CHEW ON THIS! has been nominated for a Splatterpunk Award and I have the exclusive skinny with the authors.
Author de Jour: Ronald Kelly
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 ;)
Kelly: Well, my uncles used to hunt a lot when I was younger, so I’ve eaten possum, squirrel, and raccoon. The possum and coon were mighty greasy… the squirrel more like eating chicken wings… very little meat. I’ve eaten rattlesnake and gator tail too, but there was so much Cajun seasoning and cayenne pepper on them, you really couldn’t tell how they really tasted. Scorched my tongue and tonsils is about all.
Noir: Tell us about your story in Chew on This! and what inspired it.
Kelly: “Grandma’s Favorite Recipe” is sort of a companion story to my coming-of-age novel, Hell Hollow. In the novel, the villain, Doctor Augustus Leech, peddles his patented elixir to poison his customers and harvest their souls. In this story, Grandma – who is one of the surviving children from Leech’s original poisoning of the town of Harmony – uses the last of the elixir in the most despicable of ways.
Noir: If you were a spice/seasoning, what would it be, elaborate if you want.
Kelly: I’d say cinnamon. Cinnamon goes good with almost everything… except chili. I grabbed a bottle of cinnamon instead of chili powder once and, needless to say, the results were unappetizing
Noir: What’s the scariest real-life, food-related situation you’ve been in?
Kelly: There was a cockroach in my hot chocolate once. It must have been swimming around in there because it was still alive when I took a big sip. I could feel it wiggling and squirming in my mouth before I spit it out. Turned me off on hot chocolate for a long time afterward.
Noir: What does literary success look like to you?
Kelly: Just having the ability and opportunity to create and write, and be able to make my work available to readers. I’ve been writing horror for 35 years and fame and fortune has pretty much eluded me… but I’m just happy to be able to continue to write and publish in a genre that I love so much.
Noir: If there’s one thing you want readers to know about you or the mission of your work, what would it be?
Kelly: For me, writing novels and short stories is all about entertaining my readers and having fun. I strive to write fiction that will take the reader beyond their troubles and let them escape for a while… away from the problems of today’s world… and provide a little enjoyment and fun to help get them through their day.
Noir: What’s your next project and where can we stalk you?
Kelly: I’m currently working on Book One of a five volume horror/western serial that will be published by Thunderstorm Books over the next three years. I also have several new story collections in the works for 2021 and 2022.
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter (RonaldKelly4), Instagram (@dixiedarkun), and you can always check out my website, Ronaldkelly.com, my blog, Southern-Fried & Horrified, and Amazon profile.
You can learn more about CHEW ON THIS! here