Daryl Gregory’s newest book, a scifi-ish thriller-y thing about drugs and gods and love, comes out tomorrow! He was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about Afterparty– thanks so much, DG!
Your first book, Pandemonium, was horror/fantasy. Was it hard to switch to scifi/thriller for Afterparty?
I’ve jumped from genre to genre with every book. After Pandemonium, my first book, I wrote an SF novel about monsters (The Devil’s Alphabet), then a very science-y novel about zombies (Raising Stony Mayhall.) Afterparty has the structure of a thriller, but all the talk about neuroscience and designer drugs makes it a hard SF novel. Yet, because the main character is “haunted” by a hallucinatory angel, it feels a bit like fantasy.
I’m not sure why I keep doing this to readers. Not only do I write in different genres, but sometimes I switch genres in the middle of books. I think it’s because I read all kinds of books, across all genres, and so nothing feels out of bounds.
What was the most fun part of writing Afterparty?
I love crime novels, especially the books by Elmore Leonard. And so it was tremendous fun to not only write about people breaking the law, but to have those people banter like Leonard characters. There are some scenes that are almost entirely dialogue.
I tell people that in order to be a novelist, you have to have a lack of imagination. When it’s sunny and 78 degrees, you have to be able to think of nothing better to do that sit in front of your laptop and write. That’s always the hardest part: to keep typing, even while all those around you are pouring their gin and tonics.
Would you take Numinous? If you did, what do you think you’d see?
I’d be tempted to take Numinous. But I’d be so terrified of overdosing that I’d probably just watch other people do it. If I did take the drug, I’d no doubt be visited by the God of my youth, a frightening old man who was always trying to get me to stop touching myself.
Tell us about your upcoming projects! What are you writing now?
There are several projects in the final stages before going out into the world. In August, Tachyon Publications will be putting out my short horror novel, We Are All Completely Fine. Then early next year, Tor Books will be publishing my first YA novel, a bit of Lovecraftian fun called Harrison Squared and the Dwellers. And in earlier stages are a creator-owned comic called Artificial Gods and an adult SF novel too new to have a title.
Daryl Gregory is an award-winning writer of genre-mixing novels, stories, and comics. His first novel, Pandemonium, won the Crawford Award and was nominated for a World Fantasy Award. His other novels include The Devil’s Alphabet (a Philip K. Dick award finalist), Raising Stony Mayhall (a Library Journal best SF book of the year), and the upcoming Afterparty. Many of his short stories are collected in Unpossible and Other Stories, which was named one of the best books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. He lives in State College, PA.