Author Shane Gregory Interview and $30.00 Amazon Gift Card Contest LIVE Here!

All That I See (The King of Clayfield) by Shane GregoryBBB: Tell us 3 things not in your bio we don’t know about you that might make us leery of befriending you. LOL

SG: Ha! I think everyone is leery of being my friend in the beginning anyway. I am socially awkward in person, especially around strangers, so there are always uncomfortable silences, and I tend to say things that I wish I hadn’t.  Conversely, I think I am super cool on Facebook, so if you want to meet me, meet me there! LOL. After people get to know me, they usually like me. Anyway, you asked for three, so here are some:
1. As the director of a non-profit, I am always asking friends (and strangers) to volunteer, donate, and participate in the organization. I’m sure that gets annoying.
2. I love garlic. I eat it all the time.
3. I am horrible at small talk, and I don’t watch sports. So….no small talk about sports, please.

BBB: What actors would you choose to play some of your characters if your book were made into a movie or a TV show?

SG: I would love to see the Clayfield series as a movie or mini-series. I have to admit, however, it is difficult for me to imagine specific actors in the roles. Some of the characters are based on real people, such as Brian Davies and Nicholas Sommerville, so when I see them in my mind, I see the actual people.

BBB: How do you keep track of your world building?

SG: Ha Ha!…Google Maps! The actual setting of Clayfield and the other surrounding towns are all based on real places, so that part is easy. Sometimes, I’ll go out for a drive or a walk to have a look around, but often I’ll take a look at the town using Google Maps and Street View. Keeping up with secondary characters has been the most difficult part in the Clayfield books.

BBB: Please tell us more about All that I See and the storyline that drives it.

SG: All that I See is the sequel to The King of Clayfield, which is a zombie apocalypse story. My intention with the series is to keep it centered on the people of a small town. The zombies are not the main focus of the story. It is about the people that are trying to live through it. The main character is a museum director and one of the last people you’d expect to survive. He doesn’t have many skills, he’s sort of out-of-shape and out-of-touch, he doesn’t own a gun, and he doesn’t know what to do. As the story progresses, he changes. In All that I See he is forced to make more difficult decisions and do things he would have never done before to protect the people he cares about, particularly the woman he cares about.

BBB: How many more books there be in the King of Clayfield world?

SG: Right now, I’m going to say three. I could change my mind later and write more.

BBB: I understand that this series is based on the town that you and I both live in. What has been the reaction of the people who live here so far when the find out about your book?

SG: The reactions from local readers have been positive. I wrote the entire first book on my blog in regular installments. In the beginning, I thought my local friends would be the only ones to enjoy it, because they would recognize the places and even a character or two. Then I started getting messages from people all over the country and then from different parts of the world. A reporter from the local newspaper read the first book and contacted me about doing a story on it. It gained a broader local readership after that, but really though, I think the bulk of my readers aren’t local at all. Most of people in the area do not even know about it.

BBB: Are you a plotser or a panster? or a Planster (a combo of both – lol)

SG: When it comes to creative work, I am definitely a panster. I usually have a limited idea of where I’m going with the story when I sit down to write. It might be difficult to believe, but there are many times when even I am surprised by the direction the story takes. I had an experience a few days ago where I killed off a character, and I didn’t even see it coming until just before I typed the sentence. I actually stopped typing and stared at the words unsure if I should proceed. It felt like someone I knew had died, and I actually felt bad. In this way, I think it makes the writing exciting for me. Sometimes, I’ll have an idea for a new character or subplot, and I will try to direct the story there, but it doesn’t always make it there. I like to trust my intuition on these things. I also work in the visual arts. I have learned that I make my best paintings when I trust my gut and try not to over think it.

BBB: What types of creatures can readers expect in your world?

SG: Human zombies of all kinds. In The King of Clayfield world, the Canton B virus changes people in stages. There are people that are sick and out-of-their mind, but not yet dead. These are fast, albeit uncoordinated. Then there are those that come back after death. These are like the traditional slow, shambling sort. As the story progresses, there are less of the fast ones.

BBB: Tell us more about your covers and what went into to designing and creating them.

SG: I do the covers myself. They are composites of different pictures. I shot the background photographs at locations in my hometown. The photo of the courthouse spire on the cover of the first book was taken by a local artist, Ronn Moyers. The main character on the covers is me. When I was writing The King of Clayfield blog, I would include maps and photographs as illustrations for the posts. I got some of my friends and family to pose as zombies back then. We had a lot of fun doing that.

BBB: What’s coming up for you in 2012 and 2013?

SG: I am still working on the third book in The King of Clayfield series. I had hoped to release that in November, but it looks like it will be December or later. In 2013, I plan to break away from the zombie genre for a while and give a fantasy story a try. I’ve been thinking about possibly doing something in young adult fiction, because my nine year old daughter reads a lot, and I’d like to write something I would feel comfortable with her reading. I don’t think she’s old enough to read The King of Clayfield right now. Of course, as I mentioned in a previous question, I like to let the story progress on its own, so I won’t say anything is definite.

Author Bio:
Quick Facts
-Shane Gregory is the director of a nonprofit art center in western Kentucky.
-He studied fine arts at Murray State University with an emphasis on drawing and photography.
-He has worked on farms, in a grocery, as a janitor, in a toy factory, in a one-hour photo lab, as a freelance artist, as an art teacher, and for three different galleries.
-His interests include growing his own food, running, painting, reading, and writing.
-He met his wife in college in 1993. They were married in 1999. They have two children.
-Shane self-published his first novel in 2005 under a pseudonym.
-The King of Clayfield was written in 2011 as regular installments on his blog.

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  1. You seem like a peaceful person, so how did you learn so much about guns?

  2. Billy Bob Thornton would be great in the lead role, but he’s a little old. Maybe Timothy Olyphant or Robert Pattinson.

  3. I like Corndog. He’s a real POS and gets what he deserves.

    • Sion
      Yes, Corndog was one of my favorite characters. Bern was another. The characters with big personality were so fun to write. It think they’re only good in small doses.

  4. I do own a shotgun that was a gift from my dad when I was a teenager, but I haven’t fired it in almost 20 years. I have used other guns that belongs to my dad and grandfather. For the story, I had to do some research, because there were many guns I’d heard of but knew little about. I read about guns in forums, and I watched several Youtube videos. I don’t think my limited knowledge hurt the story, because it was told from the perspective of someone that also had limited knowledge.

    • Wow…this question scared me. 🙂
      I thought about it a few minutes. I suppose I have several fears, but at the root of all of them is the fear of being helpless. This could come in many forms.

  5. how has your out look on life changed since writing the books? do you enjoy life more knowing that in an instant it can be taken away? figuratively speaking.

    • I don’t think my outlook on life has changed recently based on the subject matter in the books. I have thought about what might happen in similar scenarios (not zombies, just TEOTWAWKI) going all the way back to the Y2K hype….maybe even further back than that. There was a time when those thoughts might have alarmed me, but they don’t anymore. I try to focus on the positive. I will say that all that prepping rage that was going on back in 1999 helped solidify in my mind what I really wanted out of life–a place in the country, a garden, a quiet life… For the most part, I am living all that now. I suppose the books are just me telling about things I’ve learned.

  6. If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

    • I would hope this is a round trip.
      I think I’d go to the future. I’m a big fan of sci/fi, so the future interests me a lot.
      If I did go to the past, it would either be a short trip of less than 20 years so I could have a sit-down with myself. OR I would go to the extreme distant past so I could see the prehistoric world.

  7. What actors did they imagine in the roles?
    I’ll come back and answer this after reading book one- just got it!

  8. I have a question for everyone.
    Do you think the zombie genre will remain popular for a while longer or is it on its way out? I know there will always be a core group of people that love it. It seems like everywhere I look these days, there are zombies, and I know people care get tired of that quickly especially when it is in their face all the time. Thoughs?

    • *Thoughts?

      • I think zombies will continue to be popular for many years to come. Vampires have been doing pretty well for as long as I can remember, so I can’t imagine this genre being any different.

        Great interview, by the way! =)

    • I think people will have to romance the zombie as they have the vampire and werewolf. They may not become hot and steamy (because ewwww)… But I can see the zombie best friend/sidekick who only eats the bad guy becoming popular. Which, in my opinion, would be sad.

  9. Do you have any plans to get your books approved for the Accelerated Readers Program? I know some middle schoolers who really enjoy your books so it would be good if they were approved AR books. That way they would get points for them also.

  10. Hello Shane!
    To answer your question, I don’t think the zombie genre is on its way out. It sort of fits Freud’s theory of the Uncanny. People tend to freak out more often by the things that are familiar to them under circumstances they cannot easily explain. It’s the human factor that still hovers around a zombie that makes them popular and I guess easier to relate. 🙂

    • Frances
      I can see what you are saying.
      i might be venturing away from what you are talking about here a bit, but when I think about the stories that freaked me out the most, they are ones where an abnormal and even absurd thing occurs in an ordinary setting. It might sound silly, but the story of the Kelly green men about an alien has always given me chills. 🙂

  11. Sounds like a great series!

  12. When I read the book, I think I was most impressed with the idea that your zombies are not just mindless eating monsters, but stripped to their most primitive mental state. The breeding was a shock to read, but made your zombies very believable. What inspired the primitive idea and will we see an outcome of breeding zombies in future books?

    • Kristin, I have a friend that really wants me to pursue the “breeding” angle so that they eventually reproduce. I never intended for it to go that far. The sex only occurs between those in the first stage of the virus–for those following their animal instincts. Once the virus progresses and the change further, that part of it goes away. By that stage, they are your run-of-the-mill traditional zombies. 🙂

      • It was and is a very interesting characteristic. Thank you for the answer. I am looking forward to All That I See!

  13. I find it really creative and cool that you do your own covers! And it’s great to know there is another person out there that is socially awkward. In the beginning I tend to keep to myself and silent… then once I open up…

    • Raonaid
      Thanks! Yes, with those that know me well, I can be quite talkative….especially after a glass of wine. 🙂

  14. (shivers) Zombie freak me out!!

    If you could go back and change anything in your book now that its published, would you?

  15. For those that read the book(s), who was your favorite character and why?

    Since I have not read the books I really cannot answer : (

  16. I had difficulty answering the second question, but I would love to hear what readers think. What actors did they imagine in the roles?

    Really hard to find the right actors to play characters in books. Anymore the new actors and actresses out there just don’t really connect with me. Sort of makes me mourn for the actors and actresses I grew up with.

    • I am unfamiliar with many actors out there right now. One of the previous posters mentioned a couple of names, and I had to look them up. I thought one of them might have had the right “look.” I have two young children, so most of my experience with movies the past few years have been with cartoon characters.

  17. I personally am not a big zombie fan…shifters have been growing on me, however.

  18. I think it’s so cool that you do your own covers too. I’m a visual person so I love covers that can give some insight to the story, and that you use your own photos and friends, lol!

    • I hope to keep doing the covers for books I write in the future. I enjoy painting, so I’d like to illustrate them like that. Doing the photograph/Photoshop method is a lot faster, so I’ll finish out the Clayfield series like that.

  19. Hi, Shane. What’s with the chicken?

  20. I don’t really have any questions, I would just like to say that me, my husband, sister, dad, and step-mom have all read the Clayfield series and are so excited about the next installment.

  21. Sara is my favorite character. She is flawed and insecure, but in her new world she is forced to grow in strength and in mind.

  22. To answer you question, I think zombies will be around for a while. With the popularity of The Walking Dead, World War Z is coming to theaters, and Hornady ( makes ammunition), has it’s own line of Zombie Ammo. Guns and knives are made and sold as zombie killers, and they come in “zombie” green. There’s a lot of hype around it right now, and since I’m one of the people who have loved zombies before the bandwagon I’m loving it. I love all the new books and comics out there right now. So fingers crossed it sticks around for a long time! 🙂

  23. I haven’t read these yet, but I did just buy them both. I can’t pick who would play which character, but I’m never good at picking them anyway. I don’t know a lot of names, I’d spend all night googling who they were! 🙂

  24. Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the giveaway.

  25. What are your thoughts on audiobooks? I work outside all day and the audible website is the best thing that ever happened to me. I get paid to work and I get to listen to books all day. Right now I’m listening to nothing but zombie books. Even if I’ve read them, when they are read to you sometimes it’s like a whole new story as long as the narrator is good. Do you think yours would “read” well?

    • Joani, I love audiobooks, and I do think my books would read well. I listen to audiobooks everyday. I have one going in the mornings while I’m running. I listen on my way to work and sometime while I am at work. Also, if I don’t have one that has been read by a person, I’ll turn on the option for my Kindle to read to me. I have been disappointed with the certain narrators that didn’t “fit” with the book.

  26. Thanks for the interview! Zombies rock!

  27. Curious- what kind of food do you grow? What do you find ‘easy’ to grow?

    • I plant a garden every year. This I grew zucchini, three kinds of tomatoes, three kinds of peppers, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, chard, spinach, lettuce, beets, arugula, and kale. Then there are herbs like parsley, dill, lavender, spearmint, rosemary, and sage. I have some apple trees, a pear tree, a pecan tree, and several mulberry trees. Gooseberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. I also eat some plants that are considered “weeds” When it comes to my chickens, I ONLY eat the eggs. Most of that stuff is easy to grow, I just have to watch out for bugs. 🙂

  28. I think that zombies will always be in as people always seem to be attracted to the macabre and whacky. I suppose that it is all to do with escaping from reality for a while.You are the only author that I have come across that does his own cover. If I was an author, I would like to have control over the cover of my book, especially as I have seen some pretty terrible ones. It must give you a great sense of achievement to produce the whole product. Do you live in some magical place that has more than 24 hours in a day? You are either super organized ,or have an amazing supportive wife.

