Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Katya Apekina. Her debut novel, The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish, is available from Two Dollar Radio. Buzzfeed, Kirkus, and Entropy call it one of the best books of 2018.

Get the free Otherppl app.

Support the show at Patreon or via PayPal.


By Rob Roberge

Original Fiction

The band was supposed to be on the road for two weeks, so I spent the last few days before we left Florida trying to get enough drugs to last the tour. We were booked up the East coast in some great clubs, the record had just come out on a good, albeit small, indie label, we were getting some press and it had the look of a good time on the road. At the time, at least before things turned bad, the band was getting along and the tour seemed like it would be one party after another in a new town every night.

As we all know (or at least we all get told an awful lot), publishing is a mess. It’s in trouble. It’s, according to my agent, the worst it’s been in his (and my) twenty years in the business. Which is all probably true. There are plenty of horror stories and statistics to back up the gloom and doom statements we all hear plenty of.

So what’s with the nipple on the cover of Slut Lullabies?  Are you trying to embarrass people on the train?

You’re at least the fifth person to mention public transportation in relationship to my cover.  When I first showed the cover photograph—which was taken by my dear friend Susan Aurinko, to people, several immediately said we should crop out the nipple so readers wouldn’t be afraid to take it on the bus.  My editor, however, fought the good fight for nipple inclusion, pointing out (rightly so I think) that anyone who wasn’t afraid to read a book with a title that seems to indicate musical porn wouldn’t be scared off by a little Seinfeld-esque nip action either.  I’ve got to admit, though, that since the book has come out, quite a few people have mentioned the looks they get on the train while reading it.  This makes me very happy.