Interview with Joe Ruzvidzo

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town, Chegutu. It's a lovely town which only recently got their first traffic light (yes, one). I then went to high school in another, nearby small town called Kadoma. As for how it influenced my writing, the title story of my debut collection is actually set in the Chegutu of my youth. Some of 'The Order' is also set there, and I think 'The Heist' is too! It's a place where everybody knows everybody else, and the sense of community is something you can't get anywhere else.
Describe your desk
From left to right? Magazines and unread books and notebooks, computer keyboard, alarm clock, mouse headphones, notebook and pen at my right hand. I don't really keep it messy, I like my workstation tidy. Okay, who am I kidding, it's always more messy than tidy!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It's always been about getting it out! There are thoughts and feelings and emotions whirling around inside all our heads, and we all have to find a healthy outlet somehow.
What do your fans mean to you?
Can't say I'd know, since I'm not sure I have any! But anytime a stranger saying something as simple as hey, I like your work, or hey, you made me laugh the other day, or hey I read your article and I think A, B, or C - that's a really good feeling for anyone, I think. It's the ability to connect and exchange ideas with people across the world, that's what makes it all worth it.
What do you read for pleasure?
Fantasy fiction is what I love to read in my spare time. The wilder the better. I love reading all the crazy dragon and magic and shiny axe and flying beast stuff of Robert Jordan, George RR Martin, Tolkien. I'm particularly enjoying the work of NK Jemisin recently. I find fantasy fiction a lot more honest than non-fiction or biographical stuff, much of which feels contrived and, I don't know, a bit like a marketing gimmick. Whereas in fantasy fiction, you know it's all made up, and any parallels are either intentional or implied.
Who are your favorite authors?
Tolkien, obviously. Robert Jordan. Glen Cook did some amazing work with The Black Company. NK Jemisin and George RR Martin are amazing. Scott Lynch is also brilliant, The Lies of Locke Lamora is one of my faves. And the great Stephen King, but not really for the horror stuff. I'd nominate him just for The Gunslinger alone, hahaha. That's the bests opening line in the history of books - "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." Out of this world.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No I don't, but I found an old notebook with a poem I wrote as a kid. Hilarious.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My wife. Izzy works very hard, and if she has to tolerate me, the least I can do is try and tolerate the world.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I watch a lot of sport, particularly rugby union. I love to go to a stadium whenever I can. I enjoy a good film, and also watch a lot of television. Anything where I can 'switch off' and watch others work, basically. I see a lot of live bands, and I like to play the odd tune on my guitars. Then there's the barbecues ... let's not mention the barbecues ...
What are you working on next?
A full length novel, which I'm developing from one of the short stories in my debut collection.
Published 2017-09-15.
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Books by This Author

Behind Enemy Lines and Other Stories
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 21,570. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Behind Enemy Lines is a collection of stories about ordinary people and anti-heroes dragged into a search for meaning in their lives – whether it is a simple search for identity and love, or a bigger struggle for Africa's political freedom. The canvas of their actions, motivations and circumstances is a Zimbabwe of the past, present and future. Humorous, acerbic, funny and tragic.