TCT’s Hollywood Interview #13

…with A. Merc Rustad

The Cartesian Theatre now welcomes guests from around the worldosphere, with an invitation to tell us all about themselves – in 25 words or less. Okay, okay, it’s not as bad as all that: they get 25 words per answer. They can wax lyrical if they want, but beware: I edit with an axe…


This week, let’s give a big hand to A. Merc Rustad, whose blog describes as a queer, non-binary writer and film-maker who likes to tell dark, weird and honest stories.

Hi, Merc, tell us “all” about yourself.

I’m a biological construct who likes to write fiction, make and watch movies, play video games, read comics, drink tea, and wear awesome t-shirts.

What is the most inspirational thing you’ve ever read – and why?

All the King’s Monsters by Megan Arkenberg, because it’s heartbreakingly gorgeous and involves monsters, and it made me realize, “Holy crap, I want to be able to do that one day.”

What was your first published work?

What I consider the beginning: LIFE, With Side Effects — in the October 2009 issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly. It’s about dystopian suicidal spaceships.

What is the best thing you’ve never had published?

So far? Dark fantasy novel currently in revision – it’s like The Godfather only with necromancers, goblins, and everyone being queer.

I don’t see the difference. So, what are you most proud of – in your life, not just your writing?

Making my first short film, CLICK, about a robot who helps a grieving man reconnect with people. Uber-challenging on multiple levels, and I’m quite proud.

Tell us about your latest work – novel, short story, shopping list, whatever.

The scripts for a SF show I’m writing—it’s got space stations, cyborgs, alternate dimensions and cool stuff like that (see the pitch below).

I think I can guess what’s coming… go on, pitch us your unwritten masterpiece – you’re in the Hollywood elevator now…

What if teaming up with your doppelgänger from a decimated alternate universe was the only way to stop an intergalactic entity that devours time itself?

If only one person was to ever read your work – who would you want it to be?

Brian Jacques—because he was one of the seminal inspirations for me, starting out. I have issues with the Redwall books, but I loved them growing up.

What are your plans for the future – all of it?

Produce a TV drama series; direct features; finish the damn novel(s); move somewhere it rarely snows; join the ASC; become a cyborg.

Okay, my thanks to Merc for not buckling under the pressure! You can check out the blog Where Winter Never Ends for more writing and film project news (and links to some great short fiction) and maybe Merc will come back again one day, more under relaxed circumstances…

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