Good morning. Today retire cop turned author Rick Reed joins me to answer a few questions.
What is your typical day like?
Up at 4:30a and go to a Starbucks to write. Write three hours or so, then back home to my office and write off and on for another six to eight hours. Every day. (Except for my wife’s birthday, Mother’s Day, our Anniversary, and Christmas.)
Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
I stop taking my medicine and…there they are. Not really. My past life gives me all the story material I will ever need. I rarely search for a story idea. That is both good and bad. PTSD—Post Traumatic Story Disorder.
What is your favorite dessert/food?
How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
Depends on how they act. If they make me mad they become a victim. If they’re arrogant or rude they become a politician. If they don’t do anything, they become a Congressman.
Was your road to publication fraught with peril or a walk in the park?
I’m an ‘accidental author’. I caught a serial killer when I was a homicide detective and was contacted by a writer that had an offer from Kensington to write about this killer. We co-authored a true crime book called BLOOD TRAIL. That was my first foray into this business. I won’t write true crime again, but was lucky enough to be contacted by the publisher again to write two fiction books based on serial killers. This turned into a series and I’m now working on book #8. Book #6 was just published and book #7 is with the editors. The peril part for me is deadlines.
How far do you plan ahead?
I write a series so always be looking two or three books down the road. I’m currently working on a book due in July. I have all the research I need in my head for that one. But there is always a teaser (20 to 30 pages) of the next book included with the current book. It’s a challenge to continue a series with the same characters. My stories tend to take place in Evansville, Indiana with a population of 157K. I’ve killed almost half of them. Just kidding. I want to but they refuse to die. Whoops. The planning and research depends on the challenge the new story presents. I rely on other writers and friends to do some of my research. However, I’m preparing for book #9 and will have to spend a few weeks in a little town called Dugger, Indiana.
Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors?
Yes. If you want to be a writer, write. Every day. Every weekend. Holidays. Even if you don’t have anything to say. Write something. You can always change it or cut it. If you don’t write it’s like not breathing. So don’t wait for an idea. Just start writing. It will tell itself.
What did you want to be when you were a child? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
I grew up in a bad neighborhood. I wanted to stay out of prison. So I wanted to not be a criminal. I became a cop instead. It was either that or become a priest and I liked girls too much. I had no thought of being a writer but I wanted to be an investigator. Now I want to be a writer. Writers are investigators that are allowed—encouraged even—to tell lies.
Do you or have you belonged to a writing organization? Which one? Have the helped you with your writing? How?
I belong to Mystery Writers of America. At one point my contract with my publisher ended and there was no prospect on the horizon. The next day I had a bad accident and suffered a brain injury. MWA helped me through the dry spell, both monetarily and with encouragement that I could get my mojo back. I will always be thankful to them. As for writing groups, I’m somewhat of a loner. I belong to the SouthEast branch of MWA and enjoy the conversations, but I will always write what I want. Sometimes too many cooks really do spoil the broth.
Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.
THE SLOWEST DEATH is the 6th Jack Murphy Thriller. Jack Murphy and Liddell Blanchard are partners in the Homicide Squad of the Evansville Police Department. They become involved in this case when a policeman is found murdered, tortured, and posed in an abandoned house in a poor part of town. Sergeant Franco “Sonny” Caparelli was assigned to a Federal Drug Task Force. His death is thought to be drug related when tens of thousands of dollars are found in his discarded clothing. While Jack and Liddell are investigating Sonny’s death another victim is killed. This one a Superior Court Judge. The victims are killed in different manners, but in both cases an small ivory figurine of a monkey is found shoved down the victims throats. A man from Boston shows up to talk to Jack, asking for help in finding a friend of Sonny’s. He knows that Sonny, the Judge, and the friend he is looking for were originally from Boston. The Judge was a prosecutor, Sonny and the friend were detectives. The investigation takes on a new direction and drugs aren’t the only thing wrong with this picture.
THE SLOWEST DEATH (#6)
JACK MURPHY DELIVERS JUSTICE
Detective Jack Murphy can read a crime scene like a book. When the naked, brutalized corpse of a narcotics cop is found, it’s not the body that tells him a sick killer is on the loose, but the monkey figurine—of the “see no evil” kind—shoved down his throat. It’s a message, not a clue.
When a high-profile judge is set on fire. Another figurine left behind. Murphy has a guess what’s next. But it’s not what he expects. The torture-killer taking out Evansville’s defenders of law and order isn’t the only one with secrets. The victims might have a few, too . . .
Praise for Rick Reed and his novels
“A jaw-dropping thriller.”—Gregg Olsen
“Leaves you wondering whether you really did lock the doors before you went to bed.”—Mystery Scene
“Put this on your must-read list.”—John Lutz
“The things Reed has seen as a police officer make for a great book.”
“Rick Reed knows the dark side as only a real-life cop can, and his writing crackles with authenticity.” —Shane Gericke
Rick Reed is the author of the Detective Jack Murphy thriller series consisting of six novels at this time. Three more novels will be released in 2018 and 2019. His most recent novel, THE SLOWEST DEATH, was released on February 6 of this year.
The fiction series smacks of reality because Sergeant Rick Reed (Ret.) was a member of the Evansville Police Department and Vanderburgh County Sheriff Department in Indiana for 30 years. During that time he served as an investigator for Circuit Court, Deputy Sheriff, motor patrol sergeant, hostage negotiator, handwriting expert, and lead investigator on numerous serial rapist, cold cases and homicides.
Reed’s acclaimed book, Blood Trail, is the true account of one investigation that unearthed serial killer, Joseph Weldon Brown, who is serving two life-without-parole sentences for his string of crimes.
Reed is currently writing and teaching part time at a Community College. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their critter family, Lexie and Luthor.. You can reach him through his website at www.RickReedBooks.com or through www.KensingtonBooks.com. He is available for presentations through his publicist, at Kensington Books firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detective Jack Murphy thriller crime series:
Released in 2016:
THE CRUELEST CUT
THE COLDEST FEAR
THE DEEPEST WOUND
Released in 2017:
THE HIGHEST STAKES
THE DARKEST NIGHT
THE SLOWEST DEATH
THE DEADLIEST SIN
Author of the Acclaimed True Crime novel: BLOOD TRAIL
“Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.”
__Sir Isaac Newton