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Local Gay author to speak at Q-Squared Book Group
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Local Gay author to speak at Q-Squared Book Group

Q-Squared Book Club with Rick R. Reed
October 17
Capitol Hill Branch Library


Rick R. Reed, author of Bashed, will meet with members of the Q-Squared Book Group at their next meeting to discuss his recent novel, the group's selection for October. Bashed is the story of a Gay hate crime and its aftermath. The event will be on Saturday, October 17, from 1-2 p.m. at the Capitol Hill Branch Library, located at 425 Harvard Avenue East.

Bashed was published in March of this year by MLR Press and has garnered very favorable reviews. Bookwenches.com said, "As I read this novel, I found myself at times tense with suspense, at times wiping a few tears, and always feeling a sense of shame that such hate and intolerance exists in the world. For its depth of emotion, realistic horror, and atmosphere that lingers long after the story is complete, I'm storing Bashed on my keeper shelf. This isn't a story that you finish and forget. It's one that you'll remember for a good long time."

Reed says Bashed was inspired by a real-life incident that happened when he lived in Chicago. "My close call with fag bashing came one October night in Chicago. I had been hanging out at the Eagle and had stayed late, leaving at close to four in the morning. I had made a new friend and we were making our way to my car, which was parked on a side street that ran parallel to St. Boniface Cemetery. My companion and I weren't thinking about things like hate crimes. But we suddenly were when we noticed an idling old car. The car was a souped-up muscle vehicle and inside were several dark figures, all turning their heads as we approached. Both of us quickened our pace. Even in the middle of a metropolis like Chicago, it was easy to feel vulnerable. And we felt even more so when the still of the night was broken by the sound of car doors opening. Suddenly, my friend and I stopped, feeling exposed in our leather, as four young men emerged. They all sported shaved heads and were dressed in baggy jeans and hoodies.

"One of them carried an aluminum baseball bat.

"They didn't say anything. Their silence was more frightening than if they had hurled epithets our way. To reach my car, we would have to walk by them & and it didn't appear as though they were planning to let us pass. We froze. The four moved closer. One of the guys, the one with the bat, grinned, swinging the bat slightly.

"In books, they call what happened next deus ex machina, but at just that moment, one of Chicago's finest rolled down the street, very slowly, toward us. The men got in their cars quickly. And so did we.

"Thankfully, I do not know what the outcome of that night would have been had not the police come along. But the incident did stick with me until I dramatized the incident as the opening to Bashed. But in my fictional world, no police car came to the rescue. It's chilling to think that one of your characters could have been you, a you that might not have survived to tell a tale."

Unzipped magazine called Reed the "Stephen King of Gay horror." He lives in Seattle and is the author of 10 novels and two collections. His short fiction has appeared in more than 20 anthologies. For more information about the author, visit www.rickrreed.com.

Q-Squared Book Group is open to anyone who is interested in Gay literature and is always seeking new members. Q-Squared is an organization whose mission is to improve the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health of sexual minority men by building a stronger sense of community, increasing individual responsibility, and improving self-esteem. To learn more about Q-Squared or CAMP, visit their website at www.qsquared.org.

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