Greg Jolley Interview
By Nancy Allen
- For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start? “The Collectors” is in the same vein as works by Robert Bloch, Stephen King and Charles Addams cartoons. As some reviewers have commented, “The Collectors” is not for the faint of heart. That said, in the book’s strange and macabre world, there is a love story. Like the works of those suggested authors, this book also explores the dance between good and evil.
- How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book? I wanted to explore the unique and often strange and obsessive passion of collectors, to understand the relationship between the objects they desire and what acquiring them satisfied, if it truly did, in the hearts and minds of curators. The months of research were interesting, even when things got strange and creepy.
- What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? For “The Collectors” I constructed a combination of a roller coaster and haunted-house-ride for my readers. From my vantage point, the story is well built, lyrical and has many dark and dangerous turns leading to an ending that wrote itself. I leave it to readers and reviewers to let me know if it stayed on the tracks.
- Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans? Write to me and let’s discuss what you liked and what you didn’t. A huge part of my motivation for writing “The Collectors” and all the Danser novels is those lively and interesting exchanges where I get new insights that can only come from readers.
- What did you enjoy most about writing this book? There’s always a fine lift when I get to type “The End,” but before I get there, I love it when the characters take over the story and I become the lowly typist while their adventures sweep us away. I loved working with Pierce Danser again, even though every time I knew he was going to turn left, he grabbed the wheel from my hands and turned the story in another direction.
- Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future? A three-book trilogy is being published in 2021, a suite called The Obscurité de Floride Trilogy. The three novels are coming out a few months apart and to say I’m jazzed would be an understatement. Each is a work of suspense and while they are stand-alones, they also share the new and vibrant and dark world of what most think of as sunbaked Florida.
- How long have you been writing? My first book, “Distractions” was released in 1984, so it’s a been a good while since I entered the Danser’s world. As of now, there are twelve in print with another sixteen completed and awaiting their eventual step into daylight. The main reason my publishers are releasing the books at such an aggressive pace is to get us to where new works are those I’ve recently completed. Personally, I love getting the past stories in reader’s hand and eventually having new ones in their hands sooner.
- Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in “The Collectors”? All three main characters were a challenging delight. While I didn’t have a favorite, Pierce was the most familiar. That said, all three were constantly entertaining and shocking. As often happens about a third of the way along, the cast took over the write and I became their story’s typing pool. Pierce Danser: He is always a surprising personality to work with. Big of heart, passionate in love, and often a loose cannon, I pretty much turned him loose. Soon as he put his nose to the sand and started tracking Pauline Place, I was comfortable taking my hands off the wheel. Pauline: She is the famous actress Pauline Place, who was also a pleasure to work with again. She is a rare beauty, strong-willed, no one’s fool and capable of getting in serious trouble – often of her own making – as a challenge to herself and her ways and wits. Deung: Ah, Deung… nothing more enjoyable than entering his twisted and dangerous mind. He was another chance to open the black box containing evil and dark lunacy, compulsions and sociopathic blood lust. Mix in his desire to wed and bed a deceased actress and he scared and revolted me badly more than once.
- If you could spend the day with one of the characters from “The Collectors” who would it be? Please tell us why you chose this particular character, where you would go and what you would do. It would be Pauline Place, alongside Pierce at the end of the book. I’d choose her because she spent so much time in the shadows. I would want to head out with them from her perspective, experiencing her take on all that has happened and what she wants and needs to happen next between them.