WTF is Fish Stick Fridays?

In about a month, Fish Stick Fridays will be released. I’ve not talked a lot about this book mainly because I’ve just not had the time but as we circle closer in, I should be chatting it up.

First things first, it is not a Hellsinger book nor is it about Catholics. That seems to be the common thread of questions. The next Hellsinger book is “Send In The Ghosts” and will be out next year. And I’m struggling to remember if I even mention Catholicism in the book at all. Which I don’t think so but you never know.

What I do mention…or rather write about… is a little girl.

You see, Fish Stick Fridays is about a man who has lived most of his life on the wrong side of the law and now has to do right by his dead sister’s little girl. Deacon doesn’t know anything about children. He had no intention of ever having kids—practically a sure bet when you’re a gay guy—but he ended up with Zig, a little girl who spent quite a bit of time in the foster care system before Deacon was awarded custody. It was a long fight to get custody of Zig because who in their right mind would hand over a little girl to an ex-con?

I wanted to challenge myself a bit. Writing a child into a book…writing an actual child into a book… was tricky. I drew on friends’ kids for a reality check as well as the oh-so-huge family I belong to. While my immediate family is average sized by most standards, we’re practically extinct compared to the rest of the brood. I also drew on my years as a juvie counselor for a teen halfway house for inspiration. Zig needed to be a little girl but a street worn little girl. She grew up on the edge of Compton with a mother who loved her but didn’t necessarily make the best life decisions. Since that’s where Deacon came from as well, it’s something he understands and can relate to Zig’s POV.

But he also wants better for her.

Deacon was a great character to write. The balance between his bad boy instincts and doing the right thing by his niece was a fantastic thing to explore. I tried to make Zig as real of a kid as possible. She loves to read but let’s face it, she grew up in the system and it shows. Deacon isn’t a guy who is going to be able to provide her with a white picket fence lifestyle because he has no fucking idea how to do that.

Even when he falls for a guy who was born and raised behind a white picket fence.

Lang is everything Deacon is not. Moneyed, educated and a little reserved, Lang doesn’t quite know what hit him when Zig stomps into his shop. And while he certainly knows what he’d like to do with Deacon who is hot on Zig’s heels, Lang isn’t a want-take-have kind of guy.

For the most part this book is about balance… well around the murdery bits but still, balance. It’s about Deacon creating a normal life out of the nothing he was given and Lang taking a chance on a whirlwind of leather jackets, motorcycles and dimples that walked into his life.

Oh and about the title… Fish Stick Fridays is about the ONE day of the week where Zig (and Deacon) doesn’t have to eat her veggies. On Fridays, it is fish sticks and mac & cheese for dinner. A bit of comfort food in the middle of a whirlwind of life.

39 thoughts on “WTF is Fish Stick Fridays?

  1. Thanks for the background! I’ve been looking forward to this book ever since someone sent me a link about it a few books ago. I can’t wait to read it.

    There’s no way I can pass up a little girl in a tutu with a leather jacket and motorcycle boots.

  2. I am looking forward to this so very much – I love pretty much any-and-everything you write but something about the synopsis for this one has me particularly eager 😀 You make me smile and think and feel every time you post or publish something, so THANK YOU for your awesomeness.

  3. edga

    Catholicism? Huh? I can sorta as why some people might think that……but am a little puzzled at the same time. Some people are of a weird bent! Anyhoo, really looking forward to this book. Love the sound of it. I’m always so impatient for your books, can’t wait for new Hellsinger, the title sounds intriguing. So long as you write, I’ll buy 😉

  4. Maryann

    Because you were not allowed to have meat on Friday!!! Being raised Catholic I know that by heart!!! Please don’t put anything Catholic in the book!!!! Ugh!!! I’ll be traumatized!!! 😂😂

    1. Oh I know the Fish and Friday connection but there’s no Catholic in this book. The Sinners series however has an entire family of Catholics *Grins* But the Morgans are fun to write.

      1. Maryann

        I know!!! Have all the books and audios. But they are laid back Catholics!!! They don’t necessarily follow all the rules. much more mature (older) than most on your blog. So when I was being raised Catholic it wasn’t easy. That’s when they put the fear of God in you!!

      2. I tried writing the Morgans like the Catholics we have in our family. Pick and choose and work for the church to get better 😀

  5. Kendra Patterson

    Is this book connected to any of your others or is it a new series/standalone? It sounds fun!😃

  6. edga

    I know about fish and Friday – my grandma, a protestant lady, always insisted on it, so it’s not just the Catholics. Anyway, back to you and your writing. Get to it, I’m impatient for all these goodies to appear on my kindle, both as books and then audio ;D

  7. Patricia

    I love your story idea! You are really branching out, putting a kid front and center in the story! I can’t wait to read Fish Sticks Friday.

  8. When I was growing up, we actually had fish stick Friday’s because my mom could afford more than that. It went along with pork and beans on Wednesday(if we were good, we could have potato chips with the beans). We thought it was great. Thanks fro reminding me of a good memory in my childhood

  9. Dee Ash

    A) I always thought the fish on Fridays thing was all Christianity not just Catholicism so goes to show B) I still can’t get my head around calling fish fingers anything else and C) it sounds uber cute and I think I’m in the need of sweet and cute right now so bring it on!

  10. Diane Stumpf

    Hey Rhys, Fish Sticks got a 4 Star review in Romantic Times December issue. It is in the Romantic Suspense section. Congrats!I

  11. Stephanie S.

    This sounds interesting. . .can’t wait! Should be a nice change from the “spy vs. spooks ” I’ve been reading.

  12. Thanks for the more info – that actually sounds pretty interesting and I’ll add it to my ‘to buy’ list 🙂 Fun and sweet is a nice change of pace 🙂

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