personality and wedding DJ who now writes romantic comedies full-time. He is happily married to a kiss monster and has a hairy golden retriever/lab mix that likes to eat carrots, tuna, and Manchego cheese imported from Spain. He believes (Rich, not the dog) in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.|
Website: RichAmooi.com | Rich Amooi's books on Amazon | Facebook Author Page | Twitter
|Interview by Jason P. Henry. When he's not working with the dedicated and passionate people of Pikes Peak Writers, Jason is lost in a world of serial killers, psychopaths, and other unsavory folks. Ask him what he is thinking, but only at your own risk. More often than not he is plotting a murder, considering the next victim, or twisting seemingly innocent things into dark and demented ideas. A Suspense, Thriller and Horror writer with a dark, twisted sense of humor, Jason strives to make people squirm, cringe, and laugh. He loves to offer a smile, but is quick to leave you wondering what lies behind it. Jason P. Henry is best summed up by the great philosopher Eminem “I'm friends with the monsters beside of my bed, get along with the voices inside of my head.” Learn more about Jason at JasonPHenry.com.|