Friday Favourites with Kris Ripper


My guest in this week's Friday Favourites post is Kris Ripper, author of queer romances. Zir latest book, Hold Fast, was just released this Tuesday and I can't wait to read it. Check out the favourite things Kris has shared in zir interview and read on for an excerpt of Hold Fast at the end of this post. 

Meet Chris

I will be terrible at this, fair warning. I’m impossible with favorites.

1. Favourite place
I once lived in the attic of a semi-detached house in Tralee, County Kerry (that’s in Ireland, for anyone for whom “County Kerry” doesn’t conjure mental images of rolling green hills). I had this window in the roof which hinged in the middle so it could be open in all weather—you know, ish—and I’m short, so I could stand there with my head clearing the edge and look out at the street below, and the fields that led eventually to the town green. I’ll never stand there again, but I’d be hard-pressed to think of a more favored place.

2. Favourite food and drink
Tacos and ginger beer, though technically I love water more than any other drink. It just serves as a boring answer to the question. And I do adore ginger beer.

3. Favourite music/genre/artist/song
Good god. I have no idea. How do people answer these questions? When I was writing Queers of La Vista I was completely obsessed with the song “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne. Because the story of the song doesn’t resolve, it’s all just the potential of a relationship, the possibility of something magnificent between two people if they dare try. I get off on possibilities. And daring.

4. Favourite movie/TV series
I love television. West Wing is my comfort food. I’ve seriously watched the available series of Broadchurch like three times. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is possibly the best show ever made. And back when Drag Race was on Hulu, that was the thing I turned to on the most poisonous of days; RuPaul always brightens my world.

5. Favourite hobby besides writing, if you consider writing a hobby
Oh, writing’s never been a hobby. I don’t hobby well. I just finished a knitting project for the first time. Bear in mind, I have no memory of learning how to knit; my mom owned a yarn shop when I was young. I’ve always known how to knit. I just never finished anything I tried to make—until last week. I’m very proud.

6. Favourite books (feel free to list as many as you want; all-time favourites or newly released ones; grouped by sub/genre or other criteria)
Oh my god, no. Just no. This is not a reasonable question. For years as a kid my two favorites were Stephen King’s It (which I read annually at the end of the school year) and Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds (which I read as some people read holy books, diving in to bits here and there to find the answers to my world). I could crawl inside James Baldwin’s prose and live there indefinitely. Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan saga has never failed to consume and delight me. And if I had to take a single book to a desert island, it would be Alexis Hall’s Prosperity.

7. Please introduce your latest/upcoming release (what inspired you to write, what can the readers expect from it, etc.)
My latest release came out! It’s called Hold Fast, and it’s the story of a guy called Zack, who has everything in his life organized down to the color-coded task list…until he falls in love with Isaiah, who’s the kind of dude who dances in the rain just for fun. I love watching rigidly principled people struggle with falling in love and eventually surrender to it—falling in love being impossible to control, no matter how many lists you have or plans you’ve made. Also, I adored writing a book that takes place largely in a climbing gym staffed by people who consider each other family. Chosen family is one of the themes that runs through all my work, and it was a lot of fun getting to know all the folks in Hold Fast. Hopefully it’ll be fun for readers, too!

Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to stop by!


Zack Scherzo likes his notebooks. And his pens. And, okay, he really loves to organize stuff. He’s organized his whole life into the ideal trajectory for his ten year plan, at which point his career will be solid and he’ll be ready for a husband and family. Everything makes perfect sense.

Until he meets Isaiah.

Driven entrepreneur Isaiah Carlin generally doesn’t get involved with lost causes, like the climbing gym Zack’s trying to keep afloat. But there’s something about the gym—and there’s definitely something about Zack—that intrigues him. He wants to help. He also wants to see what happens when Zack shakes loose some of his rules and allows himself to feel.

When passion collides with Zack’s regimented life path, something’s gotta give. And it looks like that thing is going to be Isaiah, unless he can convince Zack that sometimes real life is even better than the best laid plans.

Author bio and links

Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and zir pronouns are ze/zir. Kris shares a converted garage with a kid, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.


Zack nodded. “Okay. Let’s do it.”

“Sweet.” Isaiah stepped closer. “So should we go figure out what we’re offering each other?”

Zack stepped back. “Yes. In my office.”

“I’ll follow you.”

