East Portland author’s ‘noir’ novel gains traction with readers

See why more readers are finding Rich Riegel’s tome a fascinating read, and are recommending it to others …

Looking in through the window of Bistro 21, “Tough City, Tougher Woman” author Richard E. Riegel is introduced to a group by Joe Rossi.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Portland journalist and marketing guru Richard E. Riegel appears to be well on his way to becoming a noted author of fiction.

Many know him better by the name “Rich Riegel”, the editor of the Mid-County MEMO newspaper for several years, and the man who the Gateway Elks Lodge honored as their first “Citizen of the Year Award” in 2007.

> To read about it in the article
“Gateway Elks Lodge names its first ‘Citizen of the Year’”,

Maria Diaz, Lee McKnight, and Elijah Lee have just had their copy of “Tough City, Tougher Woman” signed by author Richard E. Riegel.

Riegel has always been involved in “telling stories”, he said at a November 13 book-signing event at outer East Portland establishment, Bistro 23, in Parkrose. As a U.S. Air Force veteran, Riegel worked at jobs ranging from Armed Forces news service reporter to Base television station producer, director, and on-air newsman.

After graduating from the University of Oregon, Riegel worked for newspapers throughout the Portland and Vancouver area – as a reporter, editor, and photographer.

Author Richard E. Riegel says he’s pleased that his first novel is finding acceptance among readers.

“But, we’re here tonight, because I’ve opened another ‘chapter’ in my life, that of a novelist,” Riegel told East Portland News between signing books.

“Tough City, Tougher Woman” – the story of Linda Avery, a cigarette girl at the Club Festival in contemporary Portland – “started with a simple idea of writing a short story about a night club ‘cigarette girl’ back in 2006,” Riegel said. “I wrote a few paragraphs then. That became a half of a short story; and later it developed into a full short story. The short story didn’t sell, so I later ended up writing this full novel.”

It took three months to fill out the novel, and nine months to edit it. “It took another six months to get a publisher to pick it up,” Riegel said.

Novelist Richard E. Riegel speaks with guests about his new book, “Tough City, Tougher Woman.

“This is a story that involves an examination a woman’s life, set here in the seamy underbelly of what we know as Portland, Oregon. She’s a good person, but not a perfect person. She has good times and bad times.”

Through sociological, psychological, and philosophical investigational filters, Riegel’s cast of colorful characters reveal how – like most people – each ends up being their own worst enemies. “By taking a wrong turn, or second-guessing themselves, their lives take unexpected twists and turns.

“I call it the ‘thinking person’s noir crime thriller’,” Riegel revealed. “Readers will likely see themselves, and people they know, in the discovery that life is a mix of good and bad. They can triumph over evil. Yet, if they get retribution, revenge is not very sweet at all.”

Buy either the electronic or paperback version of Tough City, Tougher Woman online at Amazon (where you can read an excerpt of the book): CLICK HERE. Or, ask for it at your favorite bookseller.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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