Never Say Never

Eve Riley Author Interview

The Refusal follows a young entrepreneur that owns her own security firm as she investigates the source of a tech billionaire’s security problems and in the process finds romance. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

When I write, I always start with the characters, and they pop up in my head all the time, often fully formed. The Refusal is the start of a bigger series, and the idea for the series started with Fabian, a drug-taking, experiment-loving hacker, whose life is constantly running out of control. Fabian is the focus of book 2. In The Refusal, Jo is initially pitted against and operates in contrast to Fabian, and it was more interesting that her character would contrast with his.

A long time ago I was a young entrepreneur, and I wanted this book to reflect the reality of running your own business: Specifically how hard it is and how much support you need to do it, the insecurity and worry when you start out, when you don’t think you are going to make it, when you have to pay everyone’s salary all the while looking at other people who seem to have it all sorted. You spend time thinking about success and how that will never be you. I wanted Jo to mirror all this, but she still needed to have a certain confidence and be smart, she wouldn’t have started her own business otherwise. Not forgetting of course, that she has things in common with Janus: She’s the girl geek who says the wrong things at the wrong time and sweats about it.

I also wanted to do something different in romance. Haven’t we had enough of cowboys and motorcycle clubs yet? There are other avenues to explore, other niches that need to be filled. Not to mention of course, that I’d worked alongside techies for many years and felt I knew the industry and what they were like: a lot of lovely guys!

Janus turns out to be more than just a billionaire playboy. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Janus developed as another contrast to Fabian: He is the sorted ambitious friend to Fabian’s chaos (we can all identify with the organized friend I think!). Techie people can be very dorky and interested in tech, and Janus had to reflect that in order for his success to be credible: It wasn’t likely that he’d be the smooth player and flipping that on its head was a lot of fun. A lot of romance books portray billionaires as if they swan around in jets and cars and beautiful apartments chasing women, never worrying about money or companies or making a lot of difficult decisions to make under pressure. These books have never made sense to me. There’s a huge burden in running a company, competitors attack you, and things fail all the time: you are always ducking and diving to avoid collapse. I wanted Janus to reflect that. The fact that he is also a bit of a boy, flattered by models who want to take him to red carpet events and bowled over by a woman he likes, came out in the writing process and it felt right. He’s the nerdy boy made good who still can’t believe anyone wants to talk to him.

What themes were important for you to explore in this book?

I suspect I will never write about a woman who doesn’t hold her own. I wanted the book to be a romance but also be realistic and have authenticity. There’s a lot of envy of other people’s lives now, often fueled by social media, and I wanted to show some nuance there, the pointlessness of that, that it’s never as simple as saying someone is a “billionaire” and therefore their life is amazing. I also wanted to reflect on women’s roles now: women work, they make their own money, and they have senior roles alongside men. Some day I might write an alpha male series (never say never) but I suspect I’d find it hard, and I also think I might reverse the roles! My guys are supportive, fun, kind, generous, and INTERESTING: Everything you’d want in a real boyfriend. And guys like this exist, make great boyfriends and husbands and I wish more romances exist that celebrate how amazing these kinds of men are, not some ridiculous “strongman” or some alphahole who you’d never date in real life (unless you had a hole in your head). Where are the role models for lovely supportive men – who look after their women by lifting THEM up?

What is the next book in the Techboys series that you are working on and when will it be available?

Next up are Fabian and Kate. And I couldn’t be more excited – Fabian is a bad-boy hacker and has been a joy ever since he appeared in my brain fully formed with all his erratic behavior, drug taking and a past filled with turmoil. Book Two will be out in the next few months.

Author Links: Goodreads | Instagram | Facebook | Website

Quiet boyfriends. An organised life. It’s all about to be upended.

Driven, workaholic Janus Phillips has glamorous tastes. Tech billionaire, red carpet events, a new model girlfriend every two months. But it’s all about to come crashing down around his ears if he can’t trace the source of a mysterious hack into his company.

Jo Williams has a temper that matches her hair, and she’s not about to let some playboy sleazebag taint her struggling tech business with his terrible reputation. When she runs into him in a lift, she impetuously pretends not to know who he is, and he ups the game by offering her a ton of cash to save his company.

Can Jo set aside her prejudices, grab the opportunity and answer one, vital, question: Is she trapped in this game with no way out?


About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on September 28, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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