When people ask what I do (or dew) and I say that I’m a writer, they invariably ask, “Oh, what kind of writer?” The kind that uses words, I tell them matter-of-factly.
I’ve never been one to stick to just one style of writing. (Is anyone, really?) As a kid, I made homemade Christmas cards for my mother, wrote plays for my cousin and I to perform, crafted poems at the local library, and spent much of my algebra period nose down in my journals—this could be why I suck at math. These days, I’m still all over the literary map: I’ve written short stories, one-act plays, magazine articles, blog posts, advertising copy, and am trying my best to bang out a novel or two. (Side note, I was once commissioned to write a children’s play, so I can officially be called a professional playwright.)
Now, I’m adding graphic novelist to that list—that’s geek speak for “I wrote a comic book.” Not book, exactly. A few months back, a friend encouraged me to put together a two-page story for a graphic comic anthology published by GrayHaven Comics. I pitched a few ideas to them and soon I found myself working with the amazingly talented Leigh Walls who made my words look so much better. And now, after months of waiting, it’s finally out there in Volume 4 of The Gathering, aka The Horror Issue.
I’m not much for blood and gore and things that go bump in the night. But my Grampa B once told me about something that happened to him during the War that is the stuff of nightmares. It would send chills up anyone’s spine. Anyone’s, except mine, that is. I’m a little ashamed to admit my first reaction when I heard it was, “That’s a great story!” Yes, war is horrific, but the writer in me was tingling with creative excitement (I think writers are a touch sociopathic). So I filed it away in my brain, knowing one day I had to use it.
Thankfully, Leigh also knows a good story when he hears one and walked me through the process of putting our comic together. He’s a supremely dedicated artist, going as far as researching Canadian soldier uniforms for authentic renderings, and working until the wee hours just so a hand, a gun, a hat looked perfect (read: he gets little sleep). After adding some artistic license here and there, our final presentation is nothing short of devastating—in an awesome way (again, the sociopath weighs in). I’m hoping this is the start of a great partnership.
No spoilers here, but you can always order a copy from GrayHaven’s website or ask your local comic book store to order copies. The issue includes two dozen scary stories from up-and-coming writers and illustrators, as well as a few veterans in the mix. The more readers it reaches, the better. Hope you like it…and that it scares the bejeezus out of you. (I’m really nuts, aren’t I?)