Midnight Seductions Guest Interview:
Rick R. Reed
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself…
Well, I always dreamed of being a ballet dancer. Those dreams were shattered when one morning, over breakfast, Mom dropped a six-pack on my instep. But seriously, I have always wanted to write and have been doing so from about the age of six. Personal details: I live in Seattle with my partner of eight years; he works in the fashion industry as a national buyer for a major upscale retailer. We have a dog, a Boston Terrier named Lily, who is spoiled rotten but completely deservedly so. I also have an adult son, Nicholas, who lives way too far away in Montreal, Quebec with his husband (they were married in August of 2009…imagine that, legally and everything!). When I’m not writing, I’m reading, cooking, or watching movies. I also love the outdoors and Seattle is simply one of the best cities around for that.
2. …and about your most recent release.
That’s kind of personal, isn’t it. Oh! You mean book release. Actually this summer I have had the pleasure of seeing two of my books come out. The first is A Demon Inside, published by MLR Press. This one continues my effort into trying to make a successful hybrid of horror and romance. The blurb for the story is:
Hunter Beaumont doesn't understand his grandmother's deathbed wish: "Destroy Beaumont House." He'd never even heard of the place. But after his grandmother passes and his first love betrays him, the family house in the Wisconsin woods looks like a tempting refuge. Going against his grandmother's wishes, Hunter flees to Beaumont House.
But will the house be the sanctuary he had hoped for? Soon after moving in, Hunter realizes he may not be alone. And with whom--or what--he shares the house may plunge him into a nightmare from which he may never escape. Sparks fly when he meets his handsome neighbor, a caretaker for the estate next door, but is the man his man salvation...or is he the source of Hunter's terror?
The second release I’ve had this summer is a collection of gay erotic short stories from Amber Allure (the GLBT imprint of Amber Quill Press). All of the stories contained in the collection have previously only appeared in e-book edition; this collects them into one trade paperback for the “real” book readers out there. The book contains the following stories: Superstar, Through the Closet Door, Riding the El at Midnight, Fugue, Incubus, MAN-amorphosis,
No Place Like Home, and Pottery Peter. It’s a nice blend horror, romance, humor, and pathos.
3. You’ve been known as a horror writer for years. What made you decide to write romance?
I don’t know that I decided anything. Characters came to call, demanding that I tell their stories. That’s the way it usually works, at least for me. Maybe it’s just the softer side of me coming out as I get older, but I’m fascinated by what draws two people together, what keeps them apart, and what ignites passion. Increasingly, even when I’m telling a horror story, romance has been demanding a larger share of the limelight. A Demon Inside and The Blue Moon Café both are horror novels with strong romantic subplots. This fall will see the release of my first full-length romance novel, Tricks, from MLR Press.
4. What genre do you prefer to write? Is there a genre you’d like to write in that you haven’t tried yet?
As I said above, my writing is more inspired by my characters and the stories they need me to tell. Obsession, fear, and passion really motivate me and my characters, so horror and romance are natural fits. I also have a fascination with true crime and some of my work lovingly explores topics like murder and abduction. So you could also say I dabble in mystery and suspense. Or thrillers. I leave the labeling of my stuff to bookstores, publishers, and readers. I just try to tell stories I myself would like to read. As far as your second question, I don’t really have an answer. As of this very moment, no, but one never knows what in what direction the muse will pull. I can say that I don’t think I’d ever write fantasy or hard science fiction, as those genres hold little interest for me.
5. What do you like to read?
I am always reading (and have since I was little) and my tastes are fairly eclectic. I suppose what I find myself reading most are horror and thrillers. I just read a wonderful vampire novel by Louise Marley called Mozart’s Blood, which was just an amazing take on the mythos. Right now, I’m reading a futuristic YA novel called The Hunger Games, which is truly gripping and has one of the best female protagonists I’ve seen in a long time. It’s gripping.
6. What do you feel is your strength as an author? For instance: characterization, dialogue, etc.
To get into the minds of my characters and deeply explore their motivations. I think that’s why reviewers have often mentioned how even the worst of my villains border on sympathetic characters because of the way I paint them and how I get inside their heads.
7. Where do you see your writing career taking you? Goals for two, four, six
I have no idea.
8. Do you ever use people you know as characters in your book, or composites?
I think all of my writing reflects myself or people I know, but I don’t use actual people in my fiction, although I will occasionally throw in the name of a friend or relative as a minor character or even have real people in my life make cameos. Read Orientation or Tricks (when it comes out) and you’ll find cameos by Lily, my Boston Terrier.
9. Do you find that your creativity is more active mornings, afternoon, or
I am totally a morning person. Up at 5 usually and my day just winds down from there. I am at my most creative and energetic in the mornings, though, definitely.
10. What do you do to get yourself in the writing frame of mind? Do you do something different depending on whether you’re writing a suspenseful scene or a romantic scene?
I believe that, for me, writing is a kind of self hypnosis. I really feel like I “go under” and the stories, characters, dialogue come to me in a slightly altered state. I am grateful for this state and couldn’t identify from where it comes. But beyond that, I don’t have any special rituals or anything like that.
11. What’s your favorite leisure activity? Why?
I know most people probably want (or expect) me to say sex, but the boring truth is: reading. If a book is really good, I can get completely lost in it and no other medium or art form can quite do that for me the way a good book can. A little further down the list would be cooking (I love feeding the people I love! I even make my dog’s food) and travel…love experiencing new places, sights, and cultures.
12. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
I have a long list. But if I had to choose one place for a plane to whisk me off to tomorrow it would be the tiny village my mom’s ancestors came from in Sicily. It’s a big component of my bucket list to one day visit that town.http://www.rickrreed.com/