July 2010 brings hot summer days, lounging by the poolside, and mowing grass.
July also brings us horror author, Rick R. Reed, as the Author In the Limelight !
KB: I first encountered Rick and his work through my journeys through MySpace. Rick is very prolific, and as I became more aware of the Yahoo Groups and who was on them, I began spotting Rick’s name here and there on the groups too. So, it turns out that when I put a call out for authors looking to be interviewed, Rick was one of the first to contact me. It’s nice to have you here in the limelight for July, Rick. Welcome to my site!
KB: What urged you to begin writing, Rick?
RR: My mother used to beat me with a stick, screaming, “Write, damn you, write!” and I have never forgotten her kindness and inspiration. But seriously, I have written practically from the time I could write, at about age 6. I have always loved stories and so it was a logical step for me—even as a child—to begin making them up myself.
KB: I’m a fan of horror movies and books, so I’m wondering why you chose horror as your main genre to write.
RR: Bless your little heart. I wish my partner loved horror, too. I didn’tchoose horror; it chose me. I have always had a fascination with things that go bump in the night and the psychology of terror—what really scares us.
KB: Cool! I adore delving into the psyche. What exactly is it about things that go bump in the night that intrigues you? The rush of adrenaline as an unusual sound rings out in the house? The basis of legends?
RR: I think I have a fascination with fear itself. It’s a powerful, and protective, emotion, and is the basis for many decisions we make (whether that’s good or bad, I can’t say). So I would say that rush of adrenaline comment you made makes sense.
KB: So how many books do you have published and which one of those is your all-time favorite and why?
RR: I hate that question! Would you ask a woman how many children she’s had and then ask “which child is your all-time favorite and why?” You might, but I kind of doubt it. It’s the same kind of thing. I love all my books (14 in print, so far…or something like that, I’m starting to lose count). I’m usually most psyched about the most recently-released ones. I do admit to having a soft spot for my psychic thriller, DEADLY VISION, because its core theme is about the bond between mother and child.
KB: LOL, I get what you mean. It’s true. Authors feel like their books are their children.
So I’m guessing you have some of your childhood elements loosely woven into the story?
RR: Yes. The book is set in a fictional small Ohio River town which is remarkably similar to the one in which I grew up. And the mother is Italian-American, just as my mother was.
KB: What would you say is a typical day in your writing schedule? Do you have a special block of time each day that’s devoted to your next work in progress or revisions?
RR: I am a morning person, so writing is one of the first things I do in the day. It’s when I’m at my best and when the creative juices are flowing the most freely (no comments, please, from the peanut gallery about other juices; thank you). I write most mornings for a couple of hours. I usually can’t do more than that. The rest of the time I spend editing, revising, planning, and promoting.
KB: So what is your latest release or the one to be released in the near future? Can you tell us a little about it?
RR: Just coming out now is A DEMON INSIDE. It’s available at the MLR Press website in ebook and the paperback edition should follow soon at Amazon, etc. It’s my haunted/possessed house story (with a touch of gay romance). According to the back cover: 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 who—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 salvation…or is he the source of Hunter’s terror?
KB: Cool! Love that twist at the end of the blurb!
RR: Thanks. It’s a big part of the mystery in the book.
KB: Which one of your books was the most difficult to write?
RR: Probably BASHED, a ghost story about a hate crime in which a gay couple is beaten by fag bashers and only one of them survive. It hits really close to real-world violence that happens far too often.
KB: I discovered that you also have a blog http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/. Are you like many authors who seem to have a tough time keeping several sites updated, or are you one of the lucky ones who have someone who does this for you?
RR: I have a file called “Feeding the Blog” where I store ideas and correspondence for my blog. I say “feeding” because blogs are insatiable beasts and it’s very hard to keep up with fresh material that people want to read. And no, I don’t have an assistant who does it for me. It’s all me. It can be a lot of fun, though, and I really enjoy the immediate response one can get from posting a blog.
KB: That’s an answer I totally understand! And when you have a computer crash like I recently had and you get behind on blogging, it seems like you have to shake up all your regular readers and remind them you’re back to blogging.
RR: In our brave new Internet, Twitter, Facebook world, there is information overload almost constantly and it’s true—disappear for a while and people forget you.
KB: Lily is your dog. I have to say the pics of her are adorable. Is she a companion during your writing sessions?
RR: She is. She has her own couch in my office that is up against a window. She spends her time keeping watch outside or sleeping while I work. I have tried to teach her how to read, edit, and be amenable to bouncing ideas off her, but so far, no luck.
KB: Authors’ pets always fascinate me. I have some cats I saved from the animal shelter, and they often think that it’s more important to pay attention to them than it is to write. Does Lily ever have that attitude?
RR: Yes, the world revolves around Lily. She wouldn’t have it any other way. Neither would I.
KB: So what genre have you always wanted to try writing, but just never seem to have the confidence? For example, I’ve always enjoyed fantasy romance, but I’m always worried I’ll fail at creating a believable world where all the characters and emotions mesh.
RR: I’ve long wanted to write a multi-character, apocalyptic novel where the whole world is thrown into chaos, but the task itself is very daunting.
KB: My spouse and family members won’t read anything of mine until it comes out in print or e-book. Does your partner read your material before it’s published?
RR: No one reads anything of mine until it is as finished and polished as possible. My partner does not read my work in progress. Like yours, he reads stuff only after it comes out…and, bless his heart, usually finds an error or two.
KB: In this world of crossover genres and bombarding the reader (or viewer) with countless ads of ‘buy this,’ what do you feel sets a book apart from the rest? What makes a reader, regardless of his or her preferences, sit up and take notice?
RR: If I knew the answer to that, I’d be a rich man. I think you have to make a connection with a reader—and that connection is just like in real life. You have to be able to have something in common in order for it to work. So if my personal viewpoint on what I’m writing about “clicks” with a reader, then we are good to go). You can’t force the connection either.
KB: For the past year or so, I’ve been noticing more and more horror movies hitting the big screen and many are crossover genres such as Pandorum where horror and sci-fi are mixed. Do you think horror is on its way back as a top genre in books and movies?
RR: Again, that’s difficult to answer because popular trends are as hard to predict as winning lottery numbers. I do think that series like Twilight, and the True Blood HBO series and Charlaine Harris’ wonderful books have helped move horror back to the forefront, but it will always be behind romance and mystery, I think.
KB: Yes, I think you’re right. So what is your ultimate goal in your writing career? Mind sharing it with us?
RR: To write stories people want to read.
KB: Any advice for the aspiring writers out there, Rick?
RR: Read A LOT. Write A LOT.
KB: This has been an intriguing interview. You’re the first horror author I’ve had in the Limelight, and since I adore a good scare, whether in a book or a movie, I’ve really enjoyed chatting with you. I hope you’ll consider coming back sometime.
RR: I would come back whenever you’ll have me. Thank YOU!
KB: Thanks for being here! To read more about Rick’s work, please click on over to his site www.rickrreed.com and take a look around, read some of his excerpts, and maybe buy a couple of books! Everyone should enjoy a good horror tale from time to time.