IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Author Rick R. Reed (Courtesy of Divine

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 CaregiverOrientation 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." 

Dinner at FiorellosPhoto Credit: Reese Dante
Henry Appleby has an appetite for life. As a recent high school graduate and the son of a wealthy family in one of Chicago’s affluent North Shore suburbs, his life is laid out for him. Unfortunately, though, he’s being forced to follow in the footsteps of his successful attorney father instead of living his dream of being a chef. When an opportunity comes his way to work in a real kitchen the summer after graduation, at a little Italian joint called Fiorello’s, Henry jumps at the chance, putting his future in jeopardy.
Years ago, life was a plentiful buffet for Vito Carelli. But a tragic turn of events now keeps the young chef at Fiorello’s quiet and secretive, preferring to let his amazing Italian peasant cuisine do his talking. When the two cooks meet over an open flame, sparks fly. Both need a taste of something more—something real, something true—to separate the good from the bad and find the love—and the hope—that just might be their salvation

Author Interview

What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always written—from as far back as I can almost remember, I’ve been living in my imagination and making up stories. I can recall writing my first short story—I must have been about six. And before that, I can see myself begging my mother to read me yet another story. So, without going too deep into my own personal psychology, I think there’s something about escaping into fictional worlds that has a deep and abiding hold on me, and always has.
How long have you been writing?
As I said above, all my life, practically. Professionally, my first novel was Obsessed and it came out in 1991, under Dell’s horror imprint, Abyss. Penance, my second soon followed, also published by Dell. Back then, I was primarily a horror author. I didn’t publish anything else until 2000, when my agent had suggested I write a modern-day version of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. I did. And A Face Without a Heart was born. It wasn’t until 2007, though, that I began concentrating on gay romance, suspense, and horror exclusively. And that was truly my niche. Since 2007, I’ve had close to 30 novels published and probably twice that number when you consider short eBooks. I love what I do!
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? And, if so, what do you do about it?
I have never believed in such a phenomenon. To me, it’s an excuse. And I know all about excuses for not writing (I am a wonderful procrastinator and when it comes time to work on something, I can find a million and one things that suddenly need to be done before I get started). For me, it’s always been—how on earth will I ever manage to have the time to get down everything I want to say, every story I want to tell? I just don’t believe in it, quite simply. And that disbelief has held me in good stead.
There’s a writer named Lili St. Crow who says best why I think writer’s block is a crock:
“Discipline allows magic. To be a writer is to be the very best of assassins. You do not sit down and write every day to force the Muse to show up. You get into the habit of writing every day so that when she shows up, you have the maximum chance of catching her, bashing her on the head, and squeezing every last drop out of that bitch.” 
Lili St. Crow
What are you reading now?
Gregory Maguire’s The Next Queen of Heaven. Most people know Maguire from his Oz-inspired WICKED books, which I love, but this is a standalone novel with real people and somewhat mystical themes. If you read the reviews, you can see how readers are disappointed he didn’t give them more of the same with this book. But I think it’s just beautiful—touching, funny, and heartfelt. 
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
A few things came immediately to mind. The first was, I love to read. It goes back to what I alluded to earlier about getting lost in a fictional universe. I hunger for that—I am never NOT reading a book. Second, sometimes my brain needs a break from words from imagining. One way I give it a break is by running. I run 5-6 miles several times a week and it’s wonderful to just disengage the brain for a while, concentrating on things like breathing, your body’s response, and what’s around you (and here in the Pacific Northwest, I have lots of beautiful scenery to take in). The third thing that came to mind is cooking. I do 99% of all the cooking at our house and I just love it. I find it inspiring and relaxing—and nothing beats the feeling of nourishing those you love.

Photo Credit: Adam Bouska (author photo)


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