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If you haven’t heard of the On Fire anthology, this mini-interview and excerpt series will showcase the amazing authors I get to work with and their writing. Meet Rohit Sawant.

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What are the genre(s)of the stories you write and why?

I’m all over the map in that department and don’t really confine myself to genre, although majority of what I write has a dark slant. I can hardly tell you why that is, but it’s just what I’m drawn to. I’m over-imaginative by nature, which feeds my work as a writer and can be a good thing, but not-so-good in other areas of life, and I end up nursing these paranoid notions, and tales of horror and suspense act as a release valve by creating a cocoon where I can explore the nagging what-ifs that would otherwise wind up my nerves like guitar strings.

I also enjoy scaring people.

What is the title of your next story and what will it be about?

I have two stories coming out in late 2017. One of them is a Sherlock Holmes piece titled “The Clash of the Miracle Men” for an anthology by Belanger Books, which will be released as a two-volume set, called Sherlock Holmes in the realms of H.G. Wells. It blends the Holmesian universe with Wells’s short story “The Man Who Could Work Miracles.” The other story is “The Pack” and will be featured in Franklin/Kerr Press’s post-apocalyptic horror anthology Down with the Fallen.

How do you research your stories?

I avoid research until I’m done with the first draft, the only exception being if it’s a story element without which I absolutely can’t move forward and even, then I do it minimally, and just make things up as I go along, even if it’s complete BS. Research forces me to take a step back and think, and thinking is the last thing I want to do while getting the story down, because all that accomplishes, for me anyway, is opening the door to self-doubt, and I don’t want that. When I’m revising, however, I’m in a space where I can approach it objectively, so swapping out some of the stuff you made up with researched material is much easier in consequent drafts.


From “Bunsen Burn and Beaker Bubble” by Rohit Sawant

The dregs of vinegar in a beaker held Anette in a trance. Part of her self-debate from last night bubbled over in the back of her mind.

Throughout class, she avoided Don. As the students left, she heard him say, “Who the fuck writes with an ink pen?”

And someone saying to leave him alone.

She wished she could knock his head against the wall, repeatedly.

A plan came to her like a soft whisper sung in a serpentine tongue. She went to the staff room, fetched a book of stories by Edgar Allan Poe from her bag, and returned to the lab, locking the door behind her.

With the next period off, she had to act before she changed her mind.

In a medium-sized beaker, she added one part spit, two parts water, and placed it on a low flame. A solution of potassium chloride filled the beaker next.

Riffling through some assignments, she found Don’s. She ripped a string of paper from it lengthwise, and fashioning it into a knot, dropped it into the simmering mix.

Her online book club had planned a reread of Poe for his death anniversary. Viewing the table of contents, she flipped through the book, tore a page, and set it to the flame. She held it over the beaker to catch the ashes and repeated until an entire short story burnt. Her skin grew clammy as she recited incantations, her heart beat thrice as fast.

She finished less than fifteen minutes later, the beaker’s contents displaced.



Also, be sure to check out an excerpt from Rohit’s story, professionally-read by Zach Brewster-Geisz!


Rohit Sawant’s fiction has been published in a Kill Those Damn Cats – a Lovecraftian anthology, After the Happily Ever After, Flash Fiction Magazine, and is set to appear in forthcoming anthologies by Belanger Books and Franklin/Kerr Press. He lives in Mumbai, India, enjoys sketching, films, and his favorite Batman is Kevin Conroy. You can find him at his blog, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


ON FIRE is available now: Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and the Transmundane Press store.