M/M Erotic Romance
Please help us welcome this week's guest author, Rick Reed! Tonya had the opportunity to talk with Rick and thought all of you would be interested, too. He loves talking with readers so please feel free to leave a comment and do click on over to his websites. Grab your favorite beverage and get comfy for the interview!
Tonya: Readers love to know more about their authors. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Rick: I was born and reared in the small Ohio River town of East Liverpool, OH. I grew up with my parents and two sisters on the banks of the Ohio, 45 minutes west of Pittsburgh. My hometown is known for its pottery production and has been featured in the books, Deadly Vision, Mute Witness, and Dead End Street, except I called East Liverpool Summitville, PA. I attended Miami University in Oxford, OH and got degrees in both English (with Creative Writing emphasis) and Mass Communications. After graduating from college, I moved to Chicago, where I lived most of my adult life. Most of my books have been set in Chicago--the place was very inspirational for me and still is. During my time in Chicago, I married and divorced. That union produced a son, Nicholas, who is now happily living in Montreal, Quebec with his husband, Tarik. I have also lived in Tampa, FL and Miami, FL.
Currently, I live in the Pacific Northwest in the gorgeous city of Seattle, with my husband, Bruce, a buyer for a national retailer headquartered here and our dog, a Boston Terrier named Lily.
My love for writing began with a passion for stories that began when I was probably about four years old. I wrote my first short story when I was about six, first play in fourth grade, and I kept my fifth grade classmates enthralled by reading to them aloud a serial novella I wrote about a young girl's kidnapping. My first publication came in 1991 with Obsessed in Dell's lauded horror line, Abyss. Penance quickly followed. Since then, I have been writing what I cared most about: gay themed romance, suspense, and horror. To date, I have more than twenty books in print, with short stories in just about as many anthologies.
In what little spare time I have, my passion for stories continues with a deep and abiding interest in reading (I am never not reading a book, and my favorite authors include Flannery O'Connor, James Purdy, Patricia Highsmith, Stephen King, and Ruth Rendell). I also love stories told in the media of movies and theater. I was a theater critic for nine years with the Chicago weekly, Windy City Times.
Writing has always been the way I've made my living, and when not writing books, I plied my craft as an advertising copywriter for associations, catalogs, and ad agencies.
Tonya: That's quite a background! Do you have a day job?
Rick: I do work part-time (three days/week) as a communications consultant for a healthcare company here in Seattle. It gets me out of the house, provides a steady paycheck, and still allows me time for my own writing.
Tonya: Some of us have things we do to get into the writing frame of mind like music, or drinks. Do you have anything special you do to get into the writing mood?
Rick: I just need quiet to facilitate slipping into the world of my characters. I usually find that quiet very early in the morning.
Tonya: Where do you keep story ideas? Where do they come from?
Rick: I have a file of story ideas on my computer hard-drive (which is backed up daily!). I have more ideas than I will probably ever live to write about. Who knows where ideas come from? Here are just a few of the ways ideas might come to me: Dreams, overheard conversations, seeing an intriguing looking person and wondering what their story is, asking, “what if?”.
Tonya: Are you self published or do you go through a publisher?
Rick: Not self-published and don’t think I would ever venture there. I like working with my publishers, who take care of those things I never could—cover design, editing, help with marketing and so on.
Tonya: Are you a daytime writer, night time writer, and do you have to be alone to write?
Rick: Well, I wouldn’t want anyone looking over my shoulder, so yes, alone. And I write early in the morning (I am often up between 4:00 and 4:30).
Tonya: Wow! Good for you! I'm definitely not a morning person! What advice would you give to new authors?
Rick: Read a lot. Write a lot. Don’t follow trends.
Tonya: Do you write better when you first have an idea of what your characters look like or do you write, then add character looks?
Rick: I have a general idea of what they look like before I begin writing.
Tonya: We’re dying to hear about your latest book. What can you tell us without spoiling the storyline?
Rick: I can give you the blurb for Raining Men, which is getting awesome reviews:
The character you loved to hate in Chaser becomes the character you will simply love in Raining Men.
It’s been raining men for most of Bobby Nelson’s adult life. Normally, he wouldn’t have it any other way, but lately something’s missing. Now, he wants the deluge to slow to a single special drop. But is it even possible for Bobby to find “the one” after endless years of hooking up?
When Bobby’s father passes away, Bobby finally examines his rocky relationship with the man and how it might have contributed to his inability to find the love he yearns for. Guided by a sexy therapist, a Sex Addicts Anonymous group, a well-endowed Chihuahua named Johnny Wadd, and Bobby’s own cache of memories, Bobby takes a spiritual, sexual, and emotional journey to discover that life’s most satisfactory love connections lie in quality, not quantity. And when he’s ready to love not only himself but someone else, sex and love fit, at last, into one perfect package.
Tonya: Where can our readers find you and your books?
