Author: Robert P. Ottone

Who Will Take Care of You When You’re Older and Other Responses to Being Child-Free

In his new novel, Robert P. Ottone explores the world of modern parenthood, and finds the drive to have kids is now lacking some urgency. He explains why he felt compelled to explore this topic in his suburban family folk horror The Vile Thing We Created (out April 18 on Hydra), and his own responses to society’s pressure to procreate. 


I think the weirdest thing people say to me when they find out my wife and I are child-free is easily “who will take care of you when you’re older?”

Truth be told, I can’t imagine living to old age. Not with the cocktail of physical ailments I deal with on a daily basis, coupled with my immune system which is best described as “Dickensian orphan,” I just don’t see lasting to what I imagine people refer to as “old age.” Add to that the imminent collapse of the environment, society tearing itself apart through ignorance and inaction, and the inevitable heat death of the planet and well … you see where I’m going with this, I’m sure. 

But Rob, do you hate kids!? (I imagine you saying this while clutching a Martha Wayne-style pearl necklace)


Deep in the Mines of Folklore and Urban Legend

Deep in the Mines of Folklore and Urban Legend


Robert P. Ottone


“Legends die hard. They survive as truth rarely does.” It’s hard to top the First Lady of the American Theater, Helen Hayes, but there you have it. The magic of legends, whether urban or folkloric, lies in the blending of truth and obfuscation of reality. As someone who likes to mine a region’s folklore and urban legends for material, there’s a thrill in playing with tradition while putting one’s own spin on a classic tale.