Sunday, January 6, 2013

Guest Author Day with Amy Grech


Welcome to my Reading Nook, Amy Grech. Please make yourself at home and let my cabana boys/girls get you a drink.

Comfortable? Wonderful. Now let’s get started.

What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book? 
I shared the good news with the world via Twitter!

Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it?
Blanket of White is a collection of 14 short stories, mainly horror, though there are a few sci-fi/horror hybrids as well.
“Blanket of White” was born from my desire to write a story devoid of sexual content.  Up until then, all of my stories focused on sex as erotic horror and several critics questioned if I could delve deeper into the human psyche. I’m pleased to say I can tackle any subject matter!  “Ashes to Ashes,” “Come and Gone,” “Perishables,” “Russian Roulette,” and “Cold Comfort” were all written in response to several break-ups with former boyfriends—I end to fall hard for a guy; consequently, I end up devastated when the relationship ends.  Writing is a very cathartic coping mechanism.  I wrote “Prevention” because I have a twin brother and wanted to play with the evil twin idea. I felt a little paranoid when I wrote “Rampart.” “Raven’s Revenge” was my homage to Edgar Allan Poe. I wrote “Damp Wind and Leaves” against the backdrop of Halloween.  I wrote “Crosshairs” as a tribute to my Catholic upbringing.  I wrote “Initiation Day” in college—I wanted to put a spin on the peer pressure high school students deal with.   I wanted to play with the expression, “You’re the apple of my eye.”  “Apple of My Eye” is the result.  I wrote “EV 2000” to deal with my fear of needles.

The title story is my favorite; it was also the most difficult to write due to the subject matter. The title story actually evolved ten years ago, when I saw a real life story on the news about a little girl who had a terminal illness and the compassionate way her father chose to end her suffering.  The little girl in my story, Suzy, is extremely remarkable despite her illness. Blanket of White has a profound affect on readers who are also parents. 

If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as your characters?

 

Brad Pitt or George Clooney as an older male lead; Aaron Paul or Jake Jake Gyllenhaal for younger guys.


What genres would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why? 
I’d like to give Literary Fiction a whirl.  When I started writing in college my work was more literary. Telling a story from a literary perspective can be a real adventure. Using allegory and metaphor can make the experience much more meaningful for the reader.

What is your normal writing day like?  
I always listen to music when I write—it helps me get into the zone.  If my muse needs some prodding, I’ll review the previous day’s pages until things click and I get lost in the Zone, that magical place where the real world ceases to exist and nothing else matters except my characters and the story.

What are some of your hobbies/favorite past times to indulge in? 

I’m an avid reader, of course!  I love going to dinner/movies with friends.  During the summer, Prospect Park in Brooklyn hosts concerts, so I attend these events as well!

What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both? 
For shorter works, I go where my muse takes me!  For the novella I just finished I had seven pages of notes, which was a new way to work for be, but actually ended up being extremely helpful!

Could you tell us about any work-in-progress, current projects, what we can expect from you in the future?
 
I just finished a novella, Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City,  hat takes place in a once-run down neighborhood in NYC, Alphabet City. The story focuses on a devious eye doctor, who’s looking to let loose. Things get carried away when he meets Ruby, an 18-year-old writer at Anatomy Bar.  They witness the latest crazy among college students, Vodka Eyeballing, where they pour vodka shots directly into their eyes to get drunk faster.  Ruby invites the doctor back to her apartment near by.  They hook up and he kills her with his scalpel.  A couple of months later, he meets Gia, her older sister a piercing specialist/tattoo artist with scars on her face at a different bar.  She picks him up and invites the doctor back to the apartment she shares with her father, who has a nasty temper. He beats the doctor senseless in their living room then goes for the jugular with the doctor’s scalpel, payback for Ruby’s senseless murder.

In addition, I have a story forthcoming in The Uninvited Magazine, exclusively for the iPad.

What do you do to unwind and relax?   
I spend time with friends. We catch up over dinner and drinks.  I also enjoy movies and TV, when I want to think about nothing for a bit.

What is the last line of your last WIP you worked on that you wrote? 
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Never trust a man who gives into his lust!

Anything you would like to add? 
I’m an Active Member of the Horror Writers Association living in Brooklyn. Visit my website: http://www.crimsonscreams.com.  Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/amy_grech.

Teaser from Blanket of White by Amy Grech

Blanket of White True love knows no bounds. Crosshairs A young boy learns the perils of hunting fare game firsthand. Prevention Murderous twins help their dear mother into and out of trouble. Perishables A nuclear fallout survivor finds sustenance in an unlikely place. Plus two more never before published storied by Amy Grech. A total of fourteen dark tales in all!

Excerpt:


            The sun shone brightly as I wheeled Suzy out to my maroon van parked in the backyard on Christmas Eve morning with a bright red hose tucked under my arm.  Tiny glass vials¾a trio of beautiful bells jingled in my pants pocket.  The backyard looked serene swathed in a glistening shroud of freshly fallen snow.  The brisk air did little to quell my adrenaline rush despite the pristine scene.  I struggled to remain calm, for Suzy’s sake.
            Katherine followed us outside to the edge of the driveway, frantically waving a pale pink scarf. Her boots trampled soft snow underfoot as she touched Suzy’s arm lightly. "Wait a second, Peter.  It’s awfully cold out here.  Suzy should bundle up.  I wouldn’t want to her to catch her death…" Tears streamed down her cheeks. 
She squeezed our daughter’s hand.  "Will you sing for me, Suzy and warm my heart on this bitter-cold morning?  It would mean the world to me."  Katherine stood suddenly, and whispered to me, "Suzy is going to deliver the performance of a lifetime."
When she began to sing, her breath rose like steam¾glorious and triumphant:

Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn king!"
peace on earth, and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled
joyful all ye nations rise
join the triumph of the skies
with th'angelic host proclaim
"Christ is born in Bethlehem."
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn king!"

Christ, by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord
late in time behold him come
offspring of the favored one
veiled in flesh, the godhead see
hail th'incarnate deity
pleased, as man with men to dwell
Jesus, our immanuel!
Hark! The herald angels sing,
                                                "Glory to the newborn king!"              

Hail! The heav'n born prince of peace!
hail! The son of righteousness!
light and life to all he brings
ris'n with healing in his wings!

Mild he lays his glory by
born that man no more may die
born to raise the sons of earth
born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn king!"

            "That was the best Christmas present ever.  Thank you, Suzy." Katherine kissed her daughter softly on the cheek. "Remember, Mommy loves you very much.  You’ll always be my little angel."

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