Monday, October 17, 2016

Interview with Greg Levin, author of Sick to Death - 99 Cent Sale!


Inside the Book:

Title: Sick to Death Author: Greg Levin
Release Date: September 3, 2016
Publisher: White Rock Press
Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Dark Humor
Format: Ebook/Paperback


When Gage Adder finds out he has inoperable pancreatic cancer, things really start to look up for him. He leaves his soul-crushing job, joins a nice terminal illness support group, and takes up an exciting new hobby: Beating the hell out of bad guys.

Gage’s support group friends Jenna and Ellison don’t approve of his vigilante activities. Jenna says fighting never solves anything. Poison, on the other hand… When the three decide to team up and hit the streets, suddenly no rapist, pedophile or other odious criminal in the city is safe.

They are the sickest of superheroes. Their superpower is nothing left to lose. But what happens when one of them takes this power too far and puts at risk the lives of hundreds of innocent people? Where does one draw the line when dying to kill?

Now through this Wednesday (Oct 19th), the Kindle version of Greg's new novel ‘Sick to Death’ is available for just 99 cents! (For U.S. and U.K. customers only. Sorry everyone else -- Amazon's rules.) 

The Interview:

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?

In my life life, I'm most proud of having helped raise a healthy, creative, open-minded and confident daughter. In my writing life, I'm most proud of my dedication to the craft, which has enabled me to continuously improve – and to discover what many readers have told me is a unique and engaging voice. I'm also proud of having carved out a career in which I can work in just my underpants -- or less. Oh, and having HBO option my last novel, The Exit Man. Definitely proud of that, too.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing?

I had a pretty happy childhood, which normally dooms a writing career, but I managed to overcome all the unconditional love and support and still become a tortured writer of twisted tales. That’s not to say my upbringing didn’t help me at all. I was a very talkative kid (still am), and when all my family and friends finally got sick and tired of listening to me, I turned to the written word. Nobody can shut you up when you're alone in a room typing... except for my cat, Dingo, who loves to sit on my laptop keyboard.

When and why did you begin writing?

As I just mentioned, I was overflowing with words as a kid, and those words had to end up somewhere. So I took to writing stories at a pretty young age. I think I was five when I wrote my first novel, and seven when I finished my first screenplay. Kidding. But seriously, from the day I was born I was anxious and moody, so having a creative outlet as a kid was key for me to not go crazy. Okay, crazier. 

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Dr. Seuss infected me at a very young age. I blame him. For everything. Especially whenever I receive a royalty check and can’t decide whether to laugh or to cry.

When did you first know you could be a writer? 

Well, like I said before, I’ve always written. But I didn't think about becoming an actual writer until after college, when I realized how unhireable I was and how poorly I got along with other people. Not being able to tie a tie also contributed to my decision to go for it. 

What inspires you to write and why? 

Living. Being alive is so beautiful and agonizing and mesmerizing. Capturing it all with words is impossible, but that doesn't stop me from trying. Life is hell, but fortunately hell is great for fiction. 

Reading also inspires me to write. Whenever I sit down to read a great book, it’s only a matter of time – usually about twenty minutes – before the author in me catches fire and I have to head to my writing nook. Before I starting writing novels, I read them voraciously. Nowadays, I’m lucky if I finish reading five a year. 

What genre are you most comfortable writing?

None of the usual ones – unless you consider Dark Humor or Transgressive Fiction “usual ones.” I don’t adhere to any popular genre norms or stay in a lane. That said, if I had to choose a genre for my books at gunpoint, I’d probably say Suspense, or Thriller, or Contemporary Fiction. Then probably get shot anyway.        

What inspired you to write your first book?

Delusions of grandeur. I thought writing a dark comedy about a mad poet would sell like gangbusters. But it was published in 2011, not 1911. In hindsight, everything I put into that thinly-veiled autobiography (it’s called Notes on an Orange Burial), I should have just saved for my shrink. That said, the book has developed a cult following among my immediate family and a couple of people in England.   

Who or what influenced your writing once you began?

