Thursday, February 27, 2014

Feature Interview: The Rob Cerio

Author Rob Cerio
Rob Cerio. Author. Screenwriter. Family man. Possible sufferer of multiple personality disorder (Captain Chaos...cough...sputter). He is best known for his Jake Price series (Dimensional Games and Interdimensionally Yours, Jake Price), a science fiction series about a "Dimensional Moderator". Cerio has contributed stories to the steampunk anthologies Dreams of Steam II, Dreams of Steam III, and New Orleans by Gaslight and is a contributing writer for the Sci-fi web series, The Adventures of Keith Flippen. Rob has admitted he is not a fan of the Jayne hat, but I forgive him.

The Usual Unusual Disclaimer: WARNING! Do not read blog near open flame. Do not stick blog in electrical socket. Do not read blog while taking a shower. Do not read blog while playing a harmonica and strumming a guitar. Reading blog while doing any of the above may cause blindness, seizures, outright confusion, and/or death. If any of these medical conditions occur while reading blog, consult a doctor immediately. Unless you die. Because that shit ain’t curable.

Karma Girl: May I call you Mr. The Rob? Also, why do people call you “The Rob Cerio”? There’s got to be a story behind that.

Rob Cerio: Well, I have a friend whose kids refer to me as "uncle The" so I guess you can call me that. This whole "The" thing is an example of how letting a joke run for too long can have lasting impact. At one of my first appearances, where I was totally a small fish in a big pond, a group of my friends thought it would be funny and/or humiliating to start screaming "Oh My God! THE Rob Cerio!" and it stuck. Now I can't introduce myself as "Rob Cerio" without at least one person saying "Don't you mean 'THE Rob Cerio'?" I have just come to accept it as part of my brand.

KG: In 2010, you published a book called Dimensional Games. In 2012 you published the sequel, Interdimensionally Yours, Jake Price. Can you tell us about these books and what influenced you to write them? Booze? Peyote? The redeeming love of a beautiful woman?

Dimensional Games
Rob: The redeeming love of a beautiful woman is ALWAYS a good reason to write a book. Booze and Peyote less so. The Jake Price books are about a 'Dimensional Moderator' Whose job it is to make sure that tourists in alternate universes don't screw them up too badly. My main inspiration was watching a group of LARPers (Live Action Role Playing) at a convention act out a scenario, followed by a bunch of World Of Warcraft gamers having a LAN party. It occurred to me that if there is an alternate dimension where elves and fairies exist, these guys would be the first ones to buy a ticket to get there. It follows that they would interfere with the natives, and screw up those worlds in a pretty comical way. It also follows that the people that sold them the ticket would have a real problem with that. Jake Price is a working class schlub whose job it is to prevent the chaos and ensuing comedy. Sadly he's actually not that great at his job, but it makes for some great comedy.

Interdimensionally Yours, Jake Price
KG: Can we expect more Jake Price in the near future?

Rob: I'm currently working on a third Jake Price adventure, Jake Price and the Reality Realtors. It's coming along, but entirely too slowly.

KG: As one of the writers credited to the Sci-Fi serial spoof, The Adventures of Keith Flippen, what would you say is the best part about writing for the show?

Rob: Keith Flippen is an interesting project. It started as a one-off, 48hr film festival entry, but evolved into the webseries that we're all very proud of. I would say my favorite part of writing for the show is coming up with funny, yet Megalomaniacal dialogue for Queen Calamitous. I get the biggest kick out of watching the actress bring her to life.

KG: What other works are you known for?

Rob: I have gained quite the reputation as a steampunk author. I have been published a few times in Dark Oak Press' Dreams of Steam series, and in New Orleans by Gaslight by Black Tome Books. I feel like my steampunk stories resonate with readers because I always base the tales on actual history rather than fantasy. There are such great tales and personalities sitting in the history of New Orleans for example, that it's almost a crime not to use them.

KG: We’ve come to the part of the interview known to one and all as THE SERIOUS THREE, wherein I ask the interviewee three incredibly significant, undeniably serious questions. You must answer these questions as honestly and as seriously as humanly possible.

QUESTION #1: Who is Captain Chaos, and what is your affiliation with him? And what about this Captain Kahunah guy?

The Captain, macking on some poor schlub's wife.

Rob: Captain Chaos is a superhero that is apparently stalking me and trying to seduce my wife. I swear, if I'm ever in a room with him at the same time, he is going to get a piece of my mind. It's my understanding that he's based on a character played by the late Dom DeLuise in the Cannonball Run movies, so I may have to find out who's a fan. CaptKahunah is my Twitter handle, (which I took primarily because CaptChaos was taken, that bastard!) and is based on a nickname from college.

QUESTION #2: Whovian, Browncoat, Trekker, or all of the above?

Rob: TrekkIE first and foremost, but a dedicated Whovian as well. My Dad took me to my first Trek Convention when I was four, and I've been a fan ever since. I have had several starfleet uniforms over the years, and own one of those super long Tom Baker scarves. I enjoyed Firefly, but I wouldn't be caught dead in one of those ugly Jayne hats.

QUESTION #3: Where can my loyal readers follow, stalk, bug you for an autographed copy of your book (Facebook, Twitter, various Cons you will be attending, etc.)?

Rob: I have a special "Stalk me like a Pro" section of my website,, but you can find me on twitter @CaptKahunah, my facebook author page "TheRob Cerio" or just friend me. I will be appearing at CoastCon in Biloxi March 5-7, CyPhaCon in Lake Charles April 4-6 and the LA SciFi Costume and Film festival in Baton Rouge April 25-27.

Thanks for taking the time for this interview. You may resume your harmonica/guitar playing.

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