CHEW ON THIS! has been nominated for a Splatterpunk Award and I have the exclusive skinny with the authors.
Authors de Jour: Sarah L. Johnson & Robert Bose
Nikki Noir: You’re featured in a food anthology, so let’s get this out of the way first: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve put in your mouth—I mean weirdest thing eaten ;)
Sarah: Probably Pop Rocks. No one ever talks about how weird it is to eat that stuff. I mean, you’re putting something in your mouth, knowing it will literally explode. Pop Rocks. We’re talking about Pop Rocks.
Rob: I grew up on a farm full of Mennonites, and we ate a lot of weird farm things, but as a kid the one I remember is most certainly head cheese. I’m not sure who came up with the concept of meat jelly with suspended pig head bits, but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. This is not cheese!
Noir: Tell us about your story in Chew on This! and what inspired it.
Rob: My(Rob) father-in-law is a hoarder. Stuff goes into his house and never leaves, just piling up day after day, year after year. Which is pretty typical of old widowers in their mid-seventies, as far I can tell. Except, in his case, it was food, and in particular meat. He just couldn’t resist a sale, buying more and more and more, and when his freezers filled up, he’d buy more freezers. Eventually his garage and basement were full of freezers of meat. Meat which sat, rarely eaten (how much meat can one man eat?) and compressed into solid blocks of meat ice.
Of course, one day he went away on vacation and during that time his power failed, and the meat began to thaw... You can probably imagine what happened, there’s nothing quite like it. Anyways, I mentioned this all to Sarah on a run one day and we conjectured about what might happen to meat compressed for years. Could it reach some kind of density threshold and become sentient? We decided it would make a terrible, yet entertaining, story.
Noir: If you were a spice/seasoning, what would it be, elaborate if you want.
Sarah: Citrus, definitely. I’m an acid fiend, but also sweet. At first.
Rob: Nando’s XXPeri-Peri Sauce. On cheesy omelets. So many regrets.
Noir: What’s the scariest real-life, food-related situation you’ve been in?
Sarah: I’m an apex predator, so I wouldn’t know.
Rob: Back, many many many years ago, when I was in High School I dated an amazing young lady from Japan. The first time I went to her house for dinner they handed me a bowl of rice and chop sticks. I’d never been that terrified at a dinner table in my life.
Noir: What does literary success look like to you?
Rob: Being able to write cool stories that people enjoy.
Sarah: The approval of people I hate.
Noir: If there’s one thing you want readers to know about you or the mission of your work, what would it be?
Sarah & Rob: To be able to write whatever the fuck (pardon our language) we want. Joe Landsdale put it best when he said “Write as if everyone you know is dead.”
Noir: What’s your next project and where can we stalk you?
Sarah & Rob: We have a co-written and co-curated (with some fellow authors) mini-anthology called Terrace VI: Forbidden Fruit coming out in June.
We can be stalked at The Seventh Terrace:
You can learn more about CHEW ON THIS! here