Red Tash was born in a rain barrel behind the old aluminum barn on the back 40 of her parents’ Indiana homestead. After self-learnin’ herself to spell and type, riding side-saddle on a rusted-out, empty Silgas tank, she ran away from home to join the journalism circus, and began writing comic strips and 100% fabricated horoscopes for a network of local newspapers across These Here United States of America.
Eventually, Red tired of making up corny jokes and telling fortunes, so she retired from the newspaper biz to become a VJ on MTV. You might remember Red spinning out the hits between news reports from Kurt Loder, and the indecipherable jokes made by Downtown Julie Brown.
Then again, you might not.
Because some of the above was false.
Red Tash knows that all you really care about is that she writes good stories. She does that. Red’s books make you think, make you wonder, make you laugh, and keep you turning pages. They’ve been known to keep hardened readers up at night, racing to the end of the book.
Presently, Red has one (count ‘em) one longform book available, entitled This Brilliant Darkness. It is the first in a series, and someday it hopes to be a graphic novel.
Next from Red? Troll or Derby, also book one in a series.
After that, Red will see which book readers are most eager to read next, and she’ll likely write that. Or something about pirates vs. ninjas. She isn’t sure yet.
For a free sample of Red’s writing, in a G-rated form, download The Wizard Takes a Holiday, a 1500 word short, free in all formats.
The Wizard Takes a Holiday is a top 20 free short fantasy story, and This Brilliant Darkness has climbed the Top-Rated charts for Dark Fantasy.
Interview with Red Tash:
What are your favorite humor books?
--I grew up with Lewis Grizzard, Dave Barry, and I personally found Stephen King quite hilarious. I also was religious about reading Ann Landers growing up, as well as Judith Martin aka "Miss Manners." While people don't really think of those as humor writers, believe you me--they are. Having written for newspapers, I can tell you, it takes a lot of talent to be that funny on a regular basis.
How much of your humor is based on real life experiences?
--Pretty much all of it.
Do you feel being digitally epublished allows you to be more creative with your writing choices?
--Sort of. I'm writing dark fantasy now, which is so different from my humor column on parenting and family. I liked being compared with Erma Bombeck, but there was a side of me that wrote like the love child of Stephen King & Madeline L'Engle's, as well. Both genres are funny, but in different ways. One is scary-funny, and the other is about monsters. (You figure out which is which.)
I wanted to take some time after the birth of my latest kiddo, and really work on my fiction for once. I knew if I kept working in journalism as much as I was, I'd keep putting off my fiction. The trade off of choosing epublishing is that I now have to start all over again and build an audience for my dark fantasy work. It's been a long time since I've felt like the "new kid"! But I'm enjoying it.
If they made a movie out of one of your books, what actors would play the main characters?
--If it were the story of my life kinda thing, I'd be Amy Adams from Enchanted. My husband would be played by Brad Pitt. Who cares if my real husband doesn't look a thing like him?
What should readers expect from a Red Tash book?
--From dark fantasy, you should expect scares, irony, poetic passages, meaningful, thought-provoking ideas, and it should be a story that stays with you. I was so into writing This Brilliant Darkness a few years ago that I forgot how funny it was, when I got it out this year to edit and publish. Then, I wasn't sure if it was just *me* who thought it was funny, so I didn't really market it that way. Imagine my satisfaction when one of my professional proofreaders reported back to me with more "LOLs" than spelling errors. It was a good feeling.
If people judged your books by their covers, what hijinks would they miss out on?
--This Brilliant Darkness has a very prevalent Star Trek parody going on throughout.
What's the funniest part of your everyday life?
--I have three boys who I homeschool, an infant daughter, and my husband is a writer. We live in a house that's too small, and are down to two dogs, from four. My life is a circus. The sheer volume of this household makes it identifiable from space. Just look down on Indiana from the sky, and I think you can see our house shaking.
If www.theonion.com wrote a fake headline about your life, what would it be?
--Local woman stops to breathe, kicks feet up, and nothing on her body aches.
If you weren't writing humorous books, what would you be doing for a living?
--Reporting the local news, writing feature stories about home decor, and collecting my thoughts for the newspaper column on family & parenting that I used to write. It was a pretty sweet gig, actually.
Why don't you think there are more humorous books out there?
--Because we get our humor from tv, youtube, and those *charming chain emails*. There are so many good websites that specialize in "blink" humor, and it's impossible to compete with that. Who goes out of their way to look for funny books? I think when most people encounter them, they want them--but they just don't think to look for them. Humor as a genre runs the full gamut--it's not like category romance, old school horror, or anything else. It includes *all that,* plus non-fiction! One of the funniest books I've ever read was A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, and that was truly a heartbreaking work! So go figure. That book's gonna be classified as "memoir," and rightly so. Harry Potter's funny! YA fantasy. Etc.
What's next for your fans?
--I'm finishing Troll or Derby, a YA fantasy that's also a satire about life in rural Indiana. It's got fairies, trolls, roller derby, flea markets, casinos, tractor supply stores...and the protagonist is a teenager who isn't sure about her sexuality. It hits some very serious topics with a lot of humor, throughout. This Brilliant Darkness was a much more serious book than this one, being about good vs. evil, time travel, souls, etc. I wanted to write something "light and fluffy," that would be as addictive as the magic-laced drugs our bad guy deals. I'm not done with it yet, but it's already got a lot more laughs in it than my last book.
This Brilliant Darkness
The Wizard Takes A Holiday