Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Rektok Ross Interview - Ski Weekend


Photo Content from Rektok Ross

Rektok Ross is the pen name of Liani Kotcher, a trial attorney turned award-winning young adult author and book blogger. An avid reader since childhood, Liani writes exactly the kind of books she loves to escape into herself: exciting thrillers with strong female leads, swoonworthy love interests, and life-changing moments. She graduated from the University of Florida School of Journalism and obtained her juris doctorate at the University of Miami School of Law. Originally from South Florida, she currently splits her time between San Francisco and Los Angeles with her husband, stepkids, and her dogs. You can find her online just about anywhere at @RektokRoss, as well as on her website, www.RektokRoss.com, where she blogs about books and writing.

        
  


Greatest thing you learned at school? 
In law school I learned how to think creatively, critically, and outside the box in order to come up with the best logical argument to be persuasive and win your case. This skill has served me well throughout my life.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published. 
Meeting other amazing writers and booklovers in the literary community who think like I do and value collaboration over competition.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us? 
I’m working on my follow-up thriller to SKI WEEKEND. It’s an homage to the 90’s slasher—but with a dash of romance—and I can’t wait to finish writing it.

Can you tell us when you started SKI WEEKEND, how that came about? 
I was home alone one weekend about ten years ago and spent the evening watching one of those true crime news shows. The story was about a family that got lost in the mountains coming home from the holidays after their car navigation system took them down the wrong road. The story was so sad and tragic that I couldn’t stop thinking about. I knew a winter survival story was something I wanted to explore in my writing.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel? 
I hope the book encourages readers to really think about the dangers of harmful stereotyping especially in today’s diverse world. I’d love for it to encourage people to explore new friendships and relationships with those from different cultural, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds who they don’t think they have anything in common with and learn to appreciate each other’s differences.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Sam? 
That she’s a lot like me with respect to being a complete control freak!

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why? 
I think Sam and Katniss from The Hunger Games would really get along. They have a lot in common and would make a pretty awesome team in battle.

Tell me about a favorite event of your childhood. 
The first time I ever went to California was in high school. I’d always dreamed of visiting LA one day and when I finally got there it was everything I dreamed of. I’ll never forget that magical feeling I had seeing the Hollywood sign. After that trip, I knew I’d make it back out west eventually and here I am!

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? 
Watch a horror movie! They are so underrated and so many people avoid them because of misconceptions they have but some of the most interesting storytelling is done in the horror genre.

Best date you've ever had? 
With my husband, of course. He is always planning these really incredible, thoughtful trips. It’s hard to rate them because I’ve enjoyed them all, but I’d say the most unique one so far was attending the Grand Prix races in Monte Carlo. We were there the exact same time as the Cannes Film Festival as well. That was definitely the experience of a lifetime.

What was the first job you had? 
I’m not sure I can remember—I’ve been working since I was about thirteen! It was probably being a camp counselor.

If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go? 
I like where I am at in life right now so wouldn’t want to go back permanently, but I’d love to go visit my early twenties when my mother was still alive and tell her about all the things that have happened in my life since she’s been gone. I know she’d love to hear about it. She was always my biggest supporter.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? 
I’m a big traveler and am very lucky to say I have hit most of my dream locations at this point but a safari in South Africa is still on the list. I am a huge animal lover and I think seeing them in their natural habitat would be breathtaking and life-affirming. Otherwise, I would say St. Tropez during the summer season.

First Heartbreak? 
Probably the death of my horse Bambi. That was incredibly sad and one of the first pets of mine to pass away.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be? 
Maybe Reese Witherspoon. I love how she’s such a trailblazer in female storytelling—both in film/tv and books. I also think Jason Blum has a really cool career I’d be intrigued to see up close.

Where can readers find you? 
I’m most often on Instagram at @RektokRoss and love to connect there. You can also found me at my WEBSITE and all my links are listed on my bio page. The other places I hang out most often online are in my Facebook book club THE BOOK NOOK and on the Clubhouse app where I host a regular chat on Wednesdays for other writers called LEVEL UP WRITERS.

TEN REASONS TO READ SKI WEEKEND:
  • 1. You like “mature” young adult books that can be read by older teens and adults alike.
  • 2. You like reading fast-paced page turners that keep you up all night.
  • 3. You enjoy a diverse cast.
  • 4. You like to learn about real-life survival skills.
  • 5. You enjoy the “enemies to lovers” or “friends to lovers” tropes. (This is basically “frenemies to lovers.”)
  • 6. You’re a fan of horror trivia, especially 80s and 90s horror.
  • 7. You like thrillers with a lot of action.
  • 8. You want to support an indie author and the launch of her debut thriller novel.
  • 9. You like strong female leads.
  • 10. You read books that help you escape from real life but also make you think about the world we live in.
Journey to writing SKI WEEKEND
In the book, the main character, Sam, struggles a lot with always wanting to be in control—particularly where her younger brother Stuart and his gorgeous but troublemaking best friend Gavin are concerned. It stems from a good place (her loving over protectiveness of her sibling) but it creates a lot of conflict in her relationships with others and is a stressor in her own life, too. As a super Type-A person myself, I absolutely relate to Sam and often need to pep talk myself to slow down and enjoy life and believe that things will work out. I don’t want to spoil anything from the book, but there is a pivotal moment in it when this specific quote comes into play and it has stuck with me: “Sometimes you just have to let go and have a little faith.”


Six teens, one dog, a ski trip gone wrong . . .

Sam is dreading senior ski weekend and having to watch after her brother and his best friend, Gavin, to make sure they don’t do anything stupid. Again. Gavin may be gorgeous, but he and Sam have never gotten along. Now they’re crammed into an SUV with three other classmates and Gavin’s dog, heading on a road trip that can’t go by fast enough.

Then their SUV crashes into a snowbank, and Sam and her friends find themselves stranded in the mountains with cell phone coverage long gone and temperatures dropping. When the group gets sick of waiting for rescue, they venture outside to find help—only to have a wilderness accident leave Sam’s brother with a smashed leg and, soon, a raging fever. While the hours turn to days, Sam’s brother gets sicker and sicker, and their food and supplies dwindle until there isn’t enough for everyone. As the winter elements begin to claim members of the group one by one, Sam vows to keep her brother alive.

No matter what.

Filled with twists, secrets, and life-changing moments, Ski Weekend is a snow-packed survival thriller featuring a diverse cast of teens that will appeal to fans of One of Us is Lying and I Am Still Alive.

You can purchase Ski Weekend at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you REKTOK ROSS for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Ski Weekend by Rektok Ross.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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5 comments:

  1. I mostly take showers so I've probably gone months, or even years without a bath. Without a shower would be no longer than a week maybe, when I was camping.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think about 3 days while we were gone camping.

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  3. It's been awhile since I've gotten to take a bath, I usually shower. So I'd say probably months.

    ReplyDelete