Sunday, July 5, 2009

Author Interview with RICK R. REED

Rick Reed is everywhere you look, these days. His novel, Orientation, won an EPPIE in March 2009 for being the best GLBT book of the year. (EPIC presents its EPPIE awards annually to honor the finest work published electronically each year.) His M4M was just released last month and Incubus will be released next month. Bashed, his March 2009 release, has received excellent reviews, including: "...he offers the reader nothing less than a stunning treatise on love, and loss and, ultimately, redemption." - Victor J. Banis, author of THE DEADLY MYSTERY Series, MLR Press (5 stars)
Who is the one person who most encouraged or influenced you to be a writer—and why?

I had the good fortune to be taught by one of the most wonderful creative writing professors, back when I was an undergraduate at Miami University. His name was Milton White (he died several years ago), but his workshops taught me so much about simplicity, about having something to say, about story structure and so much more, and he did it with outrageous wit and very thinly veiled compassion for his students. I dedicated my first novel, Obsessed, to him.

Which comes easier to you, plotting or characters? Why?

I would have to go with characters. Characters come to life for me as I’m writing and, almost of their own will, decide how events will go, what dialogue will be spoken, and more. If I have created a good, flesh and blood character that I can almost believe is real, half my job is done.

Are you an advocate of write what you know or do you believe that a well-researched topic will have just as much credibility as a story written from a writer’s personal experience?

I think in terms of emotional truth, we should write what we know (you probably shouldn’t attempt a romance if you’ve never been in love, for example). But I think it’s perfectly valid for writers to explore people and worlds different than those found in their own back yards. The trick is making it believable and not saying something that will pull a reader out of your fictional world.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer?

Promoting myself. Some say I do a pretty good job of it. But I’m an introvert and tooting my own horn will probably never come naturally. But these days, it’s part of the job description, and there’s no getting around it, if you want to be read.

What is the title of your most recently published book? Briefly tell us what it’s about and let us know where we can buy it.

My most recent full-length novel is called Bashed, published by MLR Press. It’s the story of a gay hate crime and its aftermath. It has elements of romance, thriller, and ghost story all rolled into one. It’s been getting very positive reviews and readers seem to be captivated by it… I think because ultimately, it’s about a journey back from tragedy to the possibility of love and hope.

Probably the easiest answer to where to find Bashed is at Amazon:

E-book versions are also available at Amazon’s Kindle store, the publisher (MLR Press), and other outlets like Fictionwise and All Romance eBooks.

What are you working on now and when/where do you expect it to be available?

I am working on a novel called Mute Witness, about how narrow small town minds work when a little boy is abducted and molested. It’s serious stuff, but I think it will have my trademark stamp of hope by the end.

Writers, especially new writers, are always looking for tips and helpful information. What is the single most important “tip” you can give to a new writer?


Do you write every day? Do you have page or word counts? If you get blocked, how do you get un-blocked?

I do. And I try to hit 1,000 words per day. It’s manageable, but also remarkable in how quickly a disciplined thousand words per day can add up to a novel or short story.

I don’t believe in writer’s block. If I did, maybe I would succumb and I can’t bear the thought of that.

Do you have any upcoming book signings or appearances? If so, give us all the details.

As I said above, I’m an introvert. I shy away from public appearances (although I do usually manage to get to at least conference per year). Most of the time, I “appear” online (see below).

I’ve noticed that many writers are devoted to their pets. From your website, it appears that you fit into this demographic. Why do you think so many of us writers have critters for best buddies?

Lily, my Boston Terrier, is my only companion all day as I make up stories in my office. And she stays pretty much right by my side the whole time I’m working (even though she’s often snoring). I can’t say I inspire that much loyalty in anyone else. If only I could teach her to read!

Here’s your opportunity to tell us anything else you care to share.

I have a new book coming out next month from Amber Allure (the GLBT imprint of Amber Quill Press). It’s called M4M and it combines my two very popular stories, VGL Male Seeks Same and NEG UB2, which are both romantic comedies with an online hook (both were only previously available in electronic format). M4M is available in both trade paperback and e-book versions.

What are the addresses of your website(s) and blog(s):


  1. Hi Rick. Well I looked but I couldn't see anything even slightly wicked. Big disappointment.

    I did however recently pick up Bashed and I'm looking forward to reading it. I also want to get your new Amber Quill book when it comes out.

  2. Hey Rick. Great interview. Um...I can't think of anything impertinent to say.

  3. Rick
    Its good to see some down to earth interviews, and to find out more about the authors the read

    as always look forward to the new book coming out

  4. Damn. When you said "a peek in your drawers" I thought you meant in your boxers..oops..did I say that??
    You can just imagine where my mind went when you said "if I could toot my own horn".

    WINK. Impertinent enough?

  5. Nothing impertinent comes to my mind either, ha, ha! I especially like that part about 1000 words per day and not believing in writer's block.

  6. An introvert? I refuse to believe it. That fabulous pink shirt at the EPPIEs clearly said look at my bright, bubbly, mischief-making self!

    Granted, our entire table was giving off sassy troublemaker vibes so I might be lumping you in with the rest of us *grin*

    Good interview, Rick!

  7. Cool interview. I love these little peeks into your head.

  8. Hi Rick,

    I am here to see you "quivering with joy". LOL I have "Bashed" and "Riding the El at Midnight" in my TBR pile. My plan is to tackle at least one of those during my upcoming 2 week vacation. Yay.


  9. Well, that's a nice, straight--forward illuminating and interesting interview.

  10. Hey RRR,

    Loved the interview, the advice you give is honest and good. You know I'm a huge fan, IM still gives me the chills. I'm doing my best to get others hooked on your stuff as well. Can't wait for the next one!

  11. Impertinence from this one? I reserve that for the deserving, and this interview doesn't make the cut.

    Linda's questions are direct and don't appear to hide any 'zingers' - likewise, your answers are direct and considered.

    More good press ... YAY!!!

  12. Nice interview! I'd do anything to make you "quiver with joy" ...well, almost anything. Looking forward to reading more of your books!


  13. Excellent interview, and it made me feel better about how hard promoting is for me. Not very impertinent, but thanks.....Jean

  14. Excellent interview, Linda and Rick. I always enjoy these glimpses into someone else's writerly life. From one introvert to another, I sympathize.

  15. Rick, I'm not sure if you meant that looking in your drawers would make you quiver with joy, but doggone it, I just looked and I quivered with joy! (g)

    An excellent interview! I still think that "Rick Reed"-- singular -- is a fraud. There are multiple Rick Reeds, cloned by a mad scientist and his assistant Igor in some abandoned brick factory building in Chicago. No one person could turn out so many good books.

  16. i Loveddd the interview and ur latest work cant wiat to hear more and read it

  17. Rick -

    Too bad nobody likes you or your interview. Let's not do this again... [g]

  18. hello Rick-- your fellow Miamian appreciates your mention of an influential professor. My mentor, althought I majored in Spanish and International Studies, was Dr. Robert Bowie, my Russian prof. Just the name is cool.... lol. Too early to be impertinent for me, but cheers!

  19. I have only recently discovered Rick's writing and have to admit I am enthralled!
    Now I know that he is as fascinating and provocative as his stories! I can hardly wait to read the next one!