Hello everyone! Today I am so excited to welcome back the fabulous Rick R. Reed! Rick is here to talk to us more about his new release Legally Wed (which I really enjoyed and reviewed here). He has also brought a copy to give away to one lucky reader! So please join me in giving him a big welcome!
Thanks for having me, JJ. It was great seeing you at GRL (and I loved the picture we took together). It’s nice to connect with you again, even if it is only on the Internet.
So I reviewed this last week, but for folks who haven’t read the book or my review, can you give us an overview of the story?
I work super hard on getting the blurb just so, so would you mind it went with that?
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?
One of the things I found really interesting was the relationship between Duncan and Marilyn, and the way it explores the idea of finding a partner or companion, versus a romantic and sexual partner. Most people want both out of a marriage, but Duncan and Marilyn want to marry as just very close and loving friends. What inspired you to explore this idea in the book?
I have a very perverse mind. And I mean that in the true sense of the word, not in the sense that I am a pervert (although some may make the claim that I am, but I digress…). As a writer, one of the best questions I can ever ask is “What if?” In this case, it just popped into my head, “What if a gay man placed an ad looking for a wife on the m4w ads on Craigslist?” I actually considered doing it myself, just to see if anyone would answer and what kind of responses I would get. But I used that perverse impulse more constructively to follow it into a story. I had my character, Duncan, do my bidding. And I let my imagination run wild with the responses he’d get.
So that was the inspiration. And once I had it and knew it would be a book, I also knew that this would be a very circuitous route for a gay man who had given up on love to at last find his true love (another man, of course…and not Marilyn, although they do come to love one another as dear friends). I’ve found that, in life, it’s often the case that it’s only when we give up on attaining something that fate kind of delivers it to us. That was the case here.
One of the things that this story highlights is the newly-won marriage equality in Washington state. We are seeing new laws all around the country (including 2012 here in Maryland). How much of an impact did the new law in Washington play into your inspiration for the story?
That was my other inspiration! If you recall, the book opens with Duncan watching the first same-sex couples in Seattle lining up outside City Hall just after midnight on December 6, 2012 to get marriage licenses for the first time in the state’s history. I even give a glimpse of the first real-life couple who signed up, a lesbian couple who were filled with joy and who had been together for decades.
My soon-to-be husband, Bruce and I were one of those couples. And it felt historical…and magical. There were so many people out in the wee small hours and so much love and welcoming and acceptance…. It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it. I knew I would have to incorporate that joy into a romance one day.
I really enjoyed the father/son dynamic in the book and especially the generational difference between Peter’s father who originally married a woman because that was what was expected, versus Peter who is now able to openly and legally marry a man. It also obviously reflects back on Duncan in an interesting way, as he is marrying a woman even though he can legally marry for love. Can you talk more about this?
Peter, who is gay, and his gay dad, Ray are a bit of an echo of my own gay son and me. Although their details and circumstances are not the same, their dynamic, their love for one another, and their camaraderie is.
In the book, Ray thinks it’s crazy that Peter (a wedding planner) is planning a wedding for a couple where one of them, Duncan, is a gay man. An out gay man. It’s lunacy to Ray because he came of age in a time when the possibility of gay marriage was unimaginable. He’s a big reflection of me. I married at 24, to my son’s mother, and, like Ray, I loved her very much but it could never work. Ray urges his son to pursue his attraction for this misguided client, even if it was unethical. Ray doesn’t want to see someone make the same mistake he did, especially not when the world had changed so much.
Legally Wed is set in Seattle with lots of great details that really bring the city to life. How many of the places and sights in the book are based on real life, versus how much did you make up for the story?
Most of the places are based on real life. The little bistro where Marilyn and Duncan go for dinner, Dinette, is a real place, for example and one of mine and Bruce’s favorites. Sadly, it recently closed. Duncan lives on a houseboat and my condo overlooks Seattle’s Lake Union, which is home to many houseboats (we have friends who live on one just down the hill from us and the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat is directly below our condo building). Most of the time, I try to use real places because I want people to really feel like they’ve been there…that the setting comes alive as much as the characters.
Can you tell us what else you are working on and what we can look forward to seeing from you in the future?
I just finished up a book called Dinner at Home and it’s now in the editing queue at Dreamspinner. It’s a contemporary romance about a personal chef and the streetwise homeless youth who comes to work for him. And…it’s a romance with recipes. I included a lot of my favorites to open various chapters and set a tone. It’s a real opposites attract story and one that really unites my twin passions for food and romance. Dinner at Home should be out around April/May, I think.
Now I am working on my latest book and am only a couple thousand words into it. It’s too soon to talk about it, but it’s going to be a lot of fun, I promise.
If my readers want to learn more about you or your work, where can they find you?
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.”
Visit Rick’s website at http://www.rickrreed.com or follow his blog at http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/. You can also like Rick on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/rickrreed. Rick always enjoys hearing from readers and answers all e-mails personally. Send him a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
Buy Links for Legally Wed
- Dreamspinner Ebook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4531
- Dreamspinner Paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4532
- Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Legally-Wed-Rick-R-Reed-ebook/dp/B00HNXIT5U/
- Amazon Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Legally-Wed-Rick-R-Reed/dp/1627982043/
- AllRomance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-legallywed-1387389-149.html
Thanks so much Rick for stopping by!
Anytime. Anytime at all!
Rick is generously offering up a copy of Legally Wed to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment below to enter. The contest closes on Saturday, January 18th at 11:59 pm EST.
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