...Kathryn Meyer Griffiths
1. Tell me about your book Dinosaur Lake III: Infestation and where you got your inspiration for it?
I originally wrote the first of my Dinosaur Lake novels, Dinosaur Lake, over twenty-two years ago when I was still working full time as a graphic artist and still with Zebra Paperbacks (Kensington Publishers). Until then I'd been known as a horror writer (though over the last 43 years of my writing career I've also published murder mysteries, romantic time travel and suspense), so it was a little bit off the track for me as I consider it to be a thriller/adventure story with a dash of SF. I'd published four paperbacks with Zebra between 1990-1994, but when there was a change at Kensington and I lost my sweet editor, another editor took her place and he never liked anything else I wrote...so unceremoniously Dinosaur Lake, scheduled to be published in 1994 and all ready to go to the book shelves and with the awful title of 'Predator' and an awful cover, was dropped from their lists before it was even published. The new editor said, "No one wants to read about dinosaurs." And less than a year later Jurassic Park the book came out. Anyway, disgusted with the whole publishing thing (for a few years after that), I tucked the manuscript away in a drawer and many years later, 2012, resurrected it when I decided to start self-publishing. So far it and its sequel Dinosaur Lake II: Dinosaurs Arising have been the best-selling of all my twenty-two published novels. You see, I never stopped writing. Now here's the third book, Dinosaur Lake III: Infestation...where the dinosaur plague spreads to the whole United States and further.
2. If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would you sing?
Funny you should ask that…as I once sang with my musician/songwriter brother, Jim, when I was young. Started out with folk songs in the 1960’s and ended up singing in a rock band (now would be Classic Rock) until I was 21 and then I got married, had a child and began my writing career. I’d sing my own rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I never though much of the song until recently when other people sang it their way and some of those were so touching.
3. Who is your role model and why?
My Grandmother Mary Fehrt and my mother were both my role models. My grandmother was a feisty lady, a German immigrant, who worked hard all her life but was so loving and kind. My mother, Delores, her daughter, had seven children and many hardships raising them (us) but she had a stubbornness, and a love of reading and life that I inherited.
4. If you could cast a Patronus Charm (like in Harry Potter) what animal would it be and why?
A cat, always a cat.
5. What is one misconception people have about you?
That I’m stuck up, anti-social or arrogant. I’m not. To really be a true writer you spend so much time alone over the keyboard making up fictional characters in fictional worlds…that takes you away from the real world a great deal. I’ve always been astounded at how people think I’m anti-social when, hey, I’m just writing. Books take time.
6. Are the titles of your books important?
Yes. In the old days the legacy publishers I had gave me a title and I rarely had any choice in it. Now days, self-publishing, I revel in the joy of titling my own books. I try to make the title unusual or catchy so people remember it.
7. Are there any occupational hazards of bring a novelist?
Yes, poverty. I wrote for over thirty-years and got pennies from the publishers and for a brief while (2012-2014) I self-published and really made some good money for the first time in my life, that is until Kindle Unlimited made eBooks free for everyone for a flat monthly fee, ACX cut their audio book royalty rate for authors and the new much higher VAT, Value Added Tax, tax has been implemented for foreign country eBooks sales. Now I’ve lost a lot of revenue and know I just need to keep writing and adapting to the new rules. I imagine when I get the full rights back to my older fifteen novels (still with a publisher) starting in June 2015 I will self-publish all of them and then, hopefully, see a big jump in income.
8. How much of your book is realistic?
Just the setting at Crater Lake and the basic lives of the park rangers and the people they deal with…all the rest, live dinosaurs wreaking havoc, is purely made up.
9. Have you ever written a book that you loved but were unable to get published?
Yes, the first one of this three book series. Dinosaur Lake in 1994. See the answer for number one above. And another novel about the end days I called A Time of Demons. When I wrote it in 2010 I considered it my masterpiece, so much of me and my musician/songwriter brother were in it, but no one wanted to publish it until Damnation Books took it in 2010. Its Audible audio book, I believe, has a great narrator and is the best of all my 18 audio books/books.
