Confessions of my Past, Present and Future
Patrick C. Greene
My father had a massive collection of books; so many we eventually had a library built onto our house. When I was still too young to read, I was already poring over dinosaur books; the more vividly illustrated the more attractive. But on one occasion, I ventured into my father's collection, perhaps hoping to at least find a colorful cover or a something with a few photos or illustrations. Though it seems wildly incongruous now, there was a paperback-sized Tales from the Crypt comic collection hidden among these many boring and wordy tomes; perhaps borrowed -or taken as punishment- from one of his college students.
Here was a book I could understand, despite the incomprehensible text. This began my love affair with comics, and probably jump started me on not only horror but reading in general as well.
I still have that little paperback, though it’s now yellow and ragged –hardly mint condition. The art was by the legendary Bernie Wrightson, with his signature moody underlit depictions of frightened (and often very guilty) "protagonists" stumbling toward their comeuppance in the final panels. The psycho Santa tale was there, as was the one about the director of the home for the blind who cut corners on his patients to bankroll his own luxurious lifestyle. It was lurid, terrifying morality at its best. It's probably where I learned that the "good guys" and "bad guys" might just be "guys" doing what their circumstances dictate.
The book that most recently slapped my socks loose came from Allison M Dickson, so I almost hesitate to talk about it, just for the reason that we are Hobbes End Publishing stablemates and good friends. But there's no question, Strings is the most solid, original and extreme horror novel I've read in years.
I think there's a certain freedom that goes along with being a female horror writer, a viewpoint closer to that which we usually accept as the victim archetype. Allison is as bold and outgoing in conversation as in her writing, so it's not a matter of repressed fears or frustrations. It's just damn passionate horror with no regard for anyone's expectations.
Better, because of our friendship and my competitive urge, I now feel compelled to raise my own game to hopefully match her intensity.
Looking to the future, other than the obvious hope to be more polished and prolific, I would like to contribute in some way to helping erase the stigma of horror as the default genre of base and lurid exploitation. Horror is a great teacher of empathy, and I would love to see not only readers but writers come to fully understand and embrace that.
I hope for a time when the word "terror" can once again be used to describe high spots in our books and movies rather than low spots in news and history. I wish for us, the purveyors of fun fear to help heal the scars of the past decade, to provide the outlets and catalysts for conversation that move us forward.
On a personal level, I hope I'm comfortably crossing genres, still perceived as scary and funny, still feeling the intense frisson of creating people and worlds from whole ether. I hope I'm advising new writers and inspiring them -but not, you know, teaching them, like in a classroom. I hope I'm still ignoring critics and loving fans and impressing my wife with clever turns of phrase.
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As a toddler, Patrick C. Greene was creating horrors in crayon and magic marker upon every available surface. Not surprisingly, he soon discovered comic books and immersed himself in the fantastic worlds found therein. Horror fiction and films came next, and despite spending nights of terror hiding under covers, he always found himself drawn back to tales of dark fates.
Greene cut his fangs in the screenwriting business but found his true calling in the world of prose fiction of the kind his heroes King, Barker and Koontz create.
With the success of his first novel PROGENY, and the upcoming THE CRIMSON CALLING from Hobbes End Publishing, Greene presents a brand of horror as emotional as it is terrifying, as engaging as it is suspenseful.
Living at night, deep in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Greene answers the call of his morbid muse when not enjoying monstrous helpings of horror, kung fu and doom metal.
In addition to his novels PROGENY and CRIMSON CALLING, the short story collection DARK DESTINIES, and multiple appearances in both The Endlands and Wrapped anthology series, Greene has several FILM projects in the works, and is currently working on his third novel, apocalyptic action-thriller - UNDER WICKED SKY.
And for more about Patrick, visit his site or find him on social media: