An Interview with Rick R. Reed & Giveaway
Today’s guest is Rick R. Reed. I remember the first time I met Rick, it was at Dreamspinner’s author conference in Chicago. I was a bit hesitant to say hello, after all he was Rick R. Reed and I was just a new author. Fortunately he’s not only a talented author, he’s a genuinely nice guy and we had a nice chat. I make it a point to say hello now whenever we cross paths. So take a moment and read the interview we did, learn a bit more about Rick and enter for a chance to win a copy of Rick’s book, Caregiver.
Author Interview – Rick R. Reed:
Welcome Rick. I’m sure most people know you, but for the few who aren’t familiar with your work, tell us a bit about yourself.
Thanks, Andrew. I’m a writer who’s been around for more than two decades now, writing romance, suspense, thrillers, and horror. I love to tell a good story! You can find out more about me than you ever wanted to know at my website www.rickrreed.com
You’ve been writing a long time, what was your first book?
My first book was Obsessed (http://www.amazon.com/Obsessed-Rick-R-Reed-ebook/dp/B00580JWMO/ ), which was published by Dell way back in 1991 under its revolutionary horror line called Abyss. It’s about a serial killer who believes he’s a vampire and he gets a sexual kick from blood. Quite different from what I’m mostly writing now! Here’s the blurb:
I kill, therefore I am…
Voices slam through the corridor of his wounded mind. The words of his dead sister cry out. His parents’ taunts fill the silent room where he sits and waits–waits for the murderous rage, filling him with strength, driving him to kill, to touch the cold flesh, taste the warm blood–to feel alive again… A witness has seen him, but his killing only turns her on and now she wants to protect him. His wife suspects him, but the private detective she hired cannot stop him. Joe MacAree fears nothing–except that he may no longer be human. The thirst that drives him is relentless, moving deeper and deeper into his own shattering, private realm, where each murder is a delicious new gift of life, where revulsion is beauty, and the obsession will never let him go.
I know you’ve written several different sub-genres, which ones do you like the most?
Right now, I’m all about telling compelling and touching love stories. I think it’s a reflection of the good place I’m in in my own life. But I still have an urge to explore the dark side, so that’s not neglected completely. One of my latest releases, a psychic thriller called Third Eye (http://www.amazon.com/Third-Eye-Rick-R-Reed-ebook/dp/B00OWMY0CG/ ) bears testimony to that. Here’s the blurb for Third Eye:
Who knew that a summer thunderstorm and his lost little boy would conspire to change single dad Cayce D’Amico’s life in an instant? With Luke missing, Cayce ventures into the woods near their house to find his son, only to have lightning strike a tree near him, sending a branch down on his head. When he awakens the next day in the hospital, he discovers he has been blessed or cursed—he isn’t sure which—with psychic ability. Along with unfathomable glimpses into the lives of those around him, he’s getting visions of a missing teenage girl.
When a second girl disappears soon after the first, Cayce realizes his visions are leading him to their grisly fates. Cayce wants to help, but no one believes him. The police are suspicious. The press wants to exploit him. And the girls’ parents have mixed feelings about the young man with the “third eye.”
Cayce turns to local reporter Dave Newton and, while searching for clues to the string of disappearances and possible murders, a spark ignites between the two. Little do they know that nearby, another couple—dark and murderous—are plotting more crimes and wondering how to silence the man who knows too much about them.
You’re latest book, Blink came out a few days ago. Tell us about Blink.
Blink (http://www.amazon.com/Blink-Rick-R-Reed-ebook/dp/B00SIBTYI2/ ) is my latest contemporary romance and it’s really about second chances and love lasting the passage of time. It’s the touching story of two men who meet in 1981, but whose lives are too complicated for them to forge a lasting bond. That’s the first half, which is no secret is very autobiographical. The second half is in present day and is all about the two men finding one another again. Can they make love work after all that’s passed? It was a question I wanted to pursue and I think the results are funny, poignant, and, I hope, real.
How much of your own life did you put into Blink?
As I said above the first part of the book, which takes place in 1981, was pretty much my story. I did meet a gorgeous Cuban man named Carlos on the L in Chicago and I was unable to pursue the relationship because I was too ashamed and far back in the closet to do it. Plus there was the fact that I was engaged to my female college sweetheart, whom I loved very much in spite of the orientation I refused to accept back then. It was interesting for me to go back to that time in my head and revisit that naïve and innocent boy.
What part of the book was the most fun to write and why?
