Exclusive Interview with
Kathryn Meyer Griffith
When did you start writing?
I started writing over fifty years ago...when I was twenty-one. For the next twelve years I balanced writing on the side, enduring a divorce, getting a job as I raised my little boy, and then finally remarrying...only then, 1984, did I get my first book, Evil Stalks the Night, published. But I had been a lover of books since I'd been a child; devouring every book from the library I could carry home, especially historical romances, science fiction and scary books pre-Stephen King. Thirty-three novels and thirteen short stories later, I'm still writing...
What makes writing your passion?
I was born to be a storyteller. When I'm writing all is well in my world. I've been a singer (early in my youth with my late and very talented singer/songwriter/musician brother Jim) and an artist, but my novels are my butterfly stage.
How long have you been writing?
Over fifty years now...since 1971.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Elation! Pride. In the bad old days of agents and legacy publishers where you stuck a hardcopy manuscript in a paper copy box and sent it all over creation; taking up to a year from each potential publisher to even get a possible, a no or a yes, had taken 12 years to get that first book published. That was 1984. I never gave up. Now fifty years later, and since 2012 when I began self-publishing my books, I have thirty-three novels and thirteen short stories to my name. Not only horror, but time-travel, romantic suspense, murder mysteries, and Dinosaur books.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
The characters come to me first...their names and basic personalities and I let them weave the stories.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
It is a solitary life in many ways...instead of living your own life in your own world, you sit and spend weeks, months, years creating fiction for others. Since we only have so much time on this earth...giving up this precious time is not always easy. Then something monumental happens in your life, something unchangeable...for me it was my beloved husband's dying recently...and it is only then you realize the price you have paid. The time I spent writing all those books was time I could have spent with him.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I have never had writer's block. If I don't write, it is because I have just decided not to write.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I can't stop writing. A writer writes...that's what they do. New authors? If you are called to write, you will. It will come easily and it will make you happy. And never give up. A book lives forever.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
That the writing path will be hard; but that what you write today might live forever. Also...maybe don't be as obsessive...spend more time with those you love, too.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Sometimes. The bad ones now I just accept along with the good ones...every reader is different. As long as you know you wrote the best book you could write, that is enough.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Happiness. Maybe I think: they got what I was trying to say. I gave them enjoyment for a short time. So rare in life.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Of course. Most writers do. We sometimes weave our own stories into our books.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
A lot of my women characters have a dose or more of me in them. Why not...it's what I know.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
I believe so. It's what draws a reader to the book, read the blurb and perhaps then buy the book. I have a fantastic Canadian cover artist, Dawne Dominique, and she makes each cover perfectly reflect the book I've written. Eye-catching, too.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I have found that many people don't actually care for me as a person, but love my stories. So I prefer to speak to them through those tales.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Happy. Content. A little flattered. After 50 years, though, it isn't as important as it once was. I am happiest that my books are out there.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
Stephen King, of course. Because he is so versatile. He can write many different genres. I also admire many other authors like Heinlein, Bradbury and the better known mystery writers.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
I'm past that. I don't care to be as big as anyone else...just be me.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
No. The person who wrote each book over the last fifty years no longer exactly exists today. I have moved on and so I will leave my novels as they are.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
No one. I am happy to be me.
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
I ignore them. I don't engage with them. I did years ago when I was younger, more easily annoyed, but not now. Everyone has their own opinion and some people just like to make a fuss.
What would you say to your readers?
I hope my books touched you in some way. Made you either smile, laugh, sigh, or cry. Feel something. Thank you for buying and reading them all these years.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I live in a small town in the Midwest. I was married for 43 years, but my beloved husband, Russell, just recently passed away. I miss him immensely. We had a rare forever love. I have a son, two grandchildren and a step-son.
What is your day job if you have one?
I'm officially retired these days...but I continue to write.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I used to have hobbies. Music, drawing and painting, walking in the woods. I used to do crafts. These days my writing empire - writing, formatting, promoting- takes most of my time.
Did you have a happy childhood?
Yes. I was raised with six siblings, a mom, dad and grandparents. We were poor, but always had a lot of love. I am what my childhood made of me. Curious, hopeful, and usually optimistic.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Yes. My 15 year old brother was killed by his best friend, who had a bad trip on drugs, way back in 1971...it was the tragedy that produced my first published short story.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
Three, I think. One was about a comet coming to crash into the earth (never finished), one was a SF about a cyborg maker and his human-acting cyborg, kind of like Data in Star Trek (also unfinished), and one was about a plane full of people who crash and all but one end up being ghosts (too much like Lost, so I never finished that one, either). I have no idea where those very old typed manuscripts are now.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
More arts, less sports. Teach them more compassion and kindness; not hatred or prejudice.
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
(1) That I could have my husband back.
(2) That the country wasn't so divisive and full of hate.
(3) I could find happiness and peace again in my life.
What is your favorite music?
Classic rock. Gerry Rafferty. Tom Petty. The Beatles. The Eagles. Country from the 1990s.
Share a secret with us 🙂
I am just a normal human being who feels everything everyone else does. Sadness. Happiness. Want. Need. Hope. Fear.