The Writing Life with Horror Author Patrick C. Greene

With the success of his first novel PROGENY from Hobbes End Publishing, Patrick C. Greene became known for a brand of horror as emotional as it is terrifying, as engaging as it is suspenseful. Living at night, deep in the mountains of Western North Carolina with his wife and two sons, Greene expresses his morbid interests via painting and illustration when not writing. In addition to his novels Progeny and The Crimson Calling, the short story collection Dark Destinies, and multiple appearances in both The Endlands and Wrapped anthology series, Greene is currently hard at work on what he hopes to be a perennial Halloween favorite called The Death of October. Follow the author on Facebook

Welcome to The Writer's Life eMagazine, Patrick! Tell us, what’s inside the mind of a horror author?

In my case, there’s a bunch of puzzle pieces for present, future, and even past stories, lots of metal earworms, meal planning, envy, guilt over my envy, pride for having guilt over my envy, and guilt for the pride.

What is so great about being an author?

I have a great source of therapy and people think I’m smart.

When do you hate it?

When I see reality TV stars peaking the bestseller lists with their ghostwritten, third-grade reading level, heavily embellished, self-aggrandizing “biographies” while I’m just looking to achieve fifty reviews on amazon.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

First is coffee and a brunchish type meal, then a coupla hours at the gym to get the blood flowing, then onto the actual writing, which is done at my night job, by the way, between various tasks.

Do you think authors have big egos? Do you?

I’ve heard of egotistical authors but most I’ve met have been kind and compassionate to the extreme. Come to think of it, I think authors, or artists of any kind and their patrons, are on average more empathetic and introspective than normies. I do have moments of rather extreme self-satisfaction but then, those are more than matched by extended, tortured spells of doubt and nearly nihilistic existentialism.

How do you handle negative reviews?

I try to learn from them, if there’s anything instructive to be gleaned. In some cases, the reader is just not going to connect with your story or your aesthetic no matter what. I can dismiss them rather easily. I know there are far too many variables for a negative review to be taken as purely personal.

How do you handle positive reviews?

Well of course, those are from only the most discerning and intellectually advanced of readers, so I embrace them like a beloved pet, or in some cases a lifesaving flotation device.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

The question of genre immediately arises, then the traditional tiptoeing around the topic of earnings and method of publication, followed by extended reflection from the questioner regarding their favorite books, or their own potential dabblings in the field, had they but the time. Honestly, I’m not that comfortable talking about myself, especially when it comes to my writing, so I welcome having the conversation steered back toward the asker. It’s research of a kind, after all, for a potential character or conversation to be worked into my work.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

It depends. I have found myself thinking I will just jot down a few lines to fend off self-loathing and I actually wind up churning out something that makes me very happy. If I have just finished a draft, yeah, I’ll leave it alone for a day or two. There is always something that “needs” to be written, whether it’s a short story I backburnered in favor of the latest novel or a blog entry. Not a lot of inspiration is required for a blog entry and, you know, what the hell else am I gonna do?

Any writing quirks?

I like to have some music on. Movie soundtracks or hard rock, generally.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

Well, that has happened, still happens, and will happen. I actually tend to hide the fact that I’m a writer in most settings because I’m afraid of coming off as pretentious, or, you know, insane.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

The love part yeah. As a prose writer I’ve never been to the hate end of the spectrum, but with screenwriting, yeah plenty of times. There was frustration, even despair, but the idea of just setting down the pen so to speak, never to raise it again for purposes of creating a story doesn’t even seem possible.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

I used to, but after having seen the meaning or even just the fun diversion that my writing has brought to some readers I have since re-thought that. I feel like I’ve been very lucky in a lot of respects, and I’m not sure that’s the same thing as success. Besides, all the clichés about success now appear to be true with a few years of observation and struggle behind me. I could probably be making decent money writing copy or news but that would feel like work I think.

What has writing taught you?

Lots of patience, not just with my projects but with family and life. Also, I’ve learned that there are all kinds of thoughts, feelings and…beings living in us, more than we could possibly comprehend.

Leave us with some words of wisdom.

If you can’t cross the road with the big dogs, then don’t try to swim with eagles where kings fear to tread.


Genre: Action/horror
Author: Patrick C Greene
Publisher: Hobbes End

Check out THE CRIMSON CALLING on Amazon!

About the Book: Centuries after their eradication and the death of their Queen in the Great Fire of London in 1666, the Vampire population now numbers in only the hundreds. A few of the remaining survivors regrouped and a High Council was born. Now a new threat has arrived: modern day military is not only tracking members of the council, they are attempting to create their own vampire soldiers. Enter Olivia Irons. Ex Black Ops. Doing her best to live a normal civilian life, but it never feels right. No family, no friends, and trouble always seems to follow. When the Sanguinarian Council offers her the chance of a lifetime, the biggest risk of all seems like the only path left to choose. How will she answer The Crimson Calling?

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