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FD Gross is one of my favorite authors, and his Wolfgang novels ranks up there with my all-time favorites. Being a fan has taught me that some stories should be savored and read with care, particularly novels that are so filled with symbolism.
NOT YOUR EVERYDAY
Lover of all things gothic and horror, writer FD Gross has a conversation
with Chrissy shortly before the release of his highly anticipated
gothic-fantasy-horror novel, INQUISITION.
Prepare yourself for the journey of a vampire hunter trying to find his son!
“There is plenty of world exploration, new towns
and ancient places, and of course gothic horror.”
-FD Gross in discussing
his latest novel, Inquisition
CM: Frank, thank you so much for taking a minute to talk to me today. This is such an exciting time because not only are you coming out with a new book, it’s the sequel to Wolfgang, which is so original and epic.
FG: My pleasure and thank you. It IS exciting! I really wanted to create a new story in the vampire hunting genre. A new tale about humanistic survival. I didn't want to just focus on vampires, because I would say in the last ten years or so, they've been glorified to the point of saturation.
I've always been a Dracula/Van Helsing fan since I was a kid, so naturally I created something that would be in the realm of gothic super-naturalism, if such a term exists. Inquisition is the sequel to Wolfgang, but do not be discouraged. It can be read solo for sure, apart from Wolfgang (written in the form of a heart pounding, non-stop action introduction), for Inquisition really is the development of Tenor that it focuses on.
CM: First of all, congratulations. How does it feel to be where you are, eagerly anticipating the release of your second published novel?
FG: Well, for a while now, I've been feeling anxiety, mainly because it’s been finished for a long time, but the production turn-around time has been daunting. The production started back in April 2018, I believe, and along the way there have been so many steps and hurdles to jump over.
CM: Does it seem surreal, or do you think you’re coasting along confidently?
FG: I think it's a little bit of both, actually. I am confident in the fact that the release IS happening in November, although I hoped it would have been finished sooner. We can't always get what we want!
On the other hand, it's surreal in the fact that, in essence, I've been writing Inquisition for the last three years, starting it a year before Wolfgang was published. I look back on those days and it does seem a bit dreamy, where all I did was write and not worry about the production side of things. It’s a fine balance between writing and marketing.
CM: It is said that authors always write a little bit of themselves into the protagonist. What do you have in common with Tenor Wolfgang? Also, speaking of your first novel, Wolfgang, what would you have done differently than him, had it been Frank in that journey instead of Tenor?
FG: I would say the most similar thing to compare myself with Tenor would be his way of thinking, and his resilience to the world, effectively coming across as de-sensitized. Yet still, I would sacrifice everything for those who mattered the most to me. Resilience, diligence, and industrial.
In Wolfgang, there isn’t much I would deviate from its path. Love is a strong and passionate “entity.” Wars happen because of love. So you get the idea. Love enables perseverance.
CM: What a great answer. Just what I would expect from you! Now, here’s something I just have to ask, or I would never forgive myself. I am totally enthralled with the character Egleaseon and for the people who don’t know, he’s the big bad of this world. The prologue for Wolfgang is from his point of view. Personally, as a fan of the book I would be so happy with more narration from him. Will this ever happen?
FG: That is a tough question to answer without giving too much away! But, I can say this. Since the first book of the series began with his narration, one can only assume or hope, that some sort of encounter relating to him occurs again. Again, without giving too much away, I'm sure fans won't be disappointed about the idea of Egleaseon.
CM: Will we learn more about him and his psyche?
FG: Unfortunately, I can't answer this at this time. This is a question for another day, another time.
CM: So, without giving any surprise twists away, what can we expect from reading Inquisition? If someone has never read your work before, what will fascinate them about this world you’ve created?
FG: This is an easy question. What you will take away from reading Inquisition is first and foremost, a lot of questions being answered, with an element of mystery left over.
Inquisition is another action packed novel, but toned down some, allowing Tenor some room to breathe. This relates to his development throughout the story. New characters will be introduced along with some identities of who the Carnalreesee are.
For those who have never read my work before, and are new to the genre of vampires and vampire hunters, well, you are in for a treat.There is plenty of world exploration, new towns and ancient places, and of course gothic horror. I really tried to encapsulate the feeling of suffering from the cold in a mountain setting, so the story also touches on the survival genre.
How many hash-tags can one label a book? Let me see if I can say a few here and now in no particular order: #epic #fantasy #horror #suspense #paranormal #supernatural #mystery #macabre #gore #gothic #darkfantasy #survival #romance #vampire #vampirehorror. I'm sure there are more labels we could assign it, but that's what came off the top of my head.
What may connect readers the most, however, is the humanistic qualities the protagonist, Tenor Wolfgang, possesses, and his ability to cope with scenarios that may seem in-human to most.
CM: I know this is a little far from now, but what is your plan after you’ve completed the Wolfgang trilogy? Any side or subsequent projects we should know about?
FG: Once the Wolfgang trilogy is complete, I do have other projects I will be moving on to. I have a short story anthology I am working on currently alongside the third and final book of the trilogy. Here's a little secret for you. The anthology may have an original story dating back before Wolfgang, which relates to Wolfgang. But my list does not end there. I will be introducing a new Epic Fantasy series in the long run.
CM: That’s so exciting! I believe that writing is definitely an art. As an artist, are there other art forms you dabble in or would like to try?
FG: I started writing in grade school, but at the same time, I dabble in music as well. Since then, I've played in many bands over the years, but mainly for leisure. Currently, I still play music, but mostly strictly in a studio setting, recording new music with Inferion.
