CONGRATS TO CAROLYN, WHO WON THE E-COPY OF HUNGRY FOR LOVE!
Interview, E-Book Giveaway and Exclusive Cover Reveal With Author Rick R. Reed
To continue celebrating On Top Down Under’s first anniversary month, we would like to welcome Rick R. Reed, three-time EPIC e-book award winner for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe. Rick has been kind enough to give On Top Down Under the exclusive first cover reveal of his upcoming book, Legally Wed and will be offering an e-copy of his new release, Hungry For Love, to one lucky person who comments on this post.
Author Bio: 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). 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.”
Cindi: Hi, Rick. Thank you so much for being part of On Top Down Under’s first anniversary celebration. Kazza K and I are thrilled that you are helping us celebrate.
I’m going to start with my own personal favorite of yours, Caregiver. This book is very personal and I know that it is based on a story and person you knew well. Caregiver is centered on HIV/AIDS, among other things. While there has been a lot of progress since Adam’s story, how do you feel about the efforts made (or lack thereof) since the loss of your friend?
Rick: I met Jim, the person whom Adam in the book is modeled on, back in 199o or 1991. Back then, AIDS was pretty much a death sentence, since the drug cocktails we have today hadn’t been developed (or at least put on the market). There was AZT, but it wasn’t that effective and made a lot of folks sick, so it was sometimes the case where the remedy was worse than the virus. These days, people have a whole host of drug regimens they can take to keep the virus at bay, often just by popping a couple of pills a day. If one regimen doesn’t work, there’s another new one to try. It’s very rare now to see or hear of someone in a Western country will full-blown AIDS and that’s a real blessing. I still hope for, and look forward to, a cure one day, but AIDS has, for the most part, gone from being a death sentence to being a manageable illness.
Cindi: As a huge horror fan, I actually discovered you as a result of searching for books in that genre when I read How I Met My Man and Ambrose and the Waif. You have since moved more toward romance, another genre that I read a lot of. Can we expect more horror stories from you or will you stick with strictly romance in the foreseeable future?
Rick: What is the foreseeable future anyway? I can’t foresee anything, even with a crystal ball. Okay, enough of being a smart ass. Right now, I am enjoying writing love stories. Reader reaction has certainly been better to those stories than horror, that’s for sure. That said, I don’t know if I can ever completely leave my dark side behind. I have some really good ideas (including a gay young adult vampire story) that I probably won’t rest until I put it to paper. I do think, though, that even if I do more horror, it will be grounded in a love story.
Cindi: Your books cover serious topics ranging from HIV/AIDS in Caregiver, to drug abuse in Echoes, to child molestation in Mute Witness, and to the dangers of online hook-up sites in IM and others. Then there are the ones like Chaser and Raining Men that focus on self-discovery. There always seems to be an important message included in every story you write, including your horror stories. Which was the most difficult book you’ve written? The easiest? The one you are most proud of?
Rick: Those are tough questions because, in their ways, I could put almost any of my work in response to those questions. But let me just do a kind of free-association, first-thing-that-comes-to-mind sort of thing.
Most difficult? Mute Witness, because it revolves around the sexual abuse of a child. That’s hard territory to go into, but it was an important issue because of how some bigots perceive gay people and I wanted to set that stereotype on its ear.
Easiest? My short, Out on the Net from Amber Allure was probably the most fun and perhaps the easiest. It chronicles a young man’s tentative steps in coming out in blog form. I love that story and really identified with the trepidation of the main character.
Most proud of? I would have to pick two: Caregiver, because it deals with a difficult topic (AIDS) but ultimately demonstrates the healing power of love and Raining Men because in it I redeemed a character many people would have thought was beyond redemption.
Cindi: I admit that I was one of the many people who were convinced that you could not redeem Bobby in Raining Men. I loathed him in Chaser. Not only did you redeem him, you made me fall in love with his character. I didn’t think that was possible.
Now I have to mention Dignity Takes A Holiday. I read it and absolutely loved it. It is in no way politically correct and the main character, Pete Thickwhistle, gets caught in some hilariously bad situations. This is much different from your others that I have read. Can we expect more humor from you in the future? Something maybe satirical like this one?
Rick: Oh God, people were in two camps with that one. They either loved it or hated it. Personally, I can still read passages of it and laugh out loud. I guess it just depends on your sense of humor. I don’t even know if I have it in me to write something like Dignity again, because it developed over years, just thinking and imagining those outrageous incidents that Mr. Thickwhistle got himself into.
Cindi: In your latest release, Hungry For Love, two men meet under unusual circumstances. What starts as a lark with two women making a fake profile on a gay dating site quickly turns into a whole lot more for two unsuspecting men. What would you like to share about Hungry For Love?
Rick: That it’s probably my most pure, light-hearted, contemporary romance. Shakespeare’s pronouncement that the course of true love never did run smoothly is never more evident than in this book. It’s fun to see how my pair of potential lovers weed through the deceit (mostly NOT of their own making) and find their happily-ever-after. It’s also a thought-provoking look at the M/M genre and authors creating personas (and even genders) to try and meet reader demand.
Cindi: What can the readers expect next from you?
Rick: Legally Wed, which should be out in January. The story opens in Seattle when gay marriage has just been made legal and our hero has a proposal in mind for his boyfriend. Do things go smoothly? Does our main character end up finding the husband he dreams of? You’ll have to read it to find out! Wonderful cover designer Anne Cain has already done the cover, so I’ll give you the exclusive first reveal.
Cindi: What else would you like to tell the readers about Rick R. Reed?
Rick: Just where to find me online so they can connect. Visit my website at rickrreed.com or follow my blog at rickrreadreality. You can also like me on Facebook at rickrreedbooks or on Twitter at Twitter.com/RickRReed. I always enjoy hearing from readers and answer all emails personally. Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also check out Rick’s Amazon page here.
Cindi: Again, thank you, Rick, for being part of our very first anniversary celebration and a huge thank you for giving On Top Down Under the exclusive first reveal of Legally Wed! It has been a pleasure having you spend time with us.
If you are interested in winning an e-copy of Rick’s new release, Hungry For Love, just leave a comment below and a winner will be picked at random at midnight (US) Eastern Standard Time Thursday, October 10th. The winner will be notified via email on October 11th. Good luck!!!
Note that to post a comment, you must enter the CAPTCHA code and do the quick addition/subtraction box at the bottom left to prove you are human. 🙂
You can find Cindi’s review of Hungry For Love here.