Welcome to the five hundred and seventy-fifth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with crime thriller author Rick Reed. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Rick. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Rick: I didn’t start out to be a writer like most authors that I know, but I have always been a voracious reader. In 1999, while living in a cramped apartment, working third shift as a police detective, newly divorced and trying to find ways to burn off the stress, I discovered that I enjoyed making up police stories.
Since I never expected to find an agent, much less a publisher, I started an underground police department newspaper. It was short and crude and was written as a celebrity roast. The celebrities were whatever unlucky police officer, or politician, I had in my sights for some mischievous—not malicious—fun. The paper was called The Monkey Boy Gazette, and there was an issue every month for ten years before my identity was discovered. My first amendment right to free speech was honoured, but there are subtle ways to punish transgressors and I was finally unable to continue the paper.
Before that happened though, I had a circulation of about one thousand readers, including the entire police department, city government, and local FBI. After I was put out of the underground press business, I was told that my stories were being mailed all over the country to other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. My paper had become a collector’s item, and the victims of the stories were framing them and hanging them in their offices and homes.
Morgen: It’s great having the experience so you really can write what you know because it’s writers like myself who love writing crime but are never sure if the ‘facts’ are right. You could become a crime writers’ consultant. What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?