Tuesday, February 2, 2016

An Interview with Rich Amooi

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.

Jason: You do not write sex scenes in your novels, is there a specific reason behind the decision?

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

24 comments :

  1. Terrific interview, and welcome to the blog, Rich. FYI, I'm married to Mr. Crotchety and laughed my way through that title. ;) I love that you're married to your hot alpha. :D

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    1. Thanks for having me! That was fun. :) Wish I would've known that your husband was crotchety. I could've spent a few days with you for research purposes.

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    2. Hahaha. Beware. He gives new meaning to the word. Thanks for sharing your social media links - we'll all connect with you on Facebook and Twitter!

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    3. Great! I'll look for you on Facebook and Twitter. :)

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  2. One day we will overcome stereotypes about gender. Thanks for being brave enough to admit to being a romantic. :)

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  3. Terrific interview, Rich. Thank you for indulging me, I truly enjoyed your responses. Hopefully we meet at a conference one day.

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    1. Thanks for having me, Jason! Yes, I hope we can meet up in the future. Thanks again. :)

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  4. Great interview, Rich and Jason. Good for you, Rich. I think it's a different time, and women, and men are much more open about romance and being who they are. I'm interviewing Leigh Greenwood, whose real name is Harold Lowry, on the 17th. I asked him some similar questions. Can't wait to get them back. Best of luck with your novels.

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    1. Thanks so much, Polly! I look forward to reading your interview with Leigh. :)

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  5. Hi, Rich, it's so nice to have you here at BRP so we can all meet you. I really enjoyed Mr. Crotchety. Like Dani, I was married to a rather crotchety guy, so I could relate. And like you, I skip over the graphic sex scenes in the romances I read. I always feel like a voyeur if we go into someone's bedroom while they are having sex. All of what leads up to that moment is what is important.

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    1. Thanks, Maryann! You too? Hmmm. Was there some crotchety man epidemic a while back that I didn't hear about it?

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  6. I skim over the sex scenes also, because they slow down the story for me. I also enjoy writing and reading romantic comedies. I enjoy not only the humor in them, but also the sexual tension and conflicts the main characters have to resolve.

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    1. And you know with romantic comedies we can have A LOT of fun with the conflict. I like to torture my hero and heroine and stick them in embarrassing situations. LOL.

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  7. I forgot to mention your book covers are really cute!

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    1. Thanks so much! I love illustrated covers. :)

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  8. I dig this interview, Jason, and the refreshing perspective Rich offers. When Harry Met Sally is my favorite rom-com, and I too prefer witnessing people making romantic connections via forms of communication that are less private than sex. If they're connecting in other ways, we can assume they're connecting, or will be, in the bedroom. Men writing romance: what a great topic!

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    1. I've never seen that movie! Might have to remedy that.

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    2. What?! Who are you? LOL. I thought every woman on the planet has seen that movie. Every woman minus one. :)

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  9. Here's the link to Rich's Amazon page - click that follow button over there too! http://amzn.to/1o41Mk5

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  10. Another one with a Mr. Crotchety here. I'll definitely have to read that ;-)

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    1. LOL. Where are all of these crotchety guys coming from?

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  11. Love stories are great, but formula romances turn me off. I could never figure out how characters could be spontaneous and situations flow naturally when such had to occur by a particular page. Spontaneity under those conditions gives way to the contrived in my opinion. Now about guys who write romances -- I should hope that at least some men are romantic. Couple that wonderful quality with the ability to write a great story, and you should have a super book. Very nice interview, Jason. I like the idea of humor in love stories. Love definitely benefits from humor on both sides.

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    1. You know, it's interesting to read about all these alleged "formula romances". I haven't read all that many that fit that description, at least not in the last few years - even the gazillion free Kindle books are fairly solid stories. When was the last time you read a true romance novel? I find the quality of the books to be way higher than the Harlequin romances I read as a teen - those even bored me 45 years ago! Competition has really upped the quality of writing. You might be surprised. Just be cautious of heat levels.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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