Robert J. Krog is the author to have given me the biggest literary laugh this year with a delightfully random short story that he wrote. You might recognise him for his story collection, The Stone Maiden and Other Tales, and his novella, A Bag Full of Eyes. Robert completed a Masters degree in History, where he learned how to read Middle Egyptian. He recently took the time to answer my questions, thankfully writing in English.
1) What is something you do in your professional or artistic life that you think is really cool, and why do you think that about it?
Just getting to write stories and sometimes see them published is really cool to me. Reaching other people through my work, knowing that, here and there, other human beings have read, appreciated, been entertained and perhaps edified by the stories I’ve written is cool enough for me.
2) How did you come to be in the career position you are currently in?
My rather tenuous career position as an author published by small presses was reached through a combination of persistence in writing and submitting my work and by showing up at sci fi and fantasy conventions and meeting authors, editors, and publishers. The insights lent me by others already in the field helped immensely, that and writing and submitting persistently.
3) What is something from your personal life that you are very proud of, and why are you proud?
I have two, young children, who despite our rather hectic life, are becoming more well-behaved and loving every day. I’m proud of them and proud of my wife for putting up with me. I don’t deserve it.
4) What is a personality trait you possess that other people might not notice, and how would they miss it?
Not that I’m terribly flamboyant, but most of my character traits are not so subtle as to be missed. Nevertheless, they might miss my droll wit. I’m sure I had it in my other pants, and now I can’t find it.
5) If you could change just one thing about the world, what would it be and why would you change it?
I’m really rather grateful that such things are not left to my discretion. The bad things in this world that I’d like to see changed are the results of humanity’s free will. Such things have to be changed by individual choice. Rape, murder, and child abuse are inexcusable crimes, but the best we can do is to raise loving children in the hope that they won’t end up committing such crimes and to punish the people that commit them. Beyond that, it is up to each person to choose good or evil. I can influence such people as I meet, if they let me, but I can’t change them, and wouldn’t if I could, since the result would be to remove their humanity.
6) If you could give a young person one piece of advice, what would it be?
Go to church. Read the Bible. Study it. Follow its instructions. Don’t be like me.
Does that all count as one piece? I can run it all together like this instead, if it isn’t.
7) What is something that you would like to do in your life that you haven’t done yet, and why haven’t you done it?
I’d like to write a novel. I’m in the process, but I had to go and have children didn’t I? Well, that slowed me down a bit. Not to worry, I’ll get it done.
8) What is something that you have sworn to never do again, and why won’t you repeat it?
I’d prefer not to say. Suffice to say that I’ve been as unwise as most anybody and will do my utmost to be wiser in the future.
9) If you could break one personal habit, what would it be and why would you break it?
See number 8. 🙂
10) If you could take up a new hobby or learn a new skill, what would it be and why?
Sailing. My father loved to sail. If I had the money and the time, I’d buy a catamaran and learn to sail like my father.
11) Is there anything from you that we should be looking out for in the future?
I’m working on a short novel, titled Penultima. It’s set in an apocalyptic/ dystopian future. Zombies are in it, of course, but they aren’t what it’s about. It’ll have miracle trains too, and several of the main characters have the same name, if that’s a tantalizing tease for anyone. I may be lucky enough to edit a pirate-themed anthology next year. Cross your fingers for me. I’ve also got a steam punk story coming out in the Kerlak Publishing anthology Dreams of Steam III. In spring of 2013, I have two short stories in Shelter of Daylight from Sam’s Dot publishing.
Thank you, Robert, for taking the time to answer my questions. If you would like to know more about Robert, you can visit his website.
Next Week: Foz Meadows