Guest Post: Rektok Ross talks her unique writing journey

Summer Rental by Rektok Ross. Image Courtesy of Rektok Ross.
Summer Rental by Rektok Ross. Image Courtesy of Rektok Ross. /

Writing is hard work and some authors don’t start that way. Take Rektok Ross for example.

You might recognize Ross from her recent release which is Summer Rental. I feel like I’ve been seeing this book pop up everywhere so I’m sure you’ve heard of her or at least, notice the stunning cover.

With the two comp titles being Scream and Mean Girls, Summer Rental sounds like an absolute delight and an ideal poolside read. That’s why I was so excited for Rektok Ross to sit down with us and share her story.

I’d like to thank RekTok Ross for her time and for sharing her story with us as it might not be what you’re expecting and honestly, sometimes that makes the best stories.

Rektok Ross shares her journey from lawyer to thriller writer with us.

If you’re a fan of Rektok Ross, I’m sure you’re going to love this and if you’re a newbie or just want to try something new, she goes into her journey and even talks about her books. Currently, she has Summer Rental and Ski Weekend with more planned but I just wanted to share the title before the piece.

From Lawyer to Thriller Author: Embracing the Twists and Plot Turns of Following Your Dreams

Rektok Ross
Rektok Ross Headshot. Image Courtesy of Rektok Ross. /

"They say the path to following your dreams can be long and twisty, filled with unexpected detours and surprising revelations—not unlike a thriller novel. My own transition from veteran trial attorney to award-winning and bestselling author, screenwriter, and producer certainly had its share of plot twists. From a young age, I was always captivated by the power of words and the magic of storytelling. My mother was a schoolteacher, and she instilled in me a love of reading. Whether I was lost in the pages of a gripping novel or creating my own imaginary worlds, storytelling was my sanctuary. But even though I dabbled in creative writing classes and film studies in college, when it was time to decide on a career path, practicality took precedence. I chose law school over pursuing a career in the creative arts, seeking stability and financial security.I worked hard, got good grades, and felt lucky to land a job as a trial attorney at a top international law firm, with Fortune 100 clients and a caseload frequently featured on the front pages of The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. I spent my twenties doing interesting work, my colleagues were brilliant and kind, and the pay was fantastic—the type of money I never even thought possible. There’s no doubt I was living a dream career—it just wasn’t my dream career. By the time I neared thirty, I knew it was time for a change. Though I’d found success in my legal career, there was a part of me yearning for something more. Deep down, I knew I wasn’t living my true purpose. Even so, making the transition from lawyer to author was not a decision I made lightly. I understood that it would require time and dedication for such a major career change.I started with small steps, taking novel writing classes one night a week at Southern Methodist University in Dallas to learn the craft of writing. But it wasn’t just about acquiring a new skill set; a full career pivot would also require me to conquer my fears and take a huge leap into the unknown. I sought guidance from life and business coach Hilary Decesare, who works with thousands of entrepreneurs helping them make similar career transitions. Through coaching and self-reflection, I confronted my worries head-on. I discovered that my fear of burning bridges could be approached with grace and open communication. My anxiety about creating a sustainable income required strategic planning and diversifying my creative endeavors. And as for concerns about losing my hard-earned identity as a business professional, I realized that being an attorney was just one facet of who I am and there is so much more I have to offer the world.Eventually, I found the courage to leave my law firm job and shortly thereafter published my debut young adult thriller Ski Weekend, a story about six diverse teens trapped in a blizzard, forced to confront their darkest fears and fight for their lives. The book received critical acclaim, capturing the attention of readers and becoming a bestseller. The project garnered interest from acclaimed producers Oren Koules and Miles Koules, and together, we are embarking on the exciting journey of bringing Ski Weekend to the big screen. As an executive producer, I am determined to deliver a visually captivating and chilling movie that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.This summer, I released my sophomore thriller Summer Rental. Described as Mean Girls meets Scream, Summer Rental explores the haunting dynamics of a group of recent high school graduates who rent a house on an island for a weekend getaway, only to find themselves trapped with a serial killer on the loose. The book was fueled by my love for ’80s and ’90s slashers like Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and Nightmare on Elm Street, and I drew inspiration for the plot from my own personal experiences of being bullied by a former friend group and witnessing similar situations faced by my stepdaughters. Summer Rental was an opportunity to blend my passion for slashers with a strong anti-bullying, anti-toxic friendship theme that I hope resonates with readers. Like Ski Weekend, the plan is to adapt Summer Rental for film or television, and two more thriller books in the Ski Weekend “universe” are in the works.My journey from lawyer to author has been a transformative experience. It has taught me the value of perseverance and the importance of following one’s passions, even if it means taking a different route than initially planned. While my path may have been long and uncertain at times, every detour and setback has shaped me into the person I am today. Life has a way of guiding us on unexpected paths, and it’s never too late to listen to the whispers of our heart. So, to anyone hesitating to pursue their dreams, remember that the path may be winding, but just like a good thriller, it’s the twists and turns that make the journey all the more extraordinary."

As you can see, Ross has had an extremely interesting journey to become the author she is now and it makes me want to read her books even more. I

Summer Rental by Rektok Ross is out now wherever books are sold. 

Have you read anything from Rektok Ross? Were you surprised by what she shared in her essay? Let us know in the comments.

Sarah Adler shares her favorite forced proximity romances. dark. Next