Strange and Funny: Interview with Paul Wartenberg

Welcome back! As a nice change of pace here on my blog, today’s featured interview is between editor Sarah E. Glenn and author Paul Wartenberg. Way back in early 2015, I first launched this author interview series with several of Sarah’s interviews with her authors from Mystery and Horror, LLC. So this is truly a return to form, and a particularly welcome one: Sarah and Paul recently worked together on Strangely Funny III, the sequel to Strangely Funny II which was the first book to feature my fiction. In a way, this blog is very much like coming home!

Now enough about me, and on to the main event! Author Paul Wartenberg has been published in various anthologies, including Strangely Funny, Mardi Gras Murder, and History and Mystery, Oh My! He published his own anthology, Last of the Grapefruit Wars, and has self-published shorts and novellas such as The Hero Cleanup Protocol and Body Armor Blues as ebooks. He’s also a devoted cat owner, which always wins you points on my blog.

Below Sarah and Paul discuss the inspiration for his Strangely Funny III story, “Minette Dances with the Golem of Albany,” as well his upcoming plans as an author.

Sarah Glenn: How did you get the idea for your story in Strangely Funny III?

Strangely Funny IIIPaul Wartenberg: I’ve been fascinated with the legend of the Golem of Prague, and had been wondering how I would write a story about it wandering about a modern-age urban city. Would it still be something of a protector of its community? Has its long age given it any insight into the human condition that it otherwise did not know before? Could it have gained a soul?

I then considered what it could be like for Golems to be made elsewhere… and then I remembered my birth-state of Georgia is well-known for its red clay. The idea of a red-skinned (“redneck”) Golem from my hometown became too tempting to ignore. I wanted to have a Golem, and I wanted to use the background from my earlier vampire story to try and expand my “playground” so to speak with other vampire characters.

SG: Who are your current favorite authors? What do you enjoy about them?

PW: I’ve been reading Lee Child for some reason. The Jack Reacher stuff. I’m usually not much of a thriller reader, but there’d been a lot of checkouts of his work at my library so I took a look. It’s sort of like reading Die Hard as written by Hemingway. Otherwise I’ve been keeping up with my regular readership of Tim Dorsey for the bizarre Florida-esque humor and various graphic novels.

A Serious TankSG: What is your favorite writing snack food/drink?

PW: I drink iced tea, lots of. Have to cut back on the sodas. As for food, I snack between writings, I loathe getting crumbs and grease on the keyboards.

SG: What are you working on next?

PW: Struggling with the NaNo novel project from last November, and getting short stories finished for the Florida Writers Association’s annual anthology projects.

Big thanks to Sarah E. Glenn and Paul Wartenberg for stopping by my blog today! Read Paul’s latest ebook, A Serious Tank on a Clockwork World, and be sure to pick up a copy of Strangely Funny III, from Mystery and Horror, LLC!

Happy reading!