Regan's Books

Regan's Books
Reads From Regan Taylor

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Introducing the world of Rick Steeve!

I've met some pretty wonderful and interesting people on Facebook and among them is my friend Rick.  I recently took a little time to ask him more about himself and here's what I learned.

R. P. STEEVES has been writing in just about every format imaginable since he was a child. He’s written short stories, newspaper columns, stage plays and even a radio drama. Now he has written his first urban fantasy novel about an adventurous, sarcastic and mysterious woman known only as Misty Johnson, whose mission in life is to uncover the truth that hides in the supernatural underbelly of Washington DC.

Rich was born and raised in Connecticut, has a Master’s degree in education, and taught middle school for nine years. He enjoys solving puzzles, rollerblading, watching movies and has recently taken up archery. He looks forward to chronicling the further adventures of Misty Johnson and her band of supernatural misfits…

Centuries ago, Misty Johnson, Supernatural…er,…Dick, was cursed with near immortality when a black magic spell she and a friend were casting backfired…and the supernatural realm has regretted it ever since. A near millennium full of battling paranormal nasties, saving helpless victims, and trying to stay up with the latest cultural niceties, Misty has put her experiences to good use. With the help of her trusty partner, Dru Chance, the two take on the magical underbelly of Washington

D.C. as they investigate crimes that no one else can handle.

From shady Senators to sneaky shape shifters, from a ninja made of clay to a vampire afraid of his own shadow…Misty Johnson navigates the nation’s capital, all the while seeking to uncover the truth for her clients—and for herself.

An unnatural life span. A timeless mission. A woman like no other. Just don’t call her a detective!


“Misty and Dru are the paranormal world’s answer to Holmes and Watson.” – Lori Devoti, author of AMAZON QUEEN and AMAZON INK.

"Misty Johnson enters the worthy ranks of psychic investigators and takes you on a page-turning tour of Washington DC's seedy Underworld-Underworld. I'll never feel completely safe in an unfamiliar comic book store again!" – John J. Miller, author of DEATH DRAWS FIVE (the Wild Cards series).

"Rich Steeves has arrived as a fresh new voice in fiction, and his creation, Misty Johnson is an instant classic. She is a welcome addition to the ranks of paranormal investigators - funny, tough and one-of-a-kind." – Liz Tigelaar, author of the Pretty Tough series and creator of The CW's Life Unexpected.

"Feisty and fierce, Misty Johnson is one savvy, supernatural detective that's always one step ahead of her clever, otherworldly prey. Steeves has created a fun new heroine that's a pleasure to follow in her investigative misadventures. Misty's a charmer!" – Tara Bennett, co-author of the LOST ENCLYCLOPEDIA.

“Attention all evil sorcerers, necromancers, vampires, zombies, and other supernatural nasties within the Washington, D.C. metro area…you better watch out! You’ve got a new nemesis in Misty Johnson…the private dick with a flare for the supernatural. R.P. Steeves pulls out all the stops in his debut novel and the genre of urban fantasy will never be the same!” – J. Kent Holloway, author of PRIMAL THIRST and SIRENS’ SONG.

You can find his books at

1. How long have you been writing? What inspired you to pick the pen up one day and create characters that capture the imagination?

I wrote quite a bit when I was in high school and college, but then I got sidetracked by life. A few years ago, when someone asked me what I wanted to do with myself, I answered “I want to be a writer.” He replied, “Well, what are you writing?” I started to give him a litany of excuses: I was too busy, I had no ideas, it was a waste of time. He stopped me and said “I don’t know a lot about writing, but it occurs to me that if you want to write, you should write.” So I did. I started writing short stories and then eventually worked my way up to my first novel.

2. What genre would you like to try that you haven’t yet?

I have written realistic fiction, paranormal fiction, action/adventure, mystery, sci-fi and horror. I would really love to write historical fiction, something set in a classical period like ancient Greece or Rome.

3. Most people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. What’s your take on this? Can you tell us something unglamorous you did within the last week or so?

I imagine there are SOME writers, SOMEWHERE who have pipes and slippers and brandy and sit on a veranda in Italy crafting fine works of literature on their classic typewriters. For me, though, I sit in my small apartment in my Jedi bathrobe, with my parrot sqwaking away as I eat ramen noodles and work on my stories…

4. Plotter or pantzer?

Depends on the project. For novels, I tend to plot in advance, using outlines and detailed notes. For short stories, I more often write by the seat of my pants and see where the muse takes me.

