We’re so pleased to have author Rick R. Reed dropping in today to celebrate the Freedom to Read. Rick has some personal experience with censorship to share, and he’s also offering the chance to win an e-copy of his book via the Rafflecopter widget below.
Once upon a time, many years ago (1991 to be exact), my first book got published by Dell. It was called OBSESSED and it was a horror novel about a serial killer who believes he’s a vampire terrorizing Chicago. The book did very well as part of this new line of cutting edge horror from the venerable publisher. A couple months after the book was out there, a friend of mine in Atlanta called me in Tampa (where I lived at the time) to tell me I was on the local news. Well, not me. But my book, OBSESSED. It had been banned from one of the suburban high school libraries. They did an interview with the father of the student who was “caught” reading it and demanded it be removed. They showed the cover. And my sales went up.
This is one example of censorship that I actually can’t object to. OBSESSED is pretty graphic, both in violence and sexual content. Even I would say it doesn’t belong in a high school library (even though I was reading worse when I was in grade school!).
That last point, about me reading worse, is really the point of what I want to say here about censorship. See, my parents were open-minded about what I wanted to read. Horrible as it may sound, I read ROSEMARY’S BABY in grade school, THE EXORCIST in junior high. And lots more…. The point is, my parents allowed me to think for myself, to decide for myself what was right for me and what I was ready to absorb. I think it helped in making me the twisted soul I am today, but it also helped in shaping me as an author and it also allowed me to think for myself, to see the redemption in the most twisted situations.
My point? By taking away someone’s ability to choose what to read, by magnanimously deciding what’s best for them, you remove that person’s chance to think for himself or herself, to experience the world of ideas fully and to decide what’s right and wrong according to his or her own truth. I’m not advocating parents not be responsible when overseeing children’s’ reading choices, but that they err on the side of liberty, of freedom of speech and thought. Trust that if someone is interested enough in a topic to want to read a whole book about it, they may have the emotional and intellectual capacity to be “ready” for it.
Freedom is a wonderful thing. Especially when it comes to reading, to art, and to ideas.
About the Book
I kill, therefore I am…
Voices slam through the corridor of his wounded mind. The words of his dead sister cry out. His parents’ taunts fill the silent room where he sits and waits–waits for the murderous rage, filling him with strength, driving him to kill, to touch the cold flesh, taste the warm blood–to feel alive again… A witness has seen him, but his killing only turns her on and now she wants to protect him. His wife suspects him, but the private detective she hired cannot stop him. Joe MacAree fears nothing–except that he may no longer be human. The thirst that drives him is relentless, moving deeper and deeper into his own shattering, private realm, where each murder is a delicious new gift of life, where revulsion is beauty, and the obsession will never let him go.
“A harrowing ride through cutting-edge psychological horror, this one’s got a vicious bite. Rick R. Reed’s Obsessed is a twisted nightmare.” – Douglas Clegg, bestselling author
Add Obsessed on Goodreads
About the Author
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). His novel, Raining Men, won the Rainbow Award for Best Contemporary General Fiction. 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.”
Rick R. Reed is offering one lucky reader the chance to win an e-copy of Obsessed