Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Greg!! Will you tell us a little about yourself?
Thanks, Melanie, it’s great to be here! My name is Greg Mitchell. I’ve been married to my super-cool wife Meghan ten years this July. We have two beautiful little girls with boys’ names—Jo and Dani. By day, I work in the family business, silk screen printing hats, and by night, I write about monsters and the slimy things that lurk just outside your bedroom window. It’s a very full life!
What is Enemies of the Cross about?
Enemies of the Cross is the second part of my epic The Coming Evil Trilogy. The first book in the supernatural suspense saga—The Strange Man—was released last year by Realms Fiction. The series is really my love letter to the monster movies of my youth. I grew up in the 80s watching fun fright flicks like Gremlins, Fright Night, and The Lost Boys—so this was my take on it. What makes my series decidedly different (and quite a bit odd) is that I’m adding a Christian twist to it. What happens when a town has lost its faith? What kinds of evil might slip through the cracks? If the only way to beat back the forces of hell is with faith and the Word of God, then how strong will we be in that war?
That’s sort of the overall mood of the series, but Enemies of the Cross, specifically, is about Jeff Weldon—a young pastor angry at God. The book picks up immediately after the events of the first installment and, without getting too spoiler-y, it follows Jeff as he begins to unravel the mystery surrounding the enigmatic “Strange Man” who has besieged his town of Greensboro. The Strange Man is a powerful demon with a mysterious scheme to bring about something called the “Dark Hour”. He’s got a vendetta of some kind and what few true believers are left in Greensboro are going to have to overcome their doubts and fears in order to stand against him. Enemies of the Cross is a much more mature outing that its predecessor, as it’s a story about your faith being tested when the storms of life are nearly overwhelming. But it’s all laying the ground work for the final battle in Book Three!
What is something the average reader wouldn't know about you?
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I think I’ve always wanted to be a storyteller, but it’s been sort of a process to discover I wanted to be, specifically, a writer. When I was little, I wanted to be a Disney animator, then I wanted to draw comics, then I started writing screenplays, and finally I settled in writing prose (and still screenplays, with an eye toward comic book writing).
Where do you get your information and/or ideas for your books?
I think all my stories probably start with character. I’m thinking back and I’ve very rarely sat down with a plot or story in mind. It usually starts with a character that I become interested in. I follow them around in their life and wait for something exciting to happen. When it doesn’t happen fast enough, I hurl an invading alien armada at him, or something, to liven things up. I want to see how the character will react. Conflict is story, and the conflict that resonates the most—for me—is within the character’s heart during these unreal situations.
How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
How many have I written, or how many have been published? On the published side, my first credit was in 2001, writing the novelization for the Christian film Time Changer with Rich Christiano. Ten years later (!), I debuted The Strange Man—the first book in The Coming Evil Trilogy—for Realms Fiction. Now, this year, we’ve got the second installment, Enemies of the Cross. So I count three novels published, but I’ve finished three more (one of them being the third and final chapter in the trilogy), and I’m about halfway through another. I stay busy.
As for which one is my favorite, it’s a total cheat, but I have to say the entire The Coming Evil Trilogy. I’ve banged this drum enough, but this series has been my passion since 1998/9 when I first conceived it as a screenplay. The three books work together to tell a single story, and it’s one that I couldn’t be happier with. It’s a genre that I adore and it’s a message that resonates with every atom of my being—that is, standing up for right and not being afraid to stare down the devil. I spent a great deal of my life being afraid, so I’m all about spiritual empowerment.
I guess the logical question, now, would be: Out of the Trilogy, which one is your favorite? A tough question, indeed…
What would you say is the best and/or worst part about being a writer?
I think the best is when you get really excited about the particular story you’re working on. When it all stretches out before you like a big budget summer blockbuster and you’re just watching it in awe, trying to write as fast as you possibly can to describe to the Reader everything you’re seeing.
The worst part is when you’ve done all of that and people don’t “get” it. They don’t see the movie that’s in your head; they don’t feel it like you do. You’ve lived with a story and you’ve bled to see it come to life and then someone reads it, shrugs and goes “meh” and moves on. That’s tough.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Nothing! Writing exhausts way more brain cells than I have to offer, I fear. So, when I’m not writing—which is rarely—I want to just veg out in front of the TV, pop in a movie, and enjoy the ride.
Is there a place you’d like to visit, but haven’t yet?
My wife and I have talked about going to Maine. Maybe soon we’ll do that.
Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?
Favorite movie, hmm. I guess it depends on the kind of mood I’m in, but I think I’d have to go with the entire Back to the Future Trilogy. Cheating again! There’s something magical about those movies that just makes me feel safe and happy. It’s like an old, warm blanket on a cold winter’s night when you have nothing you have to do but enjoy the quiet. Every couple years I like to sit down one Saturday morning and have a marathon where I watch all three films back-to-back-to-back. On the horror side, I think I have to go with The Monster Squad. That movie is so rad.
Favorite song? How can you choose! If I absolutely had to, perhaps I’d pick “The Creature Crawlin’” by Frank Black. I know, I know, it’s an odd one. But that’s another one—as soon as that song kicks in, I totally mellow out and just want to take a nice twilight drive on an old back country road. I listen to all kinds of music. From AC/DC to Sam Cooke to Better Than Ezra to scary movie scores. I write to music, so whatever the scene calls for is what I’ve got pumping through my headset.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
Man, you’re just intent to make me think hard… I’m especially fond of Hebrews 11—the “heroes of faith” chapter—but I’m partial to the latter half of that chapter. The first half are all of the heroes who “won” by conquering their present troubles, but I’m especially proud of those men and women of faith who contested for the cause, but died before they saw any glory or reward on Earth. Those are super heroes to me. In light of that, I’d probably choose 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 or something equally dealing with good triumphing over evil.
Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you tell us about them?
I’ve finished a new novel called Rift Jump. It’s sort of a departure for me as it’s primarily a sci-fi/interdimensional love story about these two teenage runaways, hopping across parallel universes, falling in love and trying to stay two steps ahead of some shapeless evil in the dark spaces In-Between the universes. It’s pretty wild, but a lot of fun. I’m going the indie route with that, and it’ll be published by Splashdown Darkwater sometime this summer.
Thank you so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?
Thank you for having me, Melanie! I’m easy to find. Folks can stop by my site at www.thecomingevil.blogspot.com to stay updated on me and my projects. We even do author interviews over there and have a good time.
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