Road Seven follows disgraced cryptozoologist Mark Sandoval—resolutely arrogant, covered head to foot in precise geometric scarring, and still marginally famous after Hollywood made an Oscar-winner based off his memoir years before—who has been strongly advised by his lawyer to leave the country following a drunken and potentially fatal hit and run. When a woman sends Sandoval grainy footage of what appears to be a unicorn, he quickly hires an assistant and the two head off to the woman’s farm in Hvíldarland, a tiny, remote island off the coast of Iceland. When they arrive on the island and discover that both a military base and the surrounding álagablettur, the nearby woods, are teeming with strangeness and secrets, they begin to realize that a supposed unicorn sighting is the least of their worries. Road Seven will mark the third of Rosson’s novels to be published by Meerkat Press.
- Do you always take a book/ereader wherever you go?
Well, I don’t have an e-reader, but I’m more of a “read at home” kind of guy. Pre-COVID and pre-foster kids, I’d occasionally take a book to a bar and enjoy a beer or two, but that seems like ancient history at this point.
2. Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?
You kidding? I’d be honored either way!
3. Where can I find you when you are reading?
Usually sitting on the couch, occasionally getting up to either flip a record over or checking the baby monitor. It’s an exciting life, I tell you.
4. Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?
Raising kids, running, or spending my sliver of free time with my wife before we both pass out from exhaustion. Like I said, it’s a gottdang thrill ride over here.
5. Can you walk past a bookstore without going inside?
Phew, that’s a tough one. At the very least, I’ll probably stop to window shop for a minute or two. As a huge proponent of libraries, I’d probably be passing the bookstore on my way to pick up my library holds anyway, so passing by the bookstore wouldn’t be quite as painful. But daaaamn, do I love bookstores and libraries, oof.
6. What are you most proud of?
Being a foster parent is hard as hell. It’s a toss-up between that and the fact that, even if I stop writing right now (which I won’t), I’ll have written four books that I’m immensely proud of.
7. What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?
Honestly? That they’re luxury goods. That they’re expensive. That I feel incredibly fortunate to have found a publisher that believes in my work. That people read my work at all. And that I remain profoundly grateful for libraries, who pay authors and publishers for their books, but also make literature available for people that could not otherwise afford it. And for the fact that they’re one of the only social and community spaces left in which people don’t have to spend money to occupy the space.
8. What piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Oooof, that’s a big one. First off, write a lot, and read a lot. Both will improve your work. Secondly, don’t be afraid to show people your stuff, and don’t be closed off to the critiques that they offer you. Don’t think your work is above improvement or criticism, but also hold tight to your vision. That can be a tightwire for sure. Lastly, if you’re hoping to become published, be prepared for rejection. Rejection is just part of the process. Steel yourself for it.
9. Who would you like/have liked to interview?
A guy named Michael Doane wrote some amazing novels in the 1980s and ‘90s. Bullet Heart, City of Light, The Legends of Jesse Dark. Even more. They’re all great books, couched between literary fiction and crime or spy novels, with these kind of tortured, macho characters that were ultimately falling out of vogue in the literary landscape around that time. But god, some of them are just fantastic books, and then Doane just kind of vanished. I’m not sure if he’s still alive; there’s very little biographical information about him on the internet. But reading Bullet Heart as a young man absolutely electrified me and, I think, set me on the path of taking fiction seriously. I’d never read anything like it before. I would love to have some beers with Doane and talk about writing.
10. How do you choose the names for your characters?
It’s a crapshoot – sometimes the name actually informs the character, sometimes it’s the other way around and it takes a while to find the right name for someone. I have one character who has appeared in two unpublished novels and I just can’t seem to stop writing about him. Guy’s name is like a feather tickling my brain sometimes. Very much hoping that once I’m able to get him out into the world in one book or another, I’ll be able to put the guy to rest and move on to someone else. But right now, he’s just right there in a lot of my work.
Thank you, Keith Rosson and Meerkat Press
About the author
Keith Rosson is the author of the novels The Mercy of the Tide and Smoke City. His short fiction has appeared in Cream City Review, PANK, Redivider, December, and more. He is an advocate of both public libraries and non-ironic adulation of the cassette tape.
$50 Book Shopping Spree