Tag – I’m it.
Recently I was invited to participate in a blog hop, but didn’t manage to get the blog posted in time. ( I’d blame it on my wife/editor, except that she’s typing this right now and has decided she will accept no blame.) So, here it is…better late than never.
My current project in progress, UNDER WICKED SKY, is an apocalyptic siege story that has to do with a situation in which law and order has essentially begun to break down as global warming becomes a more serious problem. The main character is a veteran of the current middle eastern conflicts, a drifter who just wants to get out of the sun until dark so he crashes a bed and breakfast that has been outfitted with cutting edge comfort technology, thus making it a valuable commodity to certain outside interests, as it were.
My vampire novel THE CRIMSON CALLING is about a tough ex-military chick who is recruited by a cabal of vampires for a coming war with a separate faction which seeks to subjugate mankind. It’s in late drafts and editing with Hobbes End now, with CC being the first of a series that will span several historic eras. We really hope to have that out by October.
Third is THE OUTSIDE MAN, a web series which follows the current Hong Kong trend of martial arts opuses with heavily dramatic elements. It will be shooting in my hometown of Asheville North Carolina with all local cast and crew. We’re aiming for intense fight scenes and emotionally involving characters.
Finally, an illustrated novella titled PIECES OF MIRACLE is in the works. Text is done, and the illustrator, Audrey Lynn Brennan, is finishing the illustrations–that is, when she’s not taking care of her beautiful newborn! It’s a disturbing, E.C. Comics-esque tale of an unsolved crime, a girl on the cusp of adulthood with very special abilities, and a nightmarish creature.
All art is the result of its creator’s experiences as filtered through their personalities, and in general, my experiences are unique to me. For me, magic is very real, though I don’t view it in a traditional sense. It’s an elusive, complex and fickle element, over which mankind has long since lost any real control or understanding. When I say magic, I mean the mysterious, the spiritual, the unexplained, The Unknowable. Therefore, even when I’m writing something very much grounded in the rock-solid reality upon which we all more or less agree, there is still a deep underlying sense of magic–which is madness, which is truth.
3. Why Do I Write What I Do?
I’m really struggling with this question, if mostly because the most honest answer has become cliche’. I love horror and that’s my main fixation obviously, but I try to do more than that, in terms of both genre and the confines of horror itself. So the answer is that I write horror because it seems very real to me, very immediate and very intimate because its characters are living (or dying, or killing) in a heightened state of awareness, which is what fear boils down to, after all. Paradoxically, our attempts to present something “real” -gritty dramas or TV reality shows- seem false, forced, even pointless at times. If we are not trying to peer past the veil then what are we trying to accomplish?
The idea or concept usually comes at some inopportune time, drawing my mind away from more mundane but unavoidable matters, then I have to force myself to remember just its most basic elements, bare bones plot and whatever has formed in regards to the main character, until I can get somewhere and write down or email myself the concept. It might languish there for months or years. especially during a period like now when I’m busy finishing other projects.
As for getting down to business, it’s not really an interesting process. I have a night job that allows me a lot of free time so I sit down, turn on some music, and write every night for a few hours. The music can be anything from metal -anybody who knows me will tell you I’m a devout metalhead- to dark ambient or horror soundtracks. The fact that I’m writing at night is helpful; I can always step out and get a little taste of the dark.
Some dark serendipity plopped a young Patrick C. Greene in front of a series of ever stranger films-and experiences-in his formative years, leading to a unique viewpoint. His odd interests have led to pursuits in film acting, paranormal investigation, martial arts, quantum physics, bizarre folklore and eastern philosophy. These elements flavor his screenplays and fiction works, often leading to strange and unexpected detours designed to keep viewers and readers on their toes.
Literary influences range from Poe to Clive Barker to John Keel to a certain best selling Bangorian. Suspense, irony, and outrageously surreal circumstances test the characters who populate his work, taking them and the reader on a grandly bizarre journey into the furthest realms of darkness. The uneasy notion that reality itself is not only relative but indeed elastic- is the hallmark of Greene’s writing.
