Gage Greenwood is the best-selling author of the Winter’s Myths series and Bunker Dogs, and he’s a proud active member of the Horror Writers Association.
He’s been an actor, comedian, podcaster, and even the Vice President of an escape room company. Since childhood, he’s been a big fan of comic books, horror movies, and depressing music that fills him with existential dread.
He lives in New England with his girlfriend and son, and he spends his time writing, hiking, and decorating for various holidays.
You can follow Gage through his social channels:
Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write? My mother. She was a poet in the 80s. She had multiple published works, and I always enjoyed watching her clack away at her typewriter. I was an avid reader as a kid, and it didn’t take long before I wanted to tell my own stories just like Mom. Of course, I didn’t get into poetry. I can thank my brother and sister for my love of all things dark and creepy.
Describe your desk / writing space. I write on the couch with the laptop on my lap. Or I sit at the kitchen table and look out the sliding glass door to the woods surrounding my house. One day, I’ll have my own writing office. Until this, this is peace.
Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired? I write whenever I have free time. I am a stay at home dad, so time shows up at random points, and when it arrives, I have to take all the advantage I can.
How do you come up with the title to your books? I try to think about something that would catch my attention if I scrolled past it, but also something that wholly defines the story without telling the reader too much, making them wonder what THAT title is all about.
What was the hardest scene for you to write? What types of scenes are your favorite to write?
There’s a scene in Winter’s Myths where the main character has a flashback to his last moments with his wife before she died, and I pulled from my real life experiences with my mother’s last moments. That scene was an emotionally draining scene to write, and I still have trouble reading it.
My favorite scenes to write are emotionally cathartic ones, the kind of scene that shows up just after the tension fully drains the reader, and then I unload on them even more.
What inspired your book/series? Winter’s Myths had a lot of inspiration coming from a variety of places. It all started with the age-old question of “How would our society look under the eyes of someone seeing it for the first time?” It’s a story of a family trying to survive in an apocalyptic Earth, but they were raised underground, never having seen or heard about a car before, or a movie, or much of anything. They have to navigate and survive while also trying to make sense of their surroundings. In the meantime, the father tells his daughter quirky and weird mythologies/fairy tales based on his misunderstandings of our world. I really wanted to write something that mocked humanity in its current state, while also expressing hope and love for it, and I thought the best way to do that was to show it from an outsider’s perspective.
What are you working on next? I have a bunch of anthologies I was asked to submit to, so I am working on some short stories, and after that, I will be finishing up my next novel, “On a Clear Day, You Can See Block Island.” It’s a story about a group of siblings who witness a tragic event in their Block Island home. Years later, they are all still suffering from what they witness, so they decide to go back to the island to confront their past.
What authors or books have influenced you to start writing? Cliche, but it’s hard not to mention Stephen King. I grew up on his books, and Pet Sematary remains one of the most haunting books I’ve ever read.
I would also say Gaiman, who travels outside the bounds of genre in his writing. That’s something I do a lot. I like to toy with genre and tone to create an intentionally jarring effect on readers. A tragedy might be followed up by something completely bizarre and comical, or something whimsical and light might suddenly get struck with something shocking and bleak. My fans joke that I have invented my own genre, and we’ve been calling it DreadPop.
Lastly, Sarah Langan, whose book The Keeper changed the way I viewed horror. It’s not all about the chills and scares. There’s something deeper there, and when you strike it, it follows you forever.
If you had to compare your writing to another author which one would that be?
I’m not sure. I really work to have my own voice. Certainly Neil Gaiman in terms of playing with genre and tone, but I would also say my voice would work well with a lot of comic book artists, guys like Colin Bunn. I write short chapters, big cliffhangers, and books with mini-arcs all hovering under a larger arc’s umbrella.
Is there a genre you’d like to write but never have? I’m toying with as many as I can, but someday I would love to write a really dark space opera. Something wild, long, and epic, but also really horrific and bleak.
Do you enjoy writing short stories or long form i.e., manuscripts? And why? I prefer novels. With longer novels, I get to intertwine so many dots, and it’s always a blast to watch them all connect. With short stories, I have to keep the subplots to a minimum.
What advice would you give to unpublished writers? Writing is one job. Publishing is one hundred. Be prepared to work. It’s hard, but it’s a lot of fun. And make sure you go out of your way to show gratitude and respect to your readers. They are your lifeblood. Writing is a solo job, but publishing is a collaboration between you and the reader. Let them know you’re on the same team, and they will never stop supporting you.