Name: Amy Grech
Where are you from: I was born in Huntington, LI; I’ve lived in Brooklyn for the last 20 years and love urban life!
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc.
I have a BA in Creative Writing/English from Ithaca College; several college courses of note included: The Literature of Horror and Writing Science Fiction. I immersed myself in the works of H.P. Lovecraft; we share a Birthday, August 20th! Different centuries…
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
New Pulp Press recently published my book of crime stories set in New York City, Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City. Several of my short stories have also appeared in the anthologies Detectives of the Fantastic, Volume II, Hell’s Grannies: Kickass Tales of the Crone and Fright Mare.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in junior high, after an Aunt of mine introduced me to Stephen King’s novels. Cujo was the first one I read and I’ve been hooked ever since!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I considered myself a writer from the get-go, but my friends and family didn’t agree until I sold my first story to 14850 Magazine at the tender age of nineteen!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I think my muse was my biggest inspiration! I wrote my first novel, The Art of Deception, way back in the year 2000. The book takes place in NYC at the World Trade Center Twin Towers, where the main character, a ruthless Stockbroker named Russell Silverburg works. After the towers fell, it became a historical novel…
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m a Hemingway girl! My prose tends to be very concise with crisp dialogue that keeps my readers engaged, eager to find out what happens next…
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City sums up the lead novella from my most recent book of crime stories to a tee. It’s set in Alphabet City, a gritty neighborhood located near the Lower East Side of New York City. And without giving too much away, let me just say there’s rage and redemption amongst the characters…
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It’s a good idea to tread lightly when meeting a stranger in a bar. Never let lust trump logic. Always trust your instincts—if someone makes you uneasy, find a non-confrontational way to remove yourself from the situation, before someone gets hurt…
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Virtually all of the stories in the book are set in real NYC locales: Alphabet City, Central Park, Hell’s Kitchen, the Upper East Side, all neighborhoods I’ve frequented over the years…
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I actually have a fraternal twin brother, but I wanted to play with the idea of having identical twins trade places in “Prevention”. The character Jack Masoch in “Cold Comfort” was modeled after an ex-boyfriend I had in college. He was my first serious boyfriend, so I our relationship was intense—ah, young love—I was devastated when he broke up with me, so I wrote about the traumatic experience to help me heal.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
When I first started writing, rejections didn’t discourage me, especially since I started getting personal responses from Editors early on; their encouragement motivated me find my unique voice and hone my craft, creating complex characters capable of anything.
When I turned 13, reading Stephen King’s novels inspired me to become a writer.
Other influences include: Franz Kafka, H. P. Lovecraft, Joyce Carol Oates, Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, and Alice Sebold.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. His prose is extremely captivating and his characters are very quirky…Highly recommended!
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Nicole Cushing is an amazing author—I really enjoyed her first novel, Mr. Suicide, it’s jam-packed with complex characters. Ed Kurtz is a talented writer of noir.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on a crime story that takes place in my neighborhood, Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, inspired by actual events…
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I’ve been a Member of the Horror Writers Association for 21 years now. It’s a great organization! There’s an NYC Chapter that meets once a week and plans events like readings at local venues, a booth at ComicCon…I’ve met several well-known Authors and Editors at various conventions over the years: Linda Addison, Ellen Datlow, Harlan Ellison, Jack Ketchum, Ed Lee, Jonathan Maberry, John Skipp, just to name a few!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
While I get paid handsomely for my stories, it’s not a full-time career, yet, but I do take my writing seriously!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would have tried to streamline the editing process more with my publisher—it seemed to drag on for months…
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I started reading at the age of three and have always had an overactive imagination, so I suppose the combination of the two set me on the path to becoming a writer!
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
You can read an excerpt from Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City here:
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Stephen King is definitely my favorite author. His characters are so lifelike it’s easy to love/hate them.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I’ve attended conventions as far away as Las Vegas. I tend to say local for readings and signings in Connecticut, Long Island, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My publisher, New Pulp Press hired a freelance Graphic Designer to create the cover.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I found it hard to stick to my publisher’s designated word counts; some of my stories were too short and while I enjoyed fleshing them out, I would up stretching the final novella in the book; as a result, it would up feeling padded…
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that I need to set aside more time to write and re-write my work when there’s a publication deadline looming!
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write every day. When I worked full-time, I’d carry a little notebook with my and jot down story ideas on my way to and from work on the subway. Read, read, read! Immerse yourself in award-winning books, so you know what works; also read books panned by critics, so you know what not to do!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks for your continued support!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I believe it was Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I was enthralled by the fantastical world full of wild things the main character, Max dreamed up!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
A good joke is sure to make me laugh! I haven’t had a good cry since my father passed away over 5 years ago…
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I’d have to say Stephen King! I’d love to chat with him about writing, life and general and tell him he inspired me to become a writer, as if he hasn’t heard that a million times before!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Fortune favors the brave…It’s my credo…
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
People-watching in NYC is a huge pastime—I get inspiration for characters…I love to read! I also enjoy spending time with family and friends going out for dinner/drinks, attending concerts, etc.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m a huge fan of American Horror Story, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Fargo, The Simpsons, and The Walking Dead; I love all of David Lynch’s films—they’re so eclectic!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love Sushi! Purple is my favorite color! I enjoy virtually all music, with the exception of country…
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Funny you should ask! In addition to being a writer, I’m also a full-time freelance digital content strategist! I do everything from write blog posts, edit and write website content, create enewsletters, retouch and watermark photos via Photoshop, create social media campaigns, and manage organic SEO. You can view my portfolio here:
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Here’s my blog: http://amygrech.livejournal.com/.
Also my website: http://www.crimsonscreams.com/.
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0692535500
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692535500