Donald Shane Gregory
Donald Shane Gregory
Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
Favorite city and why?
Prague was my favorite city to visit. I was there in the summer of 1996. When I was there, everything was inexpensive. There was beautiful art and architecture everywhere. As an added bonus, half the women I saw there could have been supermodels. But I wouldn’t want to live there or any city; I’m a country boy.
I’ll have to check out this Prague you speak of.
Birthday / Age:
I’m a Pisces, and I am 42 (the answer to life, the universe, and everything).
So now we know the answer to the question. Kind of a letdown it’s just “Birthday / Age:”
I won’t be 42 forever. Since celebrating my last birthday, I like to mention “the ultimate answer” when someone asks my age. Now I’m about to turn 43. I was supposed to have my shit together by now.
How would you describe yourself physically?
How would someone else describe you physically?
The first thing people notice about you is…
That I am tall-ish, maybe?
Religion, if any?
I grew up in a Baptist church, but I like the Quakers. I am not affiliated with any specific church right now, but my spirituality is very important to me. I spend time in prayer and meditation each day, I believe in the concept of karma, and I try to follow the teachings of Jesus. I don’t know how I would label it.
Jesuphile. Moving on…
Are you superstitious at all?
Not really, unless one considers my spiritual interests to be superstitions.
You’re the second interviewee to pick up on that non-coincidental sequencing of questions. Well-played.
I have some anxiety and little fears over lots of things, but nothing debilitating.
Do you smoke / drink? If so, what? Any bad habits?
I was a pack-a-day smoker for twelve years, but I quit. I do enjoy wine and beer. Bad habits… does Facebook qualify?
Only if you use it so much that it keeps you from getting other things done.
Current occupation / Dream job:
My current day job is the director of a non-profit art center, and I love it. I guess my dream job would involve me writing or painting or being creative all day either alone or with other creative people.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
When it is warm, I like to mess around in the garden or run. In the winter, I enjoy playing video games with my kids and hovering over my computer.
I like to ask gamers what games they like to play. So, what games do you like to play?
I usually play whatever my kids want to play. Right now, that would be Skylanders, Need for Speed, and Mario Kart. I do have a couple of old zombie games that I play sometimes (Dead Rising and Resident Evil 4), but I have had them for a few years, and I have yet to finish them. I’m not really a hardcore gamer.
What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
I’m not really a prepper in the truest sense, but I do have some supplies and weapons. I would do my best to avoid bugging out. I’d probably hole up and try to be inconspicuous.
Weapon of choice?
Do you have any special skills?
I make pretty good paintings, drawings, and photos. I can grow my own food and find wild foods. I can make tolerable to good wine. I am a good cook.
Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
Yes. I got a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Photography from Murray State University.
If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
Yes. My wife’s loans are paid off too.
Any pets? If so, what are they and what are their names?
We have three cats: Sara, Bonnie, and Mae. We usually have five or six chickens, but a raccoon killed a few of them this past season. We currently only have two chickens (Chili and Fluffy), but we plan to get more in the spring. We also have five large goldfish in an 80 gallon tank. They used to be in our little garden pond, but it got to where it wouldn’t hold water, so we moved them inside after we evicted our son’s salamander and converted his terrarium into an aquarium. The fish are not named. The salamander was named Stripy, and he’s now happy in the wild with his salamander friends.
What is your favorite animal?
That’s a tough one. I am definitely a cat person for pets, but I love all kinds of animals.
Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
Favorite / Least favorite Food:
If we are talking genre of foods, I LOVE Indian food. If I could only pick one specific food, it would have to be bananas, I eat a minimum of two of those every day. My least favorite food would be broccoli.
What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?
I’m usually pretty good with acronyms but this one stumped me. Care to explain?
There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. The saying was prominent in Robert Heinlein’s book The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which is where I first saw it, but it is much older than that. On the surface, it means you can’t get something for nothing. I hear it used by those opposed to welfare or social programs. I have also heard it as a warning in reference to a deal being too good to be true (this is the most accurate definition). But I say it to myself a reminder that if I have a goal, I need to pay the price (time, determination, exercise, study, or whatever) to accomplish it.
What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
My wife and kids.
What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
That’s difficult to answer. Every time I think of a specific event, I also remember the good things that resulted from it. I think I’ll pass on that question.
What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
Never quitting on my art and writing.
What do you do?
I run a non-profit art center, I write, and I paint.
How did you get started doing what you do?
I’ve been writing and painting whole life. I’ve been working and volunteering for galleries since college, so my current position was a natural next step.
What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
If you want to write books or draw or make paintings, then jump in and do it. If you think you need more education, then do that too, but write anyway. You will probably write a lot of bad stuff for a long time before you start getting good at it. The same applies for painting or playing an instrument or anything like that. Do it a lot, get lots of practice, and put yourself out there. Then repeat.
What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past?
Give us a little history if you will.
