June 4, 2013

Deconstructing Demons: an interview with Layton Green, author of "The Diabolist"

Layton Green's newest book hits shelves this month. The Diabolist is the third novel in the Dominic Grey series, published by Thomas & Mercer this time around, which you can find available for purchase via Amazon.com. I had the chance ask Layton a few questions recently about the book, the series, and deconstruction of the supernatural. Enjoy!

Gef: The Diabolist marks the third Dominic Grey novel, so at this point in the series, what have you found the biggest challenge with maintaining a series and its characters?

Layton: I think the hard thing, with each new book in a series, is striking that balance between introducing the series to new readers, while at the same time making sure the storyline of the series flows well for established fans.  I really want each work in the series to be unique and standalone, yet also maintain the integrity and continuity of a series.

Gef: It's been about two years now since you first came out with The Egyptian. How would you gauge your path as an independent author thus far, as it seems the landscape is still a fair amount of flux?

Layton: Well, this series has been picked up by Thomas & Mercer, so I guess it can’t be called independent any more.  I’m very excited to be partnering with Thomas & Mercer for a number of reasons, principally because they are great to work with and add value to the publishing process, and also because I hope to reach an expanded audience with them by my side.  However, I found being an independent author to be a fun and entrepreneurial experience.  It’s great that authors now have that option.

Gef: The deconstruction and analytical side of paranormal beliefs is quite interesting. What drew you to initially to this kind of subject matter that you've been exploring through the Dominic Grey series?

Layton: For exactly what you just said: I find the deconstruction and analysis of paranormal and the supernatural, as well as the subjective side of religion, fascinating.  I’m a huge fan of anything paranormal or quasi-paranormal, from novels to movies to X-Files -- pretty much anything with a spiritual or supernatural bent.  And while I’m always up for a good ghost story, I also like delving into the marrow of a particular superstition or religion, as I do in the Dominic Grey novels, to see what might be hidden inside.

Gef: When I first saw the title of this new novel, The Diabolist, I must admit that I had to break out the ol' dictionary. I had a hunch it had to do with demonism and Satanism, but that's not exactly a subject I'm fluent in. Where did you find yourself going to research such a grim topic?

Layton: I research all over the place, as deep and as much per book topic as I can.  The Internet and Amazon have made this a much easier to task than it used to be – the amount of information on the Internet and in out of print copies of books is staggering.  The research for The Diabolist was highly interesting – the idea for the novel stemmed from my curiosity about the nature of evil, as well as the origin of the Devil.  I mean, of course the Devil is mentioned in the Bible, but was that the first time?  Had the Devil or the idea of the Devil been around for some time?  How does that play into the nature of good and evil, philosophically and historically and theologically?  These are questions I explored through the writing of the book, and some of what I found surprised me.  I hope I distilled my research well . . .

Thanks again to Layton for stopping by the blog and answering a few questions. If any of you have any comments or questions, feel free to do so.

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