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 published in the Fall, 1977 edition of The Iowa Review. In fact, Reilly’s story was the first entry, alongside such luminaries as Ian McEwan. The story was later included in the Pushcart Prize Award (Vol. IV).
Later he turned to novels, several based on his army experiences. While he wrote both serious and genre fiction, his greatest invention was his 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 focused 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.