Randy Ribay is next up in our Reading Glasses Author Interview Series by Steampunk Granny Marie Gilbert. Randy is the author of “Mason, On His Way Home,” in which a boy finds a magical turtle which helps him cope with family instability.
Reading Glasses will be released on September 2, 2014.
Marie Gilbert: Randy, thank you for joining us and I’ll start with my first question. Tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to become a writer?
RR: I have always been a reader of stories in any form—books, comics, TV, or movies. One of my favorite feelings in the world is when a fictional story moves me, when it is so powerful that I feel like I’ll never be the same for having experienced it. And so I picked up the pen (rather, set my hands on the keyboard) in order to help others feel similarly and remember what it means to be human.
MG: What was the inspiration for this story?
RR: Driving around, I often see people standing on the corner passing out flyers. I wondered it must be like to stand outside all day and pass out paper. From there, I began to wonder if they ever got harassed by passers-by. I imagined such a thing happening to someone, and then decided to explore that story.
MG: What type of stories do you enjoy writing the most? Genre?
RR: I write young adult fiction across a variety of genres. I’m interested in teen characters because I think that’s largely when most people become the person they’ll be for the rest of their lives.
MG: Have you been published in other anthologies? If so where?
RR: “Mason, On His Way Home” is my first published work of fiction—and also the first short story I’ve ever submitted!
MG:Do you belong to a writers’ group?
RR: I had a critique partner for a couple of years, but then his wife had a baby and he fell off the face of the earth. So I eventually joined with the South Jersey Writers’ Group because as lonely an endeavor as writing can be, connecting with other writers is invaluable.
MG: Okay, I have to ask: What’s with the wacky costume?
MG: What a great costume. Randy, I loved your story and I want to thank you for the interview.
About the interviewer:
Marie Gilbert is a ghost-hunting, zombie-fighting, steampunk comic book superhero in disguise as a grandma from South Philadelphia. She blogs about television and film for Biff Bam Pop and Go Jane News, and served as co-editor of Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey. Her book Roof Oasis, the first in a series of apocalyptic tales with a twist, is now available. You can read more about her adventures at her not-so-top-secret online HQ, Gilbert Curiosities.