I’m here with Andrew L. Roberts, my fellow Writers of the Future writer-winner from San Lorenzo, California. He very graciously volunteered to answer the following questions:
Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?
I come from your basic, working class family. I live in the house in which I grew up. I have been writing since I was in high school about a million years ago, though have only been sending my work out as submissions for about 5 years now. I have sold my stories to Bourbon Penn Magazine, Spark: A Creative Anthology, and am a recent winner of the Writers of the Future contest. My story, “Tears for Shülna”, appears in Volume 33 of the anthology.
What kinds of stories do you write? Why?
I tend to write fantasy stories of one type or another, but have also written some science fiction. I tend to enjoy the more subtle and submerged conflicts that grow naturally out of the characters rather than big, flashy, pyrotechnic pieces. I also write an unseemly amount of verse. Yes, an unseemly amount.
The authors who have had the deepest influence upon my own writing are, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ursula Le Guin, Robertson Davies, James Joyce and Kawabata Yasunari. Dylan Thomas and Owen Wilson have also left their indelible marks as well.
What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?
Certainly craziest thing that ever happened to me it has to be when I spent six weeks in the hospital after having had heart surgery when I was 12.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
The craziest thing that ever did? I don’t know if it counts as “crazy” but the most “interesting” thing came when I asked my father-in-law-to-be for permission to marry his daughter. This was done entirely in my broken Japanese. Happily, it turned out very well and ended with us drinking saké and celebrating!
Tell us something about you that very few people know.
I play a lot of musical instruments — not very well, yet adequately enough to enjoy them — but what most people don’t know is that when I was a kid in grammar school, the music teacher took one look at my deformed hand and sent me back to class, saying that with a hand like that I would never play an instrument. I don’t like being told what I can’t do.
Star Trek or Star Wars? Why?
Star Trek. It has more soul and set the standard.
What is your favorite speculative fiction genre? Why?
My favorite genre is magical realism. I like that it makes its own rules and allows room for the spiritual.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
If I could live anywhere in the world I would live in Japan’s Iwate Prefecture — either in the cities of Hanamaki, Morioka or Tono. I feel more at home there than any other place I have ever been.
What was your favorite subject in school? Why?
In high school my favorite subject was art. I was writing back then, but the results of art were more immediate and tactile. I know that is a terrible answer for a writer…
What’s your favorite book? Why?
My Favorite book would have to be Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger, though Canary Row is a close second. I like how their humor is used to deliver more important truths.
If you could live in any time period, when would it be? Why?
If I could live at any time period, I think I would be fine where I am. I like modern medicine and also how we seem to be at a tipping point in our civilization. I like the stakes.
Which of your fellow writer-winner stories do you like the most? Why?
They are all great, and their authors have become special to me, though I will admit the writing in Ziporah’s piece was total writer’s candy.
CLOWNS! No seriously, CLOWNS! Because, CLOWNS!
Clowns? They don’t do it for me.
Complete the following sentence: In my cold country…
In my cold country, I will find my brother.
If were a D&D character, what would your class be (e.g., fighter, magic user, barbarian, etc.)? Why?
It has been too long since I last played D&D. Can’t I just buy the group a beer?
What is your most eccentric habit?
My most eccentric habit? That one you will have to tell me after we have gotten to know each other better.
To read Andrew’s story, “Tears for Shülna”, please buy your copy today of Writers of the Future: Volume 33. If you already have a copy and have read it, please take a few moments to click this link and place your review: http://amzn.to/2kNE5eh If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, then still click this link, get your book, read it, and review it!