Once I began? That I don’t recall so much. But I can tell you what authors have had the biggest influence on my own writing since I started taking this seriously. They include Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Heller, Chuck Palahniuk, Bret Easton Ellis, and Hubert Selby, Jr. They are each masters of dark comedy and transgressive fiction. Yet as big an impact as they’ve had on me as an author, and as much as I idolize them, none of them will return my phone calls or Facebook messages. Not even the ones who are still alive.   

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?

I’ll answer the first part. The biggest challenge for me when writing a novel is remembering to feed my cats. Also, remembering to kiss my wife and hug my daughter every now and again. What I’m saying is I REALLY get into the writing process. So much so, I often forget about the living process. 

Another challenge is figuring out the best way to format the handful of text messages that appear in my novels. Someone seriously needs to write a how-to book on that. I’m considering switching to historical fiction just so I won’t have to deal with text messages in my stories.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?

Yes – it taught me that if you spend time interviewing a poison expert as part of your research on how to discreetly kill people in your novel, you’d better not forget to THANK that expert on your ‘Acknowledgements’ page at the end of the book.  

Do you intend to make writing a career?

Oh, are you implying I haven’t made it a career already? You cut me, man. You cut me real deep. 

All joking aside, yes, I do intend to continue writing for a living. And all joking aside again, trying to make a living writing is a joke. 

I’m very fortunate to have a highly supportive wife who insists I keep at this fiction-writing thing, and who insists on paying most of the bills. She’s amazing and, as you’ve probably guessed, not right in the head. 

Have you developed a specific writing style?

Yes. I call it “playfully irreverent contemporary transgressive minimalism.” But that sounds ridiculous and pretentious. And not very minimalist. Which is why I prefer to have people simply take a look at some sample pages of my books (via Amazon or my website) and see/judge my style for themselves. (Several readers have said that my fiction reminds them of Chuck Palahniuk’s – and I didn’t even pay them to say that. But I would.)   
What is your greatest strength as a writer? 

I would say it’s my ability to bring humor to controversial and dark topics while simultaneously revealing the heart and humanity of very flawed protagonists. I love getting readers to root for a sociopath or a serial killer or just a plain loser, and laugh and cry while doing it.  
What is your favorite quality about yourself?

My ability to say, “Next question, please.”

What is your least favorite quality about yourself?

Don’t get me started. There isn’t enough space here.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” –Pablo Picasso. I came across this quote just last year. It really resonated with me because I used to be big into all the rules of writing and grammar, until I realized how ignoring them at times can truly elevate your prose and set your story on fire.     

Meet the Author:

Greg Levin is an award-winning author of dark comedic fiction.

Greg's first novel… meh, nobody but Greg really cares about his first novel.

His second novel, The Exit Man, was optioned by HBO for development into a TV series and won a 2015 Independent Publishers Award (a.k.a., an “IPPY”), earning a silver medal for Best Adult Fiction Ebook.

Greg’s third novel, Sick to Death, is out now and is being hailed by critics everywhere as one of the top three books he has ever written. Author Craig Clevenger (The Contortionist’s Handbook)calls Sick to Death “a tour de force dark comedy.”

Greg resides with his wife, daughter and two cats in Austin, Texas, where he reportedly is wanted by local authorities for refusing to say “y’all” or do the two-step. He is currently working on his fourth novel.

Visit him at



Tour Schedule

 Monday, September 26 - Book featured at The Dark Phantom
Tuesday, September 27 - Book featured at Books, Dreams, Life
Wednesday, September 28 - Guest blogging at What Is That Book About
Thursday, September 29 - Book featured at CBY Book Club
Friday, September 30 - Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge
Monday, October 3 - Book featured at My Bookish Pleasures
Wednesday, October 5 - Book featured at Write and Take Flight
Monday, October 10 - Book reviewed at My Book Addiction and More
Wednesday, October 12 - Book featured at Book Cover Junkie
Monday, October 17 - Interviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Wednesday, October 19 - Book featured at Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic
Thursday, October 20 - Interviewed at Literarily Speaking
Monday, October 24 - Book featured at Mello and June
Wednesday, October 26 - Book featured at Bound 2 Escape
Thursday, October 27 - Book reviewed at Natural Bri
Friday, October 28 - Book reviewed at Fundinmental
Monday, October 31 - Book reviewed at Falling Over Book Reviews

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