Friday, June 25, 2010

An Interview with Thomas Roche

I don't really know where to start with Thomas. I have known him for nearly 15 years, and I simply flat-out, no-holds-barred adore the hell out of him. First off, he's fucking awesome. And second off, well, he's just fucking awesome. And that's as a person. As a writer, he manages to push my buttons, rotate my tires, trim my hedges, and light my fires. All at once. I've been lucky enough to collaborate one one one with him on two collections: His and Hers. Here he is talking about his story, Cupid Has Signed Off, in Alison’s Wonderland:

1) Which fairy tale character would you most like to do and why?

Snow White is very hot, but I have to vote for Tiana from The Princess and the Frog, because I like her attitude.

2) If your fairy godmother or fairy godfather (I’m an equal opportunity fairy employer) waved a magic wand over your head and granted you three wishes, what would you be wearing during your wishing?

Probably what I usually wear -- jeans, combat boots and a black T-shirt, and I'm not proud to say I'd probably ask her to "wait a minute, I need to finish this chapter first."

3) What would you wish for?

I would want to make the world a better place in more than 3 ways, but if I had to make selfish wishes I'd be very cautious, because I know these things always come to bite you in the ass. I'd be most inclined to wish for permanent artistic inspiration and clarity, but I can imagine lots of ways Stephen King could make that gruesome. Wishing for everyone I know to be happy makes me think of Joss Whedon's "Serenity." Wishing for world peace brings to mind the concept out of Michael Moorcock that life is strife, and total order represents a world of concrete statues.

So I guess I'd wish for a permanently solvent pulp publishing empire where I could pay Donald E. Westlake, Lawrence Block and Robert E. Howard to write me huge numbers of stories for the newsstand pulps with Margaret Brundage doing all the covers, while a shady subterranean crew of Marcus Van Hellers and Alexander Trocchis write me naughty paperbacks on the side sold in back alleys and under-the-counter at souvenir shops by guys named things like "Shifty" and "Lenny." How could that wish possibly backfire?

4) Do you own fairy wings? A little red riding hood? Glass slippers? If yes, please describe. Or send photos!

Not really, but I am guilty of occasionally wearing a poet's shirt when induced to attend a Renaissance Faire.

5) What question would you most like to ask another author in the line-up?

I'd like to ask Portia Da Costa if she's ever had Charlie's experience described at the beginning of "Unveiling His Muse" -- trying desperately to create a work of art for commercial consumption, and -- damn it! -- it just keeps turning DIRTY. 'Cause I know I sure have!

6) What would you like to tell readers about your story in Alison’s Wonderland?

I think the ongoing allure of the "Cupid and Psyche" myth is the idea of wanting being better than having. That's also about the essential element of a happy life being an acceptance of its mystery, and its limitations. If that's not about sexuality, and particularly about D/s, then I don't know what is.

7) What fairy tale would you love to tackle in the future?

I have an ongoing character based on The Ugly Duckling, named The Fugly Ducky, who has become an enduring character for me. She is a punk nerd dominatrix with the worst fashion sense ever and stick-and-ball molecule tattoos on her back of caffeine and Substance P. I don't know if she will ever see the light of day but she keeps cropping up in my dreams.

Or is that "nightmares"?

Thomas Roche's hundreds of published short stories have appeared in more than 200 anthologies. His books include the Noirotica series of erotic crime noir, four books of fantasy/horror, a short story collection, Dark Matter, and two books with Alison Tyler, His and Hers. You can find him at

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