He was amazing, and answered all my questions in no time!! Scroll down to see what he had to say about his absolutely stunning book!!!
Hello Greg, thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and to answer my questions. I know that every book has its own story – a journey that it goes through until it is finished, polished and on the shelves. What's the story behind “The Stuttering Tattoo”? How did it come into being?
Vanya, first of all, thank you for inviting me to your blog and THANK YOU for the great review you gave The Stuttering Tattoo!
I guess with Stuttering the idea came to me from some of the mysteries I used to read as a teenager. I was a huge Spencer For Hire fan back then and even though I can’t recall any of the plotlines, what I enjoyed most about those mysteries were the characters. If you have good characters the mystery is almost secondary. If you’ve ever read a Spencer For Hire novel I think you’ll find some similarities with my characters in Stuttering.
Your characters sound so real the entire time, like you've known them personally for years. How did you manage to accomplish that? Did you use real time people as models, or were they all created by your imagination.
They mainly sprang from my imagination. I’m a very slow writer; a good day for me is maybe two or three pages. I think the fact that I write so slow keeps me from getting off track. Also, most of my characters are just different aspects of my own personality so it’s just a question of keeping them all straight in my head. That’s not really as scary as it sounds.
There was this one character that came out of nowhere, but played a great deal of a role. I'm talking about Hank/Mike. How did he come to life? What's his story?
Sometimes a character can even surprise the writer. Hank was one of those “surprise” characters but I really felt like Steven needed a mentor besides his father and Carlos, someone who would be an older and wiser version of himself. Hank filled that mold.
Steven and Becky were obviously struck by a mutual interest right from the beginning. It played a major role even though it kind of remained in the background throughout the whole novel. Was it hard to base a novel on a romance that didn't feel tangible at all?
No, not at all. It was very similar to my high school romances. They were all very mysterious to me and left me basically clueless.
Where did the idea of the 37 and the tattoo come from? And why did we only see the tattoo on Becky and not on Sam for instance?
I had this old retro surf shop t-shirt I used to wear and one morning I showered, got dressed and brushed my teeth. Then I read my t-shirt in the mirror. It had a big 37 in the surf shop address. For some reason it really stuck in my head. You know how that happens sometimes? You’ll look at something and it just seems wrong for some reason but you can’t figure it out? It just festers in the back of your head. Well, it hit me about an hour later and I laughed and then sent a text to a couple of friends: “Greg’s rule number 37. If you can read your t-shirt in the mirror…you have it on inside out!” When I was thinking of an idea for a tattoo this episode was still fresh in my mind. The reason for why you sometimes see the tattoo and sometimes you don’t refers back to the title.
Carlos, my favorite character, was quite complex. He was a hilarious, concerned friend on one page, and a cold-blooded killer on the next. Was it hard to capture all his nuances when he wasn't really the protagonist?
I found Carlos very easy to write. For some reason he just flowed onto the pages for me. I truly enjoyed writing him – perhaps I enjoyed it a little too much. (channeling Carlos) You got a problem with that?
And one final question. The title had nothing to do with anything in the book. Or at least I thought so. But I think I figured out the meaning of it. Can you give us a little insight about that? Or is it top secret??? :)
Not top secret at all but I did want a title that made people think. A stutter is something that comes and goes, that’s here one moment and not the next. So there’s your clue.
Thanks again, Vanya! I love your blog. Keep up all the hard work.
I thank you too, for your time and trouble!! I sure will be waiting for your next amazing book!!