Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spotlight: Novelist Rick R. Reed

Novelist Rick R. Reed has become one of the most prolific authors on the literary scene today. His books features gay characters in the most prominent roles and often his works are of the horror, and sometimes supernatural, genre. Unzipped magazine dubbed him "The Stephen King of gay horror."

Rick has spent the last few years amassing a huge following. His fan base is varied and it's also international. He's the recipient of an Eppie Award for his novel Orientation and he's been honored with many other awards as well, including Elisa Rolle's annual Rainbow Awards. The man is a dynamo when it comes to writing.

With his last couple of releases, Rick has given his fans something other than murder and mayhem with which to whet their appetites. His first gay romance novel, Tricks, has been a popular title on the bestseller lists and now he's out with a new tale, Dignity Takes A Holiday.

Rick is an old friend of mine. His warm, congenial nature wins people over immediately and the tenacity of the loyalty he has for his friends is inspiring. He regularly graced the pages of Web Digest Weekly with snippets from his books and also with insights into his world through more interviews than any other guest who appeared on the WDW Spotlight page. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to talk with Rick again now that his new book is out. Welcoming him to The Outer View is a pleasure.

CP:  Rick, long time since we chatted. How's life in Seattle?
RR: Misty, drizzly, and rainy, but at least we've seen very, very little snow and temperatures are mostly in the 40s and 50s. I do my best to get outside and avoid umbrellas at all costs--they're for amateurs.
CP: You've got a new book out, I see. Tell me about Dignity Takes A Holiday.
RR: Here's the cover blurb, which gives you a pretty good idea:
   Pete Thickwhistle doesn't live what one might call a charmed life. At age forty-seven, he's a flamboyant gay man who believes no one knows he's gay, still living at home with his harpy of a mother. Worse, he's still a virgin, longing to find just the right man to make his life complete. Pete's an upbeat kind of guy, yet he's never learned that the answer to his motto "What could possibly go wrong?" is always: "Everything."
   Pete's road to love and happiness is full of potholes, yet he never tires of searching, despite job losses, weight battles, clothing faux pas, and disastrous vacations, parties, and dating debacles. Pete is the ultimate underdog living a television situation comedy, one named Dignity Takes a Holiday.
CP: Where did you get the inspiration for this one?
RR: To paraphrase Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, I never look any further for inspiration than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really had it to begin with. How's that for metaphysical and literary all at once?
CP: (Laughing) What's the general reaction to it been?
RR: Horror, shock, and disgust. No seriously, it's only been about a week and several readers have written me to tell me how funny they thought it was. One even said she peed a little when she read it, she was laughing so hard. I'll take that kind of reaction over a five-star review any day!
CP: And Tricks? That was another success for you.
RR: was my first full-length gay romance novel, so it's validating that it's had some wonderful reviews and strong sales. Here's the blurb for it:
   Tricks can mean many things: sex partners, deceptions, even magic. In Rick R. Reed searing love story, it means all three.
   Arliss is a gorgeous young dancer at Tricks, the hottest club in Chicago's Boystown. Sean is the classic nerd, out of place in Tricks, but nursing his wounds from a recent break-up. When the two spy each other, magic blooms.
   But this opposites-attract tale does not run smooth. What happens when Arliss is approached by one of the biggest porn producers in the business? Can he make his dreams of stardom come true without throwing away the only real love he's ever known? And will this question even matter if the mysterious producers realize their dark intentions?
CP: You are one of the most prolific writers on the scene today. How do you turn out so many popular titles so fast?
RR: I employ a staff of literary elves who have a penchant for crime and sex.
CP: Do you have another book in the works?
RR: I always have another book in the works. This spring I have two e-books coming out, Speed Demon and How I Met My Man, both from Amber Allure (the GLBT imprint of Amber Quill Press). In the summer, the one I just finished, Echoes, will also be published by Amber Allure. All three of those books combine gay horror and erotic romance in a hybrid I am forever working to perfect. I am just about to start on a new novel and have several ideas floating around. Even I don't know at this point which one I'll pick.
CP: When do you have time to, say, sleep? LOL.
RR: Between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. most every day.
CP: How's the family?
RR: My partner Bruce is doing well; his job as a national buyer for a major retailer keeps him very busy and traveling too much (he's in New York City all next week), but I plan on accompanying him to Milan when he goes for work in March; we'll also take some time out to spend a few days in Rome as well. Lily, our Boston Terrier, continues to lead a pampered lifestyle at the center of the universe. And my son and his husband in Montreal celebrated their first anniversary last summer and my son has a new job, which he loves.
CP: What have you been doing in your "Rick" time lately?
RR: What's that? You mean like spare time? What a concept! I do read constantly and just finished Stephen King's latest, Full Dark, No Stars. It was wonderful. I've also managed to see a number of really good movies over the past 6 weeks or so, including The King's Speech, 127 Hours, Rabbit Hole, and Black Swan.
CP: You're a renowned cook. Any new recipes you'd like to share?
RR: I don't know about renowned. But I do like to cook; it relaxes me. How about this? Take a bowl large enough to hold about half a pound of linguine and in the bottom of it put some olive oil, lemon juice, grated lemon zest and capers, salt and pepper to taste. Cook linguine, drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid and toss the pasta in the oil, capers, and lemon. Serve it atop a bed of arugula and top with a nice piece of grilled salmon.
CP: Sounds delicious! Rick, it's always a delight to visit you.
RR: And it's always a delight when you stop by; don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

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  1. Great interview Rick and Carey. When I get back to San Francisco I'm going to try Rick's linguine recipe. It sounds yummy.

    alan chin

  2. Black Swan, huh? I've been waffling about that movie. Love the actress and love dancing movies, but I'm a yellow-bellied chicken. Will it freak me out do you think?

    Great interview, Rick. That recipe sounds yummy. Have a great time in Milan. Sounds like a lot of fun.


  3. The recipe is yummy, I can attest. Black Swan is pretty creepy--you won't forget some of the images.