Posts Tagged ‘Robert Ford’

Robert Smith

Back in October, I reviewed Robert Ford’s highly entertaining crime-thriller-meets-supernatural-fiction novella Samson and Denial, available from Thunderstorm Books. Check out that review here.

Mr. Ford agreed to do an interview with Chamber of the Bizarre. Yaaay! So here goes:

Is this your debut novel?

Samson and Denial is my debut novella and I can’t thank Paul Goblirsch at Thunderstorm Books enough for the opportunity to publish with him. As any writer does, I’ve got a couple trunk novels that thankfully haven’t seen the light of day. I co-wrote two novels years ago with a woman I met at a former job and they got great feedback from publishers at the time but I don’t think she had enough fire in her and we parted ways. Samson and Denial was the first thing beyond a short story that I’d tackled and completed all on my own.

Where did the idea come from?

Every writer has their quirks on the process and mine tends to be getting titles before anything else. I used to take long road trips about once a month to visit my parents (I live in Pennsylvania and at the time they had moved to West Virginia). It was a six hour road trip and while my family fell asleep, my mind was left to drift and muse in its playground. On one of these trips the title Samson and Denial came to me. As it tends to work for me, the title came and I had to figure out what in the hell the story was behind it. Almost directly on the heels of the title, as I was driving, the opening lines came to me: “My name is Samson Gallows. You don’t know me but we’ve met.” (more…)

One of my all-time favorite types of speculative fiction is the story that mixes gritty crime drama with fantastic elements. When the writer gets it right, that is.

Fortunately, Robert Ford gets it right with “Samson and Denial,” from Thunderstorm Books.

It’s a delicate balancing act. Few things are more out-and-out sad than a science fiction, fantasy or horror author’s failed attempts to be edgy.

You want to call up the writer and tell him: “For the record, the answer is ‘no.’ Your copious use of the word ‘fuck’ did not imbue your organized-crime-meets-Lovecraft pastiche with any semblance of credibility. Go back to impressing your World of Warcraft buddies with your dubious street smarts, Scarface.”

But when the writer nails it? The results are analogous to peach salsa.

See, a friend turned me on to peach salsa a few years back. I thought it sounded gross. Peaches are sweet. Salsa’s spicy. They aren’t meant to be combined.

But it’s actually great stuff, simply because the dissimilar flavors complement each other. The sweet flavor of the peaches heightens the spiciness of the salsa, and vice-versa.

So it is with speculative/crime fiction. Crime fiction tends to be hard-headed by nature, populated by pragmatic characters concerned with making a buck and surviving. When they’re thrown into a story with some fantastical element, it’s a matter of two great tastes that taste great together.

“Samson and Denial” concerns Samson Gallows, a South Philly pawnshop owner and small-time drug dealer who’s having a rough night. (more…)