This virtual book tour presented by Bewitching Book Tours.
You can see the entire tour schedule by clicking HERE.
Welcome to The Wormhole and my day on the tour!
I am pleased to present Gregory Marshall Smith!
Gregory Marshall Smith, born in
Somerville, Massachusetts and raised in historic , is a decorated Navy veteran. Though sports writing is his profession, in his career, he has been, among other things, a national columnist, playwright, engineer, asset protection agent, editor, safety auditor, fingerprinter, training instructor and sometime actor (Heiju trilogy, Life As We Know It, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Hail Mary, Walker, Texas Ranger). He is the author of the novellas Crawl and They Call the Wind Muryah (currently ranked #3 in contemporary fantasy and #9 in science fiction on Amazon), along with two anthologies (Dark Tidings Vol. I & II, ranked #63 in Amazon’s horror genre). He has had numerous award-winning short stories appear in Farspace 2, Writer’s Bump, Far Side of , Spectacular Speculations and SFH Dominion, among others. Hunters is his first full-length novel. Medford
Ever restless, he currently resides near
. Columbia, South Carolina
Greg’s Guest Blog
First off, I would like to thank the Wormhole for allowing me to toss a few words. I’ll try to keep it brief (those who know me are rolling their eyes right now).
Probably the one question I have gotten for most of my writing career has been why I, as an African-American, am writing in what, essentially, are “white” genres.
The answer is simple -- because I want to.
Seriously though. When I first began writing fiction, at the tender age of 9 (back in 1976 when I was known as an Afro-American), I didn’t go into the horror genre. I went for science fiction, a genre with even fewer black faces than horror. Back then, I had only Samuel R. Delany (Triton, Dahlgren) and Octavia Butler (Lilith’s Brood) to inspire me and, strangely, I couldn’t find their books on the shelves of the
Medford ( ) Public Library. Massachusetts
I was heavily influenced by Creature Double Feature, a sci-fi anthology series on WLVI-Channel 56 in
that ran from 1974-1982. The three-hour show aired cheesy grade B sci-fi movies like Godzilla, King of the Monsters and Navy Vs. The Night Monsters. It also showed horror classics like Dracula, but I only had eyes for giant rubber monsters destroying Boston or fighting the American military. Tokyo
I also liked Star Trek and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, feeding my science fiction bent even more.
Finally, I had all of the neighborhood kids razzing me for trying to be “white” for writing science fiction. That just made me more determined to stick to the genre.
Horror came along most unexpectedly in 1982. The NAACP had begun holding Academic Cultural & Technical Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) to give black kids a chance to shine in areas other than sports. At the behest of the Boston NAACP, a bunch of kids in
’s suburbs tried out, myself and my identical twin brother included. (Note: another entrant from Boston Medford was my friend Terri Lyne Carington, Grammy-nominated jazz drummer; she used to play at a famous jazz spot where, in my younger years, I used to hit on Conan O’Brien’s younger sister Kate). Boston
I drew up a poster of a giant monster attacking
. This was to be my official entry. However, I was urged to enter more than one category and feverishly searched for one without a lot of entries, to give myself a decent chance of not being, like, twentieth best out of 20. I saw that only a handful of people had opted for playwright. Boston Harbor
Don’t ask me how I came up with the idea but I got a book on writing plays and developed (in less than a week) a script called “The Ghost.” I turned it in right before the deadline and forgot about it because I knew it was a vast idea that couldn’t possibly be anything more than half-vast in execution. I concentrated on my “superior” drawing instead.
The drawing made the top 50. Ouch.
Dejected, I checked the rest of the results board and found “playwright.” I swallowed hard and couldn’t breathe. “The Ghost” had taken second out of 12 scripts.
Even though only the regional winners advanced to the national championship, I was happy to have placed so high. Turned out I had a knack for writing horror, as well as science fiction. Of course, I was also glad I hadn’t entered my “superior” comedy The Brown Cougar (a rip-off of The Pink Panther and the less said about that one, the better).
Ever since then, I’ve alternated between horror and science fiction, though sci-fi is my greater love. Numbers-wise, horror has more African-American authors, like Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes and Maurice Broaddus. Alas, in August, the publishing world lost L.A. Banks to adrenal cancer.
As for science fiction, there are few recognizable names, basically just Steven Barnes and Delany. Octavia Butler died a few years ago of injuries suffered in a fall.
So, for the foreseeable future, I will continue writing horror and science fiction, and I may even do some fantasy so a black face appears in that genre as well.
Excerpt from Hunters:
Above Kane’s body, the two silhouettes stopped. One stepped forward, into the moonlight, pulling something long and shiny from somewhere on his person. He raised it and, with one swing, made sure Kane would never take the blood of anyone again.
“God, I hate it when you do that, Ryker,” said the woman next to him.
“Show some backbone,” the man called Ryker snorted. “For a change.”
The woman glared at him, but stopped when she heard a moan nearby. She played her flashlight back into the shadows. Cursing, she moved over to Heidi’s body.
She didn’t pay attention as Kane’s corpse suddenly flared up like a match, dying out almost as quickly. Caring only about Kane’s victim, she called Ryker over to her.
“What about her?” she queried, sounding forlorn and sad. “She’s lost a lot of blood. She’s well into the turn. You know we can’t let that happen.”
“No, we can’t,” Ryker agreed. “But she might be one for the doc.”
“Always the pretty ones, right Cantrell?” the female commented, with disgust.
“Au contraire. I saved you, didn’t I?”
Glaring at him, the woman fought the urge to hit him with her flashlight.
“Very funny,” she said finally. “Okay, check her out then. If you think she’s worth salvaging, we’ll take her. But, if she can’t be helped, you’re the one who has to finish her.”
“So I have to do all the work, eh?” Ryker commented. “What else is new?”
Ryker looked down into Heidi’s eyes, feeling pity instantly. He knew she was yet another innocent victim, in a war she didn’t know had been declared. He saw her eyes darting wildly side to side, as if the brain behind them could not handle what was happening to it. Shaking his head, he checked her throat, touched her carotid artery, and looked at her skin pallor.
“I’m truly sorry about this, Miss,” Ryker said. “I really am. But, it’s war and everybody dies.”
As he lifted his obscenely long knife into her field of vision, her eyes stopped darting and grew wide in stark fear. Breaking contact with her almost pleading eyes, he lifted the knife and brought it down toward Heidi’s head.