eSpec Books interviews Robert E Waters, contributor to The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries, edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail, currently funding on Kickstarter as a part of the #Make100 campaign.
eSB: Can you tell us a little about your story, “At the Grasshopper’s Hill”, that was selected for The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries?
REWaters: Sure thing. It’s a story set during the 1840’s and deals with the Mexican-American War. It’s a war rarely covered fully in history classes, if at all. The most interesting thing about the war is that it served as the proving ground for nearly every important general in the American Civil War. Officers like Ulysses S Grant, James Longstreet, Stonewall Jackson, William Tecumseh Sherman, George McClellan, and Robert E Lee (who is included in the story), cut their military teeth in this conflict. My story is about a bad-ass faerie named Lubbick who has been around since the days of the Pharaohs. In some ways, he serves as an eternal champion, moving from one human conflict to the next, always trying to serve the side of righteousness, although it’s often difficult to know which side that is in war. Here, Lubbick teams up with Robert E Lee to investigate a rumor that the Mexican army is trying to resurrect an Aztec god to use against the Americans as they try to storm the ramparts at Chapultepec. (art by Linda Saboe, http://www.croneswood.com.)
eSB: What would your fae character’s signature drink be and why?
REWaters: My warrior Pixie Lubbick has been around since the Egyptian civilization, so I’m not sure that he’d have a specific drink that would crisscross the ages. Believe it or not, he’d drink beer with the Pharaohs. He’d drink posca (vinegar-based drink) with Roman soldiers and slaves alike. He’d drink fermented mare milk called airag with the Mongolian horsemen as they swept across the steppes. Rum with the early Americans and sailors of the Caribbean. And then beer again with the officers of the Civil War. His drink preference would change with the changing times.
eSB: What kind of challenges did you find writing for this series?
REWaters: Doing the research is always the most challenging thing for me. For this story, I had to do double work on that score: researching both the historical setting of the Mexican-American War, and studying the mythology of the Fae and trying to decide what kind of bad-ass faerie I wanted to include. “At the Grasshopper’s Hill” is a war story, and so my faerie had to be wise in the art of war. I had to also research other historical conflicts that Lubbick might have been involved in in previous centuries in order to lend credibility to his backstory. So that caused me to research ancient Egyptian wars, Roman wars, and the American Revolution to lend further credibility to Lubbick’s huge store of military knowledge.
eSB: What interested you in writing for this series?
REWaters: I was invited by Danielle Ackley McPhail to submit something. Before that, I had already been thinking about doing stories of my warrior pixie Lubbick, but I didn’t have a market for it. So I sat on the story idea for many years and waited for an opportunity. Then when the opportunity arose, I jumped at it.
eSB: Do you have any plans to expand your story…or write in the same universe? If so, what more can your readers expect?
REWaters: I certainly would like to. I have one other published story in the series (“In the House of Wisdom”, Hellfire Lounge #3, and I have written one set in the American Civil War that deals with fiery efreets and the Battle of Gettysburg. One of these days, I intend on combining it with “At the Grasshopper’s Hill” for a longer novella/short novel.
eSB: What are some of your own works readers can look for?
REWaters: My first novel was published in 2014, a weird Wild West story set in the Wildwest Exodus gaming universe. I’ve also published several stories in Eric Flint’s 1632/Ring of Fire alternate history series published by Baen, and I have several stories out in Padwolf Publishing in their “13” anthology series. Here are links to some of my works available on Amazon:
- The Wayward Eight: A Contract to Die For
- “Mungo Sneads Last Stand”
- “The Red Dragon Symphony”
- “The People’s Avenger”
- “Fallen Apple”
- “Mekong Ghosts”
- “Devil Dancers”
eSB: What projects of your own do you have coming up?
REWaters: I’m currently working on two novels. The first one, 1636: Calabar’s War, is set in Eric Flint’s 1632/Ring of Fire series. I’m co-authoring this one with Charles E Gannon, a New York Times bestselling author of the Terran Republic series from Baen and frequent contributor to the 1632 universe. I’m also writing a novel called the Cross of Saint Boniface for Winged Hussar Publishing, and it’s based on my short story “The Cross of Saint Boniface”.
eSB: How can readers find out more about you?
REWaters: They can go to my website (www.roberternestwaters.com) and see a full listing of all of my published work and what’s coming.
Robert E Waters had been writing and publishing stories since 2003, with his first publication in Weird Tales. Since then, he has published over 30 stories in various print and on-line magazines and anthologies, including e-Spec’s Weird Wild West and the “Defending the Future” Mil SF anthology series. Robert is also a frequent contributor to Eric Flint’s alternate history series, 1632/Ring of Fire, with several stories published in the on-line Grantville Gazette, and most recently in Baen Book’s Ring of Fire IV anthology. Robert’s first novel, The Wayward Eight: A Contract to Die For, was released in 2014 under the Zmok imprint, and is a “weird wild west” adventure set in the Wild West Exodus gaming universe. Robert lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife Beth, their son Jason, and their cat Buzz.