Shimmer #20 Interview: Eden Robins

Tell us a little about how “Ellie and Jim vs. Tony the Nose” came to be.

Eden Robins
Eden Robins

I have it on good authority that the afterlife is, indeed, an automat. From there, it was just research research research. Non-fiction is easy.

Your website is full of delectable-looking recipes. Care to share one with us? (Offal recipes are encouraged.)
Well, I’m allergic to almost everything delicious, and at first I adopted the philosophy of “complaining all the time.” Then I tried “optimism,” which I usually try to avoid, but in this case, it led me to all kinds of creative foods. Oh and scotch. I never would have become a scotch drinker if it wasn’t for my gluten problem.

You’re probably referring to my recipe for chicken hearts (which is oddly popular in google searches), but I’m not totally satisfied with that one (Rubbery, blech). I’m gonna go with my gluten-and-dairy-and-egg-free bourbon apple pie with bacon lattice. Here’s a linky-loo:

How did you get started/discover the world of Tuesday Funk…
My dear friend Bill Shunn brought me into the fold of Tuesday Funk as a reader. My first reading was during the Great Blizzard of ’11 to a packed crowd of three people. Then, when Bill abandoned Chicago like the cruel, heartless fiend that he is, I applied to take over his co-hosting duties. Live lit shows can be pretty dull, so we like to keep things short and lively and liberally lubricated with booze.

…and how can we make our Tuesdays funkier?
Have you tried booze?

Once upon a time you edited Brain Harvest (RIP). Did being an editor change how you think about your writing, or fiction in general?
Being an editor of Brain Harvest was one of the best things I’ve ever done for my writing… uh… “career.” We never had any idea what we were doing. It was a lesson in diving into something new without fretting too much ahead of time.  Bonus: it gave me a patina of coolness that I absolutely did not deserve. I have a lot of respect for magazines that can stay solvent… my parents kept asking me when the money was going to start rolling in. Sadly, the money only ever rolled out. Nevertheless, I hope one day to resurrect BH and do something new and cool with it.

Much in the same way that everyone should work in the food industry at least once, every writer should read slush. It is grueling and enlightening and it gives you perspective… something that writers are generally lacking.

Do you have a favorite interview question? Let’s pretend you can pose it to someone – who would you ask and why?
I like when authors talk honestly about their biggest failures and regrets. Not like in a job interview, where they ask for your biggest flaw and you act sheepish but say something like “I’m too… honest.” (Guilty!) I’m talking REAL failures. We don’t talk about failure enough, and plus… other people’s failures make me feel better about myself.


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