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Straight-up Revenge

Ryan Lawrence
Ryan Lawrence Author Interview

Vindictive follows a woman that discovers her past is all a lie, when she sets out to get revenge on those that used her she also becomes the hunted. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The origins of Vindictive date back to high school, when I was bullied a lot for being gay. I often fantasized about enacting elaborate revenge schemes to get back at my antagonists, but nothing ever physically materialized from those thoughts and daydreams. Still, it stoked the fire of creativity, building inside of me a desire to get my feelings of wanting payback down on paper. Writing, the path of storytelling, could be my scheme of revenge, my therapeutic way of dealing with feeling powerless. I wrote a thirty-plus-page melodrama about people getting revenge on other people for transgressions against them.

Decades later, during a house move, I discovered my hand-typed manuscript in a box and decided to finish the story. Having much more life experience, knowing myself, and possessing confidence, I was able to create a revenge story far beyond what I could have thought up at seventeen.

Jules goes through major changes in her personality the more she discovers. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

In Vindictive, I wanted to show that even an intensely unlikable character such as Jules had her reasons for why she invested so much of herself in acting cruel, vicious, and manipulative towards others, especially those who appear weaker and innocent of transgressions. Jules was not born this way; she is a creation of circumstances outside her control. Jules is intelligent, capable, ambitious, maybe more than a little self-centred, but she is not inherently cold or mean-spirited. I wanted to show how an act, or acts, of violence against someone with this kind of capability and fortitude, could push them towards a level of vindictiveness that only straight-up revenge could satiate.

Jules’s hidden depths of loyalty, friendship, and love emerge as her secrets begin to be known to others. The reader starts to understand Jules, maybe even empathize with her, and it is at this moment—a moment that will come at different times for different readers—when Jules’s humanity, her heart will be knowable. I hope that the reader will commence rooting for Jules to succeed in her quest for revenge!

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

Of course, the theme that I wanted to explore predominantly in Vindictive was revenge. How far is someone willing to go to get it? What lines would they cross? Is it necessary to make someone suffer in the process of getting even, and how severe should their methods be? If innocent people get in the way, should someone alter or reassess their revenge scheme or plow through these obstacles. Is revenge at any cost valid or cruel? Does it depend on the severity of the betrayal, of the crime? Well, as it says in my book, “No form of revenge is petty; all revenge is reasonable,” but I will leave the reader to determine for themselves if it was all worth it.

Another theme that was important for me to explore was forgiveness. Can lesser evils be forgiven? And what does it take to gain access to one’s forgiveness? Are some people exempt from paying a high price for their transgressions due to feelings of love, of loyalty, or is it simply a matter of hypocrisy, unfairness or being selectively judgmental? Relationships are complex, and there are never easy answers.

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

My next novel is tentatively titled Vengeful. It is not a sequel but a companion book to Vindictive. The storylines of both books take place over the same three days, and by the end of Vengeful, the two books will have converged into a cohesive storyline leading into my third, currently untitled novel. Many characters that take centre stage in Vindictive take a back seat in Vengeful, allowing the story to focus significantly more on the Bergé family, Stella Cartell, the mysterious bearded man, and several new and compelling characters. I am excited to include even more LGBTQ representation. I am tentatively looking at a late fall date of release for Vengeful, but nothing is concrete yet.

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The best revenge is revenge. Getting it is all that matters.
Jules Cartell has it all: wealth; beauty; a handsome, loving husband; a partnership in her father’s law firm; and the top executive position at one of Canada’s leading corporations, Cartell Worldwide. Aside from her secret, problematic desire for the married owner of the internationally renowned Château Bergé, Jules believes she and her life are pretty perfect. But the discovery of an unforgivable crime perpetrated against her family by her husband, Phillip, years before the two met sets Jules down the path of revenge. There is no option for forgiveness. Phillip has to pay. An eye for an eye.
It is said that when seeking revenge, you should dig two graves. Someone from Jules’s past, someone aggrieved by her actions, seeks vengeance for themselves. This is an enemy without compassion, without morality, without mercy. An enemy who will accept no restitution short of Jules’s death.
In the city of Fairporte, ON, secrets, lies, and betrayal can be found everywhere. As adversaries close in, will Jules get revenge before her past catches up with her? Unexpected allies may be instrumental to her success. They may also be the key to her very survival.


Vindictive by author Ryan Lawrence is a captivating mystery with twists and turns where readers least expect them. This exciting book starts when Jules is eight years old and is forced to make a decision that will change her life forever. That decision sets off a chain of events full of lies, deceit, revenge, and manipulation later in her life. But what if what you’ve thought all along isn’t what it seems? What if you, yourself, have been manipulated for someone else’s quest for vengeance. This is precisely what happens to Jules, who seeks control in every aspect of her life. Often disliked by those around her, she prefers it that way to keep a layer of protection around herself. When a ghost from her past comes back to haunt her, though, Jules feels that control start to falter. The things she built her life upon turns out to be a fabrication of the truth, causing her to question the decisions she’s made as an adult.

Lawrence does not fall short on creativity. The author writes in detail, explaining fully when laying out settings and plots. Readers will recognize that Lawrence did a fair share of research or is a subject matter expert when describing fight scenes. Vindictive has many sub-plots intertwined in the storyline and Lawrence weaves them in flawlessly. The characters come to life with highly detailed back stories allowing readers to get into their mind and understand their actions. Building the back story to set up this stimulating novel allows readers to become fully immersed in the world created by Lawrence.

The characters had similar scheming personalities. Jules, Stella, Joseph, Miles, and even Denise were all brutal in their verbal attacks and only looking out for their own best interest. Phillip was the most tolerable character, seeming beaten down by a swarm of controlling people in his life, most notably Jules. Readers will enjoy experiencing the rekindled friendship between Amanda and Jules. Although Jules used Amanda years ago, Amanda comes through when Jules needs her most. It was nice to see a moment of Jules letting her guard down when having a heart-to-heart with Amanda on why things ended the way they did. It impacted how their friendship can move forward with having a better understanding of each other and their expectations.

Vindictive is a riveting murder mystery novel that will have readers turning the pages to find out what happens with Jules and how the lies she has been told unfold. A fast paced novel perfect for readers looking for action, suspense and thrills.

Pages: 448 | ASIN : B09HFZ4C56

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