    • Ann, yes, I do enjoy doing it all. I know I have some weaknesses there. For instance, I know I should never be my own proofreader. 🙂 No matter how many times I go over my manuscripts, I miss mistakes. With the third book, I will be having someone else come in to help me with that. As much as I’d like to, I can’t do it all.
      When I was in high school I wanted to write and draw comic books, but over time I lost interest in doing that. I still like the idea of partnering my art and writing. Right now, doing the covers for the books is the closest thing to that, but these covers don’t adequately represent what I can do. I think one day the art and writing will have more equal representation.
      I am organized when it comes to my time, but I’m messy when it comes to organizing my stuff. I do have a very supportive wife.

  29. Hi Shane.

    Your books look great.

    Do you generally set one large or many small goals?

    • Koren
      I am really big into goal-setting. I write out and review goals for every area of my life twice a year. I also break them down into smaller goals. When it comes to writing, I don’t really set any goals pertaining to the story, only with the work. I try to write a minimum of 1,000 words a day and just go where the story takes me. In that way, I can have a rough draft ready in around three months. I haven’t been able to hit that goal everyday with the third Clayfield book due to some recent work and family related stuff that came up, but that is what I shoot for. I try not to stress about it if I don’t reach it. Any amount, even if it’s 100 words, puts me closer than I was the day before.

  30. What do you do to reward yourself when you reach your goals?

    • I’ve never really thought to do that. Usually, reaching the goal is the reward. I would love to have about a week of having nowhere to go and nothing to do but read, watch movies, and play video games. Maybe I should do that! 🙂

  31. how do you have time to write with all the stuff you do?
    have not read a zombie book yet but love zombie movies will have to give it a try.

    • I usually have two hours in the morning between the time I put the kids on the school bus and I have to get ready to go to work. I can cram a lot into those two hours. 🙂
      I try to write in the evenings when I get home from work. My garden doesn’t get weeded very often.

  32. What was your favorite childhood book/series?

    • When I was young, I enjoyed The Hardy Boys mysteries. I also loved Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, Swiss Family Robinson, and the Zane Grey westerns. I read the Conan books in high school, and those got me interested in fantasy. From there, I moved on to sci/fi which is my favorite genre.

  33. Have you ever written fan fiction? For what fandom?

    • Not really. My first year in college, I did a short story based on Robert Howard’s Conan, but it was really bad.

  34. What story has made you laugh?

    • Flannery O’Connor has made me laugh a few times with her stories.
      I think the book or story that made me laugh the most when I read it was Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

  35. What do you like to eat while writing?

    • Grapes….mashed up, fermented, and bottled.
      Hmmm….never thought about it. I do eat a lot of hummus and crackers or celery while I write, so I guess that would be it.

  36. I’m not really a fan of movies or television so I don’t even know who any current actors are. This is so a much better question for my sister.

  37. I have not yet had a chance to read these books so I don’t have a favorite character.

  38. Are YOU properly prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse? 😉 I always wonder if authors who write great zombie fiction think about those kinds of things. I can’t even think about it! Every other kind of disaster? Sure! Zombies? I get all queasy.


    • I don’t think I could ever be prepared for something like that. I think I could outrun them for a while.

  39. Hi!!

    How has writing these books change you?

    Aori H

    • Aori
      I think writing in general, not just these particular books, but also writing on my blog and even in social media has given me more confidence.

  40. Love zombies, this sounds like an interesting series. Great interview!

  41. The human zombies you have created sounds terrifying but in a really good way!

  42. What actors did they imagine in the roles?
    I don’t watch a lot of TV, but Brian has the traits of a Clark Kent/Superman
    feel to him. Starts out pretty geeky and not real athletic but over the course of the book, learns how to kick major ass. I’m assuming he’s in this mid 30’s.
    Billy Miller (from Young & Restless) would be a great Brian. Throw a pair of black glasses on him and he’s geeky as all get out. Definitely can see him kicking some zombie butt all the while protecting Jenn, who I see Amelia Heinle also from Y&R)and cracking jokes while still being a gentleman.

  43. For those that read the book(s), who was your favorite character and why?

    Definitely, Brian, he is such an unlikely hero. I love how he evolves into a fighting, killing machine while retaining his humanity. Also loved his sense of humor.
    Love, loved this book.

  44. Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the first book and as soon as I finish my Amazon review am starting Am All I See. Can’t wait to get sucked back into your amazing world.