Interview with Richard Lloyd Spanier

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. The story was called Dusties and involved a young man planning revenge on a landlord with the help of creatures living under his bed. It was awful.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Maybe not the first, but the biblical stories of Abraham being asked to sacrifice his son and of King Solomon's decision to award custody to both women claiming maternity of a baby, by slicing the child in half, both scared the hell out of me.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
John Barth's The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor and Jimmy Buffet's A Salty Piece of Land. Both hilarious, both moving. Also Barbara Kingsolver's Pigs in Heaven and anything by Tom Robbins, Charles Hiassen, Elmore Leonard and Paul Auster - all great story tellers.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in West Hempstead, New York. It was a place I couldn't wait to leave and now remember as a warm, safe place to weather the dullness of the fifties and begin to feel my own stirrings of dissent in the early sixties. There I learned to survive the threat of nuclear annihilation by hiding under my classroom desk or later, calmly walking home as atomic bombs fell. In 1963, I was in class at West Hempstead High School when the assassination of John F. Kennedy was announced over the PA system prompting me to cancel a hot date and spend the next few days in front of the television watching in disbelief . These are the sorts of events that tend to skew your world view and later, your writing.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
A reader telling me a story made them laugh or cry or both.
What are you working on next?
Collection titled Forgiveness. Two long stories with a shorty wedged in between. The Curse of Antonio Fuentes (working title) tells the story of two families locked in a struggle since the days of the Spanish Inquisition. From Toledo in 1492 to Cuba at the onset of the Spanish-American War, violence and a powerful curse follow descendants of the Fuentes family leading to a final confrontation with the family they nearly destroyed in Spain. Empty Chairs recalls an evening spent at a Passover seder by a guest from out of town. He is puzzled by a well set dinner table surrounded by empty chairs. Hearing the story the guest comes to ponder the meaning of the empty chairs and appreciate the lessons taught at the unoccupied table. Due out: Spring, 2014
What motivated you to become an indie author?
"Indie author" sounds kinda hip, no? Actually the theme of mortality winds its way through my work, especially in the story "In the Days Before Rock and Roll" in Descending Gods. What I'm driving at here is you could drop dead waiting on the off chance a publisher will accept your work and then work it through its cruel machinery. I like the idea that my work will outlive me in the clouds and not be consigned to a fiery fate in the vast incinerator of unsold books. Who was Richard Lloyd Spanier? A story teller.
Published 2013-12-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Descending Gods
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 17,360. Language: English. Published: December 24, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical
Errol Stein confronts life's mysteries in four stories describing the transformation of a phantom being leaping blindly from one life form to another, the rescue of a ferocious beast from a swimming pool in a blinding Sonoran desert monsoon, a demand for the sacrifice of his only son by an ancient Mayan god and a blues inspired enlightenment of what happens and where we go when we die.