“Oh, Mighty Spirit of the Slice,” Max says. “Great Protector of the Pie. Dominating Deity of the Delivery. Heed our pray— Crap. I forgot the sauce.”
“Max,” Kevhan whines, drawing the word out for a full three seconds and several syllables.
“Come on, man,” Deb says. “You said you were ready.”
Max shrugs off his backpack, his hands digging inside.
“Where. . . Ah! Got it.”
He turns and holds out a plastic quart container filled with a vibrantly red, semi-liquid slush before waggling it at the other three. He opens the lid of the quart container and the aroma of garlic, roasted tomatoes, basil, oregano and other spices too esoteric to be named.
Eight eyes slide closed. Eight nostrils flare wide. Eight lungs inhale deeply. Four mouths drop open and sigh in contentment.
“The sauce,” they chorus.
—from “The Order” by Richard E. D. Jones
Which god(s) did you write about in your story, and why?
I wrote about Trado, the God of Pizza Deliveries. Now, looking at the story, you’d think I made it up. Really, I found on my office desk what looked like a short instructional pamphlet all about how to summon Trado. I read through and was in the middle of rounding up the ingredients for the ritual when I realized I didn’t actually deliver pizza. I went back to the pamphlet and couldn’t find it so shrugged and moved on. Still, the idea stuck in my think place. When the call went out for an anthology about Small Gods, my mind immediately went to Trado. Being the diligent writer that I am, I did some research before writing. For “research,” think more along the lines of me googling a couple things and watching a YouTube video. Turns out, Trado is a Latin verb that means I give or deliver. And, since the first recorded pizza delivery occurred in Italy, it seemed only natural.
What are you working on now, and what’s fun about what you’re writing?
Right now? I’m writing an interview I was sent about my participation in the Blaze Ward Presents #6 Small Gods anthology. When I’m done, I’ll get back to my Young Adult genre mashup of space opera and super heroes. I’m also polishing up a middle-grade novel called THE MISMATCHED MONSTER, which is an expansion of my story of the same name that actually won an award when it was first published. No, to answer your unvoiced question, I did not present myself with said award. It was real!
How did you get into writing fiction?
I graduated from the University of Florida with the most aptly named degree ever: a B. S. in Journalism. I spent years toiling in the ink-stained trenches of Melbourne and Ocala in Florida before switching over to being a PR flack for the University of Florida’s College of Engineering. All of this was purely fact-based writing and it. . . Well, it chafed. I wanted to get paid to write stuff that I’d made up without getting fired for it. I moved into teaching and thence into being a full-time stay-at-home dad, which ate up all my free time. As the boys grew older and I got a little more time to myself, I decided to start writing down the
lies stories I’d been telling my sons at bedtime.
Anything you’d like to share with the readers, promotional or otherwise?
I recently wrote the foeword (yes, that is the correct spelling) for a book by Michael Wallaby Lucas. The book is called Domesticate Your Badgers, in which Michael Willowy Lucas attempts to teach people how to become better writers. Those who can’t do. . . etm. Also, check out my bio for links to some of my short fiction (as well as my traditionally published how-to guide for first-time fathers looking to rear their kids without breaking anything too important, A Dude’s Guide to Babies: The New Dad’s Playbook.) for sale on Amazon. My personal website’s in the bio also. Why am I telling anyone this? Just skip ahead to the bio. Go on. Do it. Now. Please?
About Richard E. D. Jones
Richard E.D. Jones is the author of the ferocious, fast and funny A Dude’s Guide to Babies: The New Dad’s Playbook, an Amazon bestseller in child rearing. In addition to helping first-time fathers laugh their way through learning how to care for their children, Richard also is a prolific writer of short fiction. Mostly, he says, he writes what he sees. Though, considering that he’s mostly writing fantasy, urban fantasy and science-fiction, there’s some doubt that he’s being anywhere near honest about what he sees. At least his three sons and partner hope it’s dishonesty.
Richard currently is hard at work on expanding his award-winning short story for middle-grade readers, The Mismatched Monster, into a novel. He frequently writes in the CurseWerks universe, chronicling the trials, tribulations and tintinnabulations of those who fight back against mad science, mad sorcery and vampire wiener dogs. Richard is most renowned for his inability to avoid bad humor and worse puns.