BETWEEN TWO FLAMES WITH THE SEVENTH TERRACE
With the release of Forbidden Fruit, the second (or sixth, depending your reckoning) instalment in our Purgatorio anthology series, we are inviting our fabulous contributors between the flames to get their hot, gluttonous take on their story and the book and life in general, such that it is in these end days.
Today we welcome Robin van Eck, author of “Fat Apocalypse”, a tale of a future that’s let itself go. A… lot. Robin, please tell us a little about yourself in exactly twenty-seven words.
Robin: Writer. Mom. Pet lover. Book reader – of all things horror, weird, contemporary. Face it, I’ll read most anything. And write just as eclectically. Don’t believe in limits.
TST: Limits are definitely best ignored. Sooo…. what does gluttony mean to you? Is it inherently a bad thing? How does that play into your story of excessive consumption found in this unwholesome volume?
Robin: Gluttony. An over-indulgence of anything good or bad. Is excess a bad thing? Too much money? I’d like to roll in money. Who wouldn’t? Too much food? Well, I do hate that bloated feeling after a really good meal. Too much love and forbidden fantasies? We all need fantasies. A glutton for punishment? I guess that depends on the punishment and what it’s for. See fantasies. Alcohol and drugs…ok, maybe some bad can come from excess.
In Fat Apocalypse, the world has gone to shit, people are over-indulging because there’s not much left. Isn’t that usually how it works? The less we have, the more we want and will go to almost any extreme to get it. On one hand, the protagonists in my story are searching for healthy food, the bottom has dropped out of the economy, fresh fruit and vegetables are nowhere to be found, we’ve wasted and the environment and society is paying for it. Maybe that’s a little too Alberta for this interview.
TST: I’m sure better times are right around the corner here in good old Alberta. Sunny days! Hmm, smoky days at least. Now, tell us about a time you overindulged, like really stuffed yourself silly…with anything.
Robin: Not sure I want to admit this right now. Let’s just say chocolate is my comfort food and comfort is something that is needed right now.
TST: Chocolate is the best. One day the Press will be rich enough to have its own combination chocolate fountain and hot tub and then, look out world! Speaking of legacies, which of your characters could you see popping up again in other stories?
Robin: I don’t tend to recycle characters. I guess we would just have to wait and see. These characters are all a little odd, I think I might have to simply leave them where they are.
TST: Nobody ever escapes a Robin van Eck story, got it! Since we conscripted a recipe from you, tell us about your usefulness in the kitchen. Does preparing food get your creative gravy gushing?
Robin: This is a bit hit and miss for me. I’m a good cook. I can read a recipe. I can be creative. Whether it tastes good or not is another story.
TST: We can attest personally that it’s always a hit, though our memories are fragmented at best. Having lived through a pandemic, have your thoughts on what the end of the world might look like changed from the time you wrote about your apocalyptic carnival? And will you ever go to the Calgary Stampede ever again?
Robin: This is an interesting question and something I’ve thought about a lot actually. Remember that heat wave just a few weeks ago? All the fires currently blazing. I think we’re going to fry to death before we ever have a chance to eat ourselves silly. So many naysayers about the environmental impact we’ve had on the world, yet the evidence keeps coming. It’s a scary thought. I picture us living in some kind of Mad Max world. If we survive, it will be an us vs them situation. Us being the realistic reasonable people, wanting to help one another survive. Them being the ones who can’t get their heads out of their asses and realize there’s more to life than oil and money and of course, it’s all a conspiracy.
And no. The Stampede should never have happened this year, yet they went ahead. I have lost complete interest, not that I had much in the first place.
TST: The world is definitely burning. In all the ways. But at least we’ll have front row seats at the BBQ! Hmm, now we’re hungry. Again For chocolate and seared meat.. Before we head to the meat locker, what’s next for you? Any forthcoming releases, hatchings, or germinations we should be on the lookout for?
Robin: Nothing coming up, but a lot going on. Since my novel came out in November of last year I’ve been picking away at a new manuscript that is close to completion, but not complete enough to really talk about except to say if you’re interested in death and some of the weird sites around Alberta, you might like this new book.
About the Author:
Robin van Eck’s stories and personal essays have appeared in various literary magazines and anthologies across Canada and internationally such as Lamplight, FreeFall, Prairie Journal, Woven Tales Press, Waiting: An Anthology of Essays, Very Much Alive and more. Her first novel, Rough, was published by Stonehouse Publishing in November 2020.
More information at www.robinzvaneck.com.