Jacqueline Woods, of The Paperback Writer interviews Richard Ortiz about his historical sci-fi project; In and Out.
Please tell everyone about In and Out, what is the premise?
“In and Out” is the story of a parallel universe where Erik the Red and his sons go to war with a Native American tribe known as the “Matwau”. The Matwau were a ruthless tribe of nomads, Led by a Demon named “Howahkan”. Howahkan’s sole purpose in life was to seek out Power, Claim it, and Corrupt it to his liking. It was during one of his campaigns that he crossed paths with “Thorstein Erikson”, the youngest son of Erik the Red. Thorstein had been sailing with his crew, seeking out new lands, when he heard cries of terror. The cries were faint but he could see bits and pieces of a battle ensuing from the ship. As the boats approached the shore he witnessed monsters attacking the Native Indians. Thorstein the proud Viking that he was, commanded his men to rush the land and fight these deformed creatures attacking these Native people. See the village Howahkan was raiding belonged to a Powerful Merchant. His name was “Artameh” and he was the very reason why Howahkan was destroying the village. See Artameh had a power that Howahkan wanted more than anything… Artameh could transport fresh goods from all over the surrounding lands without it spoiling. Howahkan understood the potential of Artamehs abilities, So he did everything he could to force Artameh out of hiding. Including raiding his home village. Howahkan was never expecting for these Newcomers to intervene but now two unlikely Allies have come together to take him down…
How did you get into writing?
Well writing was always kind of a hobby. Over the course of my life I’ve watched a lot of movies and shows. Naturally I found myself indulging my imagination and started making stories of my own.
Do you write poetry as well, or just fiction?
I’ve written formal poems in the past but I’ve always structured them like Rap lyrics. I find they can be equally poetic. Not to say that I’ve done much, I mostly write fiction. I prefer to create worlds with my words. Rap can get tricky when your trying to tell a story.
What are your favorite genres and authors?
Well Science Fiction hands down is my favorite. Growing up, Edgar Allan Poe was very popular and I loved reading his stories. “The Tell-tale Heart ” was my favorite. So you could say, He was the root of my Darker side.
Why Native Americans and Vikings?
Well I feel that these two groups coming together is like ham and cheese. Separately they both have rich enough histories that I could have just chosen one and made a decent story. But it’s when you bring them together and add the fires of conflict that these two different cultures make a mouth watering Brain sandwich. I’ve always wondered how they interacted in the beginning. This story was what my mind conjured up. So I ran with it.
What other dreams and aspirations do you have?
Well aside from writing, I love stand up Comedy. I love to make people laugh and I’ve seen more comedy specials than I care to mention. Comedians of all colors and creeds, Ranging from Eddie Murphy to Mike Birbiglia. I would love to perform a set one day. Just 15 minutes to complain about my job is all I would need. I could probably do an hour but I’d settle for 15 minutes.
Most writers have to settle for a day job, what is it that you do?
I’m the overnight supervisor at CVS. It has both positive and negative aspects. It just the negatives make you forget about the positives. So it goes without saying that I would prefer to be doing anything else at this point.
About Richard Ortiz
My name is Richard Ortiz. I was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1987. I lived in Sunset Park, a predominantly Latin neighborhood but I’m Puerto Rican, So no worries there. Brooklyn teaches a lot of life lessons early on because of its not so kind characters that roamed the streets. You learn quick, stick to who you know, Travel in groups to unfamiliar territories. Luckily I come from a large family and I had friends everywhere, So safety wasn’t a big issue. My parents got divorced when I was eleven, so when I finished Jr. High school, I got the opportunity to live with my grandmother in Connecticut. I left New York in 2001 and attended Wethersfield High School which was a total culture shock. Coming from a concrete jungle, it was strange having to get used to a suburban lifestyle. New York is more about hiding in plain sight and applying the same methodology in Wethersfield led to me sticking out like a sore thumb. Not that I refused the attention, I became something of an ego maniac. So it wasn’t till my senior year that I finally leveled out and started the path to my truer self. I’ll never forget participating in the “Mr. Wethersfield” competition. The year I competed it was dying in popularity so there were barely auditions.. but it was still awesome. That was the first time I performed Stand Up Comedy in front of small audience. I killed it, It didn’t help me win the competition but I got to do something I fantasized about for years. Besides, I knew my chances were slim when one of the judges was a teacher from one of my failed classes. That senior year was also the catalyst to my writing career. My English/Drama teacher Mr. Nicolas was quiet inspiring. He appreciated our creativity and really just let us do our own thing. It was those classes that really opened my eyes to what writing could be. A means of expressing yourself and creating a world of your own. I’ve moved around alot over the years and experienced things that people could go a lifetime without. Now I’ve grown roots in Rocky Hill and I’m an overnight supervisor at Cvs. I hope to one day get published and begin a career as an author. Nothing would make me happier than devoting my time to create literary escapes for people in need.
You Can Read More Of His Work Here: