Name: Robert “RG” Granville
Occupation: College professor
1.What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Probably saving the world from a fiery Armageddon last year… kind of a long story. You probably didn’t hear much about it, not that you would have. Only three other people alive know what really happened. Those would be Kacey, my wife, Mike Stahl, an old… um… friend of Kacey’s, and Morrow… well, he’s actually from the afterlife, so he’s not technically alive anymore, but I guess he counts.
- What is your greatest fear?
It used to be the thought of dying and what happens to us after this life. But I’ve been to that place, and now that step in the ongoing soul journey doesn’t scare me anymore. My greatest fear now is the knowledge of what I didn’t know before, that my world is a battleground between the forces of good and evil from the afterlife, a place where ‘caretakers’ protect earthly souls and ‘jumpers’ prey on them. And it doesn’t take much to become the prey.
- Who do you most admire?
It has to be Morrow, my caretaker. I admire him because he’s sacrificed so much to guard and protect me, most recently against a vengeful jumper called the burning man, who had his sights set on me. Morrow has been with me my entire life, but he only recently revealed himself to me. I never knew he existed until then. Well, that’s not really true…I think I did know somehow. I sensed him near, even as a child. Even though I couldn’t see him, I felt a protective presence keeping me from danger.
- What is your favorite journey?
The journey to the next world is something everyone should experience. It’s a drop into a swirling stillness and a gentle tumble along a hazy coiled pathway connecting this world to the next. We usually take Kacey’s portal, the one she constructed in her mind from her favorite childhood restaurant on Cape Cod, The Pancake Man. That was the place her dad and mom took her on Sundays after church, and she’s preserved it in her mind exactly as she remembered it. She’s been going there in her dreams since she was a child, but now she is learning its true purpose as a gateway between our world and the next. God, she has some amazing powers! But, the nice thing about her portal is that you can always grab a stack of silver dollar pancakes to go, even when you’re between worlds.
- What is your most treasured possession?
That’s easy, my wedding ring. Not only does it remind me every day of my amazing wife, but it holds special powers… even I’m not sure of all the things it can do. I’m still kind of learning, but Morrow’s helping me understand its capabilities. He’s also been helping Kacey awaken the dormant otherworldly powers she has, the power to see the future and transport herself into different worlds. Once I figure things out with the ring, Kacey and I will be a formidable team against threats from the afterlife. We’ll have to be, because jumpers are out there… and they’ll be coming for us.
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Probably my habit of going it alone, trying to solve every problem by myself. When I found out I had only twenty-four hours left to live, my desperate attempts to stay alive put me face to face with the burning man. And even though I have a wife with caretaker powers, I kept things from her. I tried to pretend that I could work through the knowledge I was going to die, that I could fix it somehow. But I couldn’t. I was too stubborn, and it nearly cost me everything.
- What or who is the greatest love of your life?
That’s a no-brainer. I met Kacey at my buddy Johnny D’s Independence Day shindig down on the Cape way back in ‘07, and by the end of the day I was hooked. Who am I kidding? The minute I laid eyes on her, I was in love. I remember how she drifted through the crowd, moving like water in a stream, unimpeded by the same internal scaffolding guiding the people around her. It was as if her body had received a software upgrade and been placed alongside the outdated prototypes glitching and crashing around her. I kissed her for the first time under an explosion of fireworks, red and blue streaks screaming across the sky only barely drowned out my thumping heart. She’s stayed with me through some pretty trying times, like when I was accused of murder… twice… and forced to run from the law. Not many wives would put up with that, but she’s always known the truth.
- What is your best physical feature?
There are so many to choose from… sorry, I couldn’t resist. Kacey would tell me it’s my smile. You see, I have this tooth in front that’s turned slightly inward, makes my smile a little lopsided. She calls it one of my perfect imperfections.
- What is your most marked characteristic?
I would have to say my impulsiveness, and it never fails to get me into trouble. It’s what made me jump in front of that speeding train in the Boston MBTA station when that poor boy fell onto the tracks. Well, I should say when someone made that poor boy fall onto the tracks. My impulsiveness also made me try to convince those two detectives in my living room they had the wrong guy when it came to those two murders. Should have thought that out better, waited for my lawyer, but I was distracted with worry. Thankfully, they didn’t ask me where Kacey was… but what could I have told them, that my wife was missing?
- Define happiness and share your happiest memory.
I don’t believe happiness can be defined…you only know what it is when you have it. But my happiest memory is from when I was maybe five years old. My mom took me to the beach, and I remember her smiling and happy, probably the first time since my father’s death I’d ever really seen her like that. His loss had been hard on her. She tried to put on her best face for me each day, but it never lasted, and I would hear her muffled cries through the bedroom walls at night. But on that day, the beach seemed to have had healing powers. She walked beside me, holding my hand; beautiful, young, and full of life. In fact, I’d almost forgotten the memory, but Morrow reached into my mind and showed it to me… right in the middle of my living room.
- What is it that you most dislike?
People who exploit others, like that bastard Wendell Abernathy, one of my superiors at Boston University. He’s been preying on young coeds for years, including one of my own students, Alison Thorne. Abernathy promised her things, that he could get her back into school after she flunked out, as long as she… well, you can imagine. In fact, he even got Alison to accuse me of sexual harassment, can you believe that? That’s one of the things that cost me my job at BU… well, that and the two murders.
- What is your greatest extravagance?
Coors Light and Chinese food, often at the same time. Thankfully, I’m married to a notorious enabler.
Interviewer interrupts… Coors Light and Chinese Food? Sounds like my husband!
- Who do you most despise?
If it’s not Abernathy, it would have to be that sonofabitch Mike Stahl, the Chatham cop who grew up with Kacey. Okay, so he was her first love, and the drunk who once tossed her across a room. He’s never gotten over her, and he’s always finding excuses to run into to her accidentally on purpose, edge his way back into her life. Turns out, I’m a suspect in one of the murders he’s investigating. God, if anyone had an incentive to see me put away for the rest of my life, it would be him.
- What is your greatest regret?
Walking into that Falmouth Police Station, thinking I could convince Chief Brennan I had nothing to do with the murders. Even though I’d been at both crime scenes the night of the killings and even got into a fight with one of the victims, I was naive enough to think they’d believe me. Okay, so my blood was found at the scene, that’s true. But I knew what really happened. But what could I tell them…the truth? They would have fitted me for a straight jacket.
- Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d love to be a chocolatier. Not for myself, but for Morrow. You see, in the next world they have just about everything you can imagine… except chocolate, and it seems Morrow has a little bit of an addiction to it. I’ve made it my mission to keep him supplied from this side, but I’d love to be able to create something more interesting than Hershey’s kisses. Although I haven’t heard him complain yet.
Interviewer interrupts… no chocolate? What kind of society is that?
- What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My absolute inability to walk past a Dunkin’ Donuts without grabbing a strawberry frosted… make that two strawberry frosteds, and a bag of munchkins… and a coffee
Interviewer grabs coffee pot, takes a drink, and interrupts… Not such a bad habit to have.
- What do you most value in your friends?
Probably loyalty, but that’s not something I’ve ever had to worry about. The guys I grew up with on Revere Beach – Johnny D, Matty, Donnie, and Walt – they’ve been by my side my entire life, through thick and thin, right or wrong. I had to grow up without a father, but I had more than enough brothers.
- What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Probably faith or piety, and I don’t say this out of disrespect for a religious life, but because the experts are barking up the wrong tree. Forget your Sunday school lessons, forget what you’ve ever imagined about life, death, heaven and hell. I’ve been to a place that no theology or doctrine could ever have prepared me for. There’s a war between good and evil waged beyond earthly boundaries, and it spills into this world every day. A few of us can sense it, fight it. The rest of us? Well, they may be fortunate to remain in the dark because if they knew…
- Which words or phrases are you known for?
I’ve been known to mutter a phrase that I really shouldn’t repeat here. Let’s just say it begins with ‘F’ and ends in ‘me.’
- What is your motto?
The late, great baseball pitcher, Satchel Page used to say: “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” That used to be my motto to keep me motivated and pushing forward in my life, in my work… everything. But now the words take on a different meaning and haunt me. I know what resides in the spaces between us, the things we can’t see… things that stalk us. So don’t look back, something is gaining on you.
About the Book
RG Granville has his whole life in front of him…but only twenty-four hours to live it.
Beyond life’s boundaries, an enduring battle between good and evil determines the fate of earthly souls. Here, ‘caretakers’ guard and protect against the evil and vengeful ‘jumpers’ who slip back and forth between worlds to prey upon the living.
For one man, news of his impending demise sets off a deadly chain of events fueled by a jumper’s burning vengeance. Now he’s in a race against time to stop an unrelenting evil unleashed upon the earth. And if he’s to protect his family, and the world, he must breach the tenuous boundary between life and death to confront a killer—and a shocking secret from his long-buried past.
Purchase your copy here.
I spent my first thirty-five years in New England before joining the University of Missouri as a research professor. When I’m not in my laboratory, I spend time devouring my favorite forms of genre fiction—suspense, thriller, and horror.
As a twelve-year-old boy sitting under a lime green beach umbrella on the sands of Cape Cod, I discovered a new world. It was the 70s—was the lime green umbrella a giveaway?—and Edgar Rice Burroughs took me to Venus on a regular basis. The sci-fi series hijacked my imagination and Frazetta’s scantily-clad, knife-wielding princess and mythical-beast cover art dazzled my senses. A year later, I wandered into Salem’s Lot and nothing was ever the same again. I discovered two lives: the one I lived and the one I fell into with each page turned.
While my published research articles and scientific book chapters reflect the logic and precision of left brain thinking, my right brain has roared back with a vengeance. Decades after going to Venus, I found myself once again on the sands of Cape Cod—sans lime green umbrella—with a story that would not leave my head. I tried to ignore it, but the characters called to me, begging to let them out. On a dare from my daughter, I began writing and spent the next twelve months glued to my computer, possessed to create the first in a series of supernatural thrillers. A Taker of Morrows is my first novel, but I hear the characters calling, begging for a sequel.
Stay tuned for The Soul Dweller, the second in the Caretaker series, in 2018.
Throughout my journey, I’ve accumulated five guitars, four herniated discs, three academic degrees, two dogs, and one wife, son, and daughter. I divide my time between Columbia, Missouri and Cape Cod writing and teaching.