Interview with Robert L. Arend

Me#1: Robert—or should I call you Bob?
Me#2: No. But you may refer to me as ‘The Robert’.
Me#1: You are the editor and short story contributor for the 7 Fates Writers anthology "Stories for the Dead of Night"?
Me#2: Available here at Smashwords. And, yes, I had a hard time choosing between doing that or writing speeches for President Obama....
Me#1: The President asked you to be his speechwriter?
Me#2: Nope.....
Me#1: Then why did you say—?
Me#2: I’m a fiction writer. Lying is what we do....
Me#1: (shakes head and thinks about knives) Okay. So, you gave up being a fake speechwriter and joined 7 Fates Writers for "Stories for the Dead of Night"?
Me#2: What a great title. I think somebody wrote a bestseller with that title back in the olden days....
Me#1: You have five short stories in that anthology: "Switch", "Snow Globe", "Under The Tree That Owns Itself","David and the Outside" and "What's for Dinner?"
Me#2: Yes, all of which can be downloaded separately on Smashwords, but why spend five bucks when you can get them all--plus 14 more from other 7 Fates authors for only $2.99?
Me#1: Let’s talk about "Switch", which won you $500 as best story in Author Mingle's "Summer 2013 Short Story Contest".
Me#2: Yes, 25 cents a word!
Me#1: In "Switch", you opened the story with a ghost kissing her own dead corpse. What message were you trying to convey by that?
Me#2: Um, I guess…a ghost woman kissing her own dead self is kind of hot?..
Me#1: : (imagines his hands squeezing Me#2's throat) But don't you think your story "What's for Dinner" is nothing more than another disgusting zombie story?
Me#2: Yes, but zombie sex sells! And the story is free! Also "The Butterfly" and "The Engagement Game" are free, too!
Me#1: Actually, "The Engagement Game" isn't free. You left it up to the reader to kick in whatever he or she thinks it's worth.
Me#2: Yep, and so far they've decided it should be free....
Me#1: Your designated free Smashwords story "The Butterfly" must be a very nice story. I love pretty butterflies.
Me#2: Then you’ll love that story. It’s about a woman who thinks a butterfly she finds on her dead husband’s pillow is him reincarnated. The love scene will knock your socks off....
Me#1: What does your writing space look like?
Me#2: My lap is my writing space, parked on my overstuffed recliner, with DVD episodes of "Lost in Space" playing on my big screen TV. That June Lockhart was a real hotty....
Me#1: How long have you been writing?
Me#2: I started writing in my mother's womb to pass the time. Life was pretty boring in there....
Me#1: Please tell us about yourself and your writing.
Me#2: I am very old, yet not as old as a lot of other people, but not as young as those school pictures of me I have posted all over my laptop desktop. I sometimes wonder if I am an old man dreaming of being the boy in those photos, or if I am the boy peering into his own dreams, longing to be as old as the old guy looking back at him, though considering the possibility that both the boy and the old guy are nothing more than avatars in some video game being manipulated by some methhead living in Wisconsin. I write short stories.
Me#1: Do you have a process for coming up with character names and story titles?
Me#2: As far as the characters in my stories, I usually give them the first names of famous sitcom characters and last names that don’t rhyme with yogart.....
Me#1: Have you ever thought about writing a novel?
Me#2: I am too old to write a novel with odds of dying before chapter 12....
Me#1: Has anyone in particular been an influence on your writing?
Me#2: Besides my great, great, great, great, a thousand times great grandfather Ludwig Von Arendt, who invented beer, I have to say the greatest influencer on my writing was my 8th grade English literature/composition teacher Ann Evangelisto, who singled me out as a marked boy (teacher’s pet) for my other classmates to hate by always reading my compositions aloud as examples of what all in the class should strive for in their own work. She privately counseled me that I was already a good enough writer to go professional, but I wanted to be a cartoonist, then, so it was years before the writing bug bit me so hard I actually skipped some episodes of Barbara Mandell’s TV variety show to work on a novel—and Barbara was so hot, but so was Mrs. Evangelisto in an unglamorous sort of way. Junior high school boys didn’t date their teachers back then, though....
Me#1: Is there anything else you'd really like our readers to know?
Me#2: Heaven is a peanut butter, jelly and mayonnaise sandwich....
Me#1: Anything else?
Me#2: Just this disclaimer:
Robert L. Arend (known by his many (12 or fewer) Facebook friends as “The Robert” is the editor and one of five contributing short story writers for the Seven Fates Writers Group short story/flash fiction/poetry anthologies. Born before fan fiction (bff), The Robert grew up in a household where his needs were meant far more so than his wants, causing him to suspect he’d been kidnapped when an infant from parents who would have given him everything he asked for. He never was reunited with those parents, but he wants them to know (if they are still alive) that he loves them, and to get in touch via Facebook so he can let them know what he wants for Christmas, and all those other Christmases and birthdays they missed because he was kidnapped....
Published 2013-08-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,140. Language: English. Published: February 16, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American, Fiction » Literature » Plays & Screenplays
Reed loved his debt collection job. Sure he broke some consumer protection laws, but only when he needed to in order to remain ICS's top collection agent. Or at least he was on top before he berated the wrong deadbeat....
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,200. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Eight years before, sitting alone on the school bus (nobody ever took the seat next to her), Renee had been seventeen, thinking about the senior prom she would not be attending. The face of a boy appeared in the window glass, his smile somehow radiating the most wonderful feelings of joy and love. He kissed the cheek of her reflection before fading away, taking her momentary bliss with him....
Do You Fear What I Fear?
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,050. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Christmas, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
For Abigail, Christmas was not a time for cheer, but a holiday to fear-- from the past, the present, and into the future--for old women all alone in the world....
The Little Drummer Zombie Boy
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,090. Language: American English. Published: December 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Christmas, Fiction » Horror » Undead
All Little Jared wants for Christmas is a drum set, and Mommy and Daddy’s brains….
Born to Run
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,640. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
"Born to Run" is the story of a man on the run from an unintentional murder, who, guided by a voice in his head, leaves a trail of bodies in the wake of his desperate flight from justice. The fugitive, Michael, races over winding rural back roads into the climactic moment that will compel himself--and the reader--to question the very definition of reality...
The Engagement Game
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,030. Language: English. Published: July 23, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories
A fun story about a homemade game where the Heart Cards mean yes to marriage but too many storm cards mean no. Will love go the way of the storm?
What's for Dinner?
Price: Free! Words: 1,710. Language: English. Published: July 22, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy
Zombies Benjamin and Vivian want to marry, but can’t while Vivian’s human husband remains alive. What’s that have to do with dinner? You’ll have to read the story (with an empty stomach) to find out....
Under The Tree That Owns Itself
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,630. Language: English. Published: July 22, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
Children are vanishing in Athens, Georgia, yet parents of the missing seem apathetic. FBI agent Lawry is determined to uncover what those women know and why none of their children can be traced to a father, unaware a mysterious tree holds the truth about all those missing kids, but the tree stopped talking.
David and the Outside
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,880. Language: English. Published: July 12, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Thirteen-year-old David spends too much time in his favorite virtual world, and too little time studying. He irritates his parents and virtual teachers with his daydreams of the Outside. He'd rather be out fishing, but he can only wonder what fish tastes like. Daydreams can come true, but at what price?
The Butterfly
Price: Free! Words: 2,980. Language: English. Published: April 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
It’s about a woman who thinks a butterfly she finds on her dead husband’s pillow is him reincarnated. The love scene will knock your socks off.