A Brief Pause for Station Identification

There are probably people reading this who aren’t terribly familiar with who I am and what I do. This post is for those (possibly imaginary) people. If you’ve been here a while and are already pretty well-versed in what I’m about, or if you could care less and would just like me to get on to the good stuff about goofy old movies or whatever, feel free to skip.

For whoever’s left: My name is Orrin Grey, as you may have gathered. I write stories of the weird, creepy, spooky, supernatural, and occult, and occasionally edit books of same. Never Bet the Devil & Other Warnings is my first collection of stories, and it just recently came out from Evileye Books. I also co-edited Fungi with Silvia Moreno-Garcia for Innsmouth Free Press.

When I write, I have two big passions. I want to write about the supernatural as opposed to the paranormal, to bastardize a contemporary parlance. What I mean by that is that I almost always have some kind of supernatural element in my stories, and I try to keep those elements at least a little bit mysterious, not saddled with a lot of well-understood rules. Think Hellboy as opposed to Buffy.

I also want my stories to be, at the end of the day, pretty fun. Which doesn’t mean that I’m writing comedies, or that I shy away from a hard edge here or there. It just means that I’m less interested in scaring people than I am in having a good time. I like the tropes of horror because I have fun with them, and I want my readers to have fun with me. M.R. James once famously described the feeling he was trying to evoke with his stories as “a pleasing terror,” and, as usual, he said it better than I could.

As a reader, I’m drawn to classic ghost stories, and things that remind me of them. Some of my favorite classic writers include H.P. Lovecraft (of course), William Hope Hodgson, the aforementioned M.R. James, E.F. Benson, Fritz Leiber, and others. I’m also a big fan of Dashiell Hammett, Clive Barker, Richard Matheson, Roger Zelazny, and way too many contemporary authors to start naming here. If you hang around for long, you’ll learn quickly that Mike Mignola is my biggest hero, and the biggest single influence on the stuff I write.

Outside of writing, my big passion is probably movies, especially horror movies, especially older ones. I write a column on vintage horror cinema (“vintage” here meaning “before 1970”) for Innsmouth Free Press, and I write a lot about other weird and cheesy movies on my website. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes less so, but they’re usually something I love, one way or the other. Again, listing favorites would take too much space, and is better reserved for another post. Hammer films, John Carpenter, Joe Dante, et cetera, et cetera. I love monsters, and I’m likely to watch just about anything that promises to have a monster in it.

I’m sure I left some stuff out of this that I’ll kick myself for five minutes after I post it, but at this point I’ve probably gone on more than long enough, so I’ll wrap this up. Thanks for reading, and we’ll now return you to your regularly scheduled programming!

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