T.W.: It has to be at night. I hate writing in the daytime. I need to be free of the ambient presence of day-to-day life - lawnmowers and kids playing out in the street, traffic and sunshine and s**t like that. I write about horrific things; it's easier to imagine them in the dark.
Paul: If someone had the power to step into your creative mind what would they see?
T.W.: It's a nasty, creepy, and darkly hilarious place in there. They'd see madmen and monsters, comical mishaps and all kinds of murder. Did I mention madmen and monsters? Lots of them.
Paul: How do you find the time to write?
T.W.: By not getting any sleep. I average four hours a night, most of the time. I work a lot, because self-publishing horror fiction is pretty much NOT a viable way to make a living for most of us. Then I have to attend to life-stuff, like grocery shopping and taking the kid places that you take kids to. As I already mentioned, I write at night, so... I've gotten used to not sleeping, and I try hard to not lash out in an exhausted rage at the world around me, ha.
Paul: What is one thing you hope I do not tell the readers?
T.W.: My actual identity? I publish with a pen name because my style tends to be, ah, somewhat combatively unpleasant and over-the-top violent. I'd prefer my real name to be associated only with my music "career" (laughs cynically.)
Paul: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
T.W.: I might have an idea how a story will end when I start it, but most of what happens in between is a big question mark until I get there. Maybe I'm lazy? I dunno... most of the time, the story just sort of seems to write itself. Isn't imagination grand?
Paul: If you are self-published, what led to you going your own way?
T.W.: I never once even considered trying to send a manuscript off to a bunch of stick-up-your-a** publishing houses. As a former punk rocker, I have a really strong do-it-yourself aesthetic. I've put out four albums in my time, and they were all independently produced. I'm a control freak, and I really, REALLY don't like having my creative juices f***ed with.
For me, it comes down to this: are you going to sit around complacently and wait for someone else to do it for you, or are you going to get up off of your duff and make it happen yourself?
T.W.: Currently, I only have one book published; an unassuming little tale about the end of human civilization entitled 99 Brief Scenes From the End of the World. The story follows a few random individuals as they try to flee from the effects of an extra-terrestrial communication. It's extremely violent, as any good zombie-type book should be, and I don't bother much with coddling the reader on the icky details. So far, it's doing quite well critically, much better than I had ever hoped for.
Currently, I'm working on an anthology of short stories, called Tripping Over Twilight. I aim to have that ready by December 2012, with any luck.
Paul: What inspired you to write this book?
T.W.: Reading about the SETI Institute. I'm not sure that attempting to contact alien intelligence is a good thing ... what if they aren't very nice?
Paul: Do you have any pieces of work that will never see the light of day?
T.W.: Sure I do. I've written some really abysmal sacks of horse c**p in my time, damn right I have, aha. Sometimes I just push the envelope too far, and the story gets lost in an onslaught of gore and mayhem; at this point, it's time to abandon ship, and (regretfully) I do.
Paul: How much marketing do you do for your published works or for your 'brand'?
T.W.: Not nearly enough. I'm just too busy, and I'm still learning about the world of self-publishing. I need an agent something awful.
Paul: What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
T.W.: I'll read anything, as long as it's brisk and holds my attention. I lean more towards horror and dark fiction, or non-fiction that deals with off-beat topics. I like Stephen King's earlier books a lot, and I hold them in high esteem. Other names that I could spout off in a litany are Ketchum, Layman, Koontz, Michael Slade, Thomas Harris ... Most of my favorites come from the golden era of horror in the Eighties, probably because I was just getting into adult-oriented literature at the time and horror was big. I loved all things horror, and I still do.
Paul: What do you do when you're not writing? Do you have any hobbies or party tricks?
I study Karate and Ju-Jitsu. I like target shooting in the woods. There's the band thing, too - I'm currently trying to put a new band together for live shows (more countless hours spent driving on a dreary highway to some sketchy gig, sigh), and I'll be recording a new album soon. Then, of course, there's the day-to-day drudgery of work to deal with.
As for party tricks, I've been known to make intoxicating substances disappear. Does this count?
Paul: Well thanks, T.W.. I Hope you find what you're searching for out there in this big, bad world.
T.W.'s Blog: Story Time With T.W. Grim
T.W. on Twitter: @TWGrim
T.W. on Facebook: T.W. Grim
T.W.'s latest book: 99 Brief Scenes From The End Of The World (Amazon)
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