Double Trouble Author Interview: Greg Cox

Double Trouble: An Anthology of Two-Fisted Team-Ups, edited by Jonathan Maberry & Keith R.A. DeCandido, presented by the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, is now funding on Kickstarter. The anthology features more than a dozen great tie-in writers teaming classic characters up. We’ve already done an interview with Rigel Ailur (teaming Annie Oakley with Marian of Sherwood).

Here’s an interview with Greg Cox, who is pairing two classic horror movies, The Brain that Wouldn’t Die and Night of the Living Dead.

Greg Cox is the New York Times best-selling author of numerous movie novelizations and media tie-in novels. He has received six Scribe Awards, including one for Life Achievement, from the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

What led you to choose the characters you’re using for your Double Trouble story?

Sheer perversity, mostly. With thousands of years of classic literature, mythology, and history to draw upon, I couldn’t resist classing the joint up by digging deep into the murky realm of . . . public-domain horror movies!

(Which, of course, I have on DVD.)

The challenge then was to find two vintage fright flicks that were both incontrovertibly p.d. and that could, mad-scientist style, be stitched together to form a new hybrid horror that was (hopefully) twice as ghastly as the originals. After considering and passing over such tempting specimens as Teenage Zombies, Attack of the Giant Leeches, and Ed Wood’s immortal Bride of the Monster, I eventually settled on a monstrous mashup of The Brain that Wouldn’t Die and the original Night of the Living Dead. A living brain versus brain-eating ghouls? What could go wrong?

The fools called me mad. They said some crossovers were meant to be left alone, but I’ll show them!  My new story is alive, I tell you, or at least dead-alive! 

What do you enjoy most about writing tie-in fiction?

Nostalgia is a big factor here. My inner fanboy still can’t believe that I’m actually getting paid to write about Star Trek and Planet of the Apes and Batman and Godzilla and such. My not-so-guilty secret is that I love all this stuff and would be counting the days to the next episode of Strange New Worlds or She-Hulk even if I wasn’t a professional geek.

What’s your favorite licensed universe that you’ve written in during your career as a tie-in writer?

This sounds like a cop-out, but, honestly, I enjoy the variety. As a tie-in writer, I’ve been able to write science fiction, fantasy, horror, murder mysteries, weird westerns, and even one historical romance. I constantly get to stretch new muscles and jump from genre to genre . . . which is a ball.

What do you have that’s now out or coming out soon?

Thanks for asking!  I’ve been contributing new Trek short stories for Star Trek Explorer magazine on a fairly regular basis. In addition, I have two new sword-and-sorcery stories coming out in immediate future, one in the next issue of Weird Tales magazine and the other in an upcoming anthology, Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2022.

Beyond that, like most authors, I have various stories and proposals on submission here, there, and everywhere. Stay tuned for future announcements!   

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