An Interview with Ren Iwamoto

Meet 1811 is a new blog series in which we interview our members. For this series premiere, we get to know the infinitely cool & creative Ren Iwamoto.

photo of Ren
This is Ren.

Describe “romance” in one word.


Tell me about the first story you remember writing.

When a king is eaten by a dragon, his daughter vows revenge. It was an assignment for school, and I was only allowed two pages. I ran out of room and it ended with her giving up and moving in with a witch. It was called “The Crunchy Princess” or something equally moronic because of a joke at the beginning where the dragon complains the king is too fat and chewy, but the princess looks crunchy and delicious.

What is your favourite romance story?

I read a Harry Potter fanfiction maybe four years ago that literally made me weep Ghibli tears. I thought about it for days after, but was never able to find it again. It was Harry/Draco. Anyway. That one.

How does a story begin?

Quietly, or with a bang.

Does being part of a writing collective affect the way you approach writing?

Not really. My editing process is what’s most changed. I try to have everything fairly clean by the time I submit for peer review, but one really cannot underestimate the value of outside input. It’s the only way to identify your own blindspots. 

What’s your method for overcoming the challenges of being a writer, like writer’s block or imposter syndrome?

I look up The Guardian’s annual “bad sex award.”

How do you balance writing with the rest of your life (writing, being a student)?

I do not do that.

In your opinion, what fictional couple should be together but isn’t?

Sandra Oh’s character and the main gal in Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve never seen the show, but I know they could’ve been the sapphic power couple. We were robbed.

How do you fit writing into your life right now?

In pieces. I write on sticky notes at work and then hide them in my pocket until breaktime, when I put them in my notebook. I write during my commute, when I’m on the toilet, and when I’m eating. All that really adds up, so it’s a miracle how little I actually get done. 

Tell me about a piece of writing you’re currently working on.

A short story about a magical tattoo parlour. It started out as a contemporary romance based on the tattooist-florist meet-cute trope, and now it’s a speculative crime story. My search history is all shit like “how long does it take a body to dissolve in a drum of acid.” Typical. 

Are you a wine person or a cheese person?

How dare you. I am a wine and cheese person.

Is there anything else you want to add?

Right now I’m really into Brazilian jiu jitsu. 

You can visit Ren on Twitter @reniwamoto and at

search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close