Living in the rural periphery of Asheville North Carolina with his wife, youngest son and an ever-growing army of cats, Greene still enjoys acting and fight choreography, and trains in martial arts when he’s not giving birth to demons via his pen and keyboard.
In addition to his novel PROGENY, and the short story collection DARK DESTINIES, Greene has several FILM projects in the works, and just finished writing his second novel – THE CRIMSON CALLING -the first in the action-adventure vampire trilogy, The Sanguinarian Council.
Allison M. Dickson, best-selling author of the new horror novel STRINGS, is here to chat with us today. Welcome Allison!
GUEST BLOG from Allison M. Dickson
This post coincides with the stare of National Novel Writing Month, the annual November marathon of creative abandon that will result (hopefully, for many) in a completed work of long fiction. I have done this every year since 2008, except I changed things up a little last year. In early October, I had this little book in mind called STRINGS, which was an extension of my short story “The Good Girls.” It was burning so hot in my brain and begging to be written that I decided I couldn’t wait for NaNoWriMo, so I was going to do TWO NaNoWriMos that year instead. Yes, that meant writing STRINGS in October and then start another book in November. MADNESS, I tell you! Especially for someone who is only moderately prolific. If I finish two books a year, I’m doing great for myself.
Well… it didn’t quite work out like I’d hoped. Writing STRINGS was a very dark and challenging thing. It was an obsession. It made me bleed. I had managed to write something like 65,000 words (13,000 additional words were comprised of the short story that I’d started with) in 26 days, and by the time I finished that first draft, I felt like I’d run a double marathon across a bed of hot coals. I didn’t have it in me to start anything again for a while after that, and to be honest it’s been a challenge to get another novel finished ever since then!
Now here I am about to do it again. I am diving back into the world of STRINGS, only this time I’m doing it properly and starting November 1st. I figure maybe my problems getting another book finished revolve around my need to delve back into this world. It’s a bit obsessive. It’s like touching a live wire but being titillated by the shock. Maybe just maybe I’ll have most of a completed first draft of THE MOON GONE DARK by November 30th. I’m very much looking forward to getting started on it. With the current buzz surrounding the book, and with the memory of my most recent STRINGS edit still fresh in my head, the energy just feels right. And I have many lofty ideas in my mind for how I want things to go for the current characters, as well as some new players I want to introduce. I want this story to be bigger than the original. Much bigger. Which is probably why I don’t anticipate finishing it IN November, but we’ll see what happens. If it’s anything at all like the first experience was, it will sink in its teeth like a crocodile and whip me back and forth until its had its fill, leaving me a busted up heap. I’ll likely be sleeping with my face in gravy on Thanksgiving. But that’s well worth it if it makes people react the way they seem to be reacting right now to the first book.
Even though I don’t foresee this being quite as visceral as STRINGS, I promise not to pull any punches. To get into the mood, I’m going to embrace the cloudy and rainy late fall weather we’ve been having lately. I’m going to be listening to a lot of dark and moody music and watching some gritty movies. I may even pick up HAUNTED by Chuck Palahniuk for a little more depraved literary inspiration. Either way, a shadow is getting ready to fall across my heart again. I’ll see you all again in the light on the other side.
Bio: Allison M. Dickson lives in Dayton, Ohio with her husband and two kids, and she has been writing since she could hold pencil to paper. It’s only in recent years that she started treating the craft as a career. After earning a few small publishing credits, she started selling her short stories online, where she gained a decent following with short stories, including her bestselling titles “Dust” and “Vermin.” She soon caught the attention of author and visionary Vincent Hobbes, and her relationship with Hobbes End Publishing solidified with her two contributions to the second volume of The Endlands, and finally with the publication of her visceral thriller novel, STRINGS, in October of 2013. Additionally, Hobbes End will be releasing her dystopian science-fiction epic, THE LAST SUPPER, in spring of 2014. When she isn’t writing, she can be found every Thursday on the podcast Creative Commoners, a show she co-hosts with her partners in crime, Chris Armstrong and Corey Bishop.