GREG: My bio is long and frightening. Here it is in a nutshell. I grew up in Baltimore in a very literate family that encouraged me to read from an early age. Once I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan all I wanted was a guitar. I became a musician and spent the next 30 years chasing the dream. I had some hit records in the 80's and toured the world. When the hits dried up, I started writing novels, eventually publishing 4, with 2 more on the way. I got into broadcasting around the same time and I currently do the morning show on KFOX in San Jose, CA. In addition to my novel writing, I am also editing an anthology of short stories by rock stars for Avalon Press. Due in the spring, it will contain some amazing fiction by people like Joan Jett, DeeDee Ramone, Graham Parker, Kinky Friedman, Robyn Hitchcock, Ray Manzarek, John Shirley, Suzzy Roche, among others.
Q: What is the most appealing thing about horror fiction for you?
GREG: I love horror fiction and I always have. Imagination is why. I love inventive fiction that challenges the gray matter. I love getting lost in a book.
Q: Explain your connection with music and horror fiction-some of your music videos in the 80's had some horror images in there-and with the release of your book HORROR SHOW you simultaneously released a CD by the same title.
GREG: I've been trying to wed music and horror fiction for some time with varying results. Horror Show was not my first attempt. The video for Jeopardy was loosely based on Night Of The Living Dead. Both my marriages were something out of Edgar Allan Poe.
Q: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what in particular do you listen to?
GREG: I usually don't listen to anything while I write because I find it distracting. I like to go off into my own little world, and music just doesn't work for me in that context. I can't listen to music without LISTENING to it. I don't hold with ambient or background music, because my brain goes right to it and devours it. I can't be a casual listener, I guess I'm just too passionate.
Q: Some writers say that what they write doesn't have much to do with themselves-others say that their writing is very much influenced by their own experiences. How is this with you?
GREG: I'd have to say that writing is such a personal thing for me that it's impossible to divorce myself from the thing I'm writing. Writing is sacred, like playing the guitar, and it has to be as focused as you can make it. Write what you know, they say.
Q: Tell us about each of your books and what inspired them…(Horror Show, Shade of Pale, Big Rock Beat, Mojo Hand)
GREG: Horror Show was inspired by my love of B movies. I'm an old Creature Features nut and I love the old stuff. I had just read Nightmare of Estacy, the Ed Wood bio, and it got me thinking...
Shade of Pale was inspired by the myth of the Banshee. I researched it and found very little. So, like Bram Stoker, I made up my own mythos. I tried to pattern Shade of Pale after the classic horror novel. I had my own Van Helsig, Renfield, et al.
Big Rock Beat wrote itself. I am a child of the 60's and I lived large chunks of that book. I wanted to retain the flavor of the times, the music, the dope, the chicks, the scene- it was all so magical.
Mojo Hand was inspired by the music and legend of Robert Johnson. I got the idea after staring at the RJ's death certificate. There was no doctor, no funeral, no burial, nothing. My mind started filling in the blanks and before I knew it, it was a novel.
Q: What is the weirdest true life thing that happened to you that if you wrote it down would read like fiction?
GREG: Weirdest true life thing? In my upcoming novel "One Arm Tan," there's a chapter called "Taking The Lion Piss To Underpants Mountain" which is based on a real event. I had some buddies who grew pot up in Humbolt, and they used Lion piss to keep the critters away from the plants. It worked, too. Man, did it work. But the urine was a bit strong and had to used sparingly. It was also expensive. $100 per liter. They bought it from a guy at the zoo.
Q: Who is YOUR favorite horror author?
GREG: My favorite horror authors are Bentley Little, Stephen King, Dan Simmons, and Robert McCammon. Bentley is my current fave- you gotta read The Walking, it's great.
Q: Which of your books would you be most eager to see turned into a movie?
GREG: I've already written the script for Horror Show. All I need now is a couple of million bucks to shoot it. By the way, I've written several scripts of movies I'd like to make in the near future and I'm sniffing around Silicon Valley to try to raise some dough. I know nothing about it, so my chances of success are greatly enhanced.
Q: Anything you want to add?
GREG: In General, when people ask me what my life's work is, I tell them that I'm an expert on doing impossible shit. What are the odds of having a hit record? Or several hits? Or doing a morning radio show? Or getting a novel published? Or making a movie? The message? Screw the odds. Anything is possible. Karma and desire are powerful bedmates.