It’s hard to pinpoint a specific part. I enjoyed going back in time to Chicago of the early 80s and exploring the music and popular culture of that time. It was fun to ride the old L trains (if only in my head) as I did so frequently in my 20s. It was also fun to write present day, about two older gay male characters and their thwarted search for love…bad first dates are always fun to write about.
What part made you struggle them most?
I think facing again the shame and guilt I felt as a young man over being gay. I couldn’t accept it and truly believed it was something I could change. Writing about the young Andy brought back all those memories and the difficulty of living a life wearing a mask, where no one who loves you loves you for who you really are.
Many of your books put a face to important issues to the LGBT community. Caregiver for example, dealt with the effect AIDs had on survivors. How hard a book was that to write?
Like Blink, Caregiver (http://www.amazon.com/Caregiver-Rick-R-Reed-ebook/dp/B005YVAJG0/ ) was somewhat autobiographical in that I modeled the character, Adam, who is dying from AIDS, after my own AIDS buddy, Jim, that I had through the Tampa AIDS Network back in the early 90s. This was before there was much effective treatment for the virus and I saw Jim through the horror of his demise. He was a brilliant guy, funny, artistic, and very witty. To watch him perish was heart-wrenching, but at the same time, a real gift. I wrote the book as a tribute to him…and I only hope I did him justice.
Legally Wed deals with Gay Marriage, another significant topic for the community. I know you were married shortly after Washington State passed the law allowing gay marriage. Did that have a role in writing this book?
Oh yeah. When the book opens and our main character is seeing on the news about gay marriage being made legal in Washington State and all the hoopla at City Hall, which was open all night to accommodate all those who could at last marry, that was drawn from my own experience. My husband Bruce and I were one of those many couples who stood in line in the wee hours of the morning to get our marriage license at City Hall. It was a day I thought would never come. So, that’s how I opened the book and with Duncan wanting to marry his boyfriend….
What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
You know the first thing that popped into my head was writing, “The End”. Dorothy Parker said, “I hate writing; I love having written.” I get that. But I also have to say that it’s bittersweet. I mean, the characters I create become very real people to me. So saying goodbye to them is often as difficult as saying goodbye to loved ones in real life.
What’s your least favorite?
Getting started every day. I can find a million things to do that simply must be done before I sit down to write another page, chapter, whatever. I don’t know why that is (fear of failure?) but I can procrastinate with the best of them when it comes to my work.
Since there is always another story to tell, what are you working on now?
Right now, I’m working on a romantic suspense novel called The Couple Next Door, about a young man falling for one of the two men who move into the apartment next door. The couple is not what they seem! And how the mystery, and the romance, unravel, is what I hope will keep the reader turning the pages.
If you could meet any writer, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Probably Ruth Rendell, the British mystery/psychological suspense author who is simply amazing…prolific and, I think, one of the finest voices in contemporary English language literature. I’d like to ask her how she so consistently turns out such gripping and high-quality work.
Besides reading and writing, what else do you enjoy?
I love to cook and eat! I do all the cooking at our house and I love to experiment with food and delight my chief taster (my husband, Bruce). Cooking is a chore for some, but for me it’s a joy—relaxing and creative. To offset weight gain, one of my other passions is running. I usually run around 20 miles per week and consider myself fortunate to have such beauty to look at here in Seattle while I log my miles. Last, and certainly not least, I love to read—I am never not reading something.
Thanks for having me, Andrew! Below is information on Blink—my newest release—and ways to get in touch with me. For those who comment, I’ll let Andrew pick a winner at random who will get a digital copy of my novel Caregiver.
Blink; By Rick R. Reed
Life can change in the blink of an eye. That’s a truth Andy Slater learns as a young man in 1982, taking the Chicago ‘L’ to work every morning. Andy’s life is laid out before him: a good job, marriage to his female college sweetheart, and the white picket fence existence he believes in. But when he sees Carlos Castillo for the first time, Carlos’s dark eyes and Latin appeal mesmerize him. Fate continues to throw them together until the two finally agree to meet up. At Andy’s apartment, the pent-up passion of both young men is ignited, but is snuffed out by an inopportune and poorly-timed phone call.
Flash forward to present day. Andy is alone, having married, divorced, and become the father of a gay son. He’s comfortable but alone and has never forgotten the powerful pull of Carlos’s gaze on the ‘L’ train. He vows to find him once more, hoping for a second chance. If life can change in the blink of an eye, what will the passage of thirty years do? To find out, Andy begins a search that might lead to heartache and disappointment or a love that will last forever….
Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). Raining Men and Caregiver have both won the Rainbow Award for gay fiction. Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”