Interview, Cody T Luff, author of Ration

Posted On 24 October 2019

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RationToday I’m really pleased to be posting an interview with Cody T Luff whose book Ration I read a few weeks ago and has stayed with me ever since.  Definitely a thought provoking book and one that doesn’t pull any punches but absolutely compelling – it drove me to read into the early hours of the morning.  My review is here and if you like dark dystopian stories that make are absolutely gripping then you really should give this book a try.  Seriously.

Hi Cody, thanks so much for agreeing to an interview.  Firstly, I’d like to welcome you to my blog and secondly apologise for the lateness in posting this interview.  (People did I mention all my latest calamities?  Yes?? Okay, so I’ll move on then…)

For the readers out there how would you describe Ration in one or two quick sentences?

Ration is a story about deprivation, it’s a story about survival and how we make desperate and difficult choices at the edge of our mortality. Ration is also about love, a kind of love that grows in dark circumstance.

This is a very dark world where the veneer of civility has worn thin. What was your inspiration for this world?

Ration’s world is inspired by our own change in the social landscape in the last few years. I am a community college instructor and my classes are always populated by amazing students, and yet every day my students are faced with such things as food insecurity, destructive challenges to their identities, and the need to make impossible choices for their families and for themselves. Ration may be set in a dystopian world, but its roots are firmly lodged in reality.

You’ve eliminated men from your novel. Would you say this simplified things or gave you problems?  

This is a great question. In many ways, it simplified Ration, but in just as many, it complicated how the world was constructed. The choice to eliminate men from the world was an early one. I wanted a chance for my characters to have specific and individual voices, while touching on the horrors that women face all over the globe. Horror has a strong precedent for powerful female characters. I wanted very much for Ration to push that precedent even further.

I love your style of writing, it almost belies the horror contained within. How long have you been writing for and what has that journey been like for you?  Has your style changed noticeably, do you still love your earlier work? 

I’ve been telling stories for the majority of my life. Sometimes I’ve told those stories in front of a camera or on the stage of a theater. I started writing as a boy, but did not find my voice as a writer until my early twenties. It is a strange thing to examine one’s own style, especially asking really tough questions such as how does that style influence the story, and for the most part I don’t have an answer, at least not yet. My earlier writing was far more internal, the characters struggling with their own inner demons. As my writing has changed, I have tried to find a balance between what is inside and outside of the character. I think this is because as I mature as a writer and as a gray-bearded human, I’ve discovered that often what is felt inside changes the perspective of what is outside.  I still like my earlier work, but it does feel like it was written by another person, and I hope that I have enough time to see all the people that I can be on the page over the years.

The characters are so well written and jump off the page straight into the mind’s eye. Do you have a favourite character from the central four??

While I don’t have a favorite character, I’ve done my best to match the girls and their desires with the Women in the book. Each character has a psychological counterpoint in another character, and each character is reflected in the actions of another character. I wanted these people to be human, truly human, so even the barbarous Ms. Glennoc has something inside her that maybe all of us can recognize in ourselves.

Is this a world that you would consider returning to, even if not to this particular time and place? 

Yes, this is a world that continues to haunt me, and I have found that even as I am working on newer projects, the world of Ration has drawn me back in. Writing these characters was fascinating simply because they would not do what I asked them to do. They demanded I tell their stories in a very specific way, and by the time I had finished, the characters seemed to have more to say.

Finally, could you fill in the gap ‘if you love  ‘x”  you’ll love Ration’. I know authors steer clear of comparisons for good reason but I feel it’s a good way of recommending the book to others. Feel free to ignore this question though if it makes you feel uncomfortable :D.

If you love Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, you’ll love Ration. Although, several readers have pointed out to me a few disturbing comparisons to Annie, which makes for a fun comp, but does give me the willies.

Thanks again Cody 😀

I love Cody’s answers and can’t wait to see what he comes up with next, I’m certainly excited to learn from the above that the possibility of a return to this world may be on the cards.  I’ll now have to stalk his social media places to see what he’s writing next because if Ration is any indication it’s going to be something I desperately want/need to read.

And… a bit more information about Cody:

Twitter : codytluff
Cody’s stories have appeared in Pilgrimage, Cirque, KYSO Flash, Menda City Review, Swamp Biscuits & Tea, and others. He is fiction winner of the 2016 Montana Book Festival Regional Emerging Writers Contest.

Cody teaches at Portland Community College and works as a story editor. He completed an intensive MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Cody grew up listening to stories in his grandfather’s barber shop as he shined shoes, stories told to him at bedsides and on front porches, deep in his father’s favorite woods, and in the cabs of pickup trucks on lonely dirt roads. Cody’s work explores those things both small and wondrous that move the soul, whether they be deeply real or strikingly surreal.



10 Responses to “Interview, Cody T Luff, author of Ration”

  1. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Awesome interview! Between this and Tammy’s review, Ration is now squarely on my radar. Too bad the month is coming to an end soon, this one would have been perfect for my October TBR!

    • @lynnsbooks

      It would have been perfect for October, but, I always think November is still a good month for dark reads – that being said – your TBR! Although i do highly recommend this one.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Tammy

    I love this interview! Oh you asked a great question about men being absent. I loved Cody’s answer. And I’m afraid I’m one of the reviewers who made the Annie comparison😬

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha, yes, I remember. What a great author to interview. He’s so chilled out and I loved his answers and in particular that he’s still got this world stuck in his brain with the potential that he might return 😀

  3. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Thanks for sharing! I’ve had this book on my radar since its first appearance on the blogosphere, and learning more about the author and his creative processes only increased my curiosity 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      He’s such a lovely author. I really enjoyed this interview and reading the responses.
      Lynn 😀

  4. sjhigbee

    What a lovely interview:)). Thank you for sharing and I have this book on my radar for when I finally manage to trim down my TBR pile…

    • @lynnsbooks

      I have to say I loved interviewing Cody – his book was great and his answers were just really interesting. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
      Lynn 😀

  5. waytoofantasy

    Fantastic interview, Lynn! Loved learning more about Cody and his book. 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      He is such a lovely author, I really enjoyed the interview and the answers.
      Lynn 😀

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