Rick: At all the usual suspects—Amazon, AllRomance Ebooks, Barnes and Noble, my publishers’ websites: Dream Spinner Press, MLR Press, Amber Allure, Untreed Reads.
Tonya: Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?
Rick: Yes! Find me online:
Tonya: Let's do some fun questions. What is your favorite nighttime snack?
Rick: Black licorice
Tonya: Do you like toppings on your ice cream?
Rick: Not a big fan of ice cream.
Tonya: What’s your favorite meal - Italian, Mexican, Thai, etc?
Rick: My mother was Sicilian—what do you think? I was brought on good pasta every Sunday, plus dozens of other Italian peasant dishes, so that food means home, comfort, and love to me. When I want something different, though, I really love Vietnamese.
Excerpt from Raining Men:
Prologue Bobby’s Dream
THUNDER rumbles. Rain hisses. Flashes of lightning—brilliant and blue white—rip across the sky.
I know I’m dreaming, yet something about this whole scenario seems as real as the nose on my face, the hair on my head, the dick swinging between my legs.
In addition to the natural sounds of the storm, there’s another noise, and it makes me smile. Music. Rising. Percussion. Disco beats. And the powerful wail of Martha Wash and the Weather Girls singing “It’s Raining Men.”
I’m standing under some kind of awning—red, canvas—watching the rain pour down not in drops, but sheets. Blinding. The flashes of lightning are like a disco strobe light, revealing in flashes of blue and silver, a darkened cityscape. Night. But a netherworld cityscape, blue gray, unreal.
It’s the music that makes me want to move out from under the awning. The music that has me smiling, my hips, head, and arms in synchronized rhythm with the beat.
Even the rain, a cold shock to my naked body, isn’t enough to keep me from driving myself out into the downpour to dance to the song, which has long been a favorite of mine.
What a delicious notion—raining men! Men falling from the skies! More men than one can shake a stick at (or something that rhymes with stick, heh-heh).
I look up into the midnight-blue clouds, my mouth and eyes open to the water pouring down, and I see it: the first of the men.
I stare in wonder as he drops from the sky. A blond Adonis, smooth and muscled, allover tanned with a dick thick, long, and perfectly hard, pointing back up at the sky. He lands somewhere outside my vision, and I dance, spinning toward where I saw him fall, hoping to find him where he has landed so I can say hello, reach out and touch him.
But before I can make any progress, another man falls from the sky. This one is hirsute, bearded, husky but hard-muscled, putting me in mind of the actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan. He smiles. Before I can even smile back, other men tumble from the skies, and I want to laugh, cry out in jubilation at my good fortune.
It truly is raining men!
They start raining faster now—blonds, redheads, brunets, black, white, Asian, Latino (yum), lanky, beefy, short, tall—all the most gorgeous men I have ever seen. All naked.
All for me!
I raise my arms and shout, “Come to Papa!”
And they do.
The first body hits me hard, feeling more like a ton of concrete instead of the delicious marriage of sinew, skin, and bone that I have come to know and love as the male form. I collapse to the ground, wind knocked out of me, and look up at the man who has rained down on me. He seems to have no awareness that I am beneath him, and I scurry to get out from underneath the crushing weight threatening to suffocate me, pressing my bones into the wet concrete beneath my back.
I manage to get out just as another man drops from the sky, a hot African American, bald, and looking just like Taye Diggs. I scramble free of his path, but he lands on my leg anyway as I crawl through the rain-slicked street.
I hear my leg break with a sickening crack. It takes only seconds for the pain to radiate throughout my entire body.
I roll over, gasping, wincing, groaning, and look up to see an entire sea of naked men falling from the sky in ever-increasing velocity—all headed straight for me.
The music reaches a crescendo in time with my shrieks.
BOBBY NELSON woke.
The sheets beneath him were twisted and damp with sweat. He gasped, trying to regulate his heartbeat, which was jack-hammering so hard he expected to look down and see it lifting the skin off his chest. A cartoon heart.
The room was silent.
Where did the music go? Martha? Weather Girls?
Where was the rain? The thunder?
He breathed in deeply and exhaled slowly.
Just a dream. A nightmare.
Where are all the men?
Finally, he grinned, turning over in his bed.
Why, there’s one! Lying right next to me, looking at me with a concerned face, a handsome face. Even in a darkened bedroom, Bobby could still tell if they’re hot or not. It was his specialty.
This one, with a mop of curly blond hair and pecs like Michael Phelps, was a ten.
His voice was husky, sleep-choked. “Dude. You were having a nightmare. You okay?”
He placed what was meant to be, Bobby was sure, a comforting hand on Bobby’s chest. Bobby cringed a little, moving away.
This has never happened before.
I have no idea who he is.
Before Bobby could stop the words from tumbling out of his mouth, they came. “Who the fuck are you?”
Bio: 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). 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."
Buy Links for Raining Men
Tonya: Rick, thanks so much for being my guest this week and congratulations on the success of ALL of your books! Readers, feel free to leave questions or comments for Rick!