Interview with Rick Reed
writer of IM
Quest Books (2007)
Today, Tyler R. Tichelaar of Reader Views is joined via Rick R. Reed, who is right here to speak about his new novel, “IM”.
Rick R. Reed’s horror fiction has been called “a harrowing trip thru present day mental horror” (Douglas Clegg, writer of “The Attraction”), having “a knack for presenting the grotesque lower depths of a soul” (“New City”) and “brutally sincere” (“Fangoria”). “Unzipped” mag, in its October 2006 issue said, “You should call him the Stephen King of gay horror…”
Tyler: Welcome, Rick. I’m glad to have you right here today. To begin, would you in short tell us what “IM” is about?
Rick: “IM” is a suspense/horror novel approximately a serial killer who uses net “hook-up” chat rooms to entice his sufferers. The title stands for fast message, and it is thru these on the spot messages that the killer seduces his sufferers into inviting him into their homes for what they assume may be an nighttime of romance, however what seems to be an night of brutal murder. The twist of the ebook is that the killer himself can be lifeless, a sufferer of a similar crime to those now being perpetrated. It takes a these days out and ousted homosexual Chicago police detective to try to discover the truth and to stop the killer–dead or no longer–earlier than he kills again.
Tyler: Where did you first provide you with the concept for “IM”?
Rick: I bet I should were considering the ability peril homosexual guys, specially, positioned themselves in by using the use of those online hookup offerings, like Adam4Adam, M4M, and so on. There’s a whole slew of them and finding intercourse on-line nowadays is as easy as ordering a pizza. And I’d be lying if I stated I had by no means availed myself of the opportunity. But the thought crossed my thoughts at one point, “What if the sort of humans you’re inviting over desires to do you harm? Or even kill you? Who could understand? How might every person hint any connection from you to the killer?” That “what if…” is a large query for writers and it commenced me on the route for writing “IM”.
Tyler: A e-book like “IM” couldn’t had been written even two decades ago when the net was now not tremendous. What blessings do you feel advances in generation have created for storytelling?
Rick: Well, I assume the internet has many opportunities for storytelling. A even as again, I examine an super novel known as “I.D.”, which become about a girl whose identity is stolen. I also agree with there’s a young person novel out advised completely in IMs. The cyberworld is a whole new placing!
Tyler: I know you have set “IM” and a number of your other novels in Chicago, and you stay in Chicago. Is there a reason why you pick out to set the books within the town in which you stay?
Rick: Actually, Tyler, I lived in Chicago for eighteen years. In October of 2006, I moved to Miami, FL with my companion because of a process relocation/promotion. But to get returned for your question, I set so much of my work in Chicago because the city became a real concept to me. I knew it so nicely it was clean to visualize the locales as I wrote. And the hardiness, the people, the splendor, and the energy of Chicago all contributed to making me need to set what I wrote there.
Tyler: I have also read your e book “Penance” which I loved, however what definitely made “IM” stand out for me by assessment turned into your use of multiple first and 1/3 individual narratives, and also you allowed the serial killer to talk in first person. Why did you pick out to change points-of-view and what did you sense were the benefits and downsides of doing so?
Rick: I like using extraordinary points of views first because it allows me get inside the character’s head and sense what he’s feeling, as a consequence bringing it alive for the reader (once in a while I visit some quite dark and perilous locations!). Second, I like to do it because I suppose it brings the reader plenty toward the man or woman I’m writing approximately. You recognise the scene within the movie “Halloween” where the little Michael Myer goes to kill his sister? You see this thru his Halloween masks, and pay attention him respiration beneath the masks…And I assume that’s what makes it extra personal and terrifying for the viewer. In “IM”, we get to see things “up near and private” from the killer’s and his sufferers’ views. I like having that immediacy and bringing readers proper into my personal little nightmare world.
Tyler: One issue I observed exciting approximately the serial killer in “IM” is that you gave the reader historical past data on him and why he have become who he changed into. Even with showing his motivation, however, I’m now not certain he ever became sympathetic. Did you experience sympathy for him at all?
Rick: Yeah, I do feel a few sympathy for Timothy. You’ve examine the ebook, so you know he persisted some pretty horrible abuse growing up. I do not certainly assume every body to feel sympathy for him, however I wish they can as a minimum have a few understanding why he have become the manner he’s. I think about humans in phrases of sunglasses of gray and I suppose that makes them loads more compelling as characters than one-dimensional inventory villains or heroes.
Tyler: Rick, do you ever acquire terrible criticism about your novels because of their violent or sexual situation depend? And if so, how do you reply to those critics?
Rick: It’s thrilling seeing some of the critiques for “IM” and the way almost they all warn that there is pretty photograph sex and violence, yet they all say it is no longer gratuitous and it needs to be there to strengthen the plot. That makes me experience exact because I in no way placed picture stuff in actually to shock…It usually has to skip the check: does it need to be there? Could the tale paintings with out it? I assume my solution is usually, “Yes, it must be there.”
Tyler: That’s an top notch reaction, Rick. I agree it is essential that such factors as violence are used to enhance the plot. Do you feel there may be an excessive amount of violence nowadays in books, movies and tv? I am usually amazed via the range of crime suggests on television these days. How do you watched your books or such applications replicate American viewpoints these days?
Rick: It’s hard to gauge how a whole lot is an excessive amount of. I assume the take a look at I noted above is a great one: is the violence vital? I suppose movies like “Hostel” and “Wolf Creek” take it over the top and for me for my part, they cross a bit too a ways. The gore and violence simply appear like they’re there for his or her own sake (understand that sentence for the best usage of variations on “there”!).
