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.
Introducing Denverite Brendan Murphy.
Or “Murph” as he’s known to the rest of the world.
That world consists mostly of fares and doormen and fellow hacks from the Rocky Mountain Taxicab Company. He lives alone in his crow’s nest apartment, fries a hamburger for every meal, does his dish, then channel surfs for reruns of Gilligan’s Island.
He’s a radical minimalist.
Murph has two main goals in life. First, to earn no more from driving his cab than it takes to keep his bohemian lifestyle afloat. Second, never and under any circumstance get involved in the lives of his fares. He’s not very good with the first issue and spectacularly bad with the second.
The Asphalt Warrior is the first of ten adventures. Come prowl the mean streets of Denver with Murph and ponder the meaning of the world and all sorts of deep questions, such as:
“Why would anyone want to DO anything?”
Click the covers to learn more about each book
And more coming soon!!!
"This is a great series for three reasons. The first is that Reilly had a wonderful and creative fiction voice; Murph is a treasure.and the characters that roam around in one of the books or all of the books never fail to be written with a delicious quirkiness that puts a smile on your face. Secondly, these books provide an insiders look at Denver and all of it's beautiful craziness. You really can learn a lot about Denver and it's surrounds from them. The third, and most moving reason, is because Reilly's have banned together to publish all of his books as a memorial for being such a good, talented and warm writer and friend. His person is very much missed, but through these novels, he lives on, cracking jokes each and every day.