The Age of a Lobster (Author Interview)

Can you tell us a little about your book?

Described by readers as “raw, honest, & beautiful,” The Age of a Lobster is a coming-of-age story centered around a young mortician and his struggles with identity, mortality, and love. Ian Marlow is trapped reflecting on the exciting romance he shared with the wild-at-heart Andrew Reyes in San Diego, California, five years before reluctantly becoming the owner of a funeral home in the heart of Colorado. After an unexpected phone call from his estranged cousin, Ian decides to return to California and salvage what he can of his individuality. On the flight to San Diego, Ian reflects on his memories of that passionate summer, and what it meant to live authentically free from expectation.


What type of reader did you write the book for?

This is a novel about liberation from judgment and living a genuine life. Anyone who has ever put themselves aside for the sake of other people’s comfort will find themselves represented in this story.


What do you hope readers will get out of reading your book?

I hope readers enjoy not only the dynamic themes of the story, but also the vibrant characters and juxtaposed aesthetics used to tell it.


How did you decide on your books title and cover design?

As a title, The Age of a Lobster carries a metaphorical meaning regarding the moments in our lives. Lobsters are believed to live forever, and while I understand that this is scientifically untrue, I appreciate the idea of the good moments in our lives carrying on forever if we choose not to end them. The story of The Age of a Lobster includes heavy themes of body-image, family conflict, and personal identity, so I chose to represent these themes visually on the cover as well, using Michelangelo's statue of David with a lemon over his face and torn paper on either side.


What advice do you have for fellow writers-other than run!?

Your life and the events within are unique to you only, and only you can tell your story the way it should be told. There is no pressure to share what makes you the person you are, but if you do choose to write it down and show it to the world, do it your way.


Were there experiences in your personal life or career that came in handy when writing this book?

As a writer, I want to make sure that what I write is rooted, in some way, to my own experiences and perceptions. It would be a great disservice to not only my readers but to myself if what I wrote didn’t reflect my mind, my values, or the facets of my own human existence. While writing The Age of a Lobster, I relied on my experiences as a young man who wanted love more than anything, but withheld it from himself, and like the story’s protagonist, Ian, I realized that I was the only one to blame for not living the life I wanted.


How would you describe your writing style? Which writers or books are you similar to?

My writing is humorous, nostalgic, and hopeful with elements of whimsical melancholy. If I were tasked with curating a small collection of work from myself and other authors, I would pair my writing with Camus, Babitz, and Plath.


Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing the book?

Having worked as a mortician, it was emotionally challenging to put myself back into that mental world when writing those sections of the novel. Describing in prose, for example, the embalming process accurately and respectfully - so that readers could see embalming the way I do - required a demanding amount of heart.


What do you like to do when not writing?

I am very grateful to have a small circle of people I call my friends, and we spend our free time sharing stories, listening to loud music, and making life fun. My husband and I spend a lot of time together, and I’m so happy to be sharing a life with him.


Where can readers find out more about your work?

Information about my work, events, and social accounts can be found at;jsessionid=480F3CA387C05DB0A7CBF08ACBC7F9F5.prodny_store02-atgap11?ean=9798218155742