Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to give our Friday Spotlight to Rose Mambert! Rose is the author of two novels: The Muses (Damnation Books), which is a rock ‘n’ roll vampire novel, and more recently, Narcissus is Dreaming (Pink Narcissus Press), which has been described as a bizarre tale of existential science fiction. She also adds, “However, I have accidentally acquired a small fan base for my short stories about gay elves. “
Thank you for joining us, Rose! Besides your two novels, what else can you tell us about yourself?
Because writing doesn’t pay the bills, I also work the night shift at a hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, which, if you’ve watched enough horror movies or ever played Silent Hill, can be very creepy. My less creepy job is as Editor in Chief of Pink Narcissus Press, a small publishing company that focuses on speculative fiction with an emphasis on queer and feminist content.
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from Narcissus is Dreaming?
At the center [of Narcissus is Dreaming] is Dragon Cello, a shape-shifting alien living clandestinely on Earth, whose desire for revenge leads to its eventual capture by a secret service agency. Allen Steele called it a sci-fi thriller, so readers will find plenty of action and guns, though framed by a love story that goes terribly wrong. Throw in another alien, an androgynous angelic being who is being pursued by the agency, and you have the basic recipe for Narcissus is Dreaming.
The idea for the novel actually came from a dream I had. This particular dream was very cinematic, possessing its own narrative. When I woke up, I wrote down what I could remember. Later I returned to it, and fleshed out what would become the complete first section of the book. The dream ended with the protagonist being captured by a mysterious man with a gun, so I had to figure out what happened next.
Completing Narcissus was an interesting endeavor. I was studying in Italy at the time, and it was Christmas break, and everyone had gone home for the holidays except for me and one of my roommates, Larissa (to whom I dedicated the book). We were so bored that I started writing this story, which I read out loud to her scene by scene. She was an author’s dream: a completely captive audience. But her feedback helped shaped the story and kept me excited about writing.
At about 160 pages, Narcissus is a quick read. Stylistically, inspiration was taken from the novels of Alfred Bester, who wrote wonderful, pulpy science fiction, and James Morrow’s brilliant City of Truth.
What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?
The character I loved the most was the antagonist, Mr. Rush. It was fun writing a guy who was such a relentless jerk. Also, he’s one of the more complex characters in the book, and I made an effort to develop Rush’s character to avoid the pitfall of a two-dimensional villain. Some folks have even said that they almost felt sorry for Rush, so apparently I was successful.
What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?
Keep writing and don’t give up. In my writing career, I’ve received all sorts of feedback, both ego-boostingly good and soul-crushingly bad. The trick is to ignore the bad criticism and remember the good. You can’t please everyone, so you might as well write to please yourself.
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
Since we’re living in world of convenient one-click shopping, I’ll say Amazon. Or another online retailer of your choice.
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
All the savvy stalkers already know that I post all my events and appearances on my author website, which is rosemambert.com. And if I see you hiding behind that potted palm, I’ll pretend I didn’t.
Thank you, again, for joining us, Rose!