Sunday, March 3, 2013

Small Bites with Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell is the author of the "Coming Evil" Trilogy. Book Three of the series, Dark Hour, was released on February 20. Pick it up here.

Get more information on Mitchell's latest book, other writings, and more, at his blog.

A Flame in the Dark: What is your favorite monster/horror icon?

Greg Mitchell: Wow, you’re just asking the tough questions right out of the gate. I think that my answer
has changed as I’ve grown older. When I was a kid I loved the werewolf mythology. Wolfmen—even the Incredible Hulk, which I always saw as the same sort of concept—appealed to me. This idea that you had incredible power within you, but you had to keep it in check lest you lash out and hurt everyone around you. Having said that, I don’t like
a lot of werewolf movies! I haven’t found many that really resonated with me, except for
Lon Chaney Jr’s performance, of course. But now that I’m adult, I really gravitate toward
the “alien invasion” concept. An impossible surge of outside threat swooping down, and
everyday folks from all walks of life having to rise to the occasion and work together to
overcome it. That’s inspiring to me.

AFitD: Favorite horror movie?

GM: The Monster Squad. An invasion of classic movie monsters in a small town and the only
ones who can stop it are a bunch of kids who have seen all the same movies I have?
What’s not to love? Sign me up! It’s the perfect movie for that perpetual twelve-year-old
buried inside of me.

AFitD: Favorite author?

GM: To be honest, I’m more of a movie guy than a book guy—even though I’ve written a
number of books. So I’m going to have to go with directors, in which case I would have
to say John Carpenter. He is a true storyteller. There is such a visual language to his
films and he has the ability to blend thoughtful commentary with tough guy/horror/sci-
fi exploitation. I love John Carpenter movies. The music, the cinematography, the “every
man” quality of his characters. Great stuff.

AFitD: One question you wish people would ask you, and your answer?

GM: I think it can never be overstated how powerfully children respond to “horror”. I know
that, in my own experience, I first connected to the genre at a young age. I had such a
fascination with “the spooky”. So, I’m always up for discussing childhood memories
as they relate to monsters and what not. I would say that one question I wish people
asked more often was in regards to my early exposure to monsters and horror, such as
“What was your favorite ghost story growing up?” My answer to that question would
probably be this one tale I remember reading in one of those Scary Stories books called
“The Hand”. As I recall, they had a severed hand of a criminal and hung it by the wrist
in a broom closet. Then they dared this kid to go inside the closet, in the dark, alone
with the hand. The kid’s in there for awhile and when they open the door, they discover
that he’s hanging by his neck—that hand has strangled him. That jolted me as a kid and
really bothered me. I was terrified of dying alone with my parents not knowing what had
happened to me, so that was especially frightening.

AFitD: Who is Jesus, to you?

GM: My only hope of salvation. The only worthwhile meaning in life. I’m constantly
reminded, both in my own life and in the world around me, that humanity is a fallen
creature. The world is mired in murder and lies and arrogance and ignorance and
it’s absolutely suffocating. I can only look to Christ for any possible hope of finding
forgiveness, myself, and finding some sort of comfort beyond the here and now. There
has to be a better life than this one, or what was the point of it all? Just to feed ourselves
fat and make a bunch of money and laugh real loud at the parties? I want more out of
life. I want meaning. I want to be a part of something greater than my own selfishness,
something with eternal value. I want to be loved and accepted by God. I believe that can
only truly be found through Christ as, on my own, I’m completely devoid of merit.

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