Saturday, August 22, 2015

"Mason, On My Way Home" by Randy Ribay

Interview conducted by Marie Gilbert

The Steampunk Granny, Marie Gilbert, is so happy to interview Randy Ribay, author of "Mason, On My Way Home" in Reading Glasses, the first anthology from Hypothetical Press.

Before we start the interview, here are some fun facts about Randy. Born in the Philippines and raised in Michigan and Colorado, Randy Ribay holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Colorado and a MEd from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. By day he teaches high school English in West Philadelphia, and by night he reviews books for The Horn Book Guide and writes strange stories. He lives in Camden NJ with his wife and dog-children. You can see Randy’s website here.

Marie Gilbert: Randy, thank you for joining us and I’ll start with my first question. Tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to become a writer?

Randy Ribay: I have always been a reader of stories in any form—books, comics, TV, or movies. One of my favorite feelings in the world is when a fictional story moves me, when it is so powerful that I feel like I’ll never be the same for having experienced it. And so I picked up the pen (rather, set my hands on the keyboard) in order to help others feel similarly and remember what it means to be human.

Marie: What was the inspiration for the story in the anthology?

Randy Ribay: Driving around, I often see people standing on the corner passing out flyers. I wondered it must be like to stand outside all day and pass out paper. From there, I began to wonder if they ever got harassed by passersby. I imagined such a thing happening to someone, and then decided to explore that story.

Marie: What type of stories do you enjoy writing the most? Genre?

Randy Ribay: I write young adult fiction across a variety of genres. I’m interested in teen characters because I think that’s largely when most people become the person they’ll be for the rest of their lives.

Marie: Have you been published in other anthologies? If so where?

Randy Ribay: "Mason, On My Way Home" is my first published work of fiction -- and also the first short story I’ve ever submitted!

Marie: What made you contribute to our group’s Kickstarter? What was the selling point?

Randy Ribay: Damn the Man—support independent publishing!

Marie: Do you belong to a writers' group? Why if yes, and why if not?

Randy Ribay: I had a critique partner for a couple of years, but then his wife had a baby and he fell off the face of the earth. So I eventually joined with the South Jersey Writers' Group because as lonely an endeavor as writing can be, connecting with other writers is invaluable.

Marie: Randy, I loved your story and I want to thank you for the interview.

You can purchase Reading Glasses, featuring "Mason, On My Way Home" by Randy Ribay, in paperback, and also on Kindle.  Randy's first young adult novel, An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes, will be released in hardcover on October 16th, and on Kindle in September.  Make sure to pick up both of these great books! 

This interview previously appeared in a slightly different form on Marie Gilbert's blog, Gilbert Curiosities, right here.  


  1. Great interview. Congratulations, Randy, on your book. Loved the story in Reading Glasses. Thank you.

  2. Thank you, Dawn. Randy is such a talented writer.


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