Mini-interview with Frances Rowat, author of “Late Night at the Low Road Diner” in the Noir Fire anthology.
Frances Rowat: I find it really hopeful. I tend to miss the darker aspects in my own work, but really—it’s a chance encounter that starts out confrontationally and ends up with pretty much everyone involved better off once a few details about the magic of the world come out.
TFF: Do you use the ghost mythology/ritual in this story in other works? Or did you draw it from somewhere?
FR: I've got another WIP with two of the characters, and the rules of making something “real” show up there as well, but not in my other finished works. I don’t think I drew specifically from anywhere, but the idea of important things coming with a cost isn’t exactly uncommon.
TFF: If you had to invite the protagonist of your current work-in-progress to dinner, what would you cook for them?
FR: Awkward! The protagonist in question is a cook who is interested in mouthfeel and flavour profiles, but I don’t know how he tastes things. And I am really not a cook. I’d probably fall back on chicken with lemon-garlic noodles, and he’d probably be gracious about it not being remarkable.
TFF: What is your favourite optimistic science fiction work?
FR: I am terrible at narrowing things down to a favourite. But for graphic novels I’m going to say Mulligan and Ostertag’s Strong Female Protagonist, and for written work I will say Firebreak by Nicole Kornher-Stace. They’re not light, but the drive and hope in the characters are lovely.
TFF: Other than Noir and SF, what two (or more) genres would you like to see smashed together in a future anthology?
FR: My reflex is “horror and crime!”, but those are a little broad. So I’ll say stories of roads—road trips, travel, getting lost, or just Linda Wojtowick’s excellent “Byway” from The Ghosts on This Road podcast—melded with the dark fantastic.
TFF: What are you working on next?
FR: Honestly, it’s been hard to write lately—there’s a lot going on. I seem to be recouping a little, though, and I’m extremely grateful for that. Mostly I’m revising existing drafts, but I’d also like to revisit “Small-Town Spirit” and see what they do on Hallowe’en.
You can find purchase links and more information about the Noir Fire anthology at http://press.futurefire.net/p/noir-fire.html