Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Guest Blogger - Rick R. Reed

Welcome, Rick. I was going to talk about another one of your books, but going over your backlist found In The Blood and was hooked on the story. I'm a sucker (ouch) for vampires. One of the recurring remarks about the story was that these were not your typical vampires. Can you share with us what made these bloodsuckers different from others?

Thanks so much for having me, Jeanne. In the Blood is my tragic vampire love story. It has its share of gory, heart-pounding moments, but it’s also a meditation on immortality in all its forms: in life, in art, in love. My vampires worship visual art and their hunger for it nearly equals their hunger for human blood. My vampires are very sexy, but they have their ruthless, vicious sides (as I think vampires should). Their appreciation for art also leads them into interactions with artists, which forms the basis of the story. Their interactions with good artists, creatures who carve out their own immortality through what they create, are a source of passion and envy for my vampires because their immortality is borne of destruction rather than creation. I guess, in short, you could say my vampires are sexy and cerebral monsters, which isn’t always the case.

Several different locations are visited in the story. How do you research your settings?

In the Blood tells two parallel stories: one set in 1950s Greenwich Village and the other in modern-day Chicago. When my trio of impossibly beautiful vampires: Terence, Maria, and Edward encounter Elise, they set an explosive triangle in motion. Terence wants to drain her blood. Maria just wants Elise . . . as lover and partner through eternity. And Edward, the most recently-converted, wants to prevent her from making the same mistake he made as a young abstract expressionist artist in 1950s Greenwich Village: sacrificing his artistic vision for immortal life. He is the only one of them still human enough to realize what an unholy trade this is.

I lived in Chicago for 16 years, so it was very easy to write about the city since I knew it so well. I did a lot of research into Manhattan in the 1950s and especially the art scene there to get the details right. It was a fascinating time. I even did some research on no-longer-in use subway stops that the vampires use. Those places are ripe for creepy descriptions!

An actual historic house in Chicago on North Sheridan Road, inspired the house where the vampires live in present-day Chicago. It’s called the Sheridan Colvin House and I used to go by it and could imagine what went on inside. Here’s a picture of me outside the house.

The characters in In the Blood explore different sexual orientations. How did you approach the relationships encountered by this diversity?

Of my three vampires, one is straight, one is a lesbian, and one is a gay male. This opens the door for what I thought were some fascinating love triangles and conflicts. The book is very sensual and sexual, so I really didn’t withhold much in presenting these beings as sexual creatures as well as creatures of the night. Their sexuality played a large part in attracting their prey…and they enjoyed the seduction and sex almost as much as the actual draining of blood. My main human character, Elise, was a lesbian who was a streetwalker by night and an artist by day (and at heart).

Your books cover a wide range of genres and subgenres. Is there one out there that you haven't explored that you plan to? Or is there one genre you think you'll never look into?

It’s funny you should ask that because recently, I have delved into writing gay romantic fiction. I wrote a story called VGL Male Seeks Same, about the games gay men play online, which has been very well received, including great reviews and bestseller status at my publisher’s website (Amber Allure). And I also just released (through Amber Allure again) another story about a young married man coming to terms with his homosexuality called Through the Closet Door, which has also been very well received. I am currently in the process of writing the sequel to VGL Male Seeks Same and am planning a second part for Through the Closet Door. (BTW, that's one HAWT cover!)

Maybe I’m just getting older, but I’m finding that writing about love and its complications just as fascinating as writing about things that go bump in the night.

Okay, the question fans always want to know: What's next for us?

Well, as I said, I am writing a couple of sequels and I have just completed a new novel that combines my twin loves of dark suspense and romance into what I hope is a poignant story that’s also one that will compel you to keep the lights on all night. The novel is called Bashed, and it’s about a horrible hate crime and its after effects. I hope to have some news about its publication very soon.

Thanks so much for sharing some of the writer's process with us. Before we end our discussion, I'm curious if you have a question you'd like to ask your readers?

I’d love to know what really scares them. And another burning question is, of course: Girl, where ever did you find those shoes?!

Rick's website: http://www.rickrreed.com/
Rick's MySpace: www.myspace.com/rickrreed


Jeanne said...

In case you missed my interjection on the post: That's one HAWT cover!

Anonymous said...

Rick always amazes me. He is so prolific, rabbits come to mind, but unlike rabbits, he produces an amazing array of books in every genre imaginable. Let's see Bugs Bunny do that! Seriously, I envy the man and wish I could be half the writer he is.

Jeanne said...

Thanks for posting Pat.
I was amazed, too at Rick's productivity...and the stories are pretty damn good, too.