Hope you’re all in the mood for something extraordinary. How about an interview with Anthony J. Rapino, author of the Bad Moon Books release SOUNDTRACK TO THE END OF THE WORLD– a phenomenal work.
7. What was the first story you remember reading? Does it still influence you today?
It always hurts my brain to think back to the “earliest” anything, but I’ll give it a shot. I vaguely remember reading a book about traveling back in time and dinosaurs, but I don’t recall much more than that. Before that, I do remember reading some Cam Jansen books for book reports I had to do in elementary school. It probably wasn’t until I was in my early teen years that I started reading Stephen King and other horror novels, although I definitely had some of those campfire scary stories books when I was a kid.
Honestly, I’m not sure how much those early stories and books influenced me. Then again, who knows what kind of wacky crap goes on in the subconscious?
2. If the world ends tomorrow, would you be happy? Why?
Nope, I’m not ready. I’d like to live to the ripe old age of 514, but if it had to end, I hope I’d survive somehow.
4. You’re walking with friends along a street in broad daylight. Everything is just perfect, until you see a group of kids ganging up on another one and beating him. What would you do?
When you say “kids,” I imagine they are somewhere in the range of 10-15, in which case, yeah, I’d intervene and assert my adult influence. “You kids git before I tell yer parents!” Any older and that might not work, in which case they might attack us, in which case we’d most likely end up hurting one of them, which would be really bad because now we’ve just attacked a minor!
Kids these days.
13. Is it true that everything a person does in life has to center around the sexual impulse and pro-creation?
I think a lot of what we do definitely does center around the sexual impulse, but not everything. I have a hard time believing that my decision to make sourdough bread or write a horror story has anything to do with getting laid.
6. Are you opposed to eating dog or cat meat? It is common in Asian cultures. Does the thought revolt you?
If I was starving, I’d eat a lot of stuff that I wouldn’t normally. I like to think I wouldn’t go cannibal though. Still, dog or cat would probably be tasty as hell after 4 days of eating dung beetles and grass.
3. ‘Soundtrack’ is quite an epic story. Can you enlighten us about its creation?
I always feel bad when I’m asked about how I came up with Soundtrack, because I wish I had a grand story, but I don’t. I’m a rather boring writer in the sense that I sit down and write, and stuff comes out–from where I’m not sure–and that’s about it. If there was any particular inspiration for Soundtrack, I don’t remember now, except to say a lot of the themes I play with came from Tool songs, and the voice and style came from mixing up the styles of Chuck Palahniuk, Kurt Vonnegut, and Stephen King in a large vat of KY jelly.
1. What is your writing area like? Details, please. Desk with a computer? What kind of computer? What programs do you use? Do you write by hand? A certain time of day?
My writing area is a mess. I have one of those flimsy computer desks that you can get at Walmart, and a 7 year old Dell computer. On my desk I have some horror-related items: two small creepy paintings, fake spiders and rats, and a bendy skeleton. Then there’s just a bunch of scraps of paper and bills and other scattered office supplies.
I use mostly Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, itunes, Google Chrome, and some video programs for my youtube videos.
I make random notes by hand in a variety of books and journals. I type my first drafts directly on the computer. The second draft revision I also do on the computer, but the editing and proofreading I do with a printed version. I don’t know why, but I need to edit with pen and paper, otherwise I miss a lot of stuff. I like that tactile connection with the work at that point in my process. Then I type the changes back into the computer, and if I’m going to do any critiques with other writers, that’s when they get it.
I don’t write during any particular time of the day, or rather, I write at all times of the day. Depending on the time, I always have to have a drink while I’m writing. Morning = coffee. Evening = beer. Summertime = iced coffee. Winter = hot chocolate.
5. You’ve just received an unlimited check. What’s the first thing you do?
Okay, really, I think I’d pay off my student loan and mortgage. That shit hangs over my head like a storm cloud filled with acid rain and piss.
Omit, omit, omit, omit, omit, omit, omit, omit, omit. It doesn’t sound like a real word anymore.
12. One of the biggest fans of your work happens to knock on your door. Do you answer? What happens next?
I’d probably answer because I’m thinking I’d have no idea who he or she was. Seriously, a fan? Of my work!? We’re already venturing into great depths of fiction. But okay, so I answer the door and let’s say it’s a woman, because let’s face it, this is my story now.
“Are you Anthony J. Rapino,” she asks.
At first, I think that she must be a Jehovah’s Witness or something. Her blonde hair is tied back, and the long, plain dress she wears seems to suggest some kind of religious influence. Or more likely cultic thinking. Still there was something in the way she asked are you Anthony J. Rapino, as if she already knew the answer.
My male brain takes over momentarily, and I look her up and down, noticing for the first time that she’s grasping a book close to her pelvis. My book.
Let me stop here because I’m suddenly realizing that I’m writing a story, and this story feels like it may go on for 4,000 words. You see what you did, John!? Very tricky.
Anyhow, I’d reluctantly invite her in, because as you wisely noted earlier, so many of our decisions are based on sexual impulse, and hell, I’ve always been attracted to crazy. Thing is, my super fan didn’t realize she’d walked into a reverse-Misery moment.
For some reason, I feel like this interview is going to end up as Exhibit B someday.
10. What can we look forward to you in the near future?
I’m nearing the completion of my second novel, and I should eventually have time to write more short stories, but frankly, nothing else is set to be released any time soon.
11. Where can we find the world of Anthony online/offline/upline/downline?
Where can’t you find me? Below there will be links to my webpage, but you can also reach me on Twitter (@AnthonyJRapino), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/AnthonyJRapino), and a multitude of other social applications.
Anthony J. Rapino resides in Northeastern Pennsylvania, somewhere between the concrete of the city and the trees of the forest. On occasion, you’ll find him moderating the feverish battles between the creatures of these two arenas. Whose side he’s on is anyone’s guess.
His newest fiction can be found in Black Ink Horror, On Spec, Arcane Anthology, Electric Spec, A cappella Zoo, Space Squid, TQR Stories, and carved inside a variety of autumn gourds. His short story collection, Welcome to Moon Hill, is currently available, as is his first novel Soundtrack to the End of the World. Proof of his psychosis can be found on his website: http://www.anthonyjrapino.com