Some dark serendipity plopped a young Patrick Greene in front of a series of ever stranger films-and experiences-in his formative years, leading to a unique viewpoint. His odd interests have led to pursuits in film acting, paranormal investigation, martial arts, quantum physics, bizarre folklore and eastern philosophy. These elements flavor his screenplays and fiction works, often leading to strange and unexpected detours designed to keep viewers and readers on their toes.
Literary influences range from Poe to Clive Barker to John Keel to a certain best selling Bangorian. Suspense, irony, and outrageously surreal circumstances test the characters who populate his work, taking them and the reader on a grandly bizarre journey into the furthest realms of darkness. The uneasy notion that reality itself is not only relative but indeed elastic- is the hallmark of Greene’s writing.
Owen Sterling is a reclusive author living in a secluded house deep in the woods. When he welcomes his son Chuck for a summer visit, the eleven-year-old suspects something is not right at his father’s home. His worries mount when he witnesses a confrontation between his father and some local hunters.
Zane Carver is the local gun-shop owner who confronts the author over Owen’s refusal to let anyone on his land for hunting or camping. He defies the recluse, taking a hunting party onto Owen’s property.
Soon, Zane and his buddies discover the writer’s secret . . . a deadly secret; a creature whose infinite rage they have unwittingly ignited . . . that is now hunting them.
Purchase PROGENY on AMAZON.
Why don’t you begin by telling us a little about yourself?
I’m a recluse living in the mountains–much like the antagonist in my novel PROGENY. I’m into horror and martial arts movies, metal and punk music, and Buddhist philosophy. Just trying to make the world a better place through what I hope are enjoyable stories.
When did you decide you wanted to become an author?
My dad was an author, so there was a lot of admiration for him when I was very young. However, I never really thought of myself as a writer, and particularly not as an author until after I had spent a few years working as an actor. I had an urge to write roles for myself, as I was not happy with the usual fare I was offered. Turns out some of my ideas were better suited for fiction than screenplays. So I guess you could say it was sort of a progression from screenwriting to fiction, and finally to my first novel PROGENY. And here we are!
Do you have another job besides writing?
I teach and coach martial arts; particularly catch/carnival wrestling, at Blackeye Fitness in Asheville North Carolina.
Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?
I was always into the darkly fantastic; fiction and non. I had an extended dinosaur phase, which led to plenty of dinosaur and giant monster movies, and thus books and magazines about those movies. I loved Famous Monsters, and even had my first published work–a letter to the editor demanding more Godzilla coverage–in an issue. Marvel, DC, EC and Keystone comics were a staple. My father had some collections of short stories featuring works by Poe, James, Lovecraft, etc. I remember my mother having a copy of The Exorcist, and being terrified of it, just the idea of the book itself -I never read it!
Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.
PROGENY is, as I mentioned, my first novel. After having some success with a few of my short stories, I met the good folks at Hobbes End Publishing, to whom I had submitted stories for The Endlands collections. They encouraged me to try my hand at a novel and that was all the encouragement I needed. My concept for PROGENY, born from the strange combination of my fascination with Bigfoot and my angst in regards to trying to connect with my son, seemed like the perfect first novel.
How would you describe your creative process while writing this book? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline?
Better even than an outline, I had already written the story in screenplay format. It’s a very well-structured way to tell a story, so really all I had to do was add in all the descriptive elements that are not seen in screenplays, the sense of place and the character development that might usually be left to the director and actors.
Did your book require a lot of research?
In the sense that I already knew much about Bigfoot lore based on my interest, I would say no. I spent a lot of time looking at the newer accounts of encounters and the common elements of Bigfoot and his cousins around the world however, and did find some details that enhanced the narrative’s believability.
What was your goal when writing this book?
I wanted to be sure I was good enough to be a published novelist, and I wanted to write something for my son Deklan, who is himself a published author with a story in THE ENDLANDS VOL. 2, to express what he means to me and how proud I am to be his father.
Who is your target audience?
Mainly me. I write to entertain myself. Demographically speaking, it’s all the horror and monster freaks out there like me who love to get lost in this stuff.
What type of writer are you—the one who experiences before writing, like Hemingway, or the one who mostly daydreams and fantasizes?
With high concept horror, it’s pretty hard to be an experiencer; but as covered in PROGENY’s excellent introduction by Micah Hanks, I have spent some time in “the field” as they call it in cryptozoology, investigating locations of alleged monster sightings, as well as “haunted” sites…and nightmares; countless, glorious nightmares.
Agatha Christie got her best ideas while eating green apples in the bathtub. Steven Spielberg says he gets his best ideas while driving on the highway. When do you get your best ideas and why do you think this is?
On long walks, or right after seeing something in the news perhaps. There is always a “what if?” that can be applied to any given situation, and that is a frequent exercise, game, whatever you like to call in, in which I indulge. You’re taking your child to the park; what if the other parents and children suddenly change somehow? You’ve stepped into an alternate version of your life–and the people you know from your own world are still there, but…different.
Do you get along with your muse? What do you do to placate her when she refuses to inspire you?
We must be on pretty good terms. I rarely feel uninspired.
From the moment you conceived the idea for the story, to the published book, how long did it take?
Seems like it was right around a year and a half. The time I actually finished was pretty far away from an ideal release date for a horror book, hence the wait.
Describe your working environment.
I have a few places where I sit down to write. At the gym, Blackeye, I’m often hanging around after business hours when everyone’s gone, typing away with most of the lights off. At home, I can sit at the couch with something innocuous on TV turned down low, or just some ambient music playing.
Do you write non-stop until you have a first draft, or do you edit as you move along?
