Thursday, February 17, 2011

Interview with dark fiction writer Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Dark fiction writer Kathryn Meyer Griffith is our guest today. So glad to have you, Kathryn, especially with two recent releases.

Let's hop right in with a bit of a bio for the readers.
Sure! I've been writing for over 40 years now...published for 27. I have 14 novels and 7 short stories to my name...and more coming. I write traditional supernatural horror, suspense, murder mysteries and paranormal romance. I've been writing about ghosts, haunted places, and evil vampires long before Stephanie Meyer (no relation to me even though my maiden name is Meyer) and the rest of the vampire author crowd, ha, ha. By the end of 2012, all seven of my older Zebra and Leisure paperbacks are going to be repackaged, reprinted and, rereleased and in e-books for the first time. Yippie! So look for them.

I'm a wife of 32 years, mother, and grandmother. I was a graphic designer in the corporate world for 23 years. I've published with Dorchester, Kensington, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books, and Eternal Press. I love cats and nature, classic rock and country music (my brother, JS Meyer, is a singer/songwriter and does the songs for all my self-made book trailers that are on my websites).

Please tell us about your current release.
The Nameless One is an erotic horror short story from Damnation Books out on February 1. In actuality, it’s a rerelease (rewritten, new cover, and in e-book for the first time ever) of a 1993 erotic horror short story that was in an anthology called Dark Seductions. It’s about husband and wife Egyptologists who search for and unearth an ancient forgotten and cursed tomb in Egypt…and what happens when the evil entity that has been imprisoned in it for many millennia is released. It’s basically a woman empowerment and revenge story fueled by love. I usually don’t write erotic stories. This is only my second one in my whole career as usually I write pretty much PG or PG13 stories. It’s an experiment. We’ll see how it does.

What inspired you to write this story?
I’ve always loved (been obsessed with really) ancient Egypt, its myths, its history, and its people since I was a child. Like most children, Mummies, tombs and the glitter of the ancient pharaohs’ lives intrigued me; all the horror movies that were set in that time. I even recall doing history reports on ancient Egypt in grade school.

When my Zebra editor asked me (in 1993) to do an erotic short story for their anthology Dark Seductions I said yes and knew immediately I’d write about an ancient evil Egyptian sorceress that seduces men to their death. I’d just finished writing my 1993 Zebra horror novel The Calling on a somewhat similar theme and had spent endless hours in the library (that was before the Internet, PCs, e-mail manuscript attachments and editing, etc.) doing the research and thought: Hey, I can use the same research and get some more miles out of it. So The Nameless One was born. But where The Calling is about an ancient Egyptian ghost seeking justice for a horrific crime done to her and her family, The Nameless One is about a present day woman seeking revenge on an evil ancient Egyptian entity. By the way, The Calling is also being rereleased from Damnation Books in October 2011…rewritten and also in e-book for the first time.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Right now and pretty much for the next year, I’ll be working on the seven rewrites of my older Zebra and Leisure Books paperbacks, and one short story that Eternal Press and Damnation Books are bringing out again in print and e-books between June 2010 and July 2012.

Since I originally wrote these books on a typewriter, as I worked full time and raised a family, and because of my inexperience as a writer in those early days, some of these novels really need a lot of rewriting. Good thing is that if I can now see the problems in the writing, in POV, plots, and character motivations, it tells me that I must have learned something in these last 27 years. In some ways, it’s been great to see my babies reborn again but in others I’ll be glad when I get them all done and can go on to new books. I struggle so as not to let my imagination begin a new story in my head. Not until I get these old books done and out, I tell myself. Ha, ha.

I’ve been thinking, though, when I’m finished with these old books about writing a book on my family; of growing up poor in a Walton-style family (I had six brothers and sisters) through the 1950s, 60s, and into the present. Sort of like my life story. Fiction, but based on all I’ve lived though and seen. Sheesh…see I can’t stop thinking of new stuff.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It’s going to sound silly, but it hasn’t been until the last few years, with 14 novels and 7 short stories to my name that I’ve been able to actually call myself a writer without cringing or feeling like a fake. Something about 40 years writing, all the ups and downs of my career, the longevity of it all, never giving up when I’ve been knocked down again and again, has made me finally feel like a true writer. I’ve given up most of my life, my time, my love, into my novels and finally feel I’ve earned the title.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Now I write full time. I worked 23 years full time out of the house as a graphic artist in the corporate world and about 10 years ago (after having 10 books published) my husband got a good job and let me quit mine so I could write full time, saying it was now his turn to support me. I write Monday through Friday from about 10AM to 5PM usually. If I’m not doing promotions on the web. It’s been heaven, though I don’t make much money, I’m finally doing what I love best all day, every day.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I write on a laptop in my living room with the television on low all the time so I won’t get lonely. Have to have my special chocolate coffee and my feet up on my recliner.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An artist. I started drawing pictures at nine years old. I could reproduce anything perfectly. Then for a while in my teens and early twenties I wanted to sing out with my brother, Jim, and I did for a time. I’ve always thought of my writing as my butterfly stage …first the art, then the singing and then the writing. In my books, you see, I get to be anything I want. I control every character and thought.

In my 2010 Before the End: A Time of Demons my main character, Cassandra, does sing out with her singer/songwriter brother, Johnnie, for a living. In a lot of my books, the main character’s an artist. So I have the best of all worlds.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Other than the two new novels and the seven old rereleases I have coming out from Damnation Books and Eternal Press in the next eighteen months, I also have an erotic contemporary short story romance that came out from Whispers Publishing on January 7. It’s not horror, but a straight romance. Not too erotic, but a good love story called Always & Forever.

My Web sites: (to see all my book trailers with original music by my singer/songwriter brother JS Meyer))

Thank you, Lisa, for having me here! It’s been fun. Warmly, Kathryn Meyer Griffith


Margaret West said...

wow, so many novels. I'm impressed.
Loved reading about you. Good luck with your books.

Nora Weston said...

Hi! I'm so glad to hear your books are becoming e-books! That's exciting for you, I'm sure. :)

Your interview was very interesting. "The Nameless One" sounds especially good to me!

Donna L Bolk said...

What an interesting line up of releases. Past and soon to be, books sound great.

Unknown said...

Wow kathryn. I can't write other than in my tilt-back chair with my computer on my lap and a cup of hot tea beside me, too.

So many books and stories out.

The Nameless One looks like a winner.