Today I’m chatting with Gerri R. Gray, author of humorous dark fiction and horror.
Thank you for having me.
What inspired you to write?
Writing has always been in my blood. I began writing poetry while in grammar school and reading the dictionary for fun; by junior high I was composing music on the guitar and writing stage plays (one of which eventually became my first novel, The Amnesia Girl.). I adore the absurd and the abnormal; therefore, that’s what I tend to write about. That’s what I need to write about. The mainstream has never turned me on.
What’s your favourite thing that you have written?
The Amnesia Girl, which was published in October of 2017 by HellBound Books. Set in the year 1974, it’s the offbeat story of two young women – one a mysterious amnesiac and the other a deranged lesbian – who escape from a New York psychiatric hospital and embark on a very bizarre cross-country journey to
California. One reviewer described it as “a wild romp through the insane.”
What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. In my opinion, it’s the greatest psychological ghost story ever published.
What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
I’m currently reading The Legacy of Old Gran Parks by Isobel Blackthorn, and enjoying it very much. It’s a dark humor novel that takes place in a strange, isolated town in the Australian outback that’s haunted by a legacy with ominous consequences.
What are you working on writing now?
I’m currently working on a second novel called The Strange Adventures of Turquoise Moonwolf.
Do you have a favourite food or drink that helps you write?
Not really. But I have been known to celebrate the completion of a novel or other writing project with a Brown Cow (Kahlua and milk).
Who designs your book covers?
My publisher designed the cover for my first novel, The Amnesia Girl, based on a suggestion that I made. The cover of my second book, Gray Skies of Dismal Dreams, features a photo that I took in an Upstate New York cemetery. (In addition to writing, I also enjoy photography.) The ladies-only horror anthology I compiled and edited, The Graveyard Girls, was designed by the publisher, using a picture that I picked out.
What’s your favourite kind of music?
My taste in music is very eclectic, ranging from 1920’s jazz to the Jefferson Airplane.
Forest, country, beach or city?
I write best in silence and solitude, plus I like to be shaded from the sun, so I would choose the forest. I loathe the odor of manure, so the country is definitely out. I’m not a beach person, and cities are way too noisy and nerve-wracking.
What’s the best vacation you’ve had?
What’s a vacation?
What is your pet hate? Have you ever built it into a character or used it in your writing?
Zealots and sanctimonious blowhards. And to answer your second question, most definitely! As a writer of dark humor, I enjoy exaggerating these traits in a character to make them even more atrocious, pretentious, and ridiculous than their real-life counterparts.
What’s your favourite TV show?
When I was growing up, I adored the Addams Family. And I still do. But I don’t really watch much television these days. Most of it is unadulterated rubbish.
What movie can you watch over and over again?
The original 1963 version of The Haunting. It’s one of those films I never tire of. I’ve watched it so many times I can practically quote every line from it.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Don’t laugh, but I wanted to be Emma Peel from The Avengers. To me, the character played by Diana Rigg was the embodiment of beauty, genius and heroism. In my early teens, I wanted to be a roller derby skater, and then a rock and roll singer.
What’s your favourite season? Why?
Autumn has always been my favorite season for a number of reasons. The sight and scent of autumn leaves are intoxicating to my senses; the crisp nights and frosty
mornings are invigorating; and I especially love Halloween. I think life would be infinitely more amusing if every day were Halloween.
Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?
Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and Edward Gorey. Not necessarily in that order.
What’s your favourite quote, ever?
“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” (Frank Zappa) I deviate from the norm as often as possible.
Name three people you admire, and give reasons.
It’s impossible for me to narrow it down to just three people. However, the type of people I admire are those individuals who aren’t afraid to think for themselves, pursue their dreams, and live their lives to the fullest. Never allow your mind to be controlled by the government, organized religion, the media, corporations, drugs or what-have-you.
What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?
Well, it certainly wouldn’t be all those piles of money that we keep in our bathrooms in the event we run out of toilet paper. Seriously, it’s amazing how many people assume if you have one or more books published, you’re automatically pulling in tons of money. Unfortunately this isn’t the case for most Indie authors. I write because, to me, the penning of words is one of the most beautiful creative processes that exists in the world. It’s my passion and something I feel compelled to do. Bringing enjoyment to my readers with the strange characters and worlds that I create with my warped imagination is a reward better than money (not that I would turn down the money, mind you.) Indie authors also appreciate getting a good book review!
Name two things in life that you wish were easier.
Overcoming writer’s block and losing weight!
Where can we find your books?
Follow Gerri on social media: