Monday, October 31, 2011
New Books: Gardens of Night by Greg F. Gifune
Greg F. Gifune:
It began as an idea for a trilogy. Three novels: BLOOD IN ELECTRIC BLUE, GARDENS OF NIGHT, and SMOKE IN CRIMSON. All would deal with female mythical beings (largely as metaphor) and explore various aspects of the human experience intertwined with mythology. The novels would be connected yet individual, in that they would (and could) stand alone as separate pieces. One could read only one, two or all three (in any order). But if all three were read, answers to many of the mysteries surrounding the stories would be revealed so that once completed the trilogy would become a single maze with a beginning, middle and end connected by a single enigmatic character that would appear (to different degrees) in all three, a transsexual named Wilma Malloy.
Ironically enough, it was the third novel that appeared first, but as a short story called SMOKE. It was published years ago and also appeared in my short story collection DOWN TO SLEEP. The novel, SMOKE IN CRIMSON, I have not yet finished (I’ve been working on it on and off for several years now), but the first two novels have been completed and published. Both have received a great deal of praise from readers and critics alike, and BLOOD IN ELECTRIC BLUE has just been released in Germany (to rave reviews, thankfully) as part of a foreign rights publishing deal I have with FESTA. As for GARDENS specifically, the idea behind it had to do with how violence (mythological and literal) might impact people who have suffered a terrible trauma without fully understanding why. For Marcus Banyon, the main character, a violent sexual assault against himself and his wife opens the door to what very well may be an alternate reality controlled by the Three Fates. A reality where Marcus can communicate with nature itself on levels never before imagined, and where nature can communicate with him in the same potentially dangerous ways. In the end, what GARDENS is truly about is the unprovoked annihilation of someone’s life. It seemed to me that, unpleasant and difficult as it was to write, using sexual assault was the best way to illustrate this, as I could think of no crime that strips away one’s dignity in such a primal and base sense as rape does. As Marcus wanders through a surreal dreamscape (much of which, despite his medication, may very well be real), he is confronted not only by the horrors of this life (and perhaps the next), but issues of emotional isolation, love, marriage, friendship, lies, loyalty and a myriad of challenges that will either lead to his destruction or deliverance. Perhaps, in some ways, the strange and frightening corridors Marcus wanders, from mental institutions to hospitals to haunted farmhouses with hellish underground labyrinths, will lead to both.
When Robert Dunbar of UNINVITED BOOKS (a dear friend and a wonderful writer himself) approached me with an idea to launch his new publishing company UNINVITED BOOKS with a novel from me, I was flattered and excited. After hearing his goal with UB to publish dark literary novels, I knew GARDENS would be a perfect fit. Rob loved the concept, so I finished the novel and turned it in. He loved it and went on to publish it, bringing to fruition the second book in the trilogy. Since its release, reviewers have called GARDENS OF NIGHT “superlative literary horror,” “brilliant,” “psychologically horrifying and brutal,” “deeply disturbing” and “extraordinary.” I’m very proud of this novel, and honored that UNINVITED BOOKS chose to launch with it. So far reaction has been terrific, and I look forward to finishing the trilogy by completing the final novel SMOKE IN CRIMSON soon. Interviewers often ask me if, of the novels I’ve written, I have a favorite. I don’t. But I do believe GARDENS OF NIGHT is some of my best work, and will speak to readers open to it in ways nothing else I’ve written has (with the possible exception of BLOOD IN ELECTRIC BLUE).
Many of my novels have been compared to David Lynch films, in that if you’re looking for something where everything is spelled out and tied up in a neat little red bow by the end, then I’m probably not your guy. On the flipside, I don’t want people to come away from GARDENS having no idea what the hell it was about either. But if you enjoy being challenged and delving into the darkest corners of the human experience, then I think you’ll enjoy GARDENS OF NIGHT as both an existential thriller and a thought-provoking and spiritual journey deep into the heart of what it truly means to be alive.
GARDENS OF NIGHT is available from UNINVITED BOOKS at www.uninvitedbooks.com also at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and virtually everywhere books are sold.
Visit Greg F. Gifune at his official site www.gregfgifune.com or on FaceBook.
He can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org