Épouvantail Press Release: August 4th, 2020
MY READING ADDICTION INTERVIEW
“Black Veil” by Greg Jolley
Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?
In Black Veil, the two main characters are both determined to keep their secrets draped in darkness. For movie producer Florentino Urbino, he keeps his greed and madness and hunger for fame behind a black curtain that he can draw across his mind. The other main character, SeaBee Danser, has taken to wearing a funeral black veil to protect others from seeing the full extent of her steely resolve to survive, no matter what she must do. How and what we all hide is the primary theme, be it good or evil, light or darkness.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Because Black Veil is about the real and tragic Donner Party, I had two concerns. The first was to treat all members of the party with respect. The second was to find a balance with the amount of factual detail so that the Black Veil story remained true to itself.
How many books have you written and which is your favorite?
I’ve written twenty-five Danser novels. Eleven of them are slated for future publication and the others are on hold for future rewrites before I decide if they will see the light of day. I suspect they will. I love every member of the Danser family – and their stories – too much.
If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?
I would cast the evil and bizarre Florentino Urbino to be played by Johnny Depp, who would certainly bring to it his own quirks and style. My second choice would be my pal, film director Justin Diemert, who is brilliant with darkness, if he could be persuaded to move to the other side of the cameras.
When did you begin writing?
When I was in my mid-twenties, an excellent age to wade into the waters of the art and craft of novelists.
How long did it take to complete your first book?
Approximately a year and a half. Those were the days of draft after draft, before I developed a bit of confidence and learned from a lot of trials and errors. These days, the writes are a lot smoother. It helps a great deal to write seven days a week. It also keeps me sane and my life balanced between the world of craft and imagination and the real one.
Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?
Yes, Richard Brautigan, which is funny because he was as much a poet as a novelist. His experiments and wit and honesty, as well as his minimal prose, lit up my imagination like only a few others (J.D. Salinger, Peter S. Beagle and later, Elmore Leonard).
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
The months of research and gathering of ingredients for each book. These are characters, locations, questions, photographs, quotes and vignettes, all loosely gathered. With Black Veil and the other books, I’ll typically have ten to fifteen thousand words before I start to write the novel. Of course, a lot of this material is cast overboard, as it should be. There is a true delight in the important act of killing our little darlings.
Describe your latest book in 4 words.
A suspenseful cinematic nightmare.
Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?
Two weeks ago, I started the novel Small Lunatics which promises to be a fun and challenging write. The book is cast almost entirely with children – Florida street urchins. While I’ve barely started, I do know it’s a story of survival in a world gone crazy because, unfortunately, the adults are still in charge.
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