30 May 2011

AOTW- Greg X. Graves

Greg X. Graves

About the Author:
It all began with a single, massive point, an unfathomable amount of energy contained in a lump the size and texture of a raisin [author's interpretation]. Then the Big Bang banged, spewing chunky pieces of universe all over the rapidly-expanding walls of the universe. Material began coalescing into the first generation of stars, and their death resulted in the birth of heavy elements. In the Sol system, Earth formed from the corpses of those stars.

On Earth, a few pieces of carbon had a cuddle puddle, and life began. Millions of years after that, sex was invented by two adventurous organisms that wanted the cuddle puddle to lead somewhere. Still more years after that, some pioneering organism said “Hey, oxygen in air? Bitchin!” and it climbed out of the sea and onto a piece of rock.

And that’s the story of why Greg has dry skin.

Greg X Graves is a young, angry man who is full of shit ideas. He’s a rebel, baby. You can’t take him home to Mom and Dad, because he’ll probably just start railing against the Man and his stupid Establishment, and your parents will just be like “Whoa, Daughter, no way are you dating this hooligan,” and it’ll just be a whole big scene, and Greg’ll just be like “Whatever, toots,” and ride away on his bitchin’ hog and then everyone will be sorry. Except Greg, because he’s never sorry. Once, when he was nine, he accidently dropped some ice cream on the floor and didn’t apologize. He was just like “Whatever, toots,” and rode away on his bitchin’ hog.

Now Greg is trying to capitalize on this whole “internet” thing. When asked how exactly he intended to make money on the internet, Greg just said “Whatever, toots” and rode off on his bitchin’ hog. Into the sunset.

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Interview with Greg X. Graves

HP: Greg X Graves, from your site we know you are a young writer who doesn't apologize for nothing and loves to ride away on his hog.-- Do you think you can tell us a little more about yourself?

Greg X. Graves: Sure.  For one, I love the sound of my keyboard.  I live in Rhode Island, the home state of HP Lovecraft and while I like the role that he played in the creation of Cosmic Horror as a genre, I absolutely cannot stand his turgid prose.  On the other hand, having the cultural background to depict an Ancient Evil as being absolutely banal (as is the case with my two non-Moral Guide short stories about Urgoth the Defiler) has developed into a fun plot device.  In the age before Wikipedia, why not summon an omniscient Elder Evil instead of loading up a page on rashes?

HP: You have three articles published online as of now. Two for 1889 Labs and one for Ergofiction Magazine. Do you enjoy doing the articles, kind of a side to writing?

Greg X. Graves: I have a Bachelor's degree in History, and an abandoned Masters in the same.  Non-fiction writing is where I first got my chops, and its where I return when I need something more concrete.  Additionally, I tend to prefer reading non-fiction - both for the reasons of extracting ore for my fiction smelting device as well as for pleasure - than reading fiction.  So writing articles is a delight.

HP: You have a book published with 1889 Labs. Can you tell us a little about what is was like working to get your book published there?

Greg X. Graves: A great bunch of people over there.  They kept me honest with my deadlines but were never FIRE AND BRIMSTONE about it - I just didn't want to disappoint them by getting something in late.  In other words, I wanted to disappoint them with content, not calendars.

Seriously, I can't thank them enough for all of their behind-the-scenes efforts.

HP: Your book "Bears, Recycling and Confusing Time Paradoxes: An Anthology of the Guide to Moral Living in Examples". Which is available at Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and Poowell's. Can you tell us a little about it? Where did you get the idea(s) from?

Greg X. Graves: It's a collection of selected entries from my online series, "The Guide to Moral Living in Examples."  Around forty-five selections (give or take) and with the addition of never-before-seen illustrations by my friend and collaborator Jeff Bent.  The ideas came from everywhere: music, movies, media, random encounters on the street.  They say that you can never stop being a writer, and I think that's only partially true: you can never stop being a participant in the world around you, and out of that activity comes the ideas that become stories.  For example, I frequently go out drinking with werewolves and hear lots of stories about how absolutely bizarre the local vampires are.  Boom, there's a Moral.

HP: Who designed the cover?

Greg X. Graves: MCM, chief madman over at 1889 Labs, and I think he did a spectacular job with it.

HP: How did you come up with the title for your novel?
Greg X. Graves: The folks at 1889 Labs and I went back and forth on the title.  We weren't quite sure how to approach the damn thing.  The Guide to Moral Living in Examples is, at best, a slippery beast.  In fact, quite a few of the stories involve slippery beasts.  There's not really a theme or concept that strongly expresses itself, besides the haphazard and magpie-esque qualities of it.  I will write a story about anything.  So we picked a few of the Morals, put 'em in the title and away we went.  The title became tentative and then permanent and now I can't imagine it being titled anything else.  Plus, the three things in the title are all of the good things in life.

HP: You also have another series: Codex Nekromantia, which you write online at your website, www.gregxgraves.com. Can you give us an overview on this? Do you think this will end up as a e-novel as well?

Greg X. Graves: Definitely.  The good folks at 1889 Labs have decided to not learn from their mistakes and it will be published by them on September 1st, 2011, in both ebook as well as in print.

Codex Nekromantia is ostensibly about zombies, but it's really about people.  One of these people is a sandwich maker who moved across the country to be with his girlfriend, who then dumped his ass, and now he wants to rescue her to show her what a mistake that she'd made.

Another person summoned the great and terrible necromancer Arkephalous, who cursed the populace to create the zombies, but is having second thoughts.

And for those in the know, they are slow zombies caused by a necromancer's curse, not fast zombies caused by a virus.  Because I'm so old school, they had to condemn the building due to a zombie infestation.

