A warm welcome to author Rick R Reed visiting us today here at Love Bytes. Rick graciously answered some questions for us , shares an excerpt and there is a giveaway to participate in.
Welcome Rick 🙂
TITLE: Lost And Found
AUTHOR: Rick R. Reed
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante
LENGTH: 200 Pages
RELEASE DATE: December 5, 2016
BLURB: On a bright autumn day, Flynn Marlowe lost his best friend, a beagle named Barley, while out on a hike in Seattle’s Discovery Park.
On a cold winter day, Mac Bowersox found his best friend, a lost, scared, and emaciated beagle, on the streets of Seattle.
Two men. One dog. When Flynn and Mac meet by chance in a park later that summer, there’s a problem: who does Barley really belong to? Flynn wants him back, but he can see that Mac rescued him and loves him just as much as he does. Mac wants to keep the dog, and he can imagine how heartbreaking losing him would be—but that’s just what Flynn experienced.
Interview with Rick R. Reed, author of Lost and Found
Q: Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Rick R. Reed, author of the newest DSP release – Lost and Found!
A: No, I’m the lucky one. Thanks for having me on your blog to talk about my newest release, Lost and Found. I really love and admire Love Bytes.
Q: Hi Rick, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
A: Well, as far as living in my imagination, writing, and making up stories for a living, I’ve been either doing that or working on that goal for almost as long as I can remember. I wrote my first short story at age six. I had my first book published, a horror novel called Obsessed, published by Dell in 1991. Since then, I’ve barely looked back and with this new release, I believe I now have 32 novels in print.
Personally, I live in Seattle with my husband, and our Boston terrier, Lily. In my spare time, I’m an avid runner and cook. And there’s a relationship there—the running helps burn calories!
Q: Give us an insight into your book and your main characters.
A: One of the things Dreamspinner Press has us do as authors is fill out a form to help them craft the blurb that will appear on sales sites and on the back cover of the actual book. Although not everything below wound up being absolutely true, I think it’ll tell your readers in kind of a unique way a little bit about my two main characters and the story they find themselves caught up in.
So here you go, from the “Blurbs Composition” form (a little peek inside the business side of my author life, too!):
|MAIN CHARACTER—MAC BOWERSOX
Short physical description – Please include common clothing, age, eye color, hair color/length/style, height/weight and race. (If you have reference images of your characters please supply them)
5’10” 150 lbs. Mac is a compact guy very trim, in spite of his job as a waiter at a dog-friendly restaurant in the Green Lake neighborhood, where he lives (he rents a room in the attic of a house—his landlady is an old woman). He has red hair, a beard, green eyes, and freckles. Although he’s thirty, he looks much younger.
Short description of main character’s personality:
Mac is cheerful, outgoing, with a very positive outlook on life. He may drink a bit too much, but it’s not a serious issue. He enjoys hanging out with his friends at the restaurant after work and is a big fan of Shonda Rhimes and her TV empire. BUT—he’s lonely. He’s been unlucky in love since coming to Seattle. His backstory would include a rich older man who took him in when he first moved to town and kind of used him. After that, Mac was wary and, although he may have hooked up a bit too much, especially when drinking, he really wants someone with whom to share his life. His friends seem superficial. His “dates” lead to empty sex and no fulfillment. He’s a little jealous of the people he sees in the restaurant with their dogs, or the ones he sees walking them around Green Lake.
SECONDARY CHARACTER—FLYNN MARLOWE
Short physical description – Please include common clothing, age, eye/hair color (style), height/weight and race. (If you have reference images of your characters please supply them)
6’1” 180 lbs. Flynn is a good-looking guy, almost perfect in fact. He has black hair and blue eyes, which is an amazing contrast. He has a natural good build. His looks might even be a little off-putting. He dresses very well, casual, but classic. But at heart, he’s not narcissistic at all and is uncomfortable with praise. He has a very busy job as a publicist for a theater company in downtown Seattle.
