Friday, July 12, 2013

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Andrew Penn Romine

Author Interview: Andrew Penn RomineNote from Nayad: The series continues. This week I'll post interviews with authors contributing to my speculative fiction anthology, WHAT FATES IMPOSE: Tales of Divination. If you want to read twisty tales about struggles with destiny, this anthology is for you. I hope you enjoy these author interviews!

As of this morning we have only 57 more hours to go on the Kickstarter Fundraising Campaign for WHAT FATES IMPOSE. We're up to $4,862 from 202 Beloved Backers. That's a thrilling 97%, but we still need $138 to get to $5,000. The Countdown Is Happening! We're SOOOOOO CLOSE. :)

Thanks to everyone's efforts, we have unlocked a new bonus for backers! Everyone gets two bonus art downloads for contributing any amount from $1 on up. You can easily tell your friends about the project by using this page to give us three clicks. Will you help us? Because we would love to create this book and pay our authors pro rates for their work.

Andrew Penn Romine lives in Los Angeles, where he works in the visual effects and animation industry. A graduate of the 2010 Clarion West workshop, his fiction appears online at Lightspeed Magazine and Crossed Genres as well as in the anthologies Broken Time Blues: Fantastic Tales in the Roaring 20s, and Rigor Amortis, and in Fungi from Innsmouth Free Press.

Andrew's story for WHAT FATES IMPOSE: Tales of Divination, "Ain't Much Different'n Rabbits," is, I believe, the most disturbing story in the whole book, AND I LOVE IT.

Here's Andrew, explaining himself. *swarms of fireflies all light up at once*

Do you believe in having your fortune told?

I’ve never been a big believer in having my fortune told. Maybe this stems from when I was in my teens and someone in the group was always caught manipulating the ouija board!

I find fortune telling is usually just about telling folks what they want to hear, or reinforcing what they already know, deep down. To that end, I suppose it’s a useful tool for self-examination. I like Tarot readings in particular for that sort of thing. The meaning of the cards and the symbolic artwork combine to create a fascinating narrative. I sometimes use that as a tool to generate story ideas or help when I’m stuck.

For all that, though, I am kind of obsessive about the silly predictions inside fortune cookies. I still have one in my wallet that says “The Winds of Change will soon be blowing,” that I got the week before I got some very bad news at the job.

How did you get started on developing the idea for your story in What Fates Impose?

I’m currently writing a novel set in a supernatural Dust Bowl / Depression-Era America. There are so many stories to be told that I couldn’t possibly fit them all into the book, so I’ve been writing a lot of short fiction in that world to explore those ideas and do a fair amount of world building as I go.

"Ain’t Much Different’n Rabbits" (my WFI story) takes place just after a “Rabbit Drive.” Farmers of the era had a hard enough time with the Drought and Depression, but swarms of locusts and out of control jackrabbit populations ate most of what survived the heat. Towns would organize these drives, herding rabbits into makeshift corrals and beating them to death by the thousands. It’s pretty horrific to think about, but back then, it was one way the struggling farmers and townsfolk could actively fight back against the forces of nature and economics. People would go to church, then, still dressed in their Sunday best, kill the jackrabbits that were eating them out of house and home. Of course, a lot the rabbits probably ended up in the stewpot, and that helped with hunger. My story was inspired by the question, “What happens to the rabbits that aren’t eaten?”

What sorts of characters and subjects do you write about often and why?

I’m often drawn to desperate characters in tough situations. I like ambiguous endings and not-so-happy ever-afters. I think those kinds of stories can inform us about the often unresolved endings real life leaves to us. I certainly enjoy big, heroic finishes -- I’m a sucker for superheroes saving the world for instance -- but when I sit down to write, I’m inevitably compelled to put my characters through hell.

Turtle, the protagonist of "Ain’t Much Different’n Rabbits," is in a pretty bad situation to start, and his desire to escape that leads him to make some questionable choices.

Where can people find you and your work?

Most recently my fiction has appeared online for Pathfinder Tales, and the Innsmouth Free Press anthology Fungi. I’ve got some forthcoming stories I’ll be able to announce soon!

The best place to keep up with what I’m doing is my blog at I’m also found over at the blog, where I talk about writing process and inspiration. Occasionally, I’ll blog about cocktails (see my backer reward!) and my love of alchemy as the Booze Nerd over at Functional Nerds.

I’m also really active on twitter @inkgorilla. Come say hi!

Only 57 hours left until the WHAT FATES IMPOSE Fundraising Campaign succeeds or fails on July 14, 2013. It's all or nothing!

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Other posts in this series:

GUEST POST: Jennifer Brozek and her Karen Wilson Chronicles
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Ferrett Steinmetz

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