Oh and then there is of course, working in a haunted house attraction, getting to scare customers. It’s an adrenaline rush being able to scare people out of their wits on a nightly basis. For two years now (this being my second year) I’ve been working with my daughter at Enigma Haunt in South Florida. It provides a great bonding experience while getting to enjoy what we love to do. It’s pretty interesting to be able to come in, get into costume and makeup, become a certain character. You get up close and personal and really get to see what truly frightens the human psyche. I chalk it up as the ultimate learning experience in horror.
CM: That’s great. I have learned a lot about horror from you! Frank, if your career goes just the way you’ve imagined or better, where do you see yourself in 10 years, as far as your accomplishments are concerned?
FG: Where do I see myself in 10 years, well that is an interesting question, especially for someone who takes his days one at a time. Most of the time, when things come to me, I go for the opportunity, especially since life is unpredictable. You never know when you might never wake up in the morning. So I try to live life to the fullest every day, filling my time with the people and things I love to be around. I think it’s every writer’s dream to be a full time writer, but at the same time, it can hinder your life experiences, and ultimately affect the bases of your knowledge to provide material. So it is a catch 22, and well, life is just that.
Frank lives in Florida with his family. When he is not working on the third and final book of the Wolfgang Trilogy, he can be found reading works of classical literature and fantasy, playing music and riding his bike through the woods.
After learning the truth about his missing son, Dorian, Tenor Wolfgang is left with unanswered questions. The vampire hunter and his faithful friend Kronklich pursue Dorian through forces of darkness. Haunted by the phrase “Blood of the father,” Wolfgang wonders what the forces of darkness intend.
In a heart-pounding race across a frozen gothic countryside, Wolfgang seeks answers, stopping at nothing to reach his son before it’s too late. Who are the Carnalreesee really, and what is their purpose?
Continue the gut-wrenching journey of carnage, strife, and suffering in this next installment of the Wolfgang Trilogy: Inquisition
Halloween Coffin Spider image courtesy of lekkyjustdoit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
***Archived F.D. Gross News***
So, relatively recently I met author F.D. Gross through the promo industry on social media. I actually knew him for a while without having read his work because my reading list was a mile long (which it still is... oops).
Finally, however, I sat down to read WOLFGANG.
With that in mind, here's a quick note. When I read, watch, see, or listen to a work of art, it takes me a while before I realize it's one of my favorites. I can enjoy a book or movie very much at the time but not really think of it ever again.
My favorite novel of all time, The Good Earth by Pearl Buck, I only read because I was forced to, back in high school. Not until I grew older did I realize that it would always be the best novel in my world, and I think it comes down to the manner of storytelling, regardless of the subject matter. My favorite movie in the world? You'd never guess. It's Goodfellas - again, because of the storytelling (Ray Liotta does a voiceover narration that sort of parallels the book, which I never read).
Back to WOLFGANG. It's been a couple months since I've read the book and its story is still stuck in my mind. I have to say that I truly believe this is a unique work of art, something that doesn't fit in any one category really. I recommend it for anyone!
***My Review of Wolfgang***
There are different kinds of horror.
In vampire horror, there are countless subdivisions, but let's simplify things a bit and put them into 2 categories, just for the sake of argument: Anne Rice's Interview, and John Carpenter's Vampires. Two great movies that I watch over and over, but they are totally different. One is epic and tells the story over time, dealing with all the emotions a person (or vampire) could possibly have. It's sad and moves you, but thrills you at the same time. The other uses an 'in-your-face' type of instant gratification, making you jump, laugh, and cover your eyes.
Like I said, they're both good.
Well, having just finished reading WOLFGANG mere minutes ago, I can tell you that this book is 'more' on the Anne Rice side of things, BUT it deserves a subgenre of its own. It doesn't tell the story of how a man became a vampire, but it tells the story of a hunter's life being screwed up by one, and the epic part comes in his journey to seek answers for the loss of his loved ones.
I would categorize this book as an epic fantasy-horror, because the jewel of this book, in my opinion, is not in the freaky monsters or the plot that keeps you guessing, but in the determination and strength of spirit of the MC, Wolfgang. He describes to you exactly how he is feeling and what's going on every moment, and all you can think is, "Gee, had that been me, I would have been dead hours ago." It says right before the first chapter how his family is what keeps him together. That's the main message that seems to be forgotten on some readers. Anyone else would have been dead long ago, but it's Wolfgang's love for his wife and son that sends him onward, even when doing so seems impossible. This was a journey that attacked his body, mind, soul, and heart in so many ways, and still he moved forward.
One thing I particularly loved about this narration (that is very rare) is that the MC is 'perfectly imperfect.' Too often do you read a book and the MC does fantastic things, such as doing perfect triple flips in the air, cutting off the heads of all their enemies, and then landing gracefully on their own two feet. This narration has no ego, and that's a huge part of the appeal of this book. He DOESN'T do everything perfectly; although he's smart, althetic, and very capable, he's not perfect. He doesn't execute perfectly every time. He doesn't mind telling you that he burns his hand and he gets blisters on it that ooze with pus. Nor does he shy away from explaining how he gets these painful scars on his face. He looses his footing at times and he doesn't always see the enemy coming. Why is this so important? Because it allows the readers to relate to him better. I didn't say 'realistic' - we ARE talking about vampires and other such creatures, after all. But relatability is important to me as a reader, and this book is 'oozing' with it.
Now to my first impression of the book. The Prologue. Ah, the Prologue. I LOVE this Prologue! I read it often. It's perfectly written. It's in the middle of a scene, yet taking place before Chapter 1... You don't need all the details to enjoy the Prologue, but, man, how I would love to hear the story that led up to it! Egleaseon's narration is short and sweet, and as many admirable qualities that Wolfgang has, I think Egleaseon is my favorite.
In case you haven't guessed, I just LOVED this book, and I expect to be informed when the sequel comes out! :) Well done, FD Gross.