5. What do you do when you’re suffering writers block?

I don’t get writer’s block that often. I usually just keep writing, pushing through any doubts and getting something down on the page. Then I can go back and see if it was any good. Sometimes I jump to a different part of the story and try to connect the dots later.

6. If you could be a character in any of your books who would it be and why?

I would love to be like Teri Nighthorse, a character in Misty Johnson, Supernatural Dick in Capitol Hell. She is young, bright, talented, motivated and ambitious, with the whole world in front of her and all the tools she needs to do whatever she wants in life. She finds her way into a strange an exciting world of the paranormal, and gets to experience the wonder and danger of it firsthand.

7. Looking over the past year, what has been the best moment for you in your writing career

The best moment of my writing career was when an old friend from college, someone I hadn’t spoken to in a long time and someone who’s opinion I really respect, sent me a message saying how much she liked my book. It meant a lot to me that she would seek me out and tell me that, and I have been trying to help her work on her writing since then, too, which makes me proud.

8. What do you enjoy doing with your spare time, your non-writing time?

I love watching movies. I also have a podcast devoted to the show LOST ( I broadcast high school football games for a local radio station. I also love watching football, reading comics and playing video games.

9. If you could invite any famous person, dead or alive, for dinner, who would it be and what would you eat?

I would love to eat with Stan Lee, co-creator of so many of my favorite comic book characters and a fun, energetic man in his own right. I would serve what ever “The Man” wanted to eat!

10. What are you working on now? Can you tell us a little about it?

I am working on short stories for several anthologies from Open Casket Press. I am also working on short stories for classic pulp anthologies from Pro Se. The second Misty Johnson book, Misty Johnson, Supernatural Dick in The National Maul will come out in 2012, and I am working on an untitled sci-fi novel for next year as well.

So check out my friend and be ready for good surprises when you make a new friend!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Is Something Wrong With This Picture?

On the news this morning on KCBS there was a lengthy piece on how a group of the Occupiers in the San Francisco Bay Area were having a "Knit In" and were spending the day knitting hats and scarves for the east coast occupiers.

Now that's a nice thought. It's a kind gesture...but I have a bit of a problem with it. How come they've never done this for the homeless right here in the Bay Area? Okay, okay, I don't know if individual people never did -- but I sure don't remember a knit in for them. And yes, I do realize that the occupiers on the east coast have people who are struggling to pay their rent or mortgage, put food on the table and pay their medical bills, etc. Country wide they have made tremendous strides. What bothers me is the attention for something that could and in my opinion, should include those closer to home. I suppose it's one of the things that bugs me about our own government--we're so quick to send money and supplies overseas but we don't seem to ever get it together to do something for those close to home. I've never seen the problem with isolationism but then I guess that goes with being an introvert.

In the past few years I've had a number of freinds lose their jobs, their homes, have to file bankruptcy and go on other assistance. I almost lost my own home because of the mortgage meltdown and it was the sheer luck of the draw that saved my home. Bankruptcy was looking like my only option for awhile there and with the help of friends and my own wits I managed to make it without losing my home or having to file bankruptcy. When our former governor had us furloughed for almost 2 years, according to the union powers that be, almost half the membership (45,000) had either lost their homes and/or filed bankruptcy. There was one Sacbee article about one of the EDD employees who lost her home and was living in her car, taking showers in the state building where she worked - and dispensing benefits such as food stamps when she didn't qualify. Something is very wrong with that.

In the past I've participated in the "one warm coat" project here in the San Francisco Bay area. It's easy to get distracted by life and somehow a pair of new socks ends up in a pocket. You know how it is. You just forget you put them there.

Three of my friends lost their homes the past year after their husbands lost their jobs. There are public service annoucements in our area about the face of hunger and how it could well be your next door neighbor and you'd never know it. The blurb says that your neighbor may be too embarrassed to tell you they don't have money for food and they are too shaken by their change in circumstances to venture to the food bank.  

A close friend here in town had to cancel her health and dental insurance, has to go to the food bank and combs through the ads before deciding if she can afford a dozen eggs. Somehow I bought a case of cat food mine won't eat which hers happens to like -- so the food had a place to go. (No, she doesn't read my blog). I'll probably forget my cats don't like it and end up buying more of it in the next few weeks. You know how it is, you go to the store, see a case of cat food and can't remember whether or not your cats eat it so you buy it and then one of them tells you "Oh, we don't eat that". Thank goodness there's someplace for the food to go should that happen again.

I've seen more food collection bins the past few weeks than ever before -- even more than three years ago when our whole structure began to crumble. So many people have had to give up their pets that the humane society is offering deep discounts to anyone who can and will adopt.

