I had written this post in November 2016 for Mykitaab Podcast, but realized that I never published it! Better late than never, here goes! (and sorry for the delay, Greg!)
Introduction: Greg Hickey
Greg Hickey is a forensic scientist, endurance athlete, author and screenwriter. His debut novel, Our Dried Voices, was a finalist for the Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Science Fiction Book of the Year. He is also the writer of the award-winning screenplay, Vita. His blog, KineSophy, analyzes topics in philosophy and fitness. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Lindsay.
Discussion with Greg
- Greg used to play baseball and eventually started running and triathlons.
- His was interested in books since his schooldays. He wrote a short story for literature class which was well appreciated, and he decided to write a novel during the summer break. He took creative writing classes in school and continued writing while he was in the University.
- In his day job, he is a forensic scientist. He analyzes the evidence collected by police officers. He handles cases related to gun related crime, particularly cartridge shell cases.
- Greg is an active blogger, in his blog Kinesophy he discusses physical fitness and philosophy. He wrote a paper while he was in college showing how the two complemented one another. In 2012, he decided to expand this idea. He tried to look beyond the idea into the ethics of physical fitness and health. For example, should obese passengers pay more for airline seats.
similarities between screenwriting, novel and blogging
- According to Greg, in screenwriting, the focus is on the dialogue, the director fills in the setting. Description of the setting is very limited.
- In a novel the author has a greater room to express themselves. However, there is a danger that one may get too verbose.
- Screenwriting helps in keeping the pace of the narration and dialogue when it comes to novel writing.
- Blogging is somewhere in between the two; where the focus is on shorter sentences and keeping the reader engaged for 10 to 15 minutes.
Our Dried voices Greg read scientific papers and population studies and innovations in technology and medicine while researching for this book.
- He came up with the idea when he was at the University. After graduation, he got an opportunity to spend a summer in Sweden. He later spend six months in Cape Town, South Africa from October 2008 to April 2009. He used the downtime during both these trips to write the book.
- He also worked part time in South Africa working in data analytics.
- In terms of timeline: First draft took him over two years to write, he finished it in 2009. The book was published in 2014.
Greg received the usual set of rejections from agents, and he kept revising the draft in the process. Upon receiving feedback from an Agent, two professional editors edited the book and Greg made changes accordingly. He received an offer from Scribe Publishing Company in 2013. They novel was edited further, and finalized the cover design during the period before release.
I read my novel atleast 20 times before it was published.
(this underscores the importance of revising and refining your novel before publishing.
This ward winning screenplay is about a paralysed young man who was very successful. His wife has an affair with his best friend, and the paralysed man manipulates his friend into murdering his wife.
Greg invented a card game similar to the card game War.
Listen to Greg’s Podcast Interview
Friar’s Lantern is a Choose Your Own Adventure book for adults, and Greg is giving away serialized chapters of his book to his newsletter subscribers. When he finished the draft for this book, Scribe publishers informed him that they would focus on Nonfiction books only. Greg decided to release the serialized version of his book. Read more at his author website.
The name comes from a 9 mm gun cartridge. The word means “prepare for war”. This novel deals with a mass shooting incident.
On Book Marketing
Greg likes to reach out to potential readers through guest posts, podcast interviews and 1:1 connections.
Five For Five
- Greg’s Book Recommendation:
Time Machine by H G Wells. Greg thinks it is a classic dystopian science fiction book, but underrated compared to similar books.
- Greg prefers to read print books over ebooks or audiobooks.
- Advice for authors: Be Confident, But Humble. An author has to be confident in sharing what you have written. And an author should should be ready for suggestions and criticisms, that is you have to be humble.
- Amar’s recommendation for a book written by Indian author: The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi. Other recommendation: The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan.