It’s Tiki Time!
Hi Rick, and thank you for visiting my authors’ hideaway tiki bar. With the ocean to your left and the mountains to you right, you can have whatever cocktail you like.
1. What is your favorite? Honestly, the first thing that popped in my head was a margarita. But it has to be good margarita, none of that pre-mix crap: just lime juice, good tequila, and some triple sec for sweetness. Not frozen, please, and the rim must be salted. Can we have a pitcher?
2. Now, onto the important stuff. The interrogation. Er, I mean, the questions.I first interviewed you several years ago and you were the king of gay horror. Your books both enthralled and terrified me but I’ve noticed you haven’t written a horror book lately. Is there a reason for this? Do you plan to write one in the near future – or are you too happy now? Oh, I still love to read horror and I have no doubt that I’ll write it again, but I think my newer horror will also be tempered with a romance backdrop. I’m at a place now where I’m more interested in love than terror and that’s reflected in what I pursue in my writing. But I do have some ideas up my sleeve for the future (and a new title coming out at the end of the year called THIRD EYE, which will include psychic visions and murder). 2016 should also see the release of a romantic suspense novel called THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR. So I’m not done scaring you, but I do it with love. Also AJ, you’ll be thrilled to hear Dreamspinner Press Publications (a new imprint of theirs which will feature horror, mystery, fantasy and science fiction) will be releasing my serial killer thriller, IM, in a new edition. You remember my online killer…and striped sheets?
3. I live in fear of striped sheets. Thanks for that, Rick! I really enjoyed your recent book, Chaser. I do have to ask have you ever been one yourself? And how do you feel about chubby people? I noticed in a recent interview that you say you have a secret crush on your cover model from Dinner at Home. He doesn’t look stick-thin to me. Does Bruce need to pile on the pasta??? Have I ever been a chubby chaser? Not in the strictest sense, no, but I can appreciate a man with some extra meat on his bones (like Ollie on the cover of DINNER AT HOME–he’s dreamy). Bruce is fine just as he is.
4. I think Bruce is adorable! You don’t write cookie-cutter romances. Some of your protagonists are frankly hard to like at first. This is a brave feat on your part considering so many readers and reviewers demand perfection from the outset. I’ve read numerous reviews of your books and I am always intrigued that reviewers say they trust you and that you don’t disappoint. My question is, does it ever worry you when people have such visceral reactions to your books? I can’t let myself worry too much. Here’s the part where I sound crazy, but I have to release the voices and characters that are inside me, clamoring to get out and have their stories told. Like real people in real life, none of them are perfect and they all have flaws. I think that makes them so much more interesting. And I believe the same thing for the things I enjoy reading. In my opinion, perfection is a worthy thing to strive for, but let’s face it, it’s kind of dull.
5. How do you feel about the plethora of M/M fluff on the market? Have you read any? I’m gonna pass on that question because to answer it in any meaningful way, I’d have to give examples. Let’s just say that I think there’s a place for fluff. Sometimes you just want something happy and entertaining and that doesn’t demand too much thinking. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
6. What makes a hero appealing to you in fiction? As in the question above, I think what makes a hero appealing is one that’s flawed. That way he has something to strive for, something to overcome, and something to make him human.
7. We’ve talked a lot about women writing M/M and you wrote a significant blog about it some time ago. I asked a friend of mine recently about this subject since so many women read and write in the genre. She says it’s because some women perceive gay men as having a freedom of sexuality and self-expression that they don’t. How do you feel about this explanation? I don’t know. I’m reluctant to generalize about gay men at all. Like any other group of people, gay men can be very different from one another. The only common thread is having the same sexual orientation, which may sometimes translate to this freedom you mention…and it may not. It depends on the individual. I like what Elisa Rolle (the Italian m/m reviewer) said when I asked her this question and she said she liked the power dynamic in m/m romance–it was more equal.
8. What are some of the biggest misconceptions women have about gay men – in fiction and in life? One of the tropes I hate most in gay fiction is “gay for you” which takes an otherwise straight man and has him suddenly attracted to one significant other male. This is different from awakening to desires lying dormant. The former can happen, although I suspect it’s rare and more confined to younger people. But the idea that a single guy could suddenly “go gay” is aggravating to me, a gay man who fought very hard to accept and love himself (it took years and lots of mistakes). Sexual orientation isn’t something that just appears because of another person–it’s innate and I believe it’s something you’re born with. I know this trope has its fans, but you will never catch me writing it. I think it’s simply ignorant. In real life? That we’re all alike.
9. Is there a subject you would never write about as an author? If so, what is it? I’m generally not afraid to “go there” and explore strange and dark places, so I’m not sure. For certain, I do shy away from the usual taboos–necrophilia, rape, incest, kinks involving bodily fluids–not because most publishers prohibit them but more because I don’t really think I’d be interested in writing about such things. 10. What elements in your work space are crucial? And do you have any sacred writing rituals? Computer, keyboard, mouse. I write in the morning and stop when I have around 1,000 words completed–almost every day. See, simple? And probably boring….
10. Before you met and married Bruce, what was the worst date you ever had? When I was single, once upon a time, I met a man online who seemed nice enough. He invited me over for a hook-up and when I arrived, I saw he was not at all as he represented himself and he was not my type at all. I politely declined to take things any further. As a parting shot as I was leaving his apartment building, he shouted that he hoped I got AIDS. Nice.
11. He said that? Really? How…creepy. Did he have striped sheets? Now…onto more pleasant things! You are such a foodie…and by the way your Facebook posts frequently make me hungry… If you could invite any six famous people to dinner – alive or dead – who would it be and what would you serve them? I wouldn’t invite dead people to dinner; that would be unappetizing, not to mention unsanitary. I guess I’d invite the following, in no particular order: Lily Tomlin, John Waters, David Sedaris, Ellen Degeneres, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Michelle Obama, just to keep order. I’d make my mom’s spaghetti and meatballs and serve it with lots of Chianti. I’d just sit back and listen.
12. And…what are your top 10 desert island keeper books you’ve read? That’s tough. I read 1-2 books a week, every week. Let me just see what pops into my head: A Confederacy of Dunces, The Hours, A Dark-Adapted Eye, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Anything by Flannery O’Connor, Anything by Patricia Highsmith, Dolores Claiborne, The Wizard of Oz, Was and that’s all for now.
13. What current projects do you have in the pipeline? I mentioned THIRD EYE, a psychic thriller with a dash of romance, coming out end-of-year. In early 2015, I have BLINK, a very romantic–and semi-autobiographical–love story coming out. Also in 2015, I’ll be doing a thriller called THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR and a contemporary romance that I’m working on now, tentatively called HENRY AND VITO.
Rick R. Reed Biography
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.”
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Blurb for Husband Hunters
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?
“You ever heard of a TV show called Husband Hunters?” Matt asked.
Cody let a short bark of a laugh escape. “Dude. It’s House Hunters. On HGTV, like, a thousand times a day.”
“No, no. There’s really a show called Husband Hunters. It’s on the gay channel. Haven’t you even heard of it? It’s the new gay show, even more popular than Drag Race. Where have you been?”
“Husband hunting?” Cody asked.
“Exactly. And how’s that working out for you?”
Cody paced his studio apartment and thought his friend Matt wasn’t as clueless as he had assumed about Cody’s romantic situation. “So far, my wish to be desired by many, won by few has gotten twisted around so it’s ass backwards.”
Matt obviously had to think about that for a moment. When he put it all together, he laughed. Not for the first time Cody thought of how his friend’s laughter too strongly resembled a donkey’s bray.
“Anyway,” Matt went on. “This show is kind of like your House Hunters in that it showcases someone looking for something and gives us three scenarios to watch and help them decide. Except instead of houses, it’s husbands!” Matt shrieked this last with something like delight—or lunacy.
“You’re kidding.” Cody rolled his eyes. He walked over to his kitchenette and began pulling out the makings for his breakfast: a couple of eggs, a loaf of Dave’s Spelt bread. “Is there a reason you brought this up? I can’t imagine anything more horrible. They actually get people to go on this show?” Cody sighed. “Whatever happened to romance?”
“The Internet,” Matt replied without missing a beat. “It’s a new day, as Miss Nina Simone once sang. Men get their manmeat digitally now. Soon Amazon will have drones delivering studs to your front door.”
“Whatever.” Cody was getting tired of the conversation. “You want to go out tonight or what?”
“Cody!” Matt complained. “You didn’t let me tell you the best part! Husband Hunters is right here in Seattle… today! They’re doing a talent search for some Pacific Northwest episodes.”
“And this affects me how?” Cody filled a pan with water, threw in some white vinegar and a little kosher salt, and set it on the stove to come to a simmer for his poached eggs.
“We can try out. Are you dense?” Matt went on, a little breathless with excitement. “What with the snow, there won’t even be as much competition. With your hotness and my wit, we’ll both be shoo-ins.”
Cody laughed. “You’re kidding me, right? What about the school?”
“You think they’d mind? Have you noticed that our principal is a legally wed leather daddy?”
Cody chuckled. “Only in Seattle….” He set two pieces of bread in the toaster and checked the water again for signs of boiling. A watched pot…. “You feel free to trot on down to the auditions, but this is nothing I want any part in. It’s gross.” Cody scratched the top of his head. “What do you have to do to audition, anyway? Kiss guys?”
Matt laughed. “One can hope. Come on, Cody. It’ll be fun. And you never know. It could change your life.”
“So could a car accident.”
Matt blew out a big sigh. “Don’t be a spoilsport. You know you can’t resist my charms. The casting call is being held at the Westin downtown. What time should I pick you up? My four-wheel drive will plow right through this shit.”
“I’m not going. It’s undignified.” Cody cracked the two eggs into separate ramekins.
“Dignity is overrated. What time should I pick you up?” Matt repeated.
“Didn’t you hear me? I’m not doing it!” Cody pushed the bread down in the toaster.
“Look. You may not think I’ve noticed, but I know you want to find that special someone, that soul mate character. I’ve seen how you moon over Pete at school.”
Pete was a biology teacher who bore an amazing resemblance to Colin Farrell. He had just married his sweetheart of eleven years, Johan. The couple was seldom apart. It was sickening. Except it wasn’t. It was sweet and gave Cody a glimmer of hope that somehow, somewhere, someday there was a man out there for him. Cody’s heart gave a little lurch. He knew it was true. He wanted what Pete and Johan had.
Matt went on, “So why not just try this? The truth is neither of us will probably make the cut. But it’ll be fun to go to the tryouts, see who else turns up. And who knows? The man of your dreams may be twitchin’ down at the Westin, looking for the same thing you are.”
Cody had to begrudgingly admit Matt had a point. “Okay,” he said, defeated. “But after? We go to Terra Plata for appetizers and lots of Bloody Marys. And you’re buying.”
“Deal. If it’ll get you there.”
“Is that it, then?”
“Yeah, yeah. I’ll pick you up at one. The casting call starts at two.”
“Okay, good-bye. My water’s boiling.”
“Your water broke?”
“Oh, shut up!” Cody was about to hang up when Matt shouted into the phone.
9/8: Joyfully Jay
9/11: A.J. Llewellyn
9/15: Rainbow Gold Reviews
9/18: Fallen Angel Reviews
9/22: Prism Book Alliance
9/25: 3 Chicks After Dark
9/29: On Top Down Under
10/2: The Blogger Girls
Buy Links Dreamspinner Ebook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5381 Dreamspinner Paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5382 Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Husband-Hunters-Rick-R-Reed-ebook/dp/B00MYNU7DQ/ Amazon Paperback: to come AllRomance eBooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-husbandhunters-1604135-149.html
Thanks for stopping by, Rick. The cabana boys will be mixing you another drink before you hit the beach!