Andy Rausch has written more than a dozen books on the subject of popular culture under the name Andrew J. Rausch. In addition, he is the author of the novel Mad World and the novella Bloodletting: A Tale of Revenge. His third work of fiction, Elvis Presley, CIA Assassin, was released in 2014 by Burning Bulb Publishing, his newest releases are Riding Shotgun and Other American Cruelties available now.
How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
I remember writing a short story for school when I was in the fourth grade. When I was in the seventh grade I thought I tried to write my first novel. It was a crime novel, which is humorous considering that’s primarily what I write now. It was about a cop who goes undercover in the Mafia and ends up becoming a Mob boss. It was a big idea for a young kid. Of course it was flawed in just about every way possible since I was hadn’t written very much previously and at that age knew absolutely nothing about the crime world.
How many books have you written?
Twenty-nine, I think, maybe thirty. Most of those are nonfiction books about popular culture, with a few novels and novellas in there for good measure.
Anything you won’t write about?
There is absolutely nothing I won’t write about. My mind tends to go to those places that are the most taboo, so I have to leave the possibility for anything on the table or I won’t end up getting any writing done. In my first novel, Mad World, there was a gay phone sex operator who unknowingly found himself naked in bed with his father. In that same book, there was a priest who murdered people. So yeah, anything’s on the table with absolutely no limitations.
Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
I’m 44 years old. I have four daughters (and a stepson I sort of lost in my divorce). I live alone. I have late-stage congestive heart failure and use an implanted device called an LVAD to keep me alive. (“Grey’s Anatomy” fans will remember that this was the device Denny used until his untimely demise.) I am awaiting a heart transplant. I spent about three weeks in a coma two years ago. I worked all my life assisting people with retardation and head injuries, but am now disabled. So now I just write novels, novellas, short stories, essays, movie reviews, and celebrity interviews for magazines.
What’s your favorite book you have written?
I wrote a horror short story collection titled DEATH RATTLES. It has something like 26 stories in it. I’m very proud of that book because it has a lot of great stuff in it. Of course it’s my favorite of my books, so it’s the one that the fewest people have read. It tends to work that way sometimes. I’m also quite proud of my new crime novella collection RIDING SHOTGUN AND OTHER AMERICAN CRUELTIES, which just recently came out. I think I like them both for the same reason – because they showcase a variety of writing styles and story themes.
Who or what inspired you to write?
Stephen King, Elmore Leonard, and Quentin Tarantino have inspired every single thing I’ve written. Without the work of those three, I’m not sure where I’d be now. In my younger years, I read a ton of Don Pendleton’s THE EXECUTIONER novels and Sapir and Murphy’s THE DESTROYER novels. Those kind of ignited the earliest interest in writing.
What do you like to do for fun?
I like to write and spend time with my seven-year old daughter Josslyn. She likes to play video games and she thinks she’s a ninja. We have a lot of fun.
Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
Not really. I’ve thought about this. I really should have some sort of tradition, but I don’t have one.
Where do you write? Quiet or music?
My computer desk is in my living room and I do all my writing there. I’ve tried to go to parks and to the library with my laptop, but that doesn’t really work for me. I have to be at home. And no music. I know that works for a lot of writers, but I need it to be very quiet when I’m writing or else I can’t concentrate.
Anything you would change about your writing?
I imagine my answer is the same as everybody else’s; I would like to write more and write better. Always more and always better, no matter how much I put out or how good it is. And maybe secretly I wish it would sell more, but what writer aside from Stephen King doesn’t feel that way?
What is your dream? Famous writer?
Given my health issues, my dream is simply to live as long as I can so I can see all my daughters get married and have families.
Where do you live?
I live in Parsons, Kansas. It’s very quiet here. I hated, hated, hated that fact when I was younger, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to appreciate that.
I’ve had a lot of pets through the years, but don’t have one right now. I live in a small apartment on the sixth floor, so taking the dog out would be kind of a pain in the ass for me, and should I go into the hospital for anything on short notice I wouldn’t have anyone to care for the animal in my absence. So no, sadly, no pets for me.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
It gives me an escape from real life. I also love the feeling of creation. It’s a wonderful thing, better than any drug on the market. It’s a real high.
What is coming next for you?
As I mentioned, my crime novella collection RIDING SHOTGUN AND OTHER AMERICAN CRUELTIES is just out now. For the moment it’s only available on Kindle, but the publisher says a paperback will be available in the fall. I have a new nonfiction book out now (that I cowrote with a handful of other writers) called THE 101 SCARIEST MOVIES EVER MADE. I also have a new novel coming out sometime (hopefully sooner than later) called M-COMPANY IN THE AXIS OF EVIL. That book, which I cowrote with David C. Hayes, is about monsters such as Dracula and Frankenstein who are recruited to fight Nazis during World War II. So I’m staying pretty busy.
You can connect with Andy Rausch here:
Facebook: Andrew J. Rausch
Some of Andy Rausch’s books: