TAEM- The Arts and Entertainment Magazine is extremely honored to present author W. G. Griffiths to all of our readers. His books are well known among readers for his work in both fiction and non-fiction. Unlike most writers, William’s authenticity in his work is captured from his own personal experiences. William, why did you choose writing as your career, and who was your greatest inspiration?
WGG- Well, allow me to answer those two questions in reverse order. One day a friend tossed me a book and said, “Hey man, you will love this.” He was right. Being a builder my whole life, I saw the structure of this masterpiece story built like a house. Foundation, inner support, frame, balance, schedule of events, attention to fine detail, twists, turns, focal points and an interesting exterior cover. The book not only delivered an amazing premise masterfully weaved by a genius author, but it opened a door of fascination that made me say, “I want to build a book,” which was truly what I imagined writing a novel to be; a construction project. Oh, the book was Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.
TAEM- A lot of our readers are Students of the Arts. Did you have any formal training as a writer and when did you discover your skills?
WGG- Actually no. After I made the decision to write something I spent ninety-five dollars on an adult ed novel writing class learn some basics and cross-pollinate with other writers. I researched everything first hand and took my time to explore physical facts and acts, so my writing would convey not just a story but a personal experience in the hope that my readers would believe they were living the words. When the initial completed manuscript of MALCHUS was given to my first readers the response was very encouraging and by some miracle it quickly fell into the right hands and was published as a featured selection in the Doubleday Book-club system. Their only question was, “What else do you have for us?”
TAEM- You have stated that to be a good writer a person needs to experience all the facets of his work. You have accomplished all of emotions and experiences that your stories offer. Please tell our readership of the many feats that you accomplished to make your writing so life-like.
WGG- Be the character. If your character lives in Jerusalem, go there, breath the air, walk the ground, eat the food and read everything you can on the times, cultures, laws and relationships your character had to live in. If your character has to jump out of a plane, so should you. Let your reader feel the fall. My vacations often bring me off the beaten path to places like USAMRIID to study germ warfare, and Tanzania to hunt Cape Buffalo, where I literally brought back a native who badly wanted to escape to America. He lived in my house for the next 8 months and had extremely precise descriptions that helped color my story in a way I never would be able to. I once interviewed a flight attendant in flight about procedures and dialogue that would take place if the biblical plague that caused the first born to die 3,000 years ago was unleashed on board during a flight and people just started dying horribly agonizing deaths, including the pilots. Without getting into her initial confused response, she wound up writing for me the exact banter she would have with ground control. It was priceless.
TAEM- Tell us about your novel Driven and the theme behind it.
WGG- The premise for DRIVEN came to me while taking a very long shower the day after my daughter Robyn was killed by a drunk driver. On my hands and knees, water drumming my back and muffling other sounds away, I saw a group of demons moving together across time from one human host to another for thousands of years. Like real estate, humans were assessed by what was attractive to the individual house hunting demons. Like humans all the demons were different and similar to us picking a home to live in, they would look for traits in us that made them individually comfortable. Where humans would look at brick, stone, location, landscape, color, size and condition, the demons would look for weaknesses and addictions to live in and exploit. There were a few rules they had to follow. Once a home was chosen and occupied they would have to stay there until they were either thrown out or the home died. Then they would be free to find a new home. Some demons were stronger and more feared than others. One very powerful demon would look for a human body that could really take a punch and then go out and really have fun… at the complete expense of the possessed human.
TAEM- Who are the main protagonists and antagonists in Driven?
WGG- The particularly powerful demon I named Krogan and he, or it, became the antagonist. The protagonist was a New York homicide detective whose path inadvertently crossed with Krogan’s one Sunday while enjoying a stroll down memory lane with his grandfather. After the events of that day, the detective was “driven” to find the one responsible, though he didn’t know that the one truly responsible was not actually human. When he found out the truth, he readjusted his focus and his weapons to deal with the immortal Krogan.
TAEM- Please describe Malchus and tell us about the storyline and the inspiration behind it.
WGG- Malchus is the story of a real person. He was the actual slave of Ciaphas, the high priest responsible for the arrest and execution of Jesus. Malchus was a fly on the wall for the most infamous plot in human history. The Bible records him once briefly by name. He was ordered by his master to accompany the Roman soldiers, Temple Guard soldiers and chief priests to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Jesus, the blaspheming false prophet who was very bad for temple business, the biggest money machine on the planet. Well what seemed like something that was going to be a simple assignment turned out to be anything but and a life-changing experience for Malchus. During the arrest, according to the Bible, his ear was chopped off and Jesus said that famous quote, “Put away your sword, for he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword,” then touched Malchus’ wound and the slave was instantly healed. After that, no ones life, especially Malchus’, would ever be the same. Then Malchus had to go back home to Caiaphas and soon to escape for his life.
TAEM- Your next work is titled Takedown and is a sequel to Driven. What is the connection between the two, and are the protagonists for the first book carried over to it?
WGG- Warner Books wanted a sequel. All the main characters remain the same with a couple cool additions. Driven seemed at first to be an impossible act to follow because once the cat is out of the bag how do you get it back in, but the reviews were happy and the book is still doing well.
TAEM- These were followed by your work called Malco. How does this differ from your previous work, and what is the inspiration behind it?
WGG- Malchus went international. Every time I turned around I was getting an email from the editor of another country with fact finding questions, like fruits that existed in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. Apparently oranges didn’t find their way there till a couple hundred years after Christ, so the bowl of fruit on the table in Ciaphas’ palace would probably be pomegranates. Malco is the Spanish addition of Malchus and is due out this month… and in Malco a bowl of pomegranates spill on the floor.
WGG- Methuselah’s Pillar takes readers on an urgent race across time and faith, where myth and science wrestle for truth. Prehistoric legends are resurrected into the modern world of greed, espionage and bio warfare.
On a remote hillside in Afghanistan, a shepherd minding his flock thinks he hears thunder. As rockets whoosh overhead, he runs for his life. A missile explodes nearby and opens a deep crevasse. The shepherd dives into it for cover. There he finds a hidden sanctuary and a lost ancient artifact known as Methuselah’s Pillar.
According to legend, Methuselah received a pillar from his seven times great grandfather, a man called Adam, whose mysterious origin and knowledge was finely etched into the stone. Was the pillar divine, or did actual scientific data help Methuselah to become known as the oldest man who ever lived? The legend also claims that Moses possessed the enlightening pillar before he singlehandedly delivered Hebrew slaves from the powerful Egyptians with miraculous plagues.
Soon after the pillar’s discovery, American unmanned reconnaissance drones spot strange anomalies in the craggy northern mountains of Afghanistan. The Army sends special ground forces in to investigate. They were completely unprepared for what they found. Samantha Conway, a renowned archaeologist and ancient language expert, is called to decipher the pillar’s writings, as deadly plagues dating from the time of Moses return.
The Road to Forgiveness is a non fiction about forgiving the woman who killed my daughter. If you consider the premise of DRIVEN, this was my way of dealing with the real killer.
TAEM- The following year you published Stingers which has been optioned for film, and Talons. Both have lifted you up to the top of the list for most readers. Please describe these works and the satisfaction that they have given you.
WGG- Talons is a murder mystery. The research required for this book was fascinating and wildly fun. Imagine a golden eagle falconer with a hit list who has devised a high tech way to train his lethal raptors to attack specific people. The murder weapon kills a thousand miles from its natural habitat and then flies away.
Stingers was the most enjoyable book to write. Can’t count the times I had to stop writing because I was laughing too hard. A twelve year old modern day female version of Huckleberry Finn has been given the “sound shooter” by her inventor father as a fun toy to play with. The size of a camcorder, it has an infrared scope that allows her to aim the laser into someone’s ear up to a football field away. The microphone channels her voice through the laser. The victim hears a voice in one ear but can’t see who is speaking. With this harmless little toy she then changes the shape of her town.
WGG- TIMESCAPE is the sequel to Methuselah’s Pillar. The pillar has more information on it than recipes for Egyptian plagues. According to legend Methuselah was also the oldest person to ever lived and did not die of natural causes. This book deals with Samantha Conway finding a recipe for immortality on the pillar and what she does with it.
TAEM- You have also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Describe your experience with this honor and the topic of your appearance.
WGG- My ex-wife Cindy and I first met the woman who killed our daughter, on the stage of the Oprah Winfrey Show. The Road to Forgiveness book tells the entire story. Oprah was wonderful and was touched enough by what happened there to make it part of her “Best of Oprah” show that pulled 6 interviews from more than 20,000 guests over 13 years. The real star of that show was Cindy. Her forgiveness and compassion was more from the heart where mine was more from the fist.
TAEM- You also lecture at grade schools and Universities. How can people contact you to appear for a presentation, and tell us about your new blog.
WGG- I can be contacted through my website, wggriffiths.com or through my email firstname.lastname@example.org. The new blog deals mostly with first hand research techniques and experiences. The internet can get you just far enough to write a good book, but publishers and readers are not buying good books. There are already millions of good books out there not selling. If you want to sell your book it has to be sensational and to get that you need to get off the internet and get dirty.
TAEM- William, it has been a pleasure and an honor to be able to have this interview with you for our publication. We are most happy to include the cover art and links for all your books to purchase by our many readers, and know that they will be most eager to do so. You are an inspiration to many writers such as myself, and your work is both thrilling and spellbinding. Thank you again for your time, and promise that you will keep us updated with any new material in the future.