Short description of secondary character’s personality:
He loves theater, movie musicals (but dark ones, like Cabaret), and loves, loves, loves exploring Seattle’s restaurant scene. His parents are alive and well and live on the eastside of Seattle, in Bellevue. They’re liberal and his mom especially is VERY comfortable with his being gay. In fact, Flynn often jokes with her that she’d have been heartbroken if he’d been straight. His dad isn’t quite as rainbow-flag waving, but loves his son and shares his passion for food. It’s this passion that might lead Flynn to Mac’s restaurant.
He has a studio apartment in Wallingford. Let’s put it on Stoneway, just a stone’s throw away from Lake Union and the Burke-Gilman trail.
In only five to ten sentences, summarize the story. We need only enough information to fill up to 200 words with a substantive, appealing story hook.
|The story is set in present-day Seattle, WA. Most of the action takes place in the summer (although flashbacks and the epilogue are in different seasons).
Flynn Marlowe lost his beagle, Barley, on an outing to Seattle’s Discovery Park. He searched and searched that fall, but could never find his best friend, until one day…
He runs into Mac Bowersox at Green Lake Park, who is walking a dog who looks exactly like his Barley. However, when Flynn confronts Mac about the dog, Mac tells him that “Hamburger” is his dog—and has been since the beagle was a puppy.
Dejected, Flynn can’t get the idea of out of his head that the dog was really Barley. Guilty, Mac recalls that he found his dog, emaciated and close to death, last winter, obviously a stray. But he knows that Flynn is probably the dog’s rightful owner. What to do? He’s fallen helplessly in love with the beagle, but understands that Flynn probably feels the same.
The truth eventually comes out, because Mac has a kind heart, which he knows will break when he has to give “his” dog back to Flynn.
Would a shared custody/visitation plan work for the two men who love this little dog so much? Both Mac and Flynn are willing to try it. In the process, they just may fall in love.
Describe the tone of the story with descriptive adjectives. Examples: wistful, sweet, funny, dark.
|Funny, poignant, romantic
What specific primary crisis or obstacle do the primary characters face? Details help.
|The loss of the dog, the “finding” of the dog—in someone else’s custody. The primary conflict is this: they both love the dog and they’re both good guys and hate to see the other lose ‘his’ dog. How to make it work? A compromise is in order—a compromise that just might lead to love between Barley’s ‘two’ owners.|
What information do you think is critical to include in the blurb?
|It’s critical that people know that our two love interests meet when one runs into the other, walking the dog he loved and lost months before. This is their ‘meet-cute’ moment and their impetus for falling in love.|
Q: What draws you to the M/M genre?
A: As a gay man, who’s fortunate enough to be in a solid marriage with my soulmate (together for 14 years and legally married for 4 years), I want to tell stories about gay men meeting, falling in love, and most importantly, finding the redemptive and joyous power that can come from finding the right one. I’m committed to telling these stories in a realistic way, i.e. I strive to present gay men’s lives as they really happen today—and include both good and bad aspects. I want my characters to be real people with real needs. Gay romance allows me to do that.
Q: Do you read much? If so, who are your favorite authors?
A: I read constantly and always have. I am literally never not reading a book. I just finished reading an excellent thriller called The Darkest Corners and am now reading Jamie Fessenden’s A Cop for Christmas, which is as sweet as a candy cane—a sugar rush and a pure delight. I also read daily from Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening, which has daily essays that help me cast my life in the right spiritual light. And, just for one more to switch off to, I’m also reading Wayne Dyer’s autobiographical book, I Can See Clearly Now. I go through them quickly, so I’ll probably be through with all of these and on to the next book(s) by the time this interview goes to print.
At the top of my list of favorite authors would be:
- Ruth Rendell
- Stephen King
- Patricia Highsmith
- Flannery O’Connor
Q: For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
A: Ebooks all the way! If someone gives me a paper book as a gift, I’ll buy the digital version—otherwise, I’d probably never read it. I’ve really fallen in love with ebooks over the past few years—I love their portability, the ability to switch seamlessly from my Kindle to my iPad to my iPhone, and the ability to change type size. To me, ebooks have so many advantages over paper. I know not everyone will agree with me, but as a true reading fanatic, I think ebooks are the best thing to come along since the printing press.
Q: What book/s are you reading at present?
