…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!
1. Starting from scratch: Tell us all about you. What do you want us to know?
Here’s my bio and I think it pretty much says it all: 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.”
2. 10 Questions about books:
How did you get interested in gay romance?
Well, as a gay man, I’m interested not only in telling good gay love stories, but also deeply invested in making them happen in my own life. As someone who has kissed more than a few gay frogs and who was a slow-learner when it came to what works and what doesn’t in the real-life m/m romance department, I like to think I have something compelling and, hopefully, touching to say. One of my greatest compliments I get consistently from readers is that I write about real gay men and their lives.
Best book you’ve read in the last 3 months?
The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin. I have been reading Maupin’s Tales of the City books since I was in my twenties and I have grown and aged right along with his characters, so much so that they hardly seem like literary creations, but old friends. The Days of Anna Madrigal contains what’s best about all the books—a deep and real connection to the characters. You care so much about them you laugh, cry, despair, and rejoice right along with them.
Best book you’ve written in the last 3 years?
That would have to be Raining Men. It’s a spinoff from my chubby chaser love story, Chaser, but I think it has a lot more depth than the book that spawned it. I think it’s the best because I managed to write about a man who was, in the beginning, a despicable and vain sex addict who didn’t think twice about betraying his friends, and then took him on a journey to discover his true self-worth. Most people who have read both books have said to me that they were amazed that I took a character they hated so much in Chaser and redeemed him, making him into not only someone they understood, but came to root for and love.
What book would you recommend to someone who’s never read your work?
Dinner at Home because it combines so many of my passions: an opposites-attract love story with a happy ending, food and recipes, the difficulty and reward of family—whatever your definition of that particular grouping might be.
What book would you recommend to someone who’s never read gay romance?
Of my own work or someone else’s? If my own, I would say Legally Wed, because it’s a touching mix of humor, pathos, and yearning and has a mix of characters I think many people might identify with. It also explores the very real and timely theme of marriage equality, showing what’s at the heart of it: finding true love. If I were to recommend one written by someone else, I guess I would pick the first “gay” book I ever read—The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren. I read it when I was a teenager (and kept it hidden between my mattress and box springs so my parents wouldn’t see it) and it showed me how profoundly two men could love one another.
Your favorite character you’ve written?
Bobby from Raining Men. Although he is definitely not the most likable (especially in Chaser, where’s he absolutely hateful), he’s the character that struggles the most to find happiness, redemption, and peace. It’s a long journey and I am proud of the way he at long last figures out that the only way he’ll ever find true love is loving and understanding himself first. He’s my character that’s fallen the farthest, so his journey back up, to light and love, is the most satisfying.
Your favorite character someone else has written?
Ignatius J. Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces (my favorite book of all time) has to be the most memorable, laugh-out-loud funny, confused, and despicable literary character I’ve ever come across. He’s such a curious and potent mix of pathos, self-importance, and yearning that he has stuck with me through many, many years and has inspired me.
What plot bunny has been sitting in your head that you haven’t committed to writing?
Well, Dinner at Home has got me thinking about another book that would have food in the setting. What’s come to me so far: a young man, just out of high school from a wealthy family and all set to go to some Ivy League university. One of his passions is cooking. When he sees an ad to work for an Italian restaurant in town, he figures he’ll apply for the job. He gets it and is introduced to a wonderful cast of characters who work at the restaurant, including Davio, a brooding older Italian man (not that older) who he finds himself very attracted to. Davio is very quiet and our main character thinks he might have secrets. They tentatively fall in love. Our main character also falls in love with being in a kitchen and creating culinary magic. As the summer draws to a close, he’ll be faced with a difficult dilemma: does he choose the man and the career he is passionate about? Or does he follow his wealthy family’s wishes and follow the traditional route to university? I’m not sure yet how it will all play out. But these characters keep coming to me!
What’s on the horizon/in the pipeline?
Next up, Husband Hunters (out in September from Dreamspinner). It’s a fun, romantic, and often very touching story of two men finding love in the most unlikely of places, and revolves around a TV reality show called Husband Hunters (think HGTV’s House Hunters, except instead of houses, we have three men to choose from!). Here’s the blurb:
You never know where the love of your life might turn up.
When Matt Connelly suggests to his best buddy Cody Mook that they head to downtown Seattle to audition for the gay reality TV show Husband Hunters, both agree the experience might be a lark and a chance to grab their fifteen minutes of fame. What they don’t know is that the show, modeled after HGTV’s House Hunters, will open doors of longing neither expected. For Matt, the secret love he has long harbored for Cody might be thrust into the spotlight. Cody might realize his search for his perfect-forever-man extends no farther than the man who’s always been at his side.
Husband Hunters promises laughter, tears, and, just maybe, a happy ever after. Will Cody and Matt’s story be one of best-friends-to-lovers—or an outright disaster?
What’s the BEST thing about being an author?
Working in my boxer shorts.
3. Would You Rather…
…Write a book that sells a ton or a book that generates a ton of discussion?
I think it would be hard to have one without the other. I want to connect with readers on an emotional level, so having them talk about my book means a lot to me. On the other hand, I also want to make a living and the allure of a bona-fide bestseller is quite tantalizing.
…Have a book with 100 4-star ratings or a book with 50 2-star and 50 5-star ratings?
I think people might be suspicious of the first, so I would opt for the second. I’d also choose the second because I would know that my book probably engendered some feelings and conversation.
…Write fluff or angst?
I write a lot of angst. My heart is always firmly on my sleeve and my characters often go through a lot of emotional turmoil to find their happiness. I would guess most readers would put me into the angst box over the fluff box, but you never know….
…Have a book made into an indie-movie that told the exact story or into a long-running tv show that was only inspired by the story?
I would choose the indie movie. I think it would be depressing to see my characters and my story (which I become very attached t0) changed into something else to meet commercial demand. I’m not that kind of writer.
…Have written Twilight or 50 Shades of Gray?
Neither! For one, neither of those books is really like anything I write, so they just wouldn’t be me. What’s the point of creating something if you don’t put your heart and soul into it? Now, I would love to have sales like either of those books; I can’t lie. But I think it would be a hollow victory if it wasn’t for work that I was truly proud to sign my name to.
4. Two Truths and a Lie…
Tell us 3 things about you…2 of them are true, 1 is false.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: