Greg Mitchell shares with us about his supernatural thriller,
The Strange Man (Realms):
TELL US ABOUT YOUR LATEST BOOK.
Last February I released my debut novel, The Strange Man,
through Realms Fiction. It is Book One of The Coming Evil Trilogy. It’s
about a young man who’s determined not to grow up—he surrounds himself with
monster movies and comic books and avoids responsibility wherever it rears its
ugly head. He professes a faith he’s rarely implemented, but he’s got to step
up, become a man, and lay hold of what he truly believes in order to stop a
demon that has come to his small town.
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU?
WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
In the CBA, I, of course, was really inspired by Frank
Peretti, the sort of “Stephen King of Christian fiction.” Since I was a kid, I’ve
loved monsters and comics, and Mr. Peretti was the only one I saw doing those
kinds of stories with an unashamedly Christian foundation. It was really cool
to me to see those two worlds collide—Christianity and “scary” stories—and
definitely gave me hope that I could do the same one day. Authors who inspire
me today are all of the obvious ones in my genre—Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft,
Richard Matheson. There are some new ones too—Larry Correia and D.M. Cornish
are current favorites. And John Steakley’s novel Vampire$ is probably my
favorite book. For a book about a bunch of guys with guns hunting vampires,
it’s an incredibly deep portrait of humanity and the tolls of war on the
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
My faith influences everything in my life, obviously, but in
my writing it provides a very solid groundwork. I write primarily about
monsters and bogeymen, but those are all just symbols of real-world evils. In
everything I write I’m trying to communicate some aspect of God or of my life
(and being a Christian is always a part of that), but through these
larger-than-life creatures. The Strange Man, specifically, is, at its
core, the story of someone overcoming his own doubts, fears, and limitations to
share his faith with someone else. It’s about living out what you say you
believe—no matter the consequences.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
It kind of snuck up on me, really. When I was really little,
I wanted to be a Disney animator. Then I wanted to draw comic books for a very
long time. I grew frustrated in high school with my drawing and decided I
wanted to be a filmmaker. But at the core of all of these dreams was the need
to tell a story. To tell the truth, writing is just cheaper than making a movie
and it’s easier than getting together an entire art team to produce a comic, ha
ha. Not to say that writing is “easy”, but it’s something that I can do on my
own. I can sit down and write an entire novel trilogy and not have to worry
about who’s going to draw it or how we’re going to make budget for the film and
where we’re going to shoot the footage. It’s a solitary work and I’m good at
solitary. Of course, then you have to try and get it published, which is a
whole other set of challenges.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING
We live in such a politically correct age and everyone is
walking on egg shells and so afraid to say what they believe or think for fear
of being outcast or persecuted. With The Strange Man, I want to give
Christians something to be excited about. I want to show that our faith has the
power to overcome dark things in our life. It’s something we should be
sharing—maybe through telling a friend or a family member, but mostly just by
living it out. We shouldn’t have to tell people we’re Christians. If we’re
really living what we say we believe, that should become evident. Humans have a
tendency to want to blend in and disappear in the status quo, but Christ lived
a life of uniqueness. He stood out in a crowd. And through that He affected
change. Christ is our example. Through my scary book about monsters, I hope
that readers will be inspired not to be afraid anymore. Now, having put
forth all these high-minded ideals, I hope that people get the willies and have
a good time in the process 🙂 I’ve always likened The Strange Man to a
Saturday matinee monster movie that you might remember watching as a kid. It’s
supposed to be fun.