Richard Roberts has fit into only one category in his entire life, and that is ‘writer’, but as a writer he’d throw himself out of his own books for being a cliche.
He’s had the classic wandering employment history – degree in entomology, worked in health care, been an administrator and labored for years in the front lines of fast food. He’s had the appropriate really weird jobs, like breeding tarantulas and translating English to English for Japanese television. He wears all black, all the time, is manic-depressive, and has a creepy laugh.
He’s also followed the classic writer’s path, the pink slips, the anthology submissions, the desperate scrounging to learn how an ever-changing system works. He’s been writing from childhood, and had the appropriate horrible relationships that damaged his self-confidence for years. Then out of nowhere Curiosity Quills Press demanded he give them his books, and here he is.
As for what he writes, Richard loves children and the gothic aesthetic. Most everything he writes will involve one or the other, and occasionally both. His fantasy is heavily influenced by folk tales, fairy tales, and mythology, and he likes to make the old new again. In particular, he loves to pull his readers into strange characters with strange lives, and his heroes are rarely heroic.
Have you ever had the nightmare of being chased by a beast? Then you’ve met Fang. He’ll be the first to admit that he’s a very simple nightmare. All he knows is hunting your dreams and dragging them into the Dark.
He’s not ready for his life to get complicated. He’s not ready to be dragged into his best friend’s schemes to make dreams so terrifying they break people. He’s not ready to love, or to be loved, or to meet someone who makes him happy.
He’s not ready to grow up. When he does, one thing will stay the same: he’ll stay an artist, and he’ll paint your dreams with fear until they’re beautiful.
Bad children are punished, turned into animals marked with their crimes.
Five children each tell a different story of what they became: One learns that wrong can be right, and her curse may be a blessing. Another is so Wild he must learn the simplest lesson, to love someone else. An eight year old girl must face fear and doubt as she dies of old age. Love and strangeness hit the lives of two brothers in the form of a beautiful flaming bird. Finally, the oldest child learns that what is right can be horribly wrong.
Together they tell a sixth story, of a Wild Girl who doesn’t seem Wild at all.
The secret of having an adventure is getting lost. Well, Mary is lost. She is lost in the story of Little Red Riding Hood, and that is a cruel story. She’s put on the red hood and met the Wolf. When she gives in to her Wolf’s temptations, she will die. That’s how the story goes, after all.
Unfortunately for the story – and the Wolf – this Little Red Riding Hood is Mary Stuart, and she is the most stubborn and contrary twelve year old the world has ever known. Forget the Wolf’s temptations, forget the advice of the talking rat trying to save her, she will kick her way through every myth and fairy tale ever told until she finds a way to get out of this alive.