Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Groovy Reader of the Month: Rick R. Reed
As a way to thank my readers for their support, I feature a new groovy guy or gal each month - and the winner of this prestigious title for July is author Rick R. Reed of Seattle who has been called "The Stephen King of gay horror". Since 1991, he has written dozens of gay suspense, horror and romance novels, novellas and short stories, including Deadly Vision, Orientation (a 2009 EPIC eBook Award Winner for Best GLBT novel), IM, The Blue Moon Cafe (a 2011 EPIC eBook Award Winner for Best Horror Erotic Romance), Dignity Takes a Holiday and Caregiver. Rick was also a theater critic for nine years with Chicago's gay publication, Windy City Times.
I am delighted to have the talented Mr. Reed here on the Dish to answer a few questions about his career and, of course, pop culture.
Chaser and RENT, and what inspired you to write them.
Both are set in Chicago (where I left my heart - aww), so it was nice to go back in each and revisit my old haunts. Both books are peppered with many local references and places. I suppose the ideas for each came from asking the question that’s at the heart of probably every fiction writer’s tales: "What if…” In the case of Chaser, the question was, "What if a chubby chaser found his ideal guy and then, during a separation, said ideal chubby toned up and slimmed down? Would the love that was there at the start remain?" Chaser is a love story that really explores that question. With RENT, the question was, “What if you became a male escort and fell in love with another escort? What repercussions would that have?" In that book, I explore the tortuous path to love my two main characters take against a backdrop of summer heat and…murder.
Chaser will be out near the end of August (from Dreamspinner Press) and RENT will be out at the end of September (from MLR Press).
Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes. I mean, baby, I was born this way. I was fascinated by stories from as far back as I can remember and recall writing short stories as early as the age of six. I have always lived a little in my imagination (especially in my childhood where I was often bullied) and the pull to write, to commune with characters, has always been strong.
A 3-part question: what was your favorite book as a child, a teenager and an adult?
As a child, The Wizard of Oz (and really, all of the Oz books - I devoured all of them).
As a teenager, The Exorcist. I was about 14 when I read it for the first time and it knocked my socks off. Very influential.
As an adult, A Confederacy of Dunces. Man, what a great book! It’s full of New Orleans color and the quirkiest characters imaginable. It’s the only book I can read over and over.
The last good book I read was:
I am always reading so it’s hard to pinpoint. One of the last books I read that affected me on a deep emotional level was The Five People You Meet in Heaven. It really spoke to my spiritual side and had me weeping.
I don’t know about requiring people to watch anything. We all have different tastes, so I am going to just list five of my favorite ones and if you’re on the same page as me in terms of humor and outlook on life, maybe then you should be required to watch:
Blue Velvet – David Lynch’s most completely realized vision in my opinion. And what a dark, creepy vision!
Audition – As you may or may not know, I am a big fan of horror films. That said, I am a bit jaded when it comes to being scared. This Asian chiller disquieted and unnerved me more than any other movie I’ve seen and that’s saying a lot.
The Wizard of Oz – Actually, my favorite movie of all time. Pure escapism, where the good oddballs band together and triumph over the wicked. It gives all of us oddballs hope.
Pink Flamingos – John Waters’ homage to bad taste is a gorgeous train wreck and its dog-shit bouquet simply improves over time.
West Side Story – To my mind, the perfect musical. The innovation, the dancing, the cinematography - all of those things are still amazing.
My five favorite TV shows of all time are:
Working from childhood on up:
Hill Street Blues
Six Feet Under
If I were asked to choose the Sexiest Man Alive, it would be:
I suppose - if you’re asking about a celebrity or sports figures - I do admit I have a fondness for Bradley Cooper.
If I could have anyone in the world - living or dead - be a guest at my dinner party, I would invite the following three people:
I thought you were going to ask what I’d serve - that’s the foodie in me. I don’t know about dead people at a dinner party - wouldn’t they smell? I think Lily Tomlin, John Waters, and Wanda Sykes and I would have a lovely evening.
Thank you, Rick, for being one of my grooviest readers! To learn more about Mr. Reed and his books, go to www.rickrreed.com or visit his blog, Rick R. Reed Reality. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.