I really try to keep up the momentum when I get started and edit after reaching the end–but sometimes it’s difficult not to change a scene that could potentially change the story before getting to the end. In some cases, I’ve already gone through many of the possible twists in my imagination before even beginning to write.
They say authors have immensely fragile egos… How would you handle negative criticism or a negative review?
I try not to take anything personally. Fortunately, I’ve not had any truly negative reviews of my fiction yet–but as a screenwriter, receiving criticism or “notes” from a producer or director can be both frustrating and devastating. Producers are often more interested in how the story can be realized cinematically, and how that translates to profits, than in what meaning it may hold for you personally.
Of course I want to be praised and well-received as an author. But I have come to realize that we all bring a unique perspective to everything we read or view. So until I get that scathing diatribe, I feel pretty rational about it all.
As a writer, what scares you the most?
Before starting on the day’s writing, I almost always feel a vague anxiety about being able to deliver. As a writer, you’re kind of exposing your most personal and private thoughts already. The idea that it will somehow make sense to someone who doesn’t live in your head seems almost inconceivable.
When writing, what themes do you feel passionate about?
I seem to like taking shots at general notions of what is valuable or important to society at large–or at least, I want to raise questions about it. I like to think that reading and writing horror makes us better. I’ve certainly come to be more compassionate -and just passionate- because of the horror genre.
Are you a disciplined writer?
Once I start a project, I am generally able to stay on point and focused until a given draft is complete. I can be easily distracted in the initial stages, but once that figurative bell sounds starting the round, I slip into the trance or skin -whatever it is that makes pseudo-functional human beings become writers- and stay there without much difficulty.
When it comes to writing, are you an early bird, or a night owl?
I can write anytime there is a lull. I wrote PROGENY during hours ranging from late afternoon to well into the small hours, but my current novel has been written almost entirely after midnight.
Do you have an agent? How was your experience in searching for one?
I’ve put forth the effort on several occasions to obtain an agent, but I always feel like I’m neglecting the actual business of writing stories, so those spurts of agent questing are usually fairly brief. I understand agents are inundated with authors seeking to be represented every day, so they certainly have my empathy; I couldn’t do what they do. I have made it my goal to become a little more well-established as a writer before going that route again, and thus hopefully making it easier for them as well as for myself, in being an attractive potential client.
Do you have any unusual writing quirks?
Writing itself is an unusual quirk!
What is your opinion about critique groups? What words of advice would you offer a novice writer who is joining one? Do you think the wrong critique group can ‘crush’ a fledgling writer?
It seems like a really good idea, writers helping one another polish away the weaknesses in their work. But I think it then becomes a matter of reading the work of your group mates for the specific purpose of finding some criticism to say, even if it’s really a reach. In the case of horror writers, it’s not unusual that you will find a good cross section of readers who not only don’t care for the genre but might even have a sort of prejudice toward it–and here they are sort of forced to read it. I can think of certain types of fiction that I would probably have a bit of a chip on my shoulder when reading, so I sort of get that. With that understanding, I believe you can get something from such a group, filtered through your awareness that it all comes down to a matter of taste.
Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? What seems to work for unleashing your creativity?
Writer’s block has never been a problem. I’ve heard it said that crying writer’s block is just an excuse–but there’s no doubt that writers have peculiar reactions to their circumstances, and I’ve certainly been depressed to the state of near immobility-but I don’t get writer’s block. I think it’s probably a real thing–but it’s probably an overused excuse as well.
Technically speaking, what do you have to struggle the most when writing? How do you tackle it?
The biggest issue for me is jumping the gun a bit. I should really outline and write biographies and map out all the details more, but I sometimes become so eager to write that I jump in–and then write myself into a corner so to speak.
How was your experience in looking for a publisher? What words of advice would you offer those novice authors who are in search of one?
For PROGENY, I was very, very lucky -I can’t stress that enough- to find Hobbes End with my initial short story submissions for their anthology THE ENDLANDS. The people at Hobbes End, everyone in every department, are brilliant and wonderful in regards to working with authors and making sure a book reaches its maximum potential. For new authors, my advice is a cliche’–but an apt one. Never give up. If writing makes your spirit soar then do it. Self publishing is an increasingly viable option as well. If you self publish, receive some good reviews and make some decent sales, then a publisher is going to take notice.
What type of book promotion seems to work the best for you?
We’ve done several giveaways, which have been great at generating buzz. Hobbes End is excellent at getting ads in the right publications and spreading the word.
What is(are) your favorite book/author(s)? Why?
Definitely Clive Barker, because he has never been afraid to go way out there; to create things that shake a reader to their core and smash through taboos.
What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
More in the vein of encouragement, I guess-my wife told me after receiving a few love letters, that whatever else I ever did, I could always make it as a writer. Beyond that, having Jay and Vincent at Hobbes End tell me I should try my hand at a novel was clearly good advice.
Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?
Do you have another book on the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?
My current novel deals with a young special forces operative as she is drawn into the world of vampires. “A Shotgun Wedding” is my latest screenwriting effort (see above link) and Sekhmet Press LLC will release an illustrated trade paperback of my novella A Piece Of Miracle this Fall. I have several stand-alone short stories available on amazon…which will send you spiraling into madness!
As an author, what is your greatest reward?
Beyond that, is knowing that I’ve moved somebody, made them think about their world or encouraged them in some way…or of course, given them a good scare.
Anything else you’d like to say about yourself or your work?
I love to hear from readers! Reviews are always appreciated of course. I’m just so thankful every time someone reads something of mine–just to know that my fellow horror or thriller fans find my work worthy of their time and attention.
Thanks for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here!
Causes Mayra Calvani Supports
World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)
Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue & Sanctuary