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Interview: Greg Mitchell

Greg is offering one lucky reader an autographed paperback copy of his book! Enter to Win Rift Jump!

At Readers’ Realm, we believe that writers must first be readers. Do you enjoy reading?

That’s a complicated question for me. I enjoy reading, but I don’t read a whole, whole lot. And, when I do, it’s never “one of the classics”. It’s always just some fun little pop novel—usually a Star Wars novel. I’m not one of these people whose idea of a perfect day is curled up in my favorite blanket reading a good book. That’s not me, ha ha. I’d much prefer watching a cool movie. Also, as a horror writer, I almost never read horror novels. And when I’m writing, I never read. Period. That’s deadly to me, because you lose your own voice and start to take on the characteristics of whoever you’re reading at the time. I actually think that reading too much is a bad thing for a writer. I know, I know. Shock! But sooner or later you’ve got to put down the books and take up the pen. There’s only so much you can learn from reading someone else’s style—you’ve got to develop your own through trial and error. Find your own voice.

When did you decide you wanted to write?

I’ve always been a storyteller. Even back, playing with my G.I. Joes. I lived inside my head a lot (still do), and just imagined life being a little more fantastic than reality had to offer. I wrote stories all throughout school, just as a means of passing the time in class. It was about the time that I graduated high school, though, that I wanted to commit my thoughts to paper and show them to other people. I started work in the independent film industry, wanting to become a screenwriter. I had this really great idea for a movie called “The Coming Evil”, but couldn’t get anywhere with financing it, so I decided to adapt the script into a novel. It grew and grew and eventually, over ten years later, became my 2011 debut novel The Strange Man, the first part of The Coming Evil Trilogy. I still work on scripts—again, I’m a movie guy—but prose affords me so many more opportunities to go deeper into the lives and worlds of my characters and I love it. Crave it, actually. I’m hooked.

How many books have you written, and how many of them have been published?

Let’s see…I believe I’ve written seven novels. Five of them have been published so far.

What genre do you usually write?

Oh, I love monsters and scary stories. I love the horror genre.

What made you choose that genre?

It chose me! Horror speaks to me on such a basic and primal level. It’s a genre of empowerment, of facing your demons and living to tell the tale. It inspires me, it encourages me, it reminds me that I serve a big God who is able to carry me through any storm—be it house mortgages or a werewolf infestation🙂

Can you tell us a little about your latest book?

I’ve had two books released this year. February saw the release of Enemies of the Cross, Book Two in my “Christian Horror” epic The Coming Evil Trilogy, from Realms Fiction. It picks up right where the first one, The Strange Man, left off and chronicles the struggles of a small group of believers trying to combat an insidious devil making the moves on their quiet country town.

Most recently, however, Splashdown Darkwater released my latest novel Rift Jump in July! Here’s the plot breakdown:

The day Michael Morrison died is the day his life began.

 A sinister threat is growing in the void between realities, and Michael has been recruited to stop it. Ripped from his own violent life, he is sent rift jumping to other worlds seeking out the agents of the Dark and putting them to an end by any means necessary. The love of his life, Sara, joins him as he battles Civil War spaceships, sea serpents, superpowered humans, and even his own duplicate from a parallel timeline.

 But the darkness he fights is growing within him too, calling him to the same destiny as every other Michael from every other world. If he is to change his fate, he must learn to love, to forgive, to trust, and to let the man in the Stetson guide him to become the warrior of the Light he was always meant to be.

Rift Jump is a story that’s been with me since high school, so it’s a real treat to see it come to life.

 What one piece of advice would you give to a beginning writer?

I say it again and again: Be yourself. You can look around at all of your competition…er…peers, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to focus on telling the kinds of stories you want to tell. And tell them in your way. Listen to critique, especially from folks who have been around the block a few more times than you, but stay true to yourself and your personal vision, ideals, and goals.

What is your writing schedule like? Do you write only when inspired?

I only write when I’m inspired—which turns out to be quite a lot. But I am so not the guy who has to write every day or force myself to turn out 1000 words a day. Nothing stifles my creativity like a grueling schedule. Writing is so much hard mental work anyway—especially when piled on top of a family with young children and a full-time “regular” job, I find it works best for me to wait until I become so enamored with the process or the story before I sit down to write. I need that passion and fire to keep me going through the long hours and sleepless nights.

 Are you a plotter or a panster? Explain your writing process.

A little bit of both, really. I need to have a general idea of where I’m going. I need to have a final battle/epilogue in mind so I know what kind of emotional payoff I’m writing towards. But that’s really about it. If I plot things out to the letter, then I get bored with the story, ha ha. Writing is about discovery for me. In a lot of ways, I’m going on this adventure as well, right along with the Reader, so it’s got to hold my interest and have a lot of surprises in store for me. That’s how I know a story is really working: when I’m writing and a development comes out of left field but feels completely right. That’s a great feeling.

How did you get your first book published? How long did it take? Was this the first book you had written?

My actual first book published was a novelization of the film Time Changer. I was approached to do that, and it took about three years to finalize and publish it. But my first original work was The Strange Man. I started working on that in 1998/1999 and even self published it in 2006. But I continued to work on it, making it better and whatnot, and eventually got it picked up by Realms Fiction, a traditional publisher. They released the updated and much expanded edition of The Strange Man in 2011, then, earlier this year, released its sequel, Enemies of the Cross. So it took over a decade to see The Strange Man come to stores—and that’s with me constantly pushing it. I didn’t let it sit on a shelf for a couple of those years. I was always pitching it to publishers and had an agent for a short period of time and worked, worked, worked at making the book as good as I could make it. It was a lot of years and a lot of hard work, but totally worth it. I love the story. It’s my baby.

Why do you write?

It’s a chance to step outside of myself and go on a crazy adventure. I can travel to new worlds, battle bizarre creatures, and save the day. In the process, I learn so much about myself. Writing helps me to figure out what I think about things and why I think that way. It forces me to be honest with myself, it often brings me to my knees before a holy God, and it gives my life focus in a lot of ways.

Greg is offering one lucky reader an autographed paperback copy of his book! Enter to Win Rift Jump!

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To follow Greg’s adventures in writing, and get updates on his latest, check out his blog: The Coming Evil or check out Rift Jump at Amazon

4 comments on “Interview: Greg Mitchell

  1. Dona Watson
    July 9, 2012

    Great interview. It’s always nice to hear the story behind the sotry. Thanks to you both for that. Thanks for the chance to win!

  2. Kessie Carroll
    July 9, 2012

    I’m very curious about your book because I’m writing something similar (young people who travel to other worlds to keep evil from destroying Earth). Must get my hands on Rift Jump …

  3. pastorgeorgemcvey
    July 9, 2012

    All Your books sound like good buys and great reads. Loved seeing into your obviously full and twisted head.

  4. Greg Mitchell
    July 9, 2012

    Ha, thanks you guys. Good luck in the contest🙂

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This entry was posted on July 9, 2012 by in Author Interviews and tagged , , , , .

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