A Cold Dark Place – Gregg Olsen

by Robert Gregory Browne

Ahhh.  Second novels.  What lovely thing.  This week we’re doing something a little different here in Murderati land.  My friend and fellow Killer Year crew member, Gregg Olsen, celebrates the release of his second novel, A COLD DARK PLACE.  Taking place in the Pacific Northwest, A COLD DARK PLACE focuses
on cop Emily Kenyon, a single mother whose teenage daughter, Jenna,
becomes entangled in her current investigation. A family is murdered
and the teenage son disappears. Jenna knows the boy and wants to help
him. Emily finds herself investigating a murder and struggling to keep
her daughter safe from a killer.Colddarkplace

To help Gregg celebrate, I’m taking part in what he’s calling a "progressive" interview.  Many of you have linked here from Karen Olson’s post over at First Offenders and once Gregg is done answering my question, I’ll be sending you over to another site for another question. Make sense? 

Here’s my question to Gregg:

I love the title, A COLD DARK PLACE, which strikes me as a state of mind more than anything else.  I think everyone has a cold, dark place.  What’s yours?

"I’ve never been diagnosed, but I’m sure my family would say there’s a touch of the oh-so-chic bi-polar lurking somewhere inside my psyche. I think that’s true of so many writers, artists, and Wal-Mart greeters, don’t you? I wonder how many other writers out there share my feeling of hope, then despair, over and over on a loop that drives everyone around you just a little crazy, too?

Most of the things that see-saw my state of mind deal with elements beyond my control and most of them, oddly, deal with the business of publishing. How many books were printed? Shipped? Was there any promotion? How much? Being a success in terms of sales has more to do with those furthest from the creative endeavor. That drives me UP AND DOWN. What about you?"

Thanks, Gregg.  My own cold, dark place is actually reflected in the recurring theme throughout my work, which is the fear of losing a loved one, particularly my children.  I think every parent has that fear, but I feel it pretty deeply sometimes, so deep, apparently, that I feel the need to write about it a lot.

Now, before you shoot over to  Laura James’s blog, why don’t you in the peanut gallery tell me what YOUR cold, dark place is?


13 thoughts on “A Cold Dark Place – Gregg Olsen

  1. Louise Ure

    A moveable feast of an interview! What a fine idea.

    Yes, I think many writers have a cold, dark place inside us. If we always thought the best of people, where would all the conflict and villains come from?

  2. Pari Noskin Taichert

    Oh, this is a great idea. And it’s a wonderful way to discover new blogs . . .

    That cold dark place for me?That this is it–once dead, always dead–no continuation of consciousness or spirit.

    When I fear losing a child or anyone else, it’s that idea of finality that stops me hard.

  3. Gregg Olsen

    Pari says:That cold dark place for me?That this is it–once dead, always dead–no continuation of consciousness or spirit.

    As I get older, I allow that to creep into my thoughts, too. I was raised in a religous home, but I didn’t continue it into my own adulthood. I wonder if and when I will switch over to going back to church so that I can try to believe that there’s more to come.

  4. M. William Phelps

    I think Gregg is referring to the position in the major chains and bookstores he doesn’t want the book to end up at. As we know, after a few weeks on the front tables, if the it isn’t moving, all of our books end up in A COLD DARK PLACE–only the covers have been torn off.

    And yet, Gregg doesn’t need to worry. He is going to be HUGE, as we say here back east.

    Good luck with this one, buddy!

  5. Cornelia Read

    My CDP: Syracuse.

    Honorable mentions go to Dublin and February-on-Long-Island.

    M. William, we used to pronounce that “YOODGE” on L.I. (most often heard as the answer to the question:

    “Yo, *Debbie*! How wide is my back?”)

  6. Catherine

    I’m glad that my cold dark place is not somewhere I dwell often, but I’ve visited it enough to recognise it. It is the absence of hope, a prevading sense of powerlessness, it’s where joy is muffled.My cold dark place is where my every action or thought is like swimming in molasses and monotony rules supreme.

  7. Bill Cameron

    My cold dark place is around five in the morning when I have that thought, the one I can’t shake. Different everyday, or sometimes the same on rehashed and unresolved. Usually there’s nothing to do but get up and make some coffee. Maybe later in the day I’ll work it out on the page. If I’m lucky.

  8. Fran

    My cold, dark place is the fear of being brain alert in a stagnant body that won’t let me communicate.

    Great blog idea! We’re so looking forward to your signing, Gregg. It’s going to be lots of fun, I can pretty much guarantee!

  9. D.A. Davenport

    Mine is wondering how much of my sociopathic father lurks within me.

    99% percent of the time I am my usual self. Over-active conscience thanks to a very Orthodox up-bringing, despite being a recovering Catholic for 35 years. And a daily striving to do exactly the opposite of what I know he would do in his own life.

    But there are times when I sense those tendencies that chill me to the bone, that remind me of my father…very much.

    A quick temper and red hot flashpoints.The urge to manipulate and get my own way at any cost.An unforgiving coldness I can feel creep over me when I realize I have an enemy and the urge to go for their throat and not give any quarter.

    All of these I immediately shove back down to where ever they come from and make sure they stay under a mental lock and key. I control them, not the other way around.

    But the idea of being like him in anyway still scares the living crap out of me. Thank heavens for my writing. I just put it all down on the page in front of me and let it rip there!

  10. KDuba

    OK, just following Gregg around the net and finally taking the time to look into these other great blogs I never get the chance to read.

    The question of our cold dark place was posed…I got rid of mine when I left my ex-husband. But every now and then it creeps back into my mind…am always afraid it’s (or he’s) always going to be lurking somewhere.


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