Q: Today I’m joined by horror writer Robert Ottone! I’d love to start things off if you could share a little bit about yourself and what types of stories you enjoy writing? Are there any other genres that you dabble in?
A: Oooh! I love writing horror. I love incorporating an element of comedy, too, but I really love delving into existential dread. I’ve gotten a lot of love for my funny stuff and my darker stuff, so I vibe in that zone.
Q: What can you tell us about your latest release?
A: My collection, Her Infernal Name & Other Nightmares has been out almost a year, and got me on the preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker Award. It’s a collection of short stories, along with a novella called Her Infernal Name, which is a dark exploration of desire, desperation and the economy.
Q: You’ve dipped into the serialized world of stories on Kindle Vella with “The Girl in the Floor.” What can you share about the work and where can readers check it out?
A: Yes! I put out a five-part story on Kindle Vella, which is a new storytelling platform. Essentially, you use tokens, like at Chuck E. Cheese, to unlock “chapters” of an ongoing series or completed story. So, my piece on there is five parts, the first three are free, and the final two require tokens. It’s kinda’ neat, and you get 200 free tokens to start. My story only costs like fifteen tokens all together, so, spend those free tokens to read a really weird, creepy story about a girl who begins melting into the floor of her home. Uplifting stuff.
Q: You’ve released quite a few short stories over the years. Which is your favorite story to date and where can we check it out?
A: I think my favorite story can be found in the Unburied anthology, edited by Rebecca Rowland and published by AM Ink/Dark Ink. The story is called “For The Gods” and centers around a young boy discovering his sexuality while also confronting a mysterious creature.
Q: Are there any characters who you’ve written that you’re dying to revisit?
A: I plan on revisiting a character from my short story “Support,” which can be found in my collection, Her Infernal Name & Other Nightmares. The feedback on that story was too sweet to not want to come back to that world. There’s also a sequel story to my original novella, Tell Me I’m Pretty, starring the same character from that one.
That original novella can be found in my first collection, People: A Horror Anthology About Love, Loss, Life & Things That Go Bump in the Night. None of this makes sense unless you’ve read these stories. I always worry about authors being too “inside baseball” with their work and people not knowing what the hell they’re talking about, and here we are.
Q: Where were you born (and/or are you from) and how has that affected your writing?
A: I was born in New York, and living on Long Island affected my writing in that the region is particularly fertile, historically and socially. We have a lovely history with First Nations individuals that goes largely ignored by Long Island’s public school systems, so I incorporate it in my classroom, and I try to incorporate it as much as possible in my writing.
Q: Outside of writing, you also run the “Voices From Gilgo” podcast. What can you tell us about it?
A: Voices From Gilgo covers the unsolved true crime case of The Long Island Serial Killer, aka: The Craigslist Killer aka: The Gilgo Beach Killer. It’s an unsolved serial murder involving sex workers. It’s alarming that Long Island law enforcement hasn’t solved the case, however; it’s understandable in the sense that they are preoccupied with gang-related matters.
Q: What are your favorite author resources online, from websites to tools?
A: I find that HorrorTree.com is a great resource. Author’s Publish, too. I think establishing a critique group is remarkably important, so, one can find resources for that online. Facebook is good for that, for sure.
Q: As a podcaster, what are your favorite podcasting resources that can be found online?
A: There are a variety of services that will get your podcast in front of the right folks. I use Libsyn for that, and it’s cheap, super easy to use. Other than that, you can use your laptop’s speakers and microphone to make the magic happen.
Q: Has being a teacher in any way influenced your writing?
A: For sure. It helps inform my younger characters, in terms of dialogue and reaction. Kids are awesome, they’ll give you so much to work with.
Finally, if there is anything else you would love to share with our readers, please do so here!
A: I would love if you would all follow me on the Instagram, on the Twitters, etc. All in all, I hope you check out my work, whether it’s all of it, or some of it. Give it a looksy and if you love it, leave a review on all the things. If you hate it, leave it a review on all the things. Hit me up on the social medias, too, I like hearing from readers, that stuff makes my day. You can also check out my publishing company, Spooky House Press. We have an exciting title coming out this holiday season, very funny and cool.
You can follow Robert Ottone at any of the links below: