Interview with Author, Paul Grimshaw

I had the privilege of interviewing author, Paul Grimshaw. I hope you enjoy getting to know him as much as I did! I also hope you read this, click here, and purchase his book!

A little about your writing:

What is the title of your book?

“Travelers of the Gray Dawn”

Travelers of the Gray Dawn





Get us excited about your book! Tell us a little about it!

It’s an action-adventure time travel thriller about three Civil War reenactors who accidently travel through an invisible wormhole, and change the course of the Civil War at the Battle of Gettysburg. When they return to 2013, also accidentally, the world has changed. What if the South had won the Civil War 150 years ago? What would the world of today look like? While the book addresses in brief some of the social and geopolitical ramifications of a Confederate victory, it’s mostly a fast-moving, movie-like story with car chases, good guys, bad guys, twists, a little sci-fi, and even a love story.  It’s “Back to the Future” meets “Cold Mountain,” and “National Treasure.” Will these reluctant weekend warriors be able to fix the mess they’ve created? Can they? Should they?

Who is your target audience?

Every person living on the face of the planet with $20 to spend!  I originally thought more men than women would like the book, but it’s proven out that more women have bought and read the book and reviewed it positively, so I could be wrong about the target as mostly men. I’d like fans of Clive Cussler, John Grisham, and Dan Brown to consider it. It’s an easy, fun, and hopefully exciting read.

Where did you get the idea for the story line? Did it come from a personal experience?

Yes, it did. I address it in the Author’s Note at the back of the book. I attended the 125th Anniversary Reenactment of the Battle of Franklin (near Nashville) where I saw my first reenactment. I was moved by the spectacle and got chills thinking about some time-warp wormhole experience that placed me not at the reenactment, but the actual battle itself. Twenty years later I wrote the book. Twenty five years later, I’ll be attending the 150th Anniversary Reenactment in Franklin, at the end of November (2014), as a participant.

Which character in your story do you relate with the most and why?

Never thought about that, but probably Mike Phillips, though I can understand all the character’s motivations. Phillips is easy-going, doesn’t take himself too seriously, and enjoys his friendships. He’s also diplomatic and a fence-mender.

If your book were made into a movie, who would you cast to play the main characters?

Funny you should ask, I have fantasized about that for years. Here goes, copied and pasted from a three-year-old document.

Billy/Tom Grissom – Noah & Logan Miller (Twins, ex models, movie directors)

Tommy Fuller – A River Phoenix type, dumbed down, slight southern accent, serious, young

Susan / Suzanne Fuller – A cross between Reese Witherspoon and Ellen Page from “Juno”

Mike Phillips – A John Cusak type. Confident, understated.

Greg Jackson – Large, wise-ass (Victor Williams), played Deacon on “King of Queens”

Mac McSorley – Nicholas Colasanto, Coach, from “Cheers”

Dr. Henry Rollins – Similar to Richard Attenborough from “Jurassic Park” (not English)

Margaret Rollins – Jessica Tandy from “Driving Miss Daisy”

Billy the K – Howard Stern

Agent Tate –  Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith from “The Matrix”

Tate’s Partner – Bun E Carlos from Cheap Trick

Bob and Billy Fuller – Click “n” Clack, NPR’s Tappet Brothers

Hungry Bob’s Manager – Stephen Tobolowski. Ned, from “Groundhog Day”

Clay Sullivan – Jeremy Renner from “Mission Impossible 4 (Ghost Protocol)”

Is there a message or lesson in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?

Well, only sort of. United we stand, divided we fall, is one important message. I think only a slightly insane Southern ideologue would think the world would be a better place today without a “united”, United States of America. Race issues are also part of the message; as bad as they are today, they’re still better than ever before.

What does your writing process look like?

A mess. Starts and stops as my schedule, energy and motivation allow.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

I’m doing a re-write of the book and changing some names.  I have four major and minor characters all named “Billy.” Don’t ask me why, it was an oversight and I need to fix it.  I should have spent more time working on character names.

Do you have any crazy writing habits like wearing a special hat or taking breaks to stand on your head?

No, but that might help.

Do you ever experience writer’s block and what do you do to overcome it?

Knock on wood, that’s never happened.  Because I’m a freelance journalist, with assignments and deadlines looming all the time, not writing is never an option.

How old where you when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

My dad was in advertising, my older brother worked in media, and I have been writing stories since elementary school, but it wasn’t until I started writing for pay, first in Nashville, then in Missouri, that I realized I had some marketable skill, and that I enjoyed it.  My freelancing here in Myrtle Beach has gotten about as busy as I can handle, and I guess that’s the outcome of sort of always reading and writing.

What is your least favorite part of the writing process?

The editing and proofreading. There are still typos and fixes to be made (minor), but they bug me.

What writing projects are you currently working on?

I have ongoing columns and features for several South Carolina magazines and newspapers, so that’s the bulk of my writing, but as my fall and winter schedule lightens up I will begin to write the prequel to “Travelers.”

What question have you always wished someone would ask you about your book(s), but no one has? (Write out the question and answer it)

“Steven Spielberg wants to get started right away. Where do you want us to mail the six-figure check for the movie option? “

Answer” “I’ll come pick it up, thank you.”

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Just write, seek the opinion of other writers (not your family) and consider self-publishing without any delusions of grandeur.

A little about you:

Do you have a favorite author or an all-time favorite book?

Several books resonated with me as a very young child. “My Side of the Mountain” by Jean George was the first book I remember moving me and changing my life. I was around 11. Later, around 14 I read “The Lord of the Rings,” (Tolkien) and that too was a game changer. Then came “Chronicles of Narnia,” (Lewis), which also moved me. I’m a big fan of Bill Bryson’s travel novels, Mark Twain’s work, and for fun Clive Cussler and Dan Brown.

Among your favorite books, which fictional character do you relate to best and why?

Don’t laugh…Frodo. He’s the man, er, well, the Hobbit.

If you were a super hero, what would your name be? What would your costume look like? What would your super power be?

Supergrim. I could leap tall sidewalk cracks without twisting my ankle.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Travel, camping, hiking, fishing, movies, music.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I’m tempted to return to the places around the world I’ve been lucky enough to visit and love (The U.K., parts of Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Alaska), but I should go to the places I haven’t been;  Asia, Moscow, Spain, Africa (avoiding West Africa at the moment), South America.  Why? My love of travel and cultures different from my own, motivates my desire.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Depends on what day you ask me. Today?  “Tired, overworked, gassy.”

What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know about?

Many people do know this, but not all. Since high school I’ve had many different career jobs: restaurants, sales & marketing, distribution, lumberjack, auto mechanic, writer, musician. I’ve worked in the forest in jeans and work boots, in the garage in greasy coveralls, corporate offices with suit & tie, and in my jammies (like right now). There’s something to be said for all of them.

Oh, also my genealogy dates back to Vikings invading Middle and Northern England, and that “Grimshaw” means “Dark Specter of the Wood.” On my Mother’s side my great, great grandfather, named “Dietz,” was a Burgermeister (Mayor) in Germany.

Thanks Paul!

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