1. What is "Well Deserved" about?
1. Thanks for the opportunity to be on your site, Tasha. I’m honored.
Here’s the blurb on Well Deserved: From the small-time dealer to the returning Vietnam vet, the townie grocery clerk and the new police chief, the folks of tiny Argus, Illinois, all know what they want out of life, but the paths to their desires are conflicted and unclear. In a narrative with all the clarity and determination of a prophecy, Well Deserved chronicles the struggles of these four people as they come to the stark realization that their paths are not solitary, but entwined, and their very lives hinge on one shared moment.
There are several reviews of my books at my new site: http://www.michaelloydgray.com
2. What is "Not Famous Anymore" about?
1. And here’s the one for Not Famous Anymore:
Elliott Adrian, a famous actor of questionable skill, drinks too much and works himself to the bottom in Hollywood and emerges from rehab wanting to put the American Dream into reverse: he embarks on a journey to not be famous anymore and works his way back to his hometown of tiny Argus, Illinois. After a short exile in Loreto, Mexico, Elliott’s road trip takes him from Arizona to Arkansas and finally Argus, where he discovers the girl he was briefly married to in high school has a daughter he has never met. Along the way Fox News offers a reward for anyone who can find Elliott and once in Argus he discovers he can’t quite escape fame and must learn to straddle both worlds – Hollywood as well as Argus. A story about the value of fame and also discovering true self.
3. Which did you enjoy writing more?
I liked writing both for different reasons. With Well Deserved I had fun with multiple points of view—the four main characters keep crossing paths and it was fun to write a chapter as one person experienced events and then to write the next chapter from the perspective of one of the other four. Not Famous Anymore was fun because being famous is sort of an American obsession and I wanted to explore that through the eyes of an actor.
4. Have you always wanted to be an author?
I would say I wanted to be a writer from some point after high school. I flunked out of college the first time – too much partying! But a few years later I went back and finished from a better university and then I became a newspaper reporter for ten years. After that I went to graduate school and now I write novels. But as early as junior high school, I loved to read and sometimes wondered about writing, too, but not seriously enough at the time to really try it.
5. How did you decide to become an author?
I think it decides for you. If writing is really in you, and you love the feeling you get from writing, then you sort of have no choice—you’re a writer. You have to write. You become a storyteller and want to tell people stories and want them to enjoy them.
6. Do you like steak or pork chops more?
I actually prefer fish—lake trout, salmon, rainbow trout. I was in Savannah, Georgia, last year and ate some delicious flounder. And I had great salmon last year in Los Angeles.
7. Do you have any pets?
Two cats—EH and Suzie Lucifer. Both are big and orange but not related. Both were homeless when I found them. EH is about 18 and doing great. Suzie Lucifer is a little over a year old.
8. Which character in any of your books do you most relate to and how?
I’d say Art Millage, the police chief in Well Deserved, even though he’s a police chief and I likely would never have been cut out for that kind of job. I like him, though—he’s a compassionate and honest person. He has some standards and works hard to maintain them.
9. How many books have you had published?
Not Famous Anymore and Well Deserved, but my young adult novel King Biscuit is due out in June or so by Sol Books. My agent, Pauline Vilain in The Netherlands, is trying to sell three other novels I have written – Fast Eddie, Blue Sparta, and The Last Stop (sequel to Well Deserved). I have also written the screenplay version of Not Famous Anymore.
10. Thank you! Is there anything else you'd like to say?
Yes—here’s the blurb for my young adult novel King Biscuit:
In Michael Loyd Gray’s young adult novel King Biscuit it’s the summer of 1966 and seventeen-year-old Billy Ray Fleener has a plan. His goal is to escape the conservative gravitational pull of tiny Argus, Illinois, and experience the real world. He sets off on a road trip for Helena, Arkansas in Mississippi River delta country to visit the grave of his beloved Uncle Mitt, killed the year before in Vietnam. Along the way Billy Ray meets President Lyndon Johnson, Elvis Presley, a con man, militant nuns, a would-be rock band called Gravy is Groovy, and becomes the youngest ever music producer at the King Biscuit Flour Hour blues festival. King Biscuit is a young adult novel about coming of age.