I’m a 28 year-old guy living in Oslo. If you live in Oslo too, send me a message, let’s hang out and talk about books!
I hope you enjoy my books*. I’d love to reach as wide an audience as possible, and YOU can help me out! Buy a book, write a review, spread the word in any way you like!! For example, my debut novel Findesferas is available to read for FREE. If you prefer, contact me directly and I’ll send you a copy in your ebook format of choice. For this I send you a stark, dry and Scandinavian joy 🙂
My lovely readers have compared my writing to that of Irvine Welsh, JG Ballard, Jonathan Lethem and Raymond Carver amongst others. I think of it as David Foster Wallace and John Waters’ demented genderless zygote, but it changes as I read and write new things
1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
Twenty-three. I wrote my first good one at twenty-four!
The earliest I can remember gaining a joy from writing something was when a friend and I added footnotes to our compositions in music class. I can still remember some of them:
“The music you have just played is carcinogenic. I advise you to seek immediate medical assistance.”
“While playing this section, don’t forget to enjoy yourself, leaning with the leaning notes and swaying with the rubatos. But don’t do both: two wrongs don’t make a right!”
My friend Anne came up with the best one, though: “In this passage, the left hand challenges the right into an almighty play off a la Brad Pitt in Fight Club.”
Also, when we wrote a critical essay in English about “Heart of Darkness,” I added a fake essay I’d written the night before, which was complete nonsense, including, “My best Heart of Darkness Top Trumps card is Marlow, but I can’t play with my friend because he has a Kurtz in his pack and nothing beats a Darkness rating of 92.”
2. How many books have you written?
Ten or eleven, maybe? I wish authors were more honest about that. Whenever I read about an author’s “debut novel”, I think, “Is it, though?” No, it isn’t. It’s the tenth or eleventh, I promise you! But who doesn’t love the allure of being an it-just-comes-out-like-that genius?
So I’m changing my answer: I’ve written two. Bonespin Slipspace (2016, Psychedelic Horror Press) and The Grimhaven Disaster (Unnerving, 2017.)
3. Anything you won’t write about?
It’s all fair game. I wouldn’t consciously write about anything in such a way that would compromise my job, or my relationships with friends or family. I don’t understand how there could be anything interesting for me to say that would do any of those things, and it’s never my intention.
There’s a lot I don’t yet know how to articulate, and there are things that currently make me feel ashamed to consider writing about. But I trust what I have to say will become clear, as it has in the past, and that I’ll take up these and all future tasks eventually.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
28, been married for 6 years, work as a process engineer helping to design offshore platforms. As a writer-slash-engineer, I’ve expanded the pool of social circles in which I don’t feel welcome.
No kids. My income goes towards books, beer, burgers and video games, and though I’ve heard otherwise, I can’t imagine having kids feels as good as that—so I probably shouldn’t have any.
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
Again, The Grimhaven Disaster and Bonespin Slipspace are pretty great.
I’m so happy Bonespin found its publisher, Psychedelic Horror Press. And later Unnerving will bring out an ebook of it, I think in November this year.
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
At 22 I had a dream that I felt inspired to transcribe into the final chapter of what later became a novel. I then spent years after trying to develop the skills to tell that story properly—writing a whole bunch of others along the way. And now I’m hooked!
7. What do you like to do for fun?
Play video games, watch films, and read, of course! Reading has become a bit more complicated now that I’m a writer, because I’ve cranked up the number of hours per week, and the diet shifts more towards books I can learn from. I do my best to remember that fiction is a passion of mine, and to compromise that passion as little as possible when reading and writing—but I’m only human, and it does happen sometimes. Then I become resentful about the only activities that stop me from feeling resentful. I don’t know how that thought process untangles itself, just that it takes a long time.
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
Yes! I ungratefully go, “Is that it?”, instantly discount all the hard work I put into getting it into its final shape, bury myself in the next project without celebrating, burn out, irritate friends and family, repeat.
9. Where do you write? With quiet or music?
Most of the idea-capturing for later writing fuel comes from just before I go to sleep, from dreams, and from train rides.
When I write it’s a weekday, usually with music to drown out the less helpful voices. I sit at the high table in the kitchen. I don’t sit there for any other designated purpose—it’s not my flat and there are comfier places to eat or drink coffee!—so it’s a writing zone. I’ve always found “zones” helpful for productivity.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
Sometimes I wish it would come out in a way that would pay my mortgage. But then I wouldn’t be expressing what’s inside of me. So maybe I wish my soul were the mortgage-paying shape! Maybe it will metamorphose one day. Would I want that, though, really? I don’t know.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
I’d like to start getting my novels published. Maybe an agent? That’s about as far into the future as is helpful for me to plan my goals—and not for lack of trying that I haven’t achieved either yet!
Every goal I achieve just gets absorbed instantly and I’m back to being restless. I’ve no reason to suspect that a future dream would stop that from happening. There’s always further to go. But I keep my vision to the one milestone ahead, and keep myself sane by always having things in future to look forward to.
12. Where do you live?
Currently in Oslo, Norway, though I’m from Glasgow in Scotland.
One day I want at least one Gabe-type Pomeranian, to continue his amazing legacy:
RIP Gabe. We’ll always remember the borks.
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
The good days. When the words spill out of you eloquently, and you get excited at the idea of your latest story having readers when you finally finish it. I can’t maintain that feeling for two days in a row, even, let alone for a story the whole time I’m writing it. But it sure makes it all worth it when I feel it!
15. What is coming next for you?
The Weirdpunk Books’ Zombie Punks Fuck Off anthology is hopefully due later this year, and Unnerving’s Hardened Hearts anthology comes out in December. That I recall, my story in that one, “Brothers”, is one of my best. Plus Unnerving’s editor-in-chief Eddie Generous has been working so hard to attract the best talent contemporary dark fiction has to offer. That he’s secured some of my own work should be evidence enough, but in case there were any doubts 😉
16. Any words of advice for others wanting to try their hand at writing?
Go for it! You have as much right as anyone to try. No one knows anything, so if it doesn’t hurt anyone, do whatever.
You can connect with Leo X. Robertson here:
leo.x.robertson [at] outlook [dot] com
Some of Leo X Robertson’s books: