With Halloween just around the corner, who doesn’t want spook themselves out a little with a creepy ghost story? Greg Howard has the perfect one for readers who like action-packed paranormal stories, and who don’t mind a little blood and gore.
Check out the book trailer here!
Welcome, Greg Howard!
Cooper Causey spent a lifetime eluding the demons of his youth and suppressing the destructive power inside him. But a disconcerting voicemail lures Cooper back home to the coast of South Carolina and to Warfield—the deserted plantation where his darkness first awakened. While searching for his missing grandmother, Cooper uncovers the truth about his ancestry and becomes a pawn in an ancient war between two supernatural races. In order to protect the only man he’s ever loved, Cooper must embrace the dark power threatening to consume him and choose sides in a deadly war between the righteous and the fallen.
Blood Divine takes place in Georgetown, SC. How much research did you need to do to put the reader properly in the setting?
Honestly, not a whole lot, only because Georgetown is my hometown. It’s where I was born and where most of my family still lives. So I had a deep connection to the setting ingrained in me, and the real-life places I used like The Rice Museum, The Strand Theater, The Ice House, etc. I did do some research on Mansfield Plantation which was the inspiration for Warfield Plantation in the book. We lived just a short bike ride down the road from Mansfield when I was young. Back then it was deserted and widely believed to be haunted. For some reason, whenever we wanted to “run away from home” that’s where we went. Not very smart. The prologue of the book is an account of something that really happened to us at Mansfield when we were kids. Well…up to a certain point.
Cooper and Randy are too cute together! What was your inspiration for their characters?
My first real-life boy crush (meaning not a fictional TV character or an action figure) was my older brother’s best friend. When I was around eight years old, I thought he was about the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Then when I ran into him years later, as an adult, he’d grown into this gorgeous law enforcement professional and traditional family man. I thought it was so interesting that I still felt like a swoony eight year-old around him. I mean, I couldn’t hardly look him in the eye! It was pathetic. He didn’t have a clue he had that effect on me, thank God.
This story seems to thread together good and evil in a unique way. There are some biblical references to your Anakim creatures. Are you a Bible buff, or did you fictionalize those parts?
While I wouldn’t call myself a Bible buff, I do find Biblical mythology fascinating. When I first conceived, BLOOD DIVINE, I was simply trying to put a fresh spin on vampires and witches. That got me to thinking about Lucifer and the fallen angels of Heaven and pondering—what if they were the origin of vampires on Earth. That’s when the Biblical research started—first with the Nephilim, the children of the fallen angels who mated with humans, and then the Anakim, the children of the Nephilim. And, of course, the Biblical passages I used about them in the book are real. The Anakim were described as giants who ruthlessly slaughtered innocent people, so I made them the first vampires. The Divinum (witches), I fictionalized their origin and history. Since I grew up in the church, it was a fun way to tell the story.
Eunice and Eudora were my favorite characters, and there were plenty of quirky characters to choose from! Who would play these two in the motion picture of Blood Divine?
Eunice and Eudora are fan favorites, for sure! Ever since I saw Mireille Enos play twins in the TV show, BIG LOVE, that’s who I’ve always seen in my head when writing Eunice and Eudora.
Georgetown, where this story is based, is known as the Ghost Capital of the South. Any truth to that?
There was a sign when you entered Georgetown that proclaimed it proudly! So, truth that they claim it, yes! Truth that there are ghosts and spirits there, well there are just too many stories and legends not to at least wonder. Several books have been written about the ghosts of Georgetown. Like I said, we had our own haunted experiences at Mansfield Plantation when I was a kid, and now that it’s been restored into a beautiful bed & breakfast, I’m told by the staff of Mansfield that things still go bump in the night there. Without a doubt the most famous Georgetown ghost is the Gray Man.
What are you reading now?
I just started GLORY OVER EVERYTHING by Kathleen Grissom. I loved, loved loved her last book, THE KITCHEN HOUSE, and can’t wait to get swallowed up in that world again. And the writing is just too beautiful.
If you like __________, then you may love Blood Divine.
The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris.
Name three things about yourself that your readers would never be able to guess.
I sing in a 140-voice community choir.
I’m a TV junkie.
My age. (wink, wink)
What can we look forward to reading from you next?
I just finished edits on my first YA book that will be published by Simon & Schuster in Spring, 2018. It’s a male/male rom-com (heavy on the comedy), and couldn’t be more different from BLOOD DIVINE. Now that it’s finished, I think I am going to jump back into the sequel for BLOOD DIVINE.
Blood Divine is available now on Amazon!
Greg Howard grew up near the coast of South Carolina, or as he fondly refers to it, “the armpit of the American South.” By the time he could afford professional therapy and medication, the damage had already been done. His hometown of Georgetown, South Carolina is known as the “Ghost Capital of the South,” (seriously…there’s a sign), and was always a great source of material for his overactive imagination.
Raised in a staunchly religious home, Greg escaped into the arts: singing, playing piano, acting, writing songs, and making up stories. After running away to the bright lights and big city of Nashville, Tennessee with stars in his eyes and dreams of being the Dianne Warren of Music City, he took a job peddling CDs and has been a cog in the music business machine ever since.
Now an adult with a brain, Greg finds the South Carolina coast to be a perfectly magical place where he vacations yearly and dreams of the day when he can return to write full time in the most tastefully decorated beach house on Pawleys Island.
BLOOD DIVINE (Wilde City Press) is Greg’s first adult paranormal novel.
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers acquired Greg’s debut young adult novel, SOCIAL INTERCOURSE, which will be released in Spring 2018.