Everyone, welcome Gregory Norris to the blog. I’m featuring fellow contributors to Death’s Realm, of Grey Matter Press, with a short mini-interview to learn more about the talent involved, a preview of what we can expect from their story, and speculate on what lies ahead in the great beyond.
Tell us about your background, who you are, and how you came to the writing life.
I grew up on a healthy dose of creature double-features and reruns of classic TV science and speculative fiction shows—Dark Shadows, Lost in Space, the original The Outer Limits, and especially first runs of Gerry Anderson’s brilliant outer space parable, Space:1999. I was raised in the lush, green veldt of Windham, New Hampshire. There weren’t a lot of other kids to play with, so one day my imagination, which was steeped in wonder over bases on the moon and haunted houses, began to invent stories. I still have all of my original short stories from boyhood. When I was fifteen, we had moved from rural Windham to a residential town that became my own version of Hell on Earth…I was a troubled teen and spiraling toward self-destruction, again without many friends. That summer, those I had saw me writing out what would amount to my first novel (a whopping 200 pages!) in which I cast them as the main characters. They all tried their hands at writing their own original tales, only to give up after a few pages. When I finished the novel, that same night I started another story. A light went off that summer—I loved to write and it was all that I wanted to do with my life. Writing saved me, I’m convinced. And the following autumn, I made a new friend as a result of writing, Tina Perry, who was writing poetry (and was/is very good at it!). She became one of the best influences of my life, and we’re still thick as thieves.
Gray Matter Press has released an anthology, Death’s Realm, featuring your work, “Drowning.” Give us a preview of your short story without giving away too much.
My story featured in Death’s Realm is called “Drowning”. It’s a historical about a Swedish immigrant named Edgard Palmveist who survives the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 only to be haunted by the belief that not all of him came out of the Atlantic intact. The story owes to a trippy article a friend of mine cut out of the newspaper and handed to me not long before Grey Matter Press started reading for the anthology.
The afterlife? We bought an old New Englander house in New Hampshire’s remote north country in 2013. It has a zillion-dollar view, even though we got the place on the cheap because the economy here has never recovered and may never. By relocating here, we were able to own the house, as opposed to the other way around. We got a lot of house for very little money, and my Writing Room is bright, big, and filled with all of my favorite family heirlooms and talismans. I am happiest in that room, where I court the Muse daily. As I tell everybody, I plan to haunt this place for eternity!