For this interview.
Author Spotlight Interview: Roy M. Griffis
Today’s interview is with multi-genre author, Roy M. Griffis. Griffis writes historical fiction, comic fantasy, alternative history and action-adventure screenplays. We were honored to hear from Griffis about his writing style, what inspires him and his exciting upcoming projects.
HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet?
RMG: Savage Satirist, Chronicler of Historical Events that did not take place (but should have), Bon Vivant, Actor, Writer, Hero: truly, a Renaissance Man.
<and, I hope, pretty clearly someone who doesn’t take themselves that seriously. But I am very serious about my ethical responsibility to my readers. That is, to take them on an emotional journey, to remind them that the quality of their lives is in their own hands, to remind them of what is possible, to entertain them, and to write work that is ultimately inspiring, ennobling, and uplifting without being didactic agit-prop. But that’s just me…>
HG: I love that answer! You’ve written historical fiction and comic fantasy. How do you switch gears between projects, genres? Do you have a favorite genre to write in or one that is easiest for you?
RMG: Uh…don’t forget about Alternative History. And my action-adventure screenplays.
But, the question is still valid. The answer is…I write what interests me. Which answer also explains why I don’t have a “real” writing career. I can’t write the same thing over and over again. I, as a writer would find it boring, and things would get stale, fast, for both me and the readers, I think. I’m never gonna be “the guy who writes that 20 book Shape-shifting Sloth Harem series.”
But, as I’ve written more and more novels, a couple of things have become clear me.
1) Every story requires the right “vessel” to undertake the journey. In my case, the question becomes “Would a play be the best way for people to experience this? A screenplay? A short story?” Lately, the answer has been “a novel or novels.”
2) I don’t really start any project unless I have a beginning and an end. I mean, you can’t go on a trip without a destination. Okay, you can, but you’ll take a long damn time to get “anywhere” and probably piss off a few people on the way.
However, once I have that journey in my mind, it becomes very real to me, especially if I’ve already written at least one book about that “trip.” Then it’s not too difficult to step away and go on another excursion. I already know where Holiday Trip #1 is going to end, so why not start a different creative roadtrip that will deliver me and my readers to a different, but one hopes, equally worthy destination. And the whole process starts again…A Beginning with a defined Landing Zone, and laaaaunch to get there.
And when I am doing that, both worlds become very real to me. Since a lot of my writing is essentially taking dictation on what the characters are telling me or just reporting on what I see them do, it becomes rather easy for me to step from one to the other.
Finally, I think it helps me be a better writer, it’s like creative-cross-training. Different novels/series exercise different muscles, if you are willing to do that work. Otherwise, you’re just writing the same book with different character names, and you might as well go back to the “Shape-shifting Sloth Harem.” (Read more here, but please, in the name of all that is good and right, don’t ask me to write the “Shape-shifting Sloth Harem” series.)