A: Answered above.
Q: Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
A: Dreamspinner Press has an excellent editorial department and all my stuff goes through, usually, three rounds of editing (with three different editors), plus proofreading and galley checks. I edit as carefully as I can when I write, but I know that I’m prone to seeing things as they should be rather than as they really are, which is why I’m so grateful for editors!
Q: Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
A: I’m a total morning person. I’m usually up between 4 and 5 a.m. and begin work very early. I usually am done by late morning/early afternoon. Then I can go for my run, have lunch, and kick back a bit (but I still answer e-mails, do editing, and promo in the afternoons). As my own boss, I’m pretty ruthless—I’m very stingy with time off and weekends don’t mean anything to me anymore. But, the advantage of being my own boss is that I can sexually harass myself and not worry about being prosecuted or fired (I just put that in to see who was reading!).
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
A: After that last comment, I should probably shut up. Thanks for having me. And I hope all of you will give Lost and Found a chance. I think it’s a wonderfully sweet story, whether or not you’re a dog lover.
Mac turned back, his hands up like the criminal he felt he was. “What do you want?” he whined. He wished they’d just go away. But he was resigned to the fact that they weren’t going anywhere and that he’d have to deal with this situation with Hamburger sooner or later, whether he liked it or not, for better or for worse. Even if dealing with it meant his own heart would be ripped in two.
Clara said, “We just want to take a look at the dog. That’s all. I can give a second opinion. I know Flynn’s dog Barley very well. And maybe he’s wrong. We’re prepared for that. But he’s missed his little guy so much, maybe there’s just some wishful thinking happening on Flynn’s part. That would be understandable. I assume you’re headed home?”
Mac nodded, feeling like he was backing up to a precipice. He didn’t know which footstep would send him hurtling over the edge. “Yeah,” he said, a little out of breath. “I rent a room in a house on Green Lake Way.” He closed his eyes. He felt as though the couple were staring at him. Well, of course they were staring, but staring with dislike, disgust, whatever. And maybe all that was just Mac himself, projecting his own feelings of self-loathing.
He looked to the guy, Flynn, he’d encountered the other day on the trail. Their eyes met, and Mac noticed how the guy had a little chip missing out of his front tooth. It was an odd time to take note of such a thing, but it made Mac feel better. The guy had seemed so perfect, all Irish black hair and blue eyes, the body of an Adonis, dimples, everything. The flaw humanized him and, in a way, made him sexier.
Why are you even thinking such a thing? Mac yelled at himself on the inside. The dude’s obviously here with his girlfriend. He felt bad all over again about deceiving him. Mac wasn’t ready to tell them the truth about Hamburger—he just couldn’t bear the thought of it, because surely that would be the end of his relationship with the dog, and sometimes Mac thought he loved that creature more than he loved himself—he could at least own up to some of his own truth.
“Your name’s Flynn, isn’t it?”
The guy nodded, and his eyebrows came together in obvious confusion. “Mike, right?”
Flynn peered at him suspiciously, and Mac realized he probably had never believed any of what he’d told him. Mac had always had a terrible face for lying. Every emotion was always cast there in sharp relief. It was both his blessing and his curse.
“No,” Mac mumbled. “My name’s Mac. Mac Bowersox.” He scraped the toe of his Converse on the sidewalk. “Maybe you misheard me. Mac, Mike, Max….”
“Sure,” Flynn said stiffly. “Are you gonna let us come and see the dog or not?’
Do I have a choice? Mac wondered. Of course he did. One always had a choice. He could be an asshole and simply refuse. Stand his ground. Try to be a baby and just run from them again. He shook his head. “The house is, uh, just around the corner down here.” He gestured toward Green Lake, which shimmered innocently in the summer sun just below them. Mac thought there should be storm clouds gathering above the water. He turned away from Flynn and Clara, trying to mentally prepare himself for what was to come.
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). He is also a Rainbow Award Winner for both Caregiver and Raining Men. 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.”
You can also email Rick at – firstname.lastname@example.org
Winner’s Prize: Legally Wed ebook.
Runner Up Prize: Husband Hunters eBook.
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