Professionally, I’ve been working in the business as a writer and editor for about fifteen years now, around twelve full-time. I’m originally a product of what was called the zine scene back in the day, which was a sort of smaller, independent group of really cool cutting edge print magazines that featured artists and writers and various forms and genres of fiction, among other things. In those days a lot of people came up that way, most of the name writers in the genre now came up through the zine culture, and it was really a great training and proving ground, kind of like a minor league system where you got your game together before being called up to the majors. From there I moved to larger venues for my work, and had short stories published. I wanted to master short stories as best I could before even attempting a serious novel. So I worked hard on my short fiction, and after several years of rejection and learning and honing my skills, I was eventually published and the floodgates opened from there. I ended up having more than 100 short stories published, all over the world, first in the zines and then in larger magazines and anthologies, and from there I felt I was ready to write a novel and started working on novels and novellas. Eventually I was lucky enough to sell some of them. One of my earliest breaks came from Delirium Books, which was owned and operated by Shane Staley, back in the day. I also sold some things to a few other smaller publishers as well. That opened the doors to me and got me noticed by others. HERETICS, my first short story collection that included the novella HERETICS as the anchor, really got me noticed, it got great reviews and allowed me to follow it up with my novel THE BLEEDING SEASON, and that ended up really putting me on the map (and continues to be a good seller all these later and is considered by many to be a modern classic in the genre). Without those early days with Delirium and others, but primarily Delirium and the support and belief people like Shane had in me, I’d likely not be where I am now. From there I was noticed by a lot of other publishers, and in the years since have been published by pretty much everybody, though I’ve always continued my relationship with Shane in the business. It’s been a long journey and it’s required a lot of hard work for many years, lots of sacrifice on my part and my wife’s part, and plenty of dedication and perseverance. But it’s paid off in the long run. Hopefully there’s still quite a ways to go and I’m nowhere near the end of that journey. We’ll see what the future brings.
What do you love about being an author?
I like having the ability to, through my art, express and cleanse myself. I love being able to reach other people through my work. That’s probably the best part for me, being able to touch other people, to move them in some meaningful way. I remember I once got an incredible fan letter from a guy, a troubled Vietnam vet that had been through hell. He wrote me this wonderful letter about how one of my books and one of the characters in particular had really moved him and helped him deal with some of his own personal issues. When, as an author, you learn that something so profound can happen through your work, it helps you to appreciate and understand that there’s a lot of power, potentially, in what we do, and that’s when it’s at its best when you can really move somebody and affect someone in such a positive way. For me, that’s the best part.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
Miss Jean Brodie. Not sure what we’d eat, but I’m sure it’d be interesting, whatever it was.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
I have so many books out there it would depend on which one(s) you’re asking about, but I don’t really have an answer for you. I don’t work in film, at least not at this point, so I’d leave those kinds of things to those who do. I have had some interest of late from Hollywood and some independent film producers, so we’ll see.
As a horror writer you are looking to scare readers – what scares you?
By default, I suppose I am. I know what I write can be frightening, and that’s fine, at times it is intended to be, but I really don’t consider myself or define myself as a ‘horror writer’ per se, just a writer. What I write is dark and hopefully provocative and thought-provoking while also being entertaining. Rather than looking to scare people, I set out to make them think, to hopefully move them in some way and to connect with readers on a very human but primal level. If that includes frightening them as part of the process, so be it, but scaring people isn’t at the top of my list. As for what scares me, I’m really not the type of person that scares easily, but I am afraid of spiders, as my wife will attest. I’m the guy that leaves the room and calls her to handle it if there’s one nearby. Beyond that, the unknown both fascinates and frightens me.
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
Probably the Old American West, because that era has always interested and fascinated me.
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
Stay away from the brown acid.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
What do you mean “if”?
Where do you write best?
In my office. At my desk.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
The Snow Queen by Michael Cunningham, and like everything else he does, it was brilliant.
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
I don’t consider myself a genre writer or confined by any one genre, so I’d likely do the same thing I’m doing now, which is primarily just write dark fiction and let it fall into whatever category people want to place it.
Where can fans find you online?
Facebook and Twitter are probably the easiest places. I also have an official website www.gregfgifune.com but at present it’s being revamped.