Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
Thanks for having me! My name is Amy Grech and I’ve been scaring people for 16 years. Blanket of White is a collection of 14 short stories published by Damnation Books.
Most of the stories could be classified as horror, though there are a few sci-fi/horror hybrids as well. The title story is quiet horror story, as are “Perishables,” “Rampart,” “Prevention,” Raven’s Revenge,” and “Damp Wind and Leaves.” Two sci-fi/horror hybrids are “Perishables” and “EV 2000.” The more extreme stories would be “Cone and Gone,” “Cold Comfort,” “Initiation Day,” “Crosshairs,” “Russian Roulette,” and “Apple of My Eye.”
Have you ever had an idea for a story, which scared you after you began writing it?
Yes, “Apple of My Eye” really freaked me out. It’s a disturbing story about familial love. A lonely Daddy’s girl goes out on the town looking for a good time. A devious eye doctor sets his sights on the wrong girl with dire consequences.
I’m a glutton for punishment. I’m expanding the story into a novella, or possibly even a novel. Turns out, as written, the story reveals how things play out, but it barely scratches the surface. The girl has a sister, who died by the doctor’s hand…I’ve said too much already!
Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
I live in Brooklyn and travel to Manhattan several times a week. A lot of my stories take place in various Manhattan neighborhoods. “Apple of My Eye” takes place in the once seedy Alphabet City, where every avenue tells a tale: A is for Alert, B is for Beware, C is for Caution, D is for Death. “Cold Comfort” is set in Central Park and “Prevention” offers a glimpse at the dark underbelly of Hell’s Kitchen.
The title story actually evolved ten years ago, when I saw a real life story on the news about a little girl who had a terminal illness and the compassionate way her father chose to end her suffering. The little girl in my story, Suzy is very remarkable despite her illness. “Blanket of White” has a profound affect on readers who have children.
How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
I usually start writing first, then when I hit a snag, I’ll do some research. Some writers I know think facts are boring. I find research can be quite fascinating.
Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
Love hurts. Sometimes being single is the safe bet!
Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
I’m definitely a pantser and proud of it! Flying by the seat of my pants is extremely exhilarating! I know a story is going well when my characters take over and I become a voyeur, along for the ride! I’m fortunate enough to have my characters in the driver’s seat more often than not!
How long did it take for you to be published?
I published my first story in a local magazine called 14850 while still in college back in 1993 for contributor copies. Four years later, I made my first pro sale along side fiction luminaries Jack Ketchum and John Shirley. I’ve had a steady stream of sales ever since: over 100 short stories published in various genre anthologies and magazines.
If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
Rejection is a natural part of the process. When an Editor takes the time to send a personal rejection, you’ve done something right—send another story!
Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
I carry a little notebook with me everywhere and often jot down story ideas while I’m riding on the subway. I do the bulk of my writing on my trusty iMac.
I must have music while I write. Music helps me vanish into the zone. Coldplay, Death Cab for Cutie, Peter Gabriel, Mazzy Star, Moby, R.E.M., U2, and Tori Amos provide endless inspiration.
Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
When I turned 12, an Aunt introduced me to Stephen King’s novels. I started with Cujo and never looked back. Stephen King inspired me to become a writer.
Other influences include: Franz Kafka, H. P. Lovecraft, Joyce Carol Oates, Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, and Alice Sebold.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
I have a twin brother named Andrew who’s a minute older than me and no, he’s not a writer.
Are there any Easter scenes in your books?
No, I’m afraid not.
What is your favorite Easter memory?
I loved waking up Easter Morning for an Easter Egg Hunt was always fun when my brother and I were little.
Do you garden, or do you have a black thumb like me?
I tend to kill plants; perhaps it’s the horror writer’s curse?
Blanket of White True love knows no bounds. Crosshairs A young boy learns the perils of hunting fare game firsthand. Prevention Murderous twins help their dear mother into and out of trouble. Perishables A nuclear fallout survivor finds sustenance in an unlikely place. Plus two more never before published storied by Amy Grech. A total of fourteen dark tales in all!
“Amy Grech is that kind of writer every reader dreams of discovering. She's simply amazing. She played my emotions like she owned them. There were stories in Blanket of White that left me breathless. Her characters are utterly convincing, and the tales they tell are as tense as a family about to have their darkest secrets made public. Seriously. Read Amy Grech. You are going to tell everybody about the good thing you've found.”
— Joe McKinney, Author of Dead City and Cataclysm
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