Rich Larson


Rich Larson was born in Galmi, Niger, has lived in Spain and Czech Republic, and currently writes from Montreal, Canada. He is the author of the novels Ymir and Annex, as well as the collection Tomorrow Factory. His fiction has been translated into over a dozen languages, including Polish, Italian, Romanian, and Japanese, and adapted into an Emmy-winning episode of LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS. Find free reads and support his work at

Q: Tell us about your journey as a writer (How did you get started? What propelled you into the industry? Were there pivotal moments or key inspirations?)

I’ve been into stories since before I could write -- as a little kid in Niger I told them aloud to my older sisters, or told them to myself on the toilet. When I got older, I was motivated by an annual short story competition held by the local library in Grande Prairie, Canada. The word limit was 2000 words and the prize was cash, so my conception of a short story was something written once per year, exactly 2000 words in length, which was then exchanged for money.

When I was nineteen, studying Creative Writing for one ill-fated year in Rhode Island, I started getting poems and stories published -- literary stuff back then, no sci-fi. The following summer my never-published cyberpunk thriller Devolution was a finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. That, plus my general disenchantment with Creative Writing, steered me back towards genre fiction: some horror, some fantasy, but predominantly sci-fi.

I like walking that tightrope between invention and believability. I've been writing for over a decade now, which has produced two novels (Ymir, Annex) and over two hundred short stories, some of the best of which can be found in my collection Tomorrow Factory. I've had work translated into over a dozen languages, and my story "Ice" was adapted into an Emmy-winning episode of LOVE, DEATH + ROBOTS.

Q: What does your creative process look like for coming up with ideas? How do you get started?  Are there specific experiences or themes that fuel your creativity?

My ideas come from everywhere: dreams, drugs, eavesdropped conversations, misheard lyrics, old films, new shows, poetry, concept art, trailers for videogames I'll never play, experiences with people I'll never see again. The actual work begins when I mold an idea into an image that can serve as either the opening or closing of a story.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a writer?

Like most humans, I'm a flow-state junkie. I love writing most when time slides by without me noticing and it feels like I'm uncovering a story rather than constructing one.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

I always advise people to develop a thick skin -- sometimes I think about all those theoretical writers who would have been way better at it than me, but didn't weather the initial barrage of rejection letters. Also, savor each accomplishment; there are diminishing dopamine returns.

Q: How do you overcome writer's block? Can you share personal strategies and experiences?

I have writer's block more often than I have the other thing, and if I knew a reliable fix I'd be selling it. Basically, open the document and try to type words, preferably in an environment with few distractions. When I'm rolling I usually get up at 5:30 AM, caffeinate, and avoid the internet until noon.

Q: What motivated you to write for Storiaverse and how does the platform align with your goals?

Motivation for working with Storiaverse? Besides rent money, I liked the idea of incorporating art and story. When I was a kid, finding an illustration in a book always felt like striking gold. Now, as a writer, seeing an artist's take on my stuff is always a real treat.

Q: Tell us about the most recent story you have written for Storiaverse? What themes or elements can audiences expect? Why did you want to tell this particular story?

My Storiaverse stories are pretty weird. "The Conceptual Shark" is based off a vivid nightmare I had in Ottawa, likely triggered by old memories of The Raw Shark Texts. "Deathmatch" came to me while I was incredibly high in a parking lot. Both are satirical, one more brutally than the other, and both present the opportunity for some fairly cool visuals.

Q: How important is diversity and representation in writing? And how do you approach it in your work?

I think everyone deserves the revelatory experience of finding characters who are in some way like them, so I try to do my research and provide that without overstepping. Fiction should always extend empathy.