Death’s Realm Mini-Interview: Gregory Norris

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.
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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 premise behind Death’s Realm is what happens after death. If there is a great beyond, what do you imagine it to be?

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!

We thank Gregory Norris for coming by to share his thoughts. You can keep up with him at his blog, here.
Death’s Realm Mini-Interview: Gregory Norris

Death’s Realm Mini-Interview: J.G. Faherty

Everyone, welcome J.G. Faherty 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.
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Tell us about your background, who you are, and how you came to the writing life.

I tend to think I was always meant to be a writer, but I never really believed that, or made the conscious decision to try being one, until I was 38 years old. As a child, my father (an English teacher) would tell me stories before bed, and often they were ones he made up himself. In grade school, I excelled in English, wrote stories that made my teachers spout about my talent, and drew comics that made my classmates laugh. But somewhere along the way in high school, all of that gave way to sports, girls, and music, and writing fell by the wayside, although I was always an avid reader. Several books a week. I tried my hand at a horror novel in college, but after the first couple of chapters I thought “This sucks compared to Stephen King and Peter Straub.” (My two favorite writers at the time.) “I guess I just don’t have the talent.”

I had no one to tell me that writing was hard work, it didn’t just flow out ready for publication. My college was big on business and science, poor in creative writing. I went on to hold a variety of jobs – marketing, laboratory sciences, photography – and never thought about writing until one day, after the company I was working for closed, I took on a gig writing elementary standardized test preparation books for the Princeton Review. It was fun, it was easy, and I enjoyed the creative writing passages the best. One day, I stumbled onto an internet ad for an anthology seeking submissions for horror stories. On a whim, I wrote one and submitted. No beta readers, no edits other than proofreading.


I was the last story rejected, and the editor sent me a note saying A) I had real talent and B) I should start meeting other writers and editors and learn more about the industry. That’s when I joined the HWA. And decided to start writing.

Gray Matter Press has released an anthology, Death’s Realm, featuring your work, “Foxhole.” Give us a preview of your short story without giving away too much.

My story, “Foxhole,” is the tale of two soldiers caught behind enemy lines. Best friends since childhood, they have to sneak and fight their way through more than 20 miles of enemy-infested jungle. One of them is wounded, and sometimes delirious. By the time they reach safety, he has learned new things about friendship, death, and what lies beyond.

The premise behind Death’s Realm is what happens after death. If there is a great beyond, what do you imagine it to be?

I’m sure this is something that not only every horror writer but every person on earth wonders about, especially as they get older. I’m a lapsed Catholic, but I’ve never believed in the traditional Heaven and Hell, although it would be great to think there’s a wonderful place in the beyond, where all you family, friends, and pets are waiting to see you again. Perhaps because of my background as a scientist, or because I’ve learned not to believe things that are too good to be true, that’s always struck me as a fairy tale. I think there is something to the idea of reincarnation, but that’s a story for another day. What I do believe is that there’s more than just a final blackness, that life doesn’t just end when you die.


We thank J.G. Faherty for coming by to share his thoughts. You can keep up with him at his website, here.
Death’s Realm Mini-Interview: J.G. Faherty

Death’s Realm Mini-Interview: John F. D. Taff

Everyone, welcome John F. D. Taff 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.
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Tell us about your background, who you are, and how you came to the writing life.
My background is pretty heavily in writing.  I was an English major in college and worked for many years in the magazine industry–marketing & sales, editing & writing, all the way up the ladder to publisher.  I started writing fiction when I was in grade school, but didn’t get serious until around 1990.  Then I started in on short stories and never looked back.  I love to read and listen to music.  I just got married to my wonderful fiancee Deb, and am father to three great kids and three great pugs.

Gray Matter Press has released an anthology, Death’s Realm, featuring your work, “Some Other Day.” Give us a preview of your short story without giving away too much.

“Some Other Day” is actually a rewritten version of an older story that I somehow lost.  The idea stuck with me, about a boy’s unexpressed grief for his dead mother and how it affects everything around him.  So I rewrote it, even before the call for Death’s Realm went out.

The premise behind Death’s Realm is what happens after death. If there is a great beyond, what do you imagine it to be?

Probably just what you need it to be, what you think it will be, at least for some time after you die.  Until you get acclimated to what death really is, what it means.  I think the afterlife we all sort of mentally go to is a cushion to protect us from a reality that is so much larger than we can contemplate.  And I mean that in a good way…of course.
We thank John F. D. Taff for coming by to share his thoughts. His more recent offering also comes to us by way of Grey Matter Press, the much acclaimed “The End In All Beginnings.” You can keep up with him at his website, here.
Death’s Realm Mini-Interview: John F. D. Taff

Death’s Realm Anthology – Mirrorworld

I’ve been remiss in updating my latest projects for this blog, as I’ve been too busy to breathe since 2015 moved in. I was recently proud to have “Mirrorworld” published in the anthology from Grey Matter Press, Death’s Realm.

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In the next few weeks, I’m going to be hosting a a little tour featuring several authors from the anthology answering a few questions about their contribution and their thoughts on life after death. Reviews have also started to trickle in, one, notably, from Fangoria.

The Table of Contents:
“OMNISCOPIC” by Rhoads Brazos“SOME OTHER DAY” by John F.D. Taff“HAUNTER” by Hank Schwaeble
“BURIAL SUIT” by John C. Foster“NINE” by Aaron Polson“PENUMBRA” by Jay Caselberg“FOXHOLE” by JG Faherty“DROWNING” by Gregory L. Norris“THE WEIGHT” by Jane Brooks“HARDER YOU FALL” by Brian Fatah Steele“MIRRORWORLD” by Martin Rose“MARCH HAYS” by Matthew Pegg“HIGH ART” by Karen Runge and Simon Dewar“A PIRATE’S RANSOM” by Jay O’Shea“TO TOUCH THE DEAD” by Paul Michael Anderson
“YOU ONLY DIE ONCE” by Stephen Graham Jones

Death’s Realm Anthology – Mirrorworld