THE DAY IS HERE!!!!!!!
Ross Smeltzer's dark, historical fantasy The Mark of the Shadow Grove release date January 15, 2016--TODAY!!! You can purchase your copy at Fantasy Works Publishing, Amazon or Smashwords.
Q & A
What drew you to writing?
I enjoy the challenges associated with writing. It's a craft that demands much from those who practice it. It stimulates me intellectually, in a way nothing else does.
I think I enjoy writing speculative fiction because of my own dissatisfaction with consensus reality. The world that is seems very drab to me; I like to enliven in with a dash of magic and madness.
What are you currently learning to further develop your craft?
I'm experimenting with shorter forms of fiction and am currently crafting works of flash fiction and very short stories: yarns under 1,000 words. I like the limitations these forms impose on the writer; boundaries are a boon to creativity.
Do you prefer creating short stories or novels?
I much prefer the short story to the novel. Too often, the "single effect" the writer can achieve in the short story is dissipated in the sprawl of the novel. I agree with Ambrose Bierce's acerbic characterization of the novel as "a short story padded."
What Genre do you write and why?
I would say my writing dwells in the shadowy borderland between dark fantasy and horror. I don't really care for genre labels, but I'd say most of my works fall within the Gothic tradition. I just can't help but fixate on twisted Tim Burton-esque trees, dilapidated ruins, and scimitar-shaped moons. I suspect my early enthusiasm for Hawthorne and Lovecraft congealed in my subconscious and is now quite ineradicable.
Do you have a favorite author(s)?
Among living authors, I'd say, without hesitation, Margaret Atwood. She's a deft prose stylist with a poetic sensibility and she has a healthy contempt for the notion of sacrosanct "genres."
What season most inspires you?
Fall. I am assuredly one of Ray Bradbury's "autumn people." Also, I enjoy sweaters, apple cider donuts, and horror movies of dubious quality.
What is the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn't learn from your resume alone?
I'm a fanatical and unapologetic cat man. I melt at the sight of dozing kittens.
Which Harry Potter house would you belong to?
I'm fairly certain I'd be conscripted into Ravenclaw, but I'd be happy to be included in any of the houses but Slytherin. That house seemed to be composed entirely of sociopaths-in-training. They needed to undergo some form of collective therapy.
Thank you Ross for taking the time to answer these questions and give us some insight into the man behind the book.
If you want to know more about Ross you can find him at: