Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Author Interview - Daryl Gregory

Wow, back after sooooo long. Sorry guys, but due to my new remote job placement and financial difficulties I was unable to publish on my blog for the past 1 and a half months, now I am back and hopefully will continue posting regularly again.

Lets start with some post due to be published. First an interview from the author 'Daryl Gregory' (which was to be published about 2 months ago), Thanks to the author for making time for these questions.

Here are my questions and Daryl's answers -
1) First of all welcome to the blog and start by telling us a bit about yourself.

Thanks for having me. I live in State College, PA, a nice little town with a big ol' university on it. I've been writing SF and fantasy for a long time -- my first story was published in F&SF back in 1990 -- but I took a ten-year break from publishing when my kids were small, I was working full time, and my wife was getting tenure.
Around 2001 I started writing short stories again (most of which are in my collection, Unpossible and Other Stories) and writing novels. My first novel came out in 2008, and my most recent one, Afterparty, appeared earlier this year from Tor Books. Along the way I've dabbled in comics. I wrote the Planet of the Apes series for a few years, and did a couple other comics projects, but mostly I'm a prose writer, whose kids are now disturbingly grown. Our youngest is about to head to college, which makes my wife and I empty-nesters. This will either mean good or terrible things for my productivity.

2) Will you please tell us some information about your new novel 'We Are All Completely Fine' that is not on the book blurb?

I don't think any of the cover copy gives away the news that the book is a kind of sampler of horror tropes, mostly from movies, across the decades. The people in this book who form the therapy group last girls/ last boys, similar to the lone survivors in flicks like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Hell Raiser, and Ringu. I also threw in a survivor of Lovecraftian horror, because who can write a post-horror horror novel without referencing Lovecraft?
3) Where did you come up with the idea of writing a book about a support group?

I'm married to a psychologist who has run small groups, and also teaches small group therapy. She turned me on to the work of Irvin Yalom, the man who literally wrote the book on group psychotherapy, and is a fine novelist in his own right.

4) So what makes the characters of these book unique and interesting?

I tried to make them unique, but it's up to the reader to decide if they're interesting. What I was interested in is what happens to people like these long after the horror flick or novel is over. They have a "peak experience," if you can use that term for the most extreme thing that has ever happened to them. How does that color the rest of your life? How do you go on with a "normal" life once you know there are real monsters in the world?  And if there's one thing we've learned from horror stories, is that they're never over. The monster can always return.

5) Tell us a bit about the research you did for writing this book?

As I mentioned, it helps to be married to an expert. My wife, Dr. Kathleen Bieschke, gave me plenty of research materials, including the video tapes used to train therapists. As for the knowledge of horror tropes... well, I've been training my entire life on those!

6) Read any good book lately? Do share with us some of your favorite books from this year?

I just read Countdown City by Ben Winters, the sequel to his book The Last Policeman. It's really well done. And I'm in the middle of reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, which is simply beautiful. 
7) Can you divulge a bit more information about your upcoming projects?

My next book is a YA horror novel called Harrison Squared that will come out from Tor in early 2015. And currently I'm writing a new adult SF novel. I'm just trying keep busy as the nest empties around me.

About 'We Are Completely Fine' -
Harrison is the Monster Detective, a storybook hero. Now he’s in his mid-thirties and spends most of his time not sleeping.

Stan became a minor celebrity after being partially eaten by cannibals. Barbara is haunted by the messages carved upon her bones. Greta may or may not be a mass-murdering arsonist. And for some reason, Martin never takes off his sunglasses.

Unsurprisingly, no one believes their horrific tales until they are sought out by psychotherapist Dr. Jan Sayer. What happens when these likely-insane outcasts join a support group? Together they must discover which monsters they face are within and which are lurking in plain sight.

About Daryl Gregory -
Award-winning author of Pandemonium, The Devil's Alphabet, and Raising Stony Mayhall.

He is also the writer of comics such as Dracula: The Company of Monsters and Planet of the Apes, both from BOOM! Studios.
His first collection of short stories is Unpossible and Other Stories, by Fairwood Press (October, 2011).

Daryl lives in State College, Pennsylvania.  

His Links - Website, Twitter, Goodreads

PS: I have read and enjoyed the book a few months ago, but didn't publish a review yet due to my hectic life situation, please expect a full review in a few days.

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