Michael J. Grayson

Michael J. Grayson

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
April 2, 2004

Q. Who is Michael J. Grayson?

A. Michael J. Grayson is a writer of several genres, including children's stories and suspense fiction. I am also a journalism major.

Q. What inspired you to write the novel ASCENDING SHADOWS?

A. I remember as a youngster, I wanted to be a hustler like my older brothers were. I did it but not to the point where it might upset my mom. I was very low key. When the drug sales dwindled and hustling was no longer in style, the hustler life inspired me so much that I wanted to write a story. So I first wrote a story about a troubled youth named Maurice Patterson in an 81 page story called "One Bad Apple." I wanted to try and turn some negative energy into something positive. So, I rewrote it around a year later on a deeper level and it turned into a novel length manuscript called "Ascending Shadows".

Q. How did you come about the title?

A. I wanted a short title with just a few words. I looked at the characters and thought, 'They're not all good and they're not all bad.' So I wanted a title where I could show a grey area, or dark and light areas where 'Ascending' could represent their luminous nature, while 'Shadows' could represent their imperfections. So I called the story Ascending Shadows.

Q. How did you come about Maurice's character?

A. Maurice's character was made through my own experiences of having brothers who were dealing drugs and being enticed by that lifestyle. So as the character got more and more into the street lifestyle I made Maurice become very seduced by that and I made him do things that I didn't do.

Q. Loretta was very involved in the church and Shannon was into the law. Why did you choose to let both character not turn Maurice in to the law for his crimes?

A. Both characters were closer to Maurice than the police were. The police saw Maurice as this notorious villain, as this repeat offender who needed to be destroyed and fast; when in fact Loretta and Shannon knew that he was a retaliator who was at odds with other offenders who were just as bad as he was or worse. Sometimes the people real close to you will protect you at all costs and that was the case with Loretta and Shannon. Unless there is a substantial reward for someone's capture, no one will turn a loved one in to the authorities.

Q. Why did you choose crime to write about?

A. Crime is one of the things that's very open in our society and in many cases it continues to prevail over justice. You see it everyday and writing about something problematic is of interest. So that's what I decided to write about. But crime in general is just one of the things that I write about.

Q. How long have you been writing?

A. I've been writing for close to 16 years now.

Q. Are you currently working on another novel?

A. Yes. My next novel will go into its editing stages very soon and I'm working on several writings at present.

Q. What type of atmosphere do you require to write?

A. I choose to write in a closed-in, very quiet atmosphere.

Q. What message would you like readers to receive from reading ASCENDING SHADOWS?

I just wanted to show the main reasons why some people do what they do and the effects that come with selling drugs, robbing people, betraying people, murdering people, using drugs, and consuming alcohol so they will at least think twice about doing it.