Which wasn’t, inherently, a flirtatious thing to say. So why did Zack feel like Isaiah meant I’ll be watching your ass? And god, now he was hyper-conscious of how he was walking.

Everything was calmer and more logical in his office. Like always. Even with Isaiah sitting across the desk, watching him.

Probably not watching him. It just felt like it because every time he glanced up, Isaiah was looking right at him, always with his eyebrows just a little high, like he was waiting for Zack to say something.

He had to focus. On something that wasn’t Isaiah.

He started a new section in his WoJo and began free form note taking, with sketched exclamation point icons for everything he knew needed to be in the contract, and boxes for all the information he wanted unofficially recorded.

“I’ve never seen anyone write that way. And your notebook’s a trip.”

“It’s a world journal. By which I mean it’s just a regular notebook with specific planning pages, as well as a flexible, open-ended system for additional sections as needed.”

“And color coding,” Isaiah added.

Zack froze in the process of picking up his red pen (for something he needed to double check and come back to). He glanced up, braced for derision. “It helps me keep things organized.”

“I’m not making fun. It’s kind of magnificent. And it looks cool, too.”

It looks cool? Zack pressed the pages flat and continued writing. “I always loved planners and calendars, but I never wanted to be locked in to just having the space for appointments or classes when I really needed to be able to reference so much more stuff. World journals were started by this woman who basically wanted to have a place for everything in one notebook, so she invented a system to make that work.”

“I’ve never been able to keep a calendar updated. I used to buy one every year, and by February it’d be taking up space, but I’d never use it.”

“I’m a serial monogamist when it comes to planners.” Zack smirked down at his paper.

“Many are the planners you have loved and lost?”

“That’s about it, yeah.” He scanned over the exclamation point icons. “I think I have everything. Give me your email address and I’ll send you a draft in an hour.”

Isaiah shook his head. “You work a late shift. Isn’t Crux closing soon?”

“Oh. We close at ten on Fridays.” Not that it mattered. He was off tomorrow and he really needed to study, but he’d stay until everything was done.

“I’ll keep an eye out for your email, then.”

This time Zack was the one raising his eyebrows. “I thought being self-employed meant you were allowed to stop working at some point.”

“Common misconception. Being self-employed means you never stop working, but if you’re doing it right, then you have a really good boss.”

And oh, god, Isaiah had the best smile Zack had seen in months. Or maybe this just happened to be the first time in months he’d paid attention to a smile.

He cleared his throat. He always cleared his throat too much when he was nervous. “Look, I would completely understand if you decided not to do this. Even after we’ve talked about it and agreed. I know you’re worth a lot more than a gym membership, Isaiah. There would be no hard feelings if you decided to bag out.”

“That’s what you think. You’ve clearly never pissed off Milo.”

“No way. And I’m sure he’d understand, too. I just don’t want you to feel obligated. Or to think I’m…unaware. That you’re doing us a huge favor.”

“Hey, I’m having a good time. And I can’t resist a new project. I’ve been feeling a little bored lately anyway.”

“Is this where you tell me that I’m really doing you a favor?”

“Hell no. The lighting’s going to be a clusterfuck, let me tell you. But I’m betting it’ll be worth it, one way or the other.”

That was an intriguing phrase. How many ways were there to make helping Crux worth it to Isaiah? And did any of them involve kissing?

Sheesh. Zack invented something really important he had to suddenly write down, hoping Isaiah couldn’t tell he was blushing. “I hope you don’t regret this, anyway.”

“Oh, I don’t believe in regret.”

“No?” He looked up. “So then you never fail at anything?”

“Ha. I fail all the time. I’m fantastic at failing. Show me an entrepreneur who doesn’t fail, and I’ll show you someone who’s not working hard enough.” Isaiah shrugged, shoulders rolling and settling back into place again, making Zack want to know what they’d feel like under his palms.

Randomly fantasizing about giving a guy he just met a neck rub was a real good sign he needed to get laid.

“Failure’s a way better teacher than success. I figure that’s why I’m so good when I’m good. And so spectacularly bad when I fuck things up.” Isaiah stood. “Great to meet you, Zack. I’ll be looking forward to your email.”

Zack stood. They shook hands. Again. For the third time, if you counted the one in the middle, which was less of a shake and more of a long hold. “Good to meet you, too. Let me walk you out.”

“Nah, I can find my way.”

“I insist.”

He was almost certain Isaiah whispered, “How gentlemanly” behind him.

You Might Also Like


Flickr Images