Keith Rosson’s debut novel, The Mercy of the Tide, is firmly in my top ten novels of 2017. It’s a genre-expansive novel, covering horror, magical realism, and noir anchored to a steady foundation of literary fiction. The result is a singular book that’s simultaneously weird, tension-filled, fantastical, and its engine is sympathetically driven by characters seeking redemption. No easy task. Mercy receives my highest recommendation.
I’ve known Keith for over fifteen years, and up to this point, as a zinester (Avow), a graphic designer (covers of Razorcake), and as a spot-on reviewer. Yet, it’s quite a leap from stalwart zinester to novelist—it’s two different head spaces and two different worlds—and that’s the jumping off point for this interview.
In this podcast, Keith and I talk about finding a publisher, exploring the challenges of a novel not fitting into a pre-described genre, of balancing a distrust for cops and getting inside cops’ heads as characters, our flat-out love of and early reliance on public libraries, Judy Blume being a cool writer and person, and how Keith’s legal blindness informs sympathy for his characters.
If you enjoy this talk, please consider getting a copy of The Mercy of the Tide.
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