Gary Reilly was a writer.
Simply stated, that was the essence of the man.
Born in Arkansas City, Kansas he spent his early years in Kansas and Colorado in a large Irish-Catholic family–seven brothers and sisters. The family moved to Denver where Gary attended parochial high school, graduating in 1967.
He served two years in the army, including a tour in Vietnam as a military policeman.
After discharge, Gary majored in English at Colorado State University and continued studies at the Denver campus of the University of Colorado.
All along, his overarching ambition was to write fiction. And he did, prodigiously. His first published short story, The Biography Man, was included in the Pushcart Prize Award anthology in 1979.
Later he turned to novels, several based on his army experiences. While he wrote both serious and genre fiction, his greatest invention was the character, Murph, a likable, bohemian Denver cab driver. Starting with The Asphalt Warrior, Gary cranked out eleven Murph novels.
His dedication to writing did not include self promotion. Instead of seeking agents and publishers, he focussed on his craft, writing and rewriting, polishing to perfection. He wrote well over twenty novels before he thought he was ready make his work public.
Unfortunately, he passed away in March, 2011, before he could realize that dream.
Friends and family remember Gary as a fun-loving, generous soul who always had time for other writers, helping them shape their work, getting it ready for print.
Now, through Running Meter Press and Big Earth Publishing in Boulder, Colorado, Gary Reilly’s fiction is finally coming to bookstores in Colorado and across the nation. "The Asphalt Warrior" is the first in the series about Denver taxi driver Brendan Murphy, a.k.a. "Murph." The other titles are "Ticket to Hollywood," "The Heart of Darkness Club," "Home for the Holidays" and "Doctor Lovebeads." "TIcket to Hollywood" was a 2012 Colorado Book Awards finalist.
Where to find Gary Reilly online
Where to buy in print
Dark Night of the Soul
The utopian world carefully created by Denver cab driver Brendan Murphy is about to be shattered. In fact, it’s about to be the worst day of his cab driving career. Of course “it’s best not to think about what might have happened if you had done this instead of that,” but it’s hard not to wonder went wrong when you’re kissing the asphalt and police have surrounded you with guns drawn.
Ticket to Hollywood
In Ticket to Hollywood, the second novel about cab driver Brendan Murphy, a.k.a “Murph,” a young woman on the way to a showing of The Great Gatsby leaves her purse behind in Murph’s cab —and then goes missing. Murph finds himself confronted by police and loses his job. He becomes entangled with filmmakers and makes his way to Los Angeles in search of the lost woman and his battered reputation.
In “Doctor Lovebeads,” the fifth title in The Asphalt Warrior series, Brendan Murphy (a.k.a. Murph) ignores the little voice in the back of his head that says to stay out of the lives of his passengers. Instead, he goes undercover as a hippie – muslin, sandals, VW van and all – to rescue two girls he believes have been brainwashed by a cult leader.
Home for the Holidays
It’s Christmastime, and Denver cab driver Brenda Murphy, a.k.a. Murph, leaves his cab behind to visit his family in Wichita where he finds himself reluctantly reconnecting with his siblings. Meanwhile, Murph takes it upon himself to save an old friend from making the biggest mistake of his life – accepting a job where suits and ties are everyday attire. This is the fourth book in the series.
The Heart of Darkness Club
In the third installment of Gary Reilly's Asphalt Warrior series, Murph encounters a mysterious nihilist who may or may not be leaving him cryptic handwritten notes on five-dollar bills.
The Enlisted Men’s Club
When writer Gary Reilly died in 2011, he left behind a trove of manuscripts. In all, there were more than 25 novels, all unpublished. Each was carefully crafted, rewritten countless times and polished to his high professional standards. He also left one more sheet of paper—his three-sentence will. His last directions gave me and my friend Mark Stevens permission to publish his works.
The Asphalt Warrior
Introducing Brendan Murphy, a.k.a. "Murph," a Denver cab driver with two goals in life. First, to earn as little money as possible to support his simple life, which features a daily burger and episodes of "Gilligan's Island." Second, to never get involved in the lives of his fares. He's not very good with the first issue and spectacularly bad with the second.
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