Guest Interview: Gregory Earls, author of "Empire of Light"

About Gregory Earls

When Gregory Earls isn’t eating at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles, he pays the bills by taking up space at 20th Century Fox in the Feature Post Production Department. He’s a proud graduate of Norfolk State University and the American Film Institute, where he studied cinematography. He’s an award-winning director who has amassed a reel of short films, music videos, and (yes) a wedding video or two. Steadfastly butchering the Italian language since 2002, he hopes to someday master the language just enough to inform his in-laws how much he loves their daughter, Stefania, who was born and raised in Milan, Italy. Gregory currently resides in Venice, California where he goes giddy every time he spots that dude who roller skates and plays the electric guitar at the same time. During football season, he can be found at the Stovepiper Lounge, a Cleveland Browns bar in the Valley where he roots for the greatest football team in the history of Cleveland.

Visit his website at

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Gregory Earls. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: Thanks so much for the invite! I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio, which I think it is one of the best towns on the planet. When I was a kid both the Mayor’s hair and the Cuyahoga River caught fire. Seriously, how is that not gold? I came out to Los Angeles to attend the American Film Institute as a Cinematography Fellow and never returned to the Snow Belt. 20th Century Fox has been paying my bills in one way or another since then. Hopefully, someday, they’ll wise up and produce one of my projects. I’ll drop by Tom Rothman’s office tomorrow and ask him, “what’s up?”

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: I like to think of Empire Of Light as a sort of a valentine to light. Light symbolizes knowledge and it gives us life, but it also has the energy to destroy us. Darkness leaves us full of anxiety and fear, yet in the dark that we also may find faith and love. The lighting in Caravaggio’s work captures all of this, and when Jason (the protagonist) taps into it he is immediately launched down the rabbit hole.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A: So much of the story was inspired by my real life, it’s really tough exposing myself to a mass audience, and my mother. Not to mention the fact that people actually believe that the purely fictional events that happened to Jason actually happened to me. You wouldn’t believe how many people have asked me if I actually had sex in a Louvre museum bathroom. I’m slow to disavow the incident and this doesn’t help matters.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it? 

A: My publisher had one put together and I took the computer it was created on and I threw it off a moving bus. We’re starting over from scratch and hope to have one up to my lofty Cleveland standards on-line soon.

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A: There was a church reading group back home that was thinking of adding it to their reading list, which actually could be apropos due to the Christ Figure theme. However, again, sex in the Louvre bathroom… This is not proper reading material for the good Deacon’s mother, methinks.

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one? 

A: I don’t have an agent yet, but I imagine it would be fantastic to have somebody beating the bushes for you. For now, it’s just me and my small press publisher, Simon & Fig, going into battle straight up guerrilla style.

Empire of LightQ: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A: If by “Media Blitz” you mean guest blogs and internet interviews, then the answer is hell yes. Why do Letterman and the Today Show when I can sit at home and answer questions while wearing my favorite Parliament/Funkadelic boxer-briefs? Now that I think of it, Letterman would probably be okay with this style of interview. I’ll have to re-visit his invitation.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: God willing, yes. I just want to stay creative, so if this all leads back to being behind the camera then I’m good with that, too.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Gregory. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: Absolutely! You can find Empire Of Light, in book and ebook versions, on both Barnes and Noble and Just search for the title and my last name, “Earls.” You can find me on Facebook at the following link… And you can always hit me up on my personal site…

Love, peace and Roscoe’s chicken grease.
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