Tyler: Do you feel your works exaggerate truth through being sensational, or is that the a laugh of writing within a horror or suspense style?
Rick: Most of my stuff is the type of horror that can surely occur (store for a detour into the world of vampires sometimes), so I could say that I don’t suppose the crimes and the suspense are exaggerated. I think what makes them terrifying is that they may truely appear. I actually have continually been a real crime buff and it fascinates me how human beings can bring themselves to do horrible matters (which I should by no means do). Writing about these items is a way of analyzing crime greater carefully.
Tyler: What genuinely moves me approximately your works and specially “IM” is that they cognizance on homosexual characters, and yet the ones gay characters are victims of sexual crimes. Do you feel your books mirror a few sort of homophobic feeling that still exists in America, or possibly the fears of the homosexual populace approximately now not being widely wide-spread with the aid of the mainstream?
Rick: I do not suppose I consciously set out to jot down whatever themed that way. As I’ve stated earlier than, I just set out to write down an excellent page-turner, not a “cautionary story” or to preserve a reflect as much as society. I suppose, though, in case you peel again the layers of “IM”, there may be an detail of self-loathing that some homosexual men have and that’s what causes them to seek out relatively unstable behavior, even once in a while at the rate of their own lives.
Tyler: Why do you choose to put in writing gay horror? Why not just a homosexual popping out story?
Rick: Gay is just because I am; I know the ones human beings great. I suppose my “gay” books may want to simply as without difficulty be directly ones…My first concern is with the human circumstance. My characters’ sexuality makes them extra alive to me as I write them and with any luck extra alive to the reader. Horror is because I actually have usually been all for the dark facet of factors and continually cherished the delicious tingle you can sense from fear (the sort of safe fear you can have between the covers of a e-book or on a film display screen, though!).
Tyler: How did you feel about “Unzipped” Magazine calling you the “Stephen King of gay horror”? Do you suspect it truly is a fair assessment?
Rick: I love the advertising attitude that a person evaluating me to King has given me. And I love the comparison because he is always been a favourite. I’ve been reading him seeing that I became a boy and feature read almost everything he’s written. That said, no, I don’t suppose we’re alike at all. Our patterns, problem count, and perspectives are very one of a kind. “Unzipped” picked King because he’s likely the most recognizable call in horror, not due to the fact we’re definitely all that alike as writers.
Tyler: You referred to the movie “Halloween” and of course, Stephen King. Which writers and/or films were impacts upon your writing?
Rick: Some of my preferred horror films are “THE HAUNTING” and an Asian movie called “AUDITION. In both of these, the experience of dread is pervasive and, as a minimum with the former, lots of the chilling stuff that occurs occurs off-stage, which makes it even more frightening. As some distance as writers who have had a power, the three that come to mind could no longer be categorised as horror writers, however I definitely love their experience of suspense and the gruesome: Flannery O’Connor, Patricia Highsmith, and James Purdy. I assume they have all influenced how I write characters.
Tyler: How hard changed into it to be able to submit a singular with gay characters in it? Being gay yourself, did the concept of turning into famous make you fearful?
Rick: It’s taken me a long time to simply accept myself as a gay guy (I didn’t come out until I turned into 30) and now I’m happy with who I am and do not care who knows it. I might be happy to be referred to as a “homosexual author” and be famous for it. Our community desires extra “out and proud” human beings standing at the leading edge, so human beings can see we come in all one-of-a-kind sizes and styles. I began out writing immediately horror books and I was very fortunate to have the primary two picked up via a big NY publisher like Dell and I assume I may want to have continued down that path. But I wanted to write down what I wanted to put in writing and now I’m very comfortable publishing with a small GLBT house.
Tyler: How would you yourself describe your paintings? Is it horror, suspense, thriller, gay fiction, or do you select a few other time period?
Rick: I select the time period, “true story.” I’m a storyteller and hope that the main aspect I can keep away from is dull people. If I can supply them a pair or three hours of entertainment and break out from their ordinary global, I’m happy. If I can make them think a touch alongside the way, it truly is an advantage. I depart the labels to publishers and bookstores. They use them to make me less complicated to discover. But I suppose if pressed I might say my paintings is suspense/horror, in that order.
Tyler: I apprehend your next novel could be about vampires. Are you leaning more toward writing horror?
Rick: No, if whatever I’m leaning extra toward suspense/thriller. But humans frequently anticipate books are written chronologically inside the same order they may be posted. I wrote “In the Blood” a while in the past, based totally on a quick story I wrote even longer ago (and that turned into published in an anthology of ancient vampire fiction referred to as “Dark Destiny”). I love the whole romantic, savage mystique of vampires though and anticipate I’ll get round to exploring them extra in my fiction.
Tyler: What do you sense is the attraction in latest years surrounding vampires in horror literature? Why does the vampire discern speak to trendy audiences?
Rick:I don’t suppose the appeal for vampires is current; it is going way lower back. I suppose we’ve always been curious about the opportunity of immortal life…And I trust that is what’s on the core of the attraction of vampire fiction.
Tyler: Thank you a lot for being here nowadays, Rick. “IM” had me on the edge of my seat all the manner via and I absolutely advocate it. Can you inform our readers wherein they can find out extra statistics about your books and wherein to buy a replica of “IM”?
Rick: Sure. From Amazon suspended my account, BarnesandNoble.Com, Starcrossed Productions, Lambda Rising, and different on-line booksellers. It’s additionally available for order from any precise bookshop.