10. Where would your dream vacation be?
My first ever written novel, The Heart of the Rose 1985 and reprinted in 2011, was set in 15th century England and I’ve always been fascinated with two countries. England and Ireland. I’d like to take one of those car tours where you rent a car and travel all over the two places at your own speed seeing the sights and soaking in the scenery. But, alas, I’m too scared of flying to go across the ocean in an airplane, so I’ll probably never go.
11. Do you collect anything? If so what?
I used to collect small stone gargoyles (as a horror author I thought it was cute), but no longer do. I do collect glass or small figurines of horses, unicorns and carousel horses.
12. What’s the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?
Ha, one Halloween years ago my husband and I dressed up as commandos. He was in the marines as a young man so he had lots of old marine fatigues and we put them on and swiped our faces with war paint. We scared everyone.
13. What would be the most gratifying thing a fan could do in your opinion?
When a reader or fan reviews one of my books and says, “I couldn’t put it down”, or “It was as if I was there living the book with your characters,” or “It was the best book I’ve ever read and want to read more of your novels.” When a writer hears any of those then all the sacrificing of being a long time writer is worth it.
14. What’s your star sign? Do you read your horoscope and do you believe them?
Leo. I used to when I was young, but now I know you make your own fortune and luck. When you were born has nothing to do with what you become. It’s all up to you.
15. If you could chose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be and why?
I loved being 45-50. I still had my looks but I had some wisdom to go with them. Grin.
16. What is the one thing you always wanted as a kid but never got?
I always wanted a horse. But my family, with seven kids, a stay at home mother and a salesman father, sometimes didn’t have the money to feed us, much less a horse. So over the years I gave some of my characters a horse or two to love. I’ve always done that in my writing. Gave my characters what I could never have or sent them where I couldn’t go.
17. To what would you like to devote more time?
To reading more and traveling more. When my husband retires in August we plan to buy a truck and a camper and travel the U.S. I’d love to see Crater Lake National Park and my husband wants to see the Cascade Mountains.
Chief Park Ranger Henry Shore has dealt with and fought real live dinosaurs at his beloved Crater Lake National Park for over six years. With the help of his rangers, a few brave FBI friends and army soldiers he’d been victorious over a prehistoric lake creature and years later some particularly fiendish, and clever, specimens of the flying variety. He and his newspaper publisher wife, Ann, thought their park was finally rid of the monsters and they could reclaim their tranquil life in a place they cherished. Not so. For suddenly across the park new and even more malevolent mutant species of dinosaur begin to appear and create havoc, attacking the park’s visitors and threatening its peace. And this time the primeval scourge isn’t confined to just their park. The creatures have moved into the nearby towns, across the western United States and up into Canada. They are so much more aggressive, smarter and hungrier than any that have come before and the infestation is spreading further and faster than Henry and Ann can even imagine. This time there’s no easy way to defeat the dinosaurs. There’s too many of them and they’re too devious. This time it’s full out war and the victor will someday claim Earth.
Kathryn Meyer Griffith has been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before she quit to write full time. But she’d already begun writing novels at twenty-one, over forty-four years ago now, and has had twenty-two (10 romantic horror, 2 horror novels, 2 romantic SF horror, 1 romantic suspense, 1 romantic time travel, 1 historical romance, 2 thrillers, and 3 murder mysteries) novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press; she’s self-published her last 7 novels with Amazon Kindle Direct. Her Dinosaur Lake novels and Spookie Town Mysteries are her best-sellers. She’s been married to Russell for thirty-six years; has a son and two grandchildren. She has one cat, Sasha, and the three of them live happily in an old house in the heart of a small quaint town in Illinois. Though she’s been an artist, and a singer in her youth with her brother Jim, writing has always been her greatest passion, her butterfly stage, and she’ll probably write stories until the day she dies...or until her memory goes. 2012 & 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for The Last Vampire-Revised Author's Edition and Dinosaur Lake.