Author Spotlight: Greg Boose and ACHILLES

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Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine their spotlight on author Greg Boose, whose first science fiction book, Achilles just came out in September. It’s part of a trilogy that we’re excited to be carrying!

The fourth of six kids, Greg Boose grew up on a large produce farm in Northeast Ohio. He received his undergraduate degree from Miami University, and then later received his M.F.A. at Minnesota State University Moorhead where he focused on screenwriting and fiction.

Greg is the former Los Angeles and Chicago Editor for BlackBook Magazine, and his work has appeared on/in Chicago Public Radio, The Believer, The Huffington Post, BlackBook Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Reader, NFL.com, McSweeney’s, Cracked.com, and many other places.

 

After years of writing about travel, food and culture for magazines, Greg pivoted to working on Young Adult novels, ghostwriting two books for a best-selling series from 2012-2013. The first book under his own name, The Red Bishop, the story of a rebellious teenage girl on Cape Cod ridding the world of witches, came out in 2014, and then Achilles, the first book of a science fiction action trilogy, came out this past September.
Thank you so much for joining us, Greg! For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from Achilles?

 

If you’re into non-stop action and characters-in-peril who can still manage to crack a joke at the right or wrong time, then Achilles is the book for you. Achilles (and The Red Bishop) is chockful of action that keeps its characters constantly guessing who to trust and how to survive. There’s humor. There’s spooky, alien locations. There’s brutal violence. I don’t hold back when something intense happens, and I think my readers appreciate that.

 

What kind of research went into writing this book?  What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?

Achilles takes place in another galaxy 200 years in the future, involving space travel and made-up alien planets. Little secret: I don’t know shit about any of that stuff. So, I interviewed a systems director in the Civil and Commercial Launch Projects Group at Aerospace, who not only helped me figure out the structure for the ship in the book, but also invited me to watch a Mars rover launch from the control room in El Segundo, an experience I’ll never forget. I also spoke with a member of NASA about gravity and moons and the mysteries of the galaxy, and then I sat down with a professor of physics and astronomy at USC who entertained my ideas with passion and humor before getting down to the theories of black holes and space travel.

The book was stressful to put together for many reasons, but the truth is that I had to create a whole new world with new animals and plant life and landscapes and planetary rules. I spent a lot of time brainstorming up tons of weird creatures and trees and underwater thingamajigs, and then I had to sift through them to see which would make sense to move the plot along in some way. I loved it all, though. The creatures I’ve made up for the next book really make me happy. Some weird stuff, guys.

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What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

Here’s what I tell most people who ask me how I’ve been able to write seven books (not everything gets published, kids) in the last ten years: Have an outline and a daily word count. I think so many people get excited to write a book that they just sit down and start typing, or have a page of notes and then just go at it. A few days later, they’re frustrated and eventually give up.

I spend a month or more writing a detailed outline—three or so paragraphs for each chapter of what needs to happen—and then when it’s time to write, I give myself a daily word goal and record my progress in a notebook. Once I hit my word count, I get up and do other things. Hitting 2,000 words can sometimes take three hours, or it can take eight hours. But when I hit it, I walk away feeling accomplished.

 

What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

Support each other. Push each other’s work on social media or when you’re with friends. For the most part, I see my fellow authors do this, but I’ve also seen authors take a swipe at someone else’s book, thinking that it’s going to make their book look superior, but all it does is come back to bite you. Because when your book comes out and you need help getting the word out, those writers will remember how you treated them.

 

What else can we expect from you in the near future?

This October, Thetis, the second book in The Deep Sky Saga, will come out, and then a year later, the final novel will drop. I’m finishing up the outlining on the third book now, and then it will take me about nine months to write. This third one is going to be a doozy. Really excited about how it’s all going to end.

After this trilogy, I have plans for a humor novel about a dying millionaire who wants to spend his money on getting revenge before he dies. It’s a fun story that I’ve been looking forward to finally getting out there. Think Mr. Burns with less heart and even more money.

Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)

They should ABSOLUTELY check Annie’s Books first. When they sell out at Annie’s, you can look for Achilles in all major book stores and online, and you can find The Red Bishop online.

 

How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?

Hey, I enjoy a good follower or thousand. Come aboard. I’m most active on Instagram and Twitter (@greg_boose), with Instagram Stories being my favorite mode of sharing lately. I have a pretty absurd, dark sense of humor that tends to surprise people.

 

Thank you so much for the fun interview, Greg! We’re happy to have your books on our shelves and look forward to more.

About anniesbookstopworcester

Hello and come on in! We are your friendly neighborhood bookstore, stocking new & pre-read books, as well as toys, gifts, magazines, greeting cards, audio titles, and much more! We welcome special orders and we will happily take want lists. BUSINESS HOURS: Mon - Thurs: 9:00 am - 8:00pm Friday: 9am-9pm Saturday 10am-9pm Sun: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
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