ESP: Reading the Future

Elder Signs Press will soon release a horror novel by New York Times best-selling author Lois Gresh.  We thought people would enjoy a short Q&A .

ESP) The upcoming ESP novel, Blood And Ice is a vampire story, but these aren’t your Twilight vampires, are they? How are they different?

LG) The Blood and Ice vampires are nothing like Twilight vampires.  One main difference, of course, is that Blood and Ice is a horror novel while Twilight is a romance.  Another main difference is that my vampires aren’t adolescent dreamboats — I would be afraid of the vampires in Blood and Ice.  These vampires have plenty of blood lust, and they’re not shy about it. I honestly think the Blood and Ice vampires differ from any other vampire  I’ve encountered in book and film.  Of course, I haven’t read everything, nor have I seen all movies that have ever been produced.  Still, I’ve been a vampire fan since I was a child, and I believe the central ideas behind Blood and Ice are new.

ESP) Did Blood and Ice have a genesis?

LG) A year and a half ago, I developed a complex thriller plot that was based largely in Antarctica.  I intended to use the plot, which had nothing to do with vampires, for my upcoming Arkham House novel, Deadly Dimensions.  The Arkham deal took awhile to seal, and in the meantime, William Jones of Elder Signs Press asked if I would like to write a vampire horror novel.  I was thrilled and said, “Yes!”  I ended up not using 90% of the material I had developed for the Arkham book.  And I had to twist the remaining 10% around the central notion of vampires.

When writing fiction, I like to veer towards the original.  I don’t like to play with anything ordinary.  So my vampires had to be something new.

I’ve read a lot of scientific papers based on research done in Antarctica and the Mediterranean Sea.  I’ve also read a lot of papers about microscopic creatures and about early Antarctic explorations.

I can’t really explain how everything evolved to form the vampires of Blood and Ice.  Many ideas converged, and something new was born.  I very much like the main vampire, Fernando Le Sprague, in Blood and Ice, and I’m also fond of a couple of his vampiric friends.

ESP) You’ve been a New York Times best-selling author, what’s been your favorite work book thus far?

LG) Most likely, my favorite pieces were the short stories I wrote in the mid-late 90’s.

I was fond of The Termination Node, co-authored with Robert Weinberg. My non-fiction book about His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman trilogy) was cool because I researched and thought about subjects such as demons, angels, God, Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory.  My unauthorized Dragonball Z book was also a favorite because more than 2,500 kids wrote to me, and I realized that writing books had the potential to bring happiness to a lot of people.

So it’s not sales as much as touching people that matters to me.

ESP) You have been featured in numerous Sherlock Holmes anthologies, any plans to do anything more in that area? With all the Holmes stories you’ve written, is there a possibility you might turn your attention next to the hot realm of steampunk? Or have you already done that genre?

LG) Ha!  Actually, I’ve not considered writing a steampunk novel.  For now, I have to finish Eldritch Evolutions and Deadly Dimensions,  along with a couple of other projects that I’ve promised to publishers.  After that, who knows?

ESP) You recently visited Rhode Island, doing a Lovecraftian tour, what impressed you most about that? Did you feel a special tie to the author and the fiction through that experience?

LG) I felt Lovecraft’s presence everywhere in Providence.  It was a wonderful feeling, and I admit that I was awestruck.  What a thrill to go into the John Hay Library and view HPL’s handwritten manuscripts! Another  highlight was visiting 10 Barnes Street, where HPL lived from 1926-1933.  You can read all about my private Lovecraftian walking tour here:

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