Welcome, Greg. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I love writing about monsters. I think they’re such powerful symbols for our everyday fears and struggles. Contrary to what many might think of a “horror” writer, I don’t like to be scared. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I write scary stories as a way of controlling the things in my life that are beyond my control. The nightly news is terrifying. Werewolves are fun. It’s fantasy, it’s an escape. Yeah, on the surface it looks dark because you’re dealing with monsters and death and whatnot, but at the end of the day, you can close that book or shut off that movie. It’s safely contained in the story and it’s a nice, accessible way to conquer your fear. Then you can carry that small amount of courage as you return to a world that seems to be slipping further into madness with each passing day.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Probably the day I got married to Meghan. Since I was little, all I had really wanted was to find my true love and start a life together, so meeting her and marrying her was a dream come true. I felt invincible that day. She rocks.
How has being published changed your life?
Surprisingly, it hasn’t changed my life a whole lot, I’d say. I’ve met a lot of new writer peers, so that’s been a blessing. But it’s not like anyone recognizes me on the street, and the money’s not pouring in. I still have a 9-5 day job and still worry about bills and still go eat at McDonald’s. It’s certainly not glamorous, but then again, I never expected it to be. The important thing to me has always been about finding that outlet to get my stories to people. I think the biggest change is within, as I feel fulfilled that The Coming Evil Trilogy is being told. I feel a real peace in that.
What are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading my good friend Ed Erdelac’s book Merkabah Rider: Tales of a High Planes Drifter. It’s a “weird western”, and I’m really loving it. Ed’s got a great personable style and he does so much research into the period, you feel like you’re there. I’d say he’s gone a long way to inspire me to try my hand at a weird western one day.
What is your current work in progress?
At the moment, I’m working through my first (and quite possibly my last!) non-fiction effort—a timeline chronicling the stories of the Back to the Future franchise. It’s entirely unofficial—meaning it wasn’t commissioned by the actual rights holder—and it’s a lot of hard work. On the fiction side, I’m working on a couple pet projects, but nothing I’m prepared to announce just yet. As for the third and final installment in The Coming Evil Trilogy—it’s finished! I’ve turned it in to the editor and we’ll be working through the edits on that sometime in the fall. It’s going to be epic. Brace yourselves for a thrilling ride.
What would be your dream vacation?
Oh, I’m totally a homebody. Any vacation is a dream to me if I’ve got a comfy hotel room and free cable. I enjoyed Universal Studios an awful lot, though. I’d like to return there.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I’m fond of the small town setting. Not only is it a horror movie staple, but I actually live in a small town, right here in the buckle of the Bible belt. I know about blue collar workers, and your word still meaning something, and sealing deals with handshakes. It’s a very safe environment—which is why I think it’s so much fun to drop a ravenous monster into all of that and watch the fireworks.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I suppose the “normal” response is to choose someone powerful or wizened in order to learn from their greatness. Or maybe a favorite author or actor so that you can somehow gain a clearer understanding of them as people. But I think if I’m going to spend an evening with someone, it’s someone I want to pal around with. So, on that note, I’d have to say it’s a toss up between “Fonzie” actor Henry Winkler, professional wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper, and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I enjoy taking long drives in the country, by myself, listening to classic horror themes. Nothing like passing by old forgotten shacks to the sounds of the Dark Shadows opening music to soothe my soul. Beyond that, I love vegging out and watching movies. It’s nice to turn my brain off for awhile and just be entertained.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I have very defined and predictable cycles. I am absolutely not one of these writers who write every single day. I’ve tried that, and nothing good comes from it. Just a bunch of frustration, wasted time, and ruination. I only write when the mood comes over me. But it’s a very definite mood. It’s not a “Meh, I’d like to write today.” I wait and let it build until I can’t not write. When it’s nearly bursting out of me, then I sit down and crank out pages upon pages. I write all night, forgoing sleep, food, and personal relationships. That’ll last for maybe a week, maybe two. Then pure exhaustion follows and I am dried up. I got nothing left. I get a little depressed and worried that “I’ll never write again!”, and I struggle trying to find the ideas or, better yet, the words. The ideas are always there, but my ability to string together a cohesive and descriptive sentence is not. It then becomes a waiting game, waiting to—as I put it—catch that next wave. That dry spell, though, is rough. Sometimes I handle it well. I fill my time with family, fun, and friends. But sometimes I start to get the itch to write and I can’t. Not yet. The wave hasn’t fully developed yet. So patience is my most difficult writing obstacle. And, what can you do to overcome it, but wait and trust that it’ll come when it’s ready?
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
I usually say “be true to yourself”, but today I’m going to add “Don’t be afraid of critique.” Since getting published, I’ve met so many young authors trying to get in the door and they’re convinced they’ve got everything going for them. They think their story is stunningly unique yet insanely marketable (which I’m beginning to think is an oxymoron) and that their craft is perfection incarnate. I believe everyone has room for improvement, including me, yet I don’t fault them for writing like amateurs. But that attitude that you’re The Next Big Thing and anyone who doesn’t “get” you is just outdated is a killer. There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. You’ve got to be teachable in this business. Yes, you need to stick to your guns and be true to your vision—but you’ve got to be open to listening to others. Maybe they have good ideas. Maybe when they say your writing needs work, it does. Especially if these are people in the position to give you a job. It’s humbling and painful and nobody likes to hear that they’re not as good as Ole Joe over there, but you have to endure it, keep working at it, and try again.
Tell us about the featured book.
Enemies of the Cross is the sequel to last year’s The Strange Man, and is the second act of The Coming Evil Trilogy. It picks up three months later and deals with the aftermath of the climatic confrontation at the end of the first book. This time, the story switches to Jeff Weldon, a burnt-out pastor trying to find answers as to what happened to his brother (Dras, the hero of the first book) and uncover the truth about the demonic Strange Man and what he has planned for their town of
. Jeff’s going to discover more
than a few dark secrets and do battle with his own personal demons in the
process. Whereas the first one was sort of a summer blockbuster roller-coaster
kind of narrative, this one is a much more intense, introspective work. Greensboro
Please give us the first page of the book.
Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision . . .
The emergency room doors slapped open as workers rushed Dras Weldon in on a stretcher. Paramedics hovered over him, their faces a picture of cold determination. At their sides, Jeff Weldon, his wife Isabella, and Dras’s best friend Rosalyn Myers hurried along, covered in Dras’s blood and their faces stained by dried tears.
“It’s going to be OK,” Jeff whispered to his fallen brother. “It’s going to be OK. I’m right here.”
Despite his reassuring tone, Jeff held himself in contempt. Why didn’t I do anything to help him? I saw it coming.
Last Saturday, when Jeff spotted the rolling clouds of the storm that threatened to consume
he had an uneasy suspicion that bad times were coming on horseback. When he
read about Lindsey McCormick’s disappearance the following day, his anxiety
grew. He didn’t know how, but her disappearance was a part of the terrible pull
he felt in the pit of his stomach as he watched the strange storm from inside
the safety of his home. The winds and the rain had wrought their damage and
retreated into the darkness, but he could not shake the mood that some great
evil lingered. Greensboro
“Give us some room!” the paramedics shouted at Jeff and the others.
A tall blond nurse who answered to the name of Jill stood behind the front desk, her eyes wide. The paramedics stared at her impatiently as she struggled with the horrible sight.
“Where?” a member of the emergency team shouted at her, bringing her out of her stupor.
Stuttering, she pointed down the hall. “D-Doctor Brown will meet you in Room 107.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?I’m easy to find! Head on over to my blog at www.thecomingevil.blogspot.com and there I’ll be. On the site you’ll find links to my social networking pages, as well as handy links to all my works. I hope everybody stops by!
Thank you, Greg, for the interesting interview.
Readers, here is a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Enemies of the Cross (The Coming Evil)
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.