(John Rosenman will be our guest in the chatroom Sunday, May 20, 2012)
Everybody’s writing Top Ten Lists these days, so I thought I’d write a Top Ten List of Things You Should Know About Me. That way, when you meet me as a guest this Sunday in Audrey Shaffer’s The Writer’s Chatroom, I won’t be a stranger and you’ll actually feel you know me a little. Okay, here we go. (Drumroll, please.)
1. One of my novels cost me two jobs. In 1982 and again in1983, I published my first novel, The Best Laugh Last, about a white English professor in a small black Southern college. In that novel, I was critical about the quality of education the students received, and the result is that it cost me my teaching position at two historically black schools, including the one that inspired the novel in the first place.
2. I have published over 300 short stories and 20 books of fiction in the science fiction, horror, erotic horror, fantasy, and paranormal romance genres. Yes, I’ve scribbled a lot. Some of my short fiction has appeared in Weird Tales, Galaxy, Whitley Strieber’s Aliens, Fangoria, and Hot Blood.
3. I’ve been married 44 years to my wife Jane, and we have two children, Lori and David. Jane’s put up with a lot from me over the years, such as a novel which cost me two jobs (see #1). She also kept me alive recently when I almost died from Celiac disease. My boss and my soul mate, she’s a wonderful person.
4. I love to write about transformation in all its imaginable permutations. One of my stories is about a woman who contracts a mysterious disease which makes people fear her ten times more than if she merely had leprosy. Ultimately, she changes and changes and turns into a . . . Well, read the story. “The Blue of Her Hair, the Gold of Her Eyes” (cover above)
was published by MuseItUp Publishing and won Preditors and Editors Annual Readers Poll in SF/F.
5. I also love to write about huge, mind-stretching concepts. Cosmic Christianity. Cosmic consciousness and states of being, you name it. In my novel, Inspector of the Cross, recently published by MuseItUp Publishing, Turtan is an elite agent nearly four thousand years old because he travels in suspended animation on missions to distant planets. What must it be like to live virtually forever while everybody around you lives mayfly lives? To meet a son you left as an infant and to see him again when he’s an old, decrepit man?
6. I believe that ordinary people you wouldn’t look at twice are often the greatest heroes. The last will be the first, and the underdog becomes the top dog. In Beyond Those Distant Stars, published by Mundania Press, Stella’s career has faded out until she has a radioactive accident while saving a comrade’s life. As a result she is given her first command of a spaceship and the opportunity to save the human race from invincible alien invaders. How many so-called ordinary people are potentially the greatest heroes and need only the right circumstances to achieve their potential?
7. I like to dabble in other forms and genres, or subgenres. Humorous metafiction, for example, which self-consciously calls attention to the fact that it’s a work of fiction itself. One of my characters is Humphrey Bogart, trapped forever in an endless rerun of Casablanca. It seems the movie’s mythic qualities have so resonated in the collective consciousness, that he can never get out and the damned movie will never end. In the process, Bogie gets to comment humorously on the movie and the sexual and other peccadilloes of some of its characters. In another tale, the main character struggles not only with events but with the author’s deficiencies. My characters turn up out of nowhere, and plot holes and implausibilities abound.
8. I’m a man of obsessions. Before I retired as an English prof at Norfolk State University, I had dozens of mementoes of the movie The Wizard of Oz in my office. A movie poster, WOZ mouse pad, a lock from Judy’s hair. No, just kidding about the last. I love SF and Horror movies, especially from the fifties. And I’ll play and watch tennis every chance I get.
9. Oh, and I’ve got to add my wife and family as a separate obsession. Family is important. And I believe the past you share with them is always present.
10. Last but not least, what can I say? Narrowing it down to the top ten is difficult. Maybe the top fifty would be easier. Let’s just say the creative life of the imagination is paramount to me. I think the arts are sacred and God is the chief writer, artist, musician, you-name-it. We follow along in Her wake and try to pick up whatever lessons we can.
Labels: 10 things, author, John B Rosenman, writer's chatroom