But there is a whole segment of our population who was dealing with this a long time before. I don't begrudge the occupiers on the east coast the hand made scarves and hats. It's the news story about how wonderful the knitters are for making those hats and scarves so the east coasters can "occupy" but I'm not seeing anything about doing the same for the homeless in our area. In line with that story was how the City was looking at an abandoned hotel for the occupiers to occupy -- but they've never offered to do the same for the homeless in the area. What? They think the homeless wouldn't enjoy a hot shower and a kitchen to cook meals?

I don't know, maybe the knitters did say something about helping the homeless and it just didn't make the news story because it didn't seem like news. I wasn't there.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Is It Life Or Is It Drama?

My cousin Mary and I were recently talking about people with drama, particularly gratuitious drama in our lives. Mary said something that so totally hit the nail on the head: "When it happens to them it's just their life; but if it happens to you, then it's drama."

So what started this discussion was, in part my recent advertisement for a new tenant/roommate. The one who moved our in September was all about the drama. Well, not really drama but getting as much attention as possible. Nothing was ever simple with her. She couldn't just say "it's hot, could we set the air conditioner a little lower?" Instead it would be "(long suffering sigh) I'm going into the bathroom to faint." Followed by a stagger towards the bathroom.

Okay, if it were me, I wouldn't want to faint in the bathroom if I could help it. Far too many things to bump my head on if I, in fact, fell. I'd rather do it lying down on my bed where I'd be guaranteed a soft landing. 

We had a suspicious package at work one day. Police came, dealt with the package. Pretty much end of story till they exploded whatever it was outside the building. Very loud bang.

SHE also had a suspicious package -- a "dirty and smelly" guy came into her work and put his "dirty and smelly backpack" on her desk and she KNEW, she absolutely KNEW it had a bomb in it. 

Really? In a Jaguar dealership? How come?

Oh, he didn't like how they fixed his car. Right. 

With her it wasn't 5 ants she saw outside (which I could see) it was waking me up because of a "major infestation all over downstairs". Not a one to be found inside the house but I did spot the 5 or so outside. 

For more you'll have to read McKenna three when it comes out. No, no, it's not about my former tenant/roommate. You know that whole thing about any resemblance to anyone living or dead? It couldn't be because it's purely coincidental.

Above are but a few examples of life with Nat.

I also used to work with a woman who was non-stop drama. Her life was like a Lifetime movie running headlong into Law & Order with a smidge of CSI thrown in. It was every day. There was a collective sigh of relief when she left. 

So when it came time for a new tenant/roommate I included some very specific items:  MUST like cats. Not just lived with them but MUST like them. And, NO DRAMA. My life was running drama free at work and home. It was all peaceful, calm, relaxed and dull. I like let's me go off in my imagination for the next book.

Wait! You say!  You had whatshername providing such great story lines. Story lines are one thing, having it in my home is another. And that any resemblance thing....

So Mary and I were talking about this and how I put it in the roommate ad that those with drama need not apply. I loved her line about if it's about them it's just their life but if it happens to you, then it's drama. It's okay for them to have all this upheaval but you must not only be calm but emotionally available to them at all times.

So this guy, let's call him Dave like in Dave from 2001 and Hal asking him "what are you doing, Dave", called and at first all seemed pretty nice. He spoke about being done with drama in his life...sounded really good.

So in 5 days we had:

Arriving drunk on move in day and bursting into tears.

Cops (friends from my former department) being called out to his former residence moving him out.

Tears on day two because of the drama at the old house. 

Slamming doors when I wouldn't agree to dinner the next night.

More slamming the next day cause I still wouldn't go to dinner.

Hysterical female friend who isn't a girlfriend but wants to get in his pants but he's not interested showing up and ringing the bell and banging on the door for almost 5 minutes (yes, yours truly the Virgo watched the clock while trying to get on some clothes to go downstairs to see where the fire was).  She was hysterical because his voicemail was full.  Yes indeedy, his voicemail was full....but that wasn't drama because, well "that's just Judy."

The next day he disappeared.

And then the next day I came home to find someone had been in my house, left doors opened and unlocked, changed the clocks and took some things....he said it was okay because it was a friend of his. Oh...did I mention he was in rehab and couldn't do those things himself? Not that they needed to be done -- especially leaving open the doors with three indoor cats. (cats are fine -- not missing him at all). 

But he insists that isn't drama.

His Eyes has been out about a year ( and Her Eyes was released this week ( and book 3 is called Their Eyes. I was having a bit of a issue with where the story was going to go.....thanks to my drama free zone....not anymore.