Tell us a bit about “Youth Will Be Served.” How did you come to write it? Do you have any interesting trivia about the story?
I grew up in North Miami Beach and spent a lot of time in South Beach, back when it was known as “G-d’s waiting room” and no one there was under the age of seventy. My father taught me to appreciate the architecture of the old Art Deco hotels, the places he stayed in when he’d first visited Miami Beach in the 1940s and 1950s, when he worked as a driver for a wealthy, older Cleveland, Ohio couple who used to winter there. As a kid, I used to bike the twenty or so miles from my house to South Beach and stare at the drained swimming pools of the mothballed old hotels, reveling in the weirdness of this beachside urban landscape, half of it desolate and abandoned, the other half inhabited entirely by the elderly. I was a teenager when the first stirrings of renewal came to Miami Beach and was in my mid-twenties when that renewal caught fire, and suddenly South Beach became THE destination for the rich-and-trendy. I remember being stunned during one visit to my parents when I found the handful of old ladies who’d sunbathed on South Beach’s shore had been replaced by hundreds of co-eds and young Europeans. It was a true “Alice in Wonderland” moment.
Do you think Samantha found the answer to the backlash the old lady described from Mr. Grayback’s bargains, or is there still danger ahead?
I think Samantha is desperate for anything which might grant her niece the enjoyment of at least a taste of youth. As for whether her bargain could backfire . . . well, that would be another story, one which wouldn’t be Samantha’s any longer.
What are you working on now? Any exciting projects or upcoming publications you’d like readers to know about?
I recently finished a pair of novels, Cosmic Coyote Express and The Twin Of Doria Gray. The first is a road-trip comedy about a group of misfit science fiction writers and editors trying to publicize their small press, and the second is a modern-day retelling of the Dorian Gray story, with Doria being the scion of my version of Jim Jones of Jonestown infamy.
I learned from your blog that you’re a fan of monster movies. If you had to deal with a movie monster in real life, which would it be? How would you deal with it?
Definitely Frankenstein’s monster. I’d sit him down, insist that I am a “FREEEEEND,” that friends are “GOOOOOD,” and then offer him a nice bowl of hot matzo ball soup.
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