Saturday, October 19, 2013

Interview and Giveaway with Shane Gregory, author of The King of Clayfield series

Today we have another fabulous Permuted Press author stopping by! I'm extremely excited to welcome author Shane Gregory to Bookish, as part of our Spook-tastic Halloween event! Shane is here to talk about his zombie-apocalyptic series, The King of Clayfield, and share with us his favorite Halloween-y reads and spooky stories!

This is yet another awesome series from Permuted Press that I can't wait to read - I mean, come on, we're talking zombie apocalypse here! How could I say no to that?! Super excited for it! 

I also have the pleasure of hosting a giveaway of one of Shane's exciting books in the The King of Clayfield series (your choice which one!), so be sure to scroll all the way down and enter! :) And great news - it's INTERNATIONAL! 

How would you describe The King of Clayfield series to those who haven't heard of it yet?

It’s a zombie apocalypse story that focuses on the interaction of the survivors in a small town and how they change over a period of eight months because of the crisis.

What were the challenges in bringing this story to life? Did you have to do any research for your book?

I didn’t find it too challenging. I wrote what I knew. The town is based on my hometown, and some of the characters are loosely based on real people in that town. I did my best to write the main characters as realistically as possible. There are no badass ex-military heroes in my story. Most of my characters are unprepared and have to learn as they go. When a situation would pop up in the story, I would ask myself “how would a real person really act here?”
I live on several acres in rural Kentucky, so other things in the story, like guns and chickens and gardening, are a part of my daily life. 

What are some of your literary inspirations? Favorite books/authors?

I’m primarily a science fiction guy, but I have a broad palate. To quote Stephen King, “I am an equal opportunity reader.” I love spaceship stories and time travel stories. I love Star Trek. My favorite authors are Robert Heinlein, Larry Niven, and Ursula K. LeGuin, but I also enjoy Mark Twain, Flannery O’Connor, and John Updike. It might be surprising, but I rarely read horror, and I read more nonfiction than fiction.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The underlying theme of Fire Birds and of the whole The King of Clayfield series is how a prolonged crisis changes a person. The main character of the Clayfield books starts out as a soft, clueless wimp. He’s a decent, normal enough guy, but being put in this extraordinary situation affects and transforms him. By the time we reach the third book, Fire Birds, eight months later, he is a hardened killer trying to hold on to those shreds of decency.

What is your favorite paranormal creature and why?

Bigfoot. I think there is a good chance the real thing is out there.

Halloween is almost upon us. To me that means horror movie nights with popcorn, tricks and (hopefully) stacks of yummy treats, and, perhaps most of all, the chance to scare someone and experience the thrill of being scared myself. What does Halloween mean to you?

My family really didn’t celebrate Halloween when I was a kid. I can remember going trick-or-treating a couple of times and visiting a haunted house once, but that stopped when I was around seven or eight years old. I have young kids now, and it is fun for me to see them excited about choosing costumes and getting candy. I guess I like it more for them than for me.

Do you have any real-life spooky stories to share with us? Any supernatural experiences or blood-chilling encounters?

I have had some supernatural experiences that I believe were ghosts and/or shadow people. When I remember them, they freak me out a little, but when I actually experienced them, I felt no fear, only curiosity. One of those experiences was inspiration for my next book.

What are some of your favorite scary stories? Any favorite horror or thriller books/authors?

I have read most of Stephen King’s work. I have also read several zombie and apocalyptic books. I enjoyed most of them, but for me, nothing can compare to those stories based on real events. I think The Mothman Prophecies by John Keel was one of the scariest books I’ve read. An Authenticated History of the Bell Witch by Martin Van Buren Ingram written in 1894 was scary to me too. I also found the story of the Kelley-Hopkinsville Alien Encounter to be frightening.

What's the scariest / most memorable horror movie you ever saw?

I find the supernatural more frightening in movies than the serial killer/slasher stuff. I thought Paranormal Activity had some scary moments; but for the scariest, I’m going to go with The Changeling starring George C. Scott. I saw that movie when I was a kid, and it still ranks as number one with me. The most memorable was The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price.

Fill in the blanks:
1)    If I was magically transported back in time to the Dark Ages, I'd...
Take lots of pictures.
2)    I'm a pro at...
Making wine that tastes bad.
3) I'm addicted to...
Love….and garlic…and homemade wine that tastes bad.
4) I'm scared of...
Ghosts....oh and public speaking
5) The last book I faked reading was...
 The Silmarillion

Last question: I'm super curious and I'm sure your fans are all wondering about it too: are you working on a new book now? If so, when can we expect it? Can you share some juicy details to keep our appetites going?

Yes! I am working on a new book about time travel, alternate realities, and creatures that eat people. I hope to have it ready by early 2014.

Fire Birds by Shane Gregory

In the small town of Clayfield, Kentucky, an unsuspecting and unprepared museum curator finds himself in the middle of hell on Earth. A pandemic is quickly spreading around the globe, and in less than a day has turned most of the residents of Clayfield into murderous zombies. Having no safe haven to which he can flee, he decides to stick it out in his hometown. However, zombies are not his only concern. He must also contend with other survivors, his lack of skills, and his own conscience.

If he is smart, and a little lucky, he can do more than survive; he can live like a king. *(synopsis for book #1, as the one for book #3 is not available yet)

2 x book of choice from The King of Clayfield series [#1, #2 or #3] (thank you, Permuted Press!)
RUNS TILL: October 31st
OPEN TO: Everyone - it's an International giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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