Monday, September 10, 2012

Interview with Griffin Hayes

I heard once that adrenaline junkies are more likely to be into horror and gore than the average, saner person. Whereas my love of jumping out of planes and dangling off cliffs attached by rope and gear of dubious quality may have waned, my love of all things horror certainly has not. That is why it is my absolute pleasure today to introduce a brilliant writer with the ability to put that uncomfortable chill back up my spine.
Griffin Hayes spent most of his adolescence either watching grainy reruns of The Twilight Zone or rereading worn-out copies of Raymond Chandler novels. His taste for the unsettling and the inexplicable eventually found outlet in his short stories; four of which have been published to date: The Grip, The Second Coming, Bird Of Prey and Last Call. His first novel, Malice along with his other work is currently available on Amazon. When not talking about himself in the third person, Hayes can usually be found in front of a keyboard, working furiously to finish his next novel.
Books to date: Malice, Dark Passage, Hive, Hive II, Night Terror, Bird of Prey
Michelle: Welcome Griffin!  Great to have you with us today.  Tell me a little bit about your latest book?

Griffin: My latest novel is called Dark Passage and it’s about a guy named Tyson Barrett whose abusive childhood causes him to have severe nightmares.  He barely sleeps anymore and it’s taken a serious toll on his life. At the end of his rope, he joins an underground clinical trial to finally put a stop to it all, but instead the drug ends up releasing those nightmares into the waking world.
M: When and why did you begin writing?

G: After university. I studied History and my first clue that I wanted to be a writer was the joy I experienced editing my term papers. Hmm, I think I just outed myself as a geek.
M:  Welcome to the club! Do you write in the same genre you like to read?

G: Mostly, but I like to read and write widely. I have at least two series planned that will be published under a pen name.
M: Do you have a writing schedule?

G: I try. I’m usually up at 6-7am and make a list of the things I’d like to accomplish for the day. The act of scratching items off that list is such a nice feeling.
M: Do you plan your work or just go with it and start with the initial idea?

G: Depends on the project. I used to do very little planning, but for me that usually meant spending far more time on the back end fixing up all those plot holes. Lately, I’ve started trying to outline more.
M: What inspires you to write?  Where do you find your influences?

G: Well, besides books. Film, newspaper articles, everyday life. It’s really all about the what if questions. I’ve been asking a million of them since I’ve been a child. I guess after annoying the heck out of the adults around me for years, I’ve finally found a positive outlet for my insatiable curiosity.
M: Are there any downsides to being a writer?

G: My background was initially in acting, which is a very team or group oriented activity. Writing is generally at the other end of the spectrum. You work alone and if you finish your day and you’ve just nailed a fantastic scene, there isn’t really anyone you can tell who’ll be able to fully appreciate the feeling. I once heard being an author compared to sailing a bathtub across the Atlantic and the analogy is very apt.
M: How do you come up with your characters?

G: My characters are usually composites of people I know or have met, although the names are always changed to protect the innocent and prevent lawsuits.
M: Are the names of your characters important?

G: Generally not so much. I don’t usually go for symbolism with names (John Carter aka Jesus Christ). For Malice however, I broke that rule. Lysander’s name was inspired by Cassandra, the figure from ancient Greek mythology who was blessed with the gift of prophecy, but cursed to never be believed.
M: If there was one thing you could have learnt about being a writer before you started, what would it be?

G: That I’d have homework every day for the rest of my life. And also, I think it’s all so much harder to do well than most of us realize.
M: Do you have any advice for other writers?
G: A)    Don’t worry about promoting your masterpiece until readers have at least two more books from you to choose from.
      B)    In many ways, editing is more important than writing. If writers are serious about making this a career you need to edit until your eyes bleed, send your book to beta readers and when all that’s done, hire a professional editor.

M: How tough was it to find a publisher/agent/decision to self publish?
G: Back in 2007/08 I had an agent and a publisher after searching and querying for years. Things were looking good and then the economy took a nose dive and my little book was suddenly an orphan... again. To be honest, my biggest fear about self-publishing was that I didn’t want one of those homemade looking covers I’d seen on so many indie books. Obviously things have changed drastically even over the last year or so and authors can get a great cover for $100 or less. Even from the start my goal has always been to get readers, not awards.

Thanks for joining us today and speaking about your work Griffin.  As somebody who has already read Malice, and is over half way through Dark Passage, I can certainly say that I'll be keeping an eye out for your future work. 
Where to find Griffin Hayes

Twitter: @griffin_hayes


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