Monday, January 20, 2014

Legally Wed by Rick R. Reed

Literary Nymphs Interview

Title: Legally Wed
Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary romance, m/m romance, gay romance
Release Date: January 3, 2014

Love comes along when you least expect it. That’s what Duncan Taylor’s sister, Scout, tells him. Scout has everything Duncan wants—a happy life with a wonderful husband. Now that Seattle has made gay marriage legal, Duncan knows he can have the same thing. But when he proposes to his boyfriend Tucker, he doesn’t get the answer he hoped for. Tucker’s refusal is another misstep in a long line of failed romances. Despairing, Duncan thinks of all the loving unions in his life—and how every one of them is straight. Maybe he could be happy, if not sexually compatible, with a woman. When zany, gay-man-loving Marilyn Samples waltzes into his life, he thinks he may have found his answer.

Determined to settle, Duncan forgets his sister’s wisdom about love and begins planning a wedding with Marilyn. But life throws Duncan a curveball. When he meets wedding planner Peter Dalrymple, unexpected sparks ignite. Neither man knows how long he can resist his powerful attraction to the other. For sure, there’s a wedding in the future. But whose?

Do you write in more than one genre?
These days, I mostly write contemporary love stories about gay men seeking their soul mates. My last several books, Chaser, Raining Men, Hungry for Love and Legally Wed, have all dealt with gay men looking for love (sometimes in all the wrong places). They also usually capture one or more character’s personal journeys, so that they can arrive at a place in their hearts and minds where they’re ready for love.

I also sometimes write horror and psychological suspense. These are genres I love to read and it’s fun to write about extreme emotion, which links both my dark books and my romantic ones. But even in these books, there’s also always an element of romance. My most popular darker titles include The Blue Moon CafĂ©, Orientation, and A Demon Inside. New editions of my earlier horror/suspense/love story works will appear in new and revised editions from Dreamspinner in 2014: IM and Bashed.

What if any, is the hardest part of writing for you?
Characters are the most important part of writing for me. Once I have an idea of who they are as people, what motivates them, what makes them unique, the rest is easier. Once the characters become real for more, they kind of tell me their stories, as crazy as that sounds.

Editing can be hard. You have to be ruthless and make sure that only what’s essential remains in the work. This could mean cutting some things that you love, but in the end, realize do not add to the story’s arc or progression.

What inspired the story?
Some of the details were lifted from my own life and my own experience with what we now call “gay marriage” but that I hope we will someday refer to simply as “marriage.”

The book actually begins on the first day same-sex couples were able to obtain marriage licenses in Washington State. It was a special day for me personally—and yes, I would say that this moment was the inspiration for the book.

Bruce, my now-husband and I were one of the first couples in line down at City Hall in the wee small hours of the morning to get our marriage license on the first day we could. There was such joy at City Hall that morning, both from couples getting their licenses and the employees and supporters who had come out to witness this historic moment. I wanted to write about not just love, but marriage. Here’s the opening and I think you can see what I’m talking about:

Same-sex marriage had just become legal in Washington State and Duncan Taylor didn’t plan on wasting any time. He had been dating Tucker McBride for more than three years and, ever since the possibility of marriage had become more than just a pipe dream, it was all Duncan could think of. He had thought of it as he gazed out the windows of his houseboat on Lake Union, on days both sunny and gray (since it was late autumn, there were a lot more of the latter); he had thought of it as he stood before his classroom of fourth graders at Cascade Elementary School. He had thought of it when he woke up in the morning and before he fell asleep at night.
For Duncan, marriage was the peak, the happy ending, the icing on the cake, the culmination of one’s hearts desire, a commitment of a lifetime, the joining of two souls. For Duncan, it was landing among the stars.
And for Duncan, who would turn 38 on his next birthday, it was also something he had never dared dream would be possible for him.
And now, too excited to sleep, he was thinking about it—hard—once again. It was just past midnight on December 6, 2012 and the local TV news had pre-empted its regular programming to take viewers live to Seattle City Hall, where couples were forming a serpentine line to be among the first in the state to be issued their marriage licenses—couples who had also for far too long believed this right would be one they would never be afforded. Many clung close together to ward off the chill, but Duncan knew their reasons for canoodling went far deeper than that.
The mood, in spite of the darkness pressing in all around, was festive. There was a group serenading the couples in line, singing “Going to the Chapel.” Champagne corks popped in the background. Laughter.
Duncan couldn’t keep the smile off his face as he watched all the male-male and female-female couples in the line, their mood of jubilation, of love, of triumph traveling through to him even here on his houseboat two or three miles north of downtown. Duncan wiped tears from his eyes as he saw not only the couples but also all the supporters, city workers, and volunteers who had crowded together outside City Hall to wish the new couples well, to share in the happiness of the historic moment.
And then Duncan couldn’t help it, he fell into all-out blubbers as the first couple to get their license emerged from City Hall. 85-year-old Pete-e Peterson and her partner and soon-to-be-wife, Jane Abbott Lighty, were all smiles when a reporter asked them how they felt.
“We waited a long time. We’ve been together 35 years, never thinking we’d get a legal marriage. Now I feel so joyous I can hardly stand it,” Pete-e said.
It was such a special moment and it was all Duncan could do not to pick up the phone and call Tucker and casually say something like, “Hey honey, you want to get married?”

What are some of your other favorite activities?
When I’m not writing, I still love to immerse myself in stories. So, I’m a voracious reader and love movies and, yes, television. Right now, I’m reading Boy Still Missing by John Searles and really getting into the current seasons of Shameless, American Horror Story, and am very much looking forward to HBO’s new series about gay men called Looking.

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."

Where can we find your website?

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1 comment:

  1. 2 more days and it will be MINE I tell Rick is a fantastic writer and he pulls a lot of emotion out of his readers or at least me.