ISBN : 1-59780-065-1
1. Who published Grey?
The very cool guys at Night Shade Books. They have been extremely supportive and generous with me and my work.
2. Are any of the characters in Grey based on real people?
Not really. However, a clothing storeowner in Japan inspired the tailor. In fact, it was at that time that the concept of "Grey" was born.
I spent my junior year of college in Kobe, Japan studying at Konan Daigaku and living with a home-stay family. As winter came that year, I found that the one medium weight coat I packed was insufficient. I headed to the middle of the city to a mall in Sannomiya. Most of what I found I didn't like, and the rest didn't fit. Then around a corner, I came to a men's store that featured nothing but black, white, and grey clothes. The minimalism appealed, especially the idea that if my wardrobe were monochromatic no matter what I put on would match.
The storeowner was patient with my halting Japanese and I found a long black coat that I loved. Over the year, I bought a number of new things and became interested in clothes. The storeowner was named Sugimoto, which translates as "origin or roots of the cedar."
3. How long did it take you to write Grey?
2. A long time. Grey began as a short story in a writing workshop with Chuck Kinder at the University of Pittsburgh. Once I returned from Japan (see above) and finished college, I completed the first draft of the novel.
Much of the book's structure remains the same, but what changed over the intervening twenty-five years (!) and many rewrites were my writing skills. As I have heard some other authors say, it takes a half dozen aborted novels to get it right.
4. What are your favorite books?
My favorites include: Vladimir Nabokov's Despair, Kobo Abe's the Box Man, Witold Gombrowicz's Kosmos, Annie Dillard's An American Childhood, William Gibson's Neuromancer, Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, Jonathan Lethem's Gun with Occasional Music, and J. G. Ballard's Crash are a few that come to mind.