Friday, December 2, 2011

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, GREG X. GRAVES

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, GREG X. GRAVES

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Thank you so much for doing this interview Greg, my first question for you is... what color exactly is your "bitchin' hog?" (I'll let you explain that backstory for our readers.)

Despite what therapists and counselors keep asserting, the correct response to antagonism from family, friends or co-workers is not to identify root cause of your disagreement and work with your antagonist to arrive at a comfortable compromise.

The healthiest reponse has a solitary step: ride off on your bitchin' hog. Why? Because your antagonist will only lay down some BS that they learned when they sold out to The Man. You've heard it all before. It's just you, your bitchin' hog, and the sunset. Maybe you, your bitchin' hog, the sunset, and a milkshake if you forgot to have dinner.

You did remember to ride off into the sunset, right?

For the emotionally well-adjusted, you can also inform your antagonist of your reasons for leaving: "whatever, toots."

But to answer your question, my bitchin' hog is the color of a sunset.

So tell us about your novels and short stories and where can we find them?

My short story series The Guide to Moral Living in Examples (GMLE) is the lovechild of a torrid affair between my subconscious and my fingers without my pesky conscious getting a vote, because all it does is say "oh, nope, you couldn't have a cat that is a kilometer long [GMLE: Kilometer Cat] and the Forest of Wishes [GMLE: Foxes] would have been stripmined for the bucket of coal underneath it."

With the occasional exception they're stand alone stories of the fantastic. Fantastically absurd, as some have said, but we're going on two years of the GMLE this December and I still love every damn second of writing it. It has even been anthologized in Bears, Recycling and Confusing Time Paradoxes by the good folks at 1889 Labs.

I also have a light-hearted urban fantasy novel named Codex Nekromantia that chronicles a zombie apocalypse. Codex Nekromantia began as a web serial and was published this past September by 1889 Labs, because they can't seem to remember their mistakes.

And, of course, more Morals!

When did you first realize you were destined to be a writer?

I remember walking out of a Borders in 2003 with a Moleskine notebook in my pocket and thinking that I should be a writer.

We all make mistakes.

Tell us a little more about Greg, what does he enjoy doing in his spare time?

I used to enjoy getting into arguments on the internet until I realized that nobody could see me get on my bitchin' hog and ride off into the sunset.

When my fingers aren't tickling the keyboard then I'll typically be found thinking about the next story, researching it, or worrying about it.

I also seem to find moving house to be a hobby. If you average it out, I've moved once a year for the past six years.

On the off chance that my tunnels are carpalled on a given day, I'll put on some electronic music (think Glitch Mob or any remix by Alexander Odden) at high volumes while crocheting incredibly loud afghans. My latest project is, as my lovely and demure wife puts it, the color of "clown barf."

What does your family think about your writing?

My family is surprisingly supportive of a career that's mostly daydreaming with occasional bouts of maniacal cackling. If you added some electrical arcs it'd be just like living with a mad scientist, but with less townsfolk and pitchforks.

So far.

Out of the stories that you've written so far which one is your favorite and why?

It's a soulless act to have to pick a favorite child.

That's never stopped me.

I think that the Guide to Moral Living in Examples: Skeletons is one of my favorites. More than anything else in writing, above and beyond voice and lexicon and word choice, I'm sensitive to rhythm and flow. That one feels right.

What is your current project and when can we expect it out?

Next January I'll begin serializing a novel based on an alternate history of World War I wherein the discovery and utilization of atomic power is accelerated by the discovery of a set of journals written by an unknown polymath in Austria.

I can't share a confirmed release date but I'm aiming for Fall 2012.

Where do you hope to see yourself with your writing career in the next 5 years?

On the moon; or, if the moon-men sabotage our bases, in orbit, my ass in the seat of a laser cannon emplacement, showing those moon-men who invented the bitchin' hog.

What genres are your favorite as far as writing or even reading when you have the time?

Non-fiction. I used to love reading fiction until I started writing it. Now I purposefully avoid work similar to whatever I'm writing at the moment to avoid cross-pollination. And with the variety inherent in the Guide to Moral Living in Examples, that's pretty much most speculative fiction.

I really like crime fiction/noir because it's often very character driven, or least features very strong characters. Raymond Chandler cannot be beat.

Is there any advice you would like to offer to other aspiring authors?

I have a small index card over my desk that says "Don't take writing advice" and I follow it every day.

So I'd advise that any aspiring authors do the same.

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