Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Google Bookmarks Share via e-mail
Welcome About OWNE Social Feed Our OWNE Thoughts Research Interviews Contact us
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share via e-mail

Otherworld North East
Studies in the Unexplained

Website design and content © Otherworld North East 2003-2015
unless otherwise stated

The opinions expressed on this website belong to the individual authors, who also retain copyright of their own material

North East Paranormal | Newcastle Paranormal | Durham Paranormal | Northumberland Paranormal

Otherworld North East
Studies in the Unexplained

Website design and content © Otherworld North East 2003-2016
unless otherwise stated.

The opinions expressed on this website belong to the individual authors, who also retain copyright of their own material.

North East Paranormal | Newcastle Paranormal | Durham Paranormal | Northumberland Paranormal


Telegram from a Cold War Kid – An Interview with William J. Grabowski

William J. GrabowskiInterview by Lee D. MunroIndependent writer/editor, author of JOHNNY FLASH, THE UNTOLD, and FLOWERS ON THE MOON; over 250 short stories, articles, interviews and reviews in CEMETERY DANCE, BEWARE THE DARK, and NPR-associated WIRELESS; on the Web at Forbes, 2 Paragraphs, Magonia Blog, Hellnotes, Horror World and others. Five years with World Fantasy Award-winner THE HORROR SHOW earned him a nomination from SPWAO as Best Nonfiction Writer. Peabody Award-winning investigative journalist George Knapp lauded Grabowski’s work on syndicated radio show COAST TO COAST AM. Twitter: @WillGrabowski. Blogs: THE NIGHT RUN on WordPress, and William J. Grabowski’s OUTSIDE LOOKING OUT on Blogger.

OWNE welcomes and introduces…William J. Grabowski

Quick intro question Bill; which book title most aptly reflects your mood today?

At this moment–12:38 a.m.–that would have to be Ted Holiday’s The Goblin Universe. Why? Because in proofing my forthcoming book, Black Light, I realized that no matter what I’ve set down there, my gut tells me nothing can be more haunted than human beings. Holiday decided not to publish his disturbing, well-reasoned study, but after Holiday’s death Colin Wilson (who I interviewed in 1986) got permission from Ted’s family to publish. This book explored so-called cryptids–i.e. Nessie and others–in a way completely shorn of personal belief, and ended badly for the author. Here was a guy making connections between slippery (no pun there) sightings and the far more troubling possibility that human consciousness might indeed have a hand in such matters. As you probably know, Ted died very close to where he had once had what can only be described as a “man-in-black” incident. He’d seen a guy wearing motorcycle leathers, silent and somehow menacing. A heart-attack ended him literally on the spot of that sighting. I hate such accounts, but they exist. Personally, I think he was so freaked-out by what he discovered it made him terrified of even discussing it. True to the end, however, he had the presence of mind to record the incident, very different from the usual MIB accounts.


As a working writer I imagine you need to wear two hats; a business hat and a creative hat. I’m interested – how does one approach inform the other? Also when, say you ghost-write something, is your “creative ego” put out by not getting recognised for creating (if that makes sense!)?

Glad you asked, Lee. It’s tough having a foot in both worlds. Having worked my share of suit-and-tie jobs in the 1990s, experiencing corporate America just on the cusp of the Internet, I saw brilliant engineers reduced to tears over some project manager’s hang-up with company promotion. Quote: “We can’t have this jerk-off geek pictured on our brochures.”  Well, several of those geeks moved on to California and Silicon Valley–and taught me the fine art of balancing business practicalities with creative endeavours. Though it might be–in our present global culture of people too-busy-too-live, a cliche, my old pals showed me that no one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. I’ve never forgotten that. The lesson has guided me, in meeting with witnesses of the unknown, never to deny them the common reality of simple human emotion–of the hauntedness of being born into a world brimming with war and strife and mystery. We’re not as smart as we think. I delegate 30% of my work-day to submitting proposals to prospective clients in need of various writerly skills. You’re right to bring up the “creative ego” aspect of ghostwriting, as it often is painful to remain anonymous in the wake of sweating blood over six weeks’–or whatever–spent hammering out a thriller, or what have you, employing one’s best fictive “magic.” Simply put, ghostwriting gives me the financial freedom to pursue projects that would be impossible to write if I had to constantly stress out over paying bills. It can be exhausting, and I carefully structure a set amount of hours each day to such work. Newer writers need to be savvy as hell in learning the art of selling their wares. Social media makes this easier, but is more demanding than in the old days of typewriters and snail-mail. For some arcane reason, clients expect a 24/7 presence. I average about 10,000 words per week keeping up, leaving not much time for my own projects–and sleep!


Next page