I self-published a book several years ago under a different name. I had originally written it for a contest put on by a Christian publisher. If I had to classify the book, it would be Christian Science Fiction. It was okay for a first novel. It didn’t win the contest (not even close), but it was my first complete novel, and I was proud to have accomplished it. I put it out there anyway, and I think I sold about ten copies. After that, I concentrated on making paintings for several years. I had a few solo and group shows in Kentucky and Tennessee. Then in 2011 I started writing The King of Clayfield series. The third book in that trilogy was published in October of 2013 through Permuted Press. I am still showing my paintings, and I recently had a show at the University of Tennessee in Martin.
I remember my first… *sighs wistfully and wipes away a single tear*
What projects are you working on now?
I have a couple of things going right now, including a comic book that I’m working on with a friend from college.
Ooh! What’s the comic book going to be about?
Bigfoot. I’m writing it, and my friend is doing the art.
What are you watching?
Star Trek in any of its forms.
How do you feel about the reboot features? I mean, aside from the overuse of artifact lens flare.
I loved them as movies, and I would watch them again. I thought the casting was excellent. All of the Star Trek TV series have had episodes that introduced alternate timelines or realities. I don’t understand why the alternate timeline was necessary for these particular movies, and I complained about that some when I got home from the theater, but I got over it.
What are you listening to?
Audiobooks and lectures mostly.
I love listening to audio books to help me get to sleep at night. Frank Muller reading Stephen Kings The Gunslinger is like dripping opium into your ear word by wonderful word.
I’ll have to check that out. The only Stephen King audio book I have is Blood and Smoke, read by the author. His voice is far from opium. I love the convenience of audio books. I love that I can take in a good book while I run or do chores around the house. If it has a great narrator, even better.
What are you reading?
At the moment, I’m reading a romance/erotica novel written by a friend from my local writers group. It’s good, but it is not my usual fare. You can usually find me reading science fiction or books about philosophy and spirituality.
Favorite author / book?
It is difficult to choose just one for each. Robert Heinlein, Ursula K. LeGuin, Flannery O’Connor, Larry Niven are some of my favorite authors. For book it could be Catcher in the Rye, Starship Troopers, Ringworld, The Road, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy… I can’t pick just one.
Favorite band / song?
Again, it’s impossible to choose just one. I like B.B. King, Tom Waits, Nirvana, REM, and They Might Be Giants.
Ooh! A fellow Tom Waits fan! What’s your favorite Tom Waits song?
Gun Street Girl. My favorite album is Rain Dogs.
Least favorite band / song?
For band I’m going to change it to most overrated, and I’m going with Aerosmith. For song, pick any of their songs.
If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
Be a space explorer.
Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met? You get three choices:
Alive: Stan Lee (hang in there, Stan!)
Dead: Any of my ancestors from any time period….also Edgar Cayce.
What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
My best job is the one I have now at the art center. My worst job would be a toss-up between working in a tobacco patch, on the line in a toy factory, or as a janitor in an OB/GYN clinic.
Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?
Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
Got any questions for me?
Wow. Three strikes and I’m out. That was like the reverse of a hat trick.
Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!
Thanks to you too!
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote. All of them.
About the Interviewee:
Shane Gregory lives on several acres in a rural farming community in western Kentucky with his wife, two children, three cats, and a few chickens. His education background is in the visual arts, and he is the director of a nonprofit art center and museum. He enjoys painting, running, reading, writing, and growing his own food.
About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island, and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
He is currently working on ten novel-length book projects which will be released in 2014.
He also publishes themed collections of interviews from his interview blog You Are Entitled To My Opinion.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
He is the Assistant Program Director for The Arkham Film Society and produces electronic music under the names Master Control and LOVECRAFTWORK.
He is currently working on a novel-length expansion of a short-story titled, "The End Of The World Is Nigh", a crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, post-apocalyptic, zombie epidemic project.
Check out the blog for the book here: theendoftheworldisnighbook.blogspot.com
Check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here: www.facebook.com/TheEndOfTheWorldIsNighBook
Check his author profile at: www.amazon.com/Scott-Lefebvre/e/B001TQ2W9G
Follow him at GoodReads here:
Check out his publishing imprint Burnt Offerings Books here:
And here: http://burntofferingsbooks.blogspot.com/
Check out his electronic music here: soundcloud.com/master_control
And here: master-control.bandcamp.com
Check out his videos at: www.youtube.com/user/doctornapoleon
Check out his IMDB profile here: www.imdb.com/name/nm3678959
Follow his Twitter here: twitter.com/TheLefebvre or @TheLefebvre
Follow his Tumblr here: thelefebvre.tumblr.com
Check out his Etsy here: www.etsy.com/shop/ScottLefebvreArt
Join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
Stalk his Facebook at: www.facebook.com/TheLefebvre
E-mail him at: Scott_Lefebvre@hotmail.com