HP: You have at least five short stories on you web page. Do the stories have anything that is constant in them all?

Greg X. Graves: Not specifically.  I have tone and length requirements for the Guide to Moral Living in Examples that I try to meet, requirements that do not bind the short stories.  That's where you'll find my SRS BZNIZ short stories like Stluka Island, which concerns an expedition to Antarctica gone wrong.

HP: What are your goals for your writing(s)?

Greg X. Graves: I've said it before, and I'll say it again: my goal for my writing is to earn enough money to visit a castle and high-five a ghost.

HP: Do you think your upbringing influenced your writing in anyway?
Greg X. Graves: No doubt.  I was homeschooled, and spent a lot of time pursuing my own interests, frequently through books.  My local library became as hallowed a ground as I'd ever known, showing me all the nooks and crannies in the world, from the esoteric areas of science as well as the forgotten dungeons beneath faraway castles and fortresses.  That's a great stew in which to simmer a young mind.

Also, I grew up next to forest preserve.  Staring into the inky tangle of trees on a moonlight night did wonders for my brain.

HP: How long have you been writing?

Greg X. Graves: Ever since I can remember.  I took a regrettable hiatus from it during high school.  I revisited it and began writing regularly and with purpose in 2003.  So, it took about eight years from "hey, this is pretty awesome" to published work.  Along with a horror anthology self-published in 2006 that has sunk into the mists of time, where it belongs.

HP: Are you working on anything new? If so can you share a little of your current work with us?

Greg X. Graves: My main focus right now is my novel Codex Nekromantia.  Beyond that, I've begun the outline for its sequel (oh yes, it's a series!) and I'm in the too-early-to-be-specific stages on an alternate history project with another author.  And, of course, the Guide to Moral Living in Examples, which is still going strong and lifting all kinds of heavy weights and generally getting more and more pumped.

HP: What books have most influenced your life and why and how did it influence you?
Greg X. Graves: You couldn't just let me have a fluffy interview, could you?  Had to ask the hard-hitting investigative journalist questions, eh?  One major influence on my life was/is Calvin and Hobbes.  The terse narrative that Bill Watterson could express in a short bundle of frames impressed the hell out of me, both for emotional impact as well as the economy of expression.  Another major influence that, on my good days, I hope comes through the Guide to Moral Living in Examples is Kurt Vonnegut's short stories, as collected in "Bagombo Snuff Box" and "Welcome to the Monkey House."  They introduced me to the world of adult, playful fiction - something that I think is conspicuously absent from most reading lists.

Another major influence is Raymond Chandler, and especially The Long Goodbye, which is my absolute favorite novel.  His characters, his scenes, and his world emerge from the page like no other.

HP: Can we expect any more books from you in the future?

Greg X. Graves: Until my bones turn to dust.  Here's hoping that ghosts can still type.

HP: Do you have anything you would like to say to your reader and future readers?

Greg X. Graves: Two words say it best: thank you.

HP: If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be?

Greg X. Graves: Aliens, ghosts, monsters and all the most interesting things exist, even if only in our heads.  But remember that the most important things in our lives, memories and relationships, dwell there, too.  Just because you can't touch them doesn't mean they're not real.
HP: Thank you so much for this interview Greg! I have to say it is one of the most entertaining/interesting ones I have done so far!! :)

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Books by Greg X. Graves
Anthologies:
Bears, Recycling and Confusing Time Paradoxes: An Anthology of the Guide to Moral Living in Examples
Available in Ebook at Kindle US, Kindle UK and Smashwords and in Print at Amazon.com || Amazon.co.uk || Amazon.ca, Barnes & Nobles and Powell’s

Coming Soon
Codex Nekromantia-- Expected Publication: September 1st 2011

Short Stories

Articles written by Greg X. Graves
Crowdsourced LegitimacyErgofiction Magazine. December 2010
A Walk Through Digital Publishing1889 Labs. March 2011
Digital Publishing and Traditional Media1889 Labs. April 2011
 

You can also find Greg at:
Twitter: @burnfirewalls
Goodreads

His Website

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Greg X. Graves has offered to giveaway two Ebook copy's of his anthology-- Bears, Recycling and Confusing Time Paradoxes!!




Book Description:

"The dragon bit Pa right through the middle.

"Ha!" announced Pa, "I'm a vampire! Your teeth can't hurt me!"

"But I am an old dragon, and I have wooden teeth!"

"Shite!" bellowed Pa, before disappearing into a wisp of oily smoke that smelled of black peppercorns and lemon zest."

"Do you want to recycle but aren’t sure how?

Are you concerned that a potential suitor may be a vampire?

Have you attended a job interview only to be greeted by Hideous Telepathic Space-faring Lizardmen in Mansuits?

The Guide to Moral Living in Examples educates on these and many more common moral conundrums, offering bite-sized advice for nearly every improbable situation. Fueled by years of unintentional research on the connections between robotic bears, talking tattoos, and the best type of soap to remove irremovable rings, Greg X. Graves gives simple, friendly yet essential guidance on the twisted path to moral life.

With an introduction by Brenton Harper-Murray and stunning illustrations by Jeff Bent, this anthology is a must-have for young and old aspiring moralists alike."


Giveaway Details
  • Giveaway is open to US & Canada, and International.
  • The giveaway will run from May 30th 2011 - June 12th 2011 
  • The winners will be contacted and announced on June 13th 2011. The winners will have 48 hours to contact back before another will be chosen.
  • One entree per-person please! 
  • This giveaway is provided by the author.


To Enter: 

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