Inkwell Guest: Anthony J. Rapino is Psychotic

Hey, everyone! Today I’m hosting debut author, Anthony J. Rapino. I hope you’ll stick around for his post about how psychotic writing is. Cuz it really is. Please leave a comment to let him know you were here. And if you don’t see it right away, then it’s held in moderation and I’ll approve it ASAP. Take it away, Anthony!

I’m what you might call “delusional.” How else to explain my undying resolve to make a living as a writer? It’s absolute lunacy. Any forward thinking person will tell you: if you want to be rich, don’t become a writer. On the first day of my creative writing class, the professor outlined his three rules to becoming a successful writer. They were as follows:

  • Read as much as you can, as often as you can.
  • Write as much as you can, as often as you can.
  • Stock up on Ramon Noodles and cardboard boxes. You’ll need the former for eatin’, and the latter for livin’ in.

He was a smart man.

It has been a decade since I enrolled in that class, and his three rules have not steered me wrong. In fact, I can see my cardboard villa from the window of this internet café, and it is looking mighty inviting on this unseasonably cold spring day. The thing they don’t tell you about Ramon Noodles is you can eat them raw. That comes in handy when you have no stove.

In spite of these many hardships, I press on, because I love writing. You see, that’s the subtext to the third rule. That’s what these other writers hope you’ll understand when they say, “Don’t become a writer if you ever want to be rich.” It’s a test. What they’re really saying, what you’re supposed to take away is this: You damn well better be passionate about writing, because your love for it may very well be the only good thing you ever get out of it.

My professor, he wasn’t instructing us on how to be homeless; he was weeding out the undesirables, the students looking for an easy “A.” And he was warning us. Don’t get sucked into this world unless you are sure this is what you want to do, because that’s the other thing about writing: It’s a drug. You become addicted. You endure all manner of indignities to continue using. You send in submission after submission, then you bend over and take it right up the ass. And you smile the whole time. You say, “Thank you sir, may I have another?”

And they oblige. Oh, they always oblige.

That’s what it is to be a writer when you get right down to it. It means being so passionate, so goddamn in love, that you do anything to continue. You take a second job, a third job. You let people read your work–that novel you took twelve months to write–only to receive a one-line response. “It’s not for us.”

“It doesn’t fit our needs at this time.”

Does this sound bitter? Does it come across as cynical? Because it isn’t. It absolutely isn’t.

I’m an addict, and I love every godforsaken second of this writer’s life. I wouldn’t change a thing. Not ever.

The real question is, “Would you?”

I am very proud to announce the release of my debut novel, Soundtrack to the End of the World. Pre-orders are currently available for a signed limited hardcover, and trade paperback.

Who knew the end could sound so good.

A suicidal nudist strolls into traffic. An eccentric Buddhist claims he can occupy other people’s bodies. All the while, whispers of a new form of entertainment blow through town. Prompted by these strange occurrences, Marty Raft, a not-so-gentle giant, investigates and discovers underground clubs peddling music that induces an out-of-body experience. Marty and a wannabe comedian, Corey, set out to prove these special frequencies are nothing more than a hoax, or at worst, a mass-drugging. Instead, they uncover a secret with world-ending possibilities.

If you can hear the music, it’s already too late.


Anthony J. Rapino resides in Northeastern Pennsylvania, somewhere between the concrete of the city and the trees of the forest.  On occasion, you’ll find him moderating the feverish battles between the creatures of these two arenas.  Whose side he’s on is anyone’s guess.

His newest fiction can be found in Black Ink Horror, On Spec, Arcane Anthology, Electric Spec, A cappella Zoo, Space Squid, TQR Stories, and carved inside a variety of autumn gourds.  His short story collection, Welcome to Moon Hill, is currently available, as is his first novel Soundtrack to the End of the World.  Proof of his psychosis can be found on his website:

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.