Some dark serendipity plopped a young Patrick Greene in front of a series of ever stranger films-and experiences-in his formative years, leading to a unique viewpoint. His odd interests have led to pursuits in film acting, paranormal investigation, martial arts, quantum physics, bizarre folklore and eastern philosophy. These elements flavor his fiction works, leading to strange and unexpected detours designed to keep readers on their toes.
Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
Olivia Irons was a child of privilege. But a teen pregnancy led to family upheaval, which led to a stint in Special Forces. Mourning the loss of her lover -a fellow operative- Liv seeks sanctuary in a random town, unaware that a small troupe of vampires seeks to recruit her to lead them in saving the world from a renegade faction.
My wife has a thing for vampires and I really wanted to write something for her to, you know, get some snuggles, and it seems to have worked.
Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?
Traditional publishing through Hobbes End was a foregone conclusion for this one because I was fortunate enough to have my first novel Progeny published with them, as well as having stories included in their well-received The Endlands anthologies. The beautiful cover and interior design by Jordan Benoit is sort of a trademark of theirs. There was a bit of back-and-forth with that, then we were off and running. I tend to self-edit with a fair amount of meticulous brutality, which I recommend to all writers, as it really is the best way to maintain control of your work and have it reach the masses as close to the form you want it to as possible.
How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing the story, or did it come later?
It took a while. I believe it came somewhere during the second draft or so, when the story’s essence coalesced into its true self, like when you realize your child is going to be an extrovert, or genius, or athlete or what have you. That title leaped out as the perfect succinct description of what this point in protagonist Olivia’s life means.
Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?
I did, and I described it, referencing one of the posters from the Resident Evil film series. Jordan Benoit did a reasonable job of realizing that, but I don’t think any of us were really happy with it at that stage. Luckily, he had a concept in mind that was far superior to mine, and went with it. When I saw it, I was elated. It seems to come right out of the narrative, and an author can’t ask for better than that.
Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?
Jordan works with Hobbes End on most of their releases.
How was your experience working with the designer?
Really, it has been a matter of me sending my ideas to Jairus Reddy, who is Hobbes End’s CEO, then having him add his thoughts and forwarding it on to Jordan, who also did the cover for my first novel Progeny. In the case of that novel, it was exactly as I envisioned it, to the T.
What has been the readers’ response to your cover?
I’ve heard so many compliments on it that I wish I could take credit for it! As we know, the cover is a vital element of any book, despite that old adage. Unfortunately, there are a lot of terrible covers out there, some that have you wondering how an author could put their work out with that as its first impression. This cover is beautiful and atmospheric, with a great feel for the novel.
What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?
I would say to first take a good long look at covers that you find striking. Ask yourself why it attracted you, what are the colors and shapes and poses, if any, that draw your eye when you glance at it? Then search covers, and see which ones have those attributes. Contact that artist. Even of you wind up with someone fairly inexperienced, you can give them an idea of what you want to see – but leave room for them to interpret as well. The story is yours so let the cover be more of a collaborative experience. Sketch your concept if you can, or have someone else do it. Your concept may not turn out as well aesthetically as you imagined so leave room for the artist’s interpretation.
Anything else you’d like to say about your book?
I didn’t try to make The Crimson Calling everything for everyone, but I did find in the beta and outside editing process that it appeals to a good cross section of readers. Vampire stories lend themselves well to action and horror, but there is also an element of tragic romance in the best of them, and the consensus seems to be that Crimson is a decent mix of those. I want to hear from readers, as always, and my sincere hope is that it serves as a fun and emotionally satisfying diversion.