Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Character Interview: Rancor Bass

Let's continue our series of interviewing some interesting characters.  Today's guest is Rancor Bass, hero of The Pit & the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel by M.S. Spencer.  Now, I must admit to be a fan of Spencer's stories and have had the pleasure of reading several of her books. 

Here's a little about the story.

At midnight, in the darkness of a deserted hotel, comes a scream and a splash. Eighty-five years later workmen uncover a skeleton. Who does it belong to, and how did it get to the bottom of an old elevator shaft? To find out, Charity Snow, ace reporter for the Longboat Key Planet, must team up with Rancor Bass, best-selling author. Although his arrogance nearly exceeds his talent, she is surprised to discover a warm heart beating under his handsome exterior.

While dealing with a drop-dead gorgeous editor who may or may not be the villain and a publisher with a dark family secret, they unearth an unexpected link to the most famous circus family in the world.

The Pit and the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel
The Wild Rose Press (January 2018); Imprint: Crimson
Rating: Spicy (PG13)
418 p.; 97370 words
Themes: Mystery, Humorous/Romantic Comedy
SubGenres: Contemporary, Suspense

Tell us a little about yourself:

I, Rancor Bass, am a renowned author, known from sea to shining sea for my elegant prose, witty dialogue, and the photo on the back cover. My family roots in Maine go back to the French & Indian War. We have always been in the hospitality business and maintain several elite boutique hotels in all the right places. I am not allowed in them.

How did your background get you involved in this novel?

I was by way of needing a touch of lucre, my latest manuscript having been lifted by a light-fingered Louie, so I embarked on a journey to unearth tales of paranormal occurrences in south-west Florida. There, due to my unerring nose for intrigue, I trailed Charity, a lowly reporter, to the scene of a crime. To her shock and my satisfaction, we actually did—literally—unearth paranormal activity; to wit, a small child ghost. Oh, and a mysterious skeleton <cue the music>.

Who came first, you or the author?

M. S.? Is she still around? Probably expecting accolades for her stunning novel. Well, forget it, sister, the accolades are all mine, with a round of applause for Charity if I’m feeling generous.

What’s your greatest strength?   And of course, we want to know the opposite, your greatest weakness.

As noted before, my greatest strength is my prodigious talent—and not just in the bedroom. Also, my sincerity, my graciousness, and my ability to attract beautiful women. Weakness? Moi? Excuse me a moment….Hmm. Charity has just informed me that I’m an arrogant snot and a skinflint. Not sure which of those weaknesses she considers my greatest.

What is it about this story that sets it apart from the others?

Well, for one thing, I’m in it. I’m not in any other story as far as I know. Although the fearless and persistent Ms. M. S. may try to insert me in some new masterpiece (I tell you, women can not keep away from me. It’s a both curse and a gift.)

Tell us something about your background that may or may not be revealed in the book?

I had an uneasy relationship with my father (hence the moniker) (I’m just glad he didn’t name me Spite). And I’m no good at boring work, which is why my family let me out of my obligations to contribute to the family business.

Are you the type of person who always seeks out the company of others?

On the contrary, they seek me out. In droves. Especially women. 

What do you do to relax after a day’s work?

Drink heavily. Make love. Solve mysteries.

Which do you prefer, music or television?

Neither. I prefer books.

Who’s your best friend and what influence have they had on your life?

Before I met Charity it was Atalanta l’Amour—aka Betty Smith—the erotic romance author (noted for her shapeshifter vampire erotica). She’s really very sweet, despite an imagination that runs to whips and chains. Now—although I will have you assassinated if you so much as breathe a word—I don’t need anyone but Charity. She’s <cough cough > made me a better person. For one thing, I have learned to open my wallet on occasion.

What has been the most romantic thing you’ve ever done or instigated?

The frog. Definitely the frog. I made Charity kiss a frog before I took her out (well, before letting her take me out) for Valentine’s Day. She—Charity—was very moved.

Tell us about the one person you loved who got away.

No one ever got away unless I wanted them to. Did I mention I’m a stud?

 Such modesty!  Now let's learn about the author:

Although M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five continents, she spent the last thirty years in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional assistant, speechwriter, and non-profit director. She has two grown children and a perfect granddaughter. Ms. Spencer has published twelve mystery/romantic suspense novels, and currently divides her time between Florida and Maine.

You can find The Pit and the Passion here:

When I asked about an appropriate tune for Rancor, this is the little ditty that was recommended.


  1. I apologize for not getting here sooner--in transit. I know there are some who would dislike Rancor at once, but he really grows on you (luckily there's an ointment for that). Me, I love him. So does Charity. Thanks so much Mark for letting him ramble on. :)

  2. Rancor cracks me up. Upon reflection, I've known a number of guys just like him, with the combination of looks, charm and attitude that can draw women with nothing more than a wink. (Always envied guys like that!)