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Jimmy D. Gillentine p2

Jimmy D. Gillentine talks about growing up in Memphis, and the inspiration for Of Blood and the Moon.

READERSVOICE.COM: I liked the Memphis locations in your novel. Did you do a lot of exploring around Memphis growing up, maybe checking out places like Wolf River or the abandoned warehouses on the Mississippi River?

JIMMY D. GILLENTINE: When I was going to one of the many schools I attended in Memphis the bus route would take me on the bridge over the Wolf River. I would look out the window and see the river and all of the trees on either side. On the same bus trip we would go downtown by the old warehouse district and I could see the old buildings closed and abandoned. Those images stuck in my mind for some reason, and I drew on those memories when I started to write Of Blood and the Moon.

RV: The novel was dedicated to your stepfather Dick Adams. Can you tell a bit about him and what he did for a living, too?

JG: My stepfather was one hell of a man. He married my mother when I was very young and she still had seven children at home to raise. Yes, I said that right. SEVEN children! I come form a large family of five sisters and four brothers. Not many guys would want to marry someone with that many children, but he did. He treated all of us like we were his own kids and he worked hard to provide for us. He was a car salesman in Memphis and worked long hard days. He died of cancer in 1995, and the pain of him being gone still hurts our family some. I wished he would have been here to see my first book published. I know it would have made him proud.

RV: Can Memphis be a tough place to live in and make a living in for people?

JG: Right now every city is a tough place to live and find work in. Memphis does have its rough spots and the economy has hit the city hard. But I still love this place and will carry it with me in my heart once I move.

RV: How did the idea for the novel come to you?

JG: The idea came from the title. The title Of Blood and the Moon just popped into my head one day back in 1999. I started to think of all of the legends of vampires and werewolves and decided to do my own take on them. The story has changed a little over the years…but the main character Andrew Bane has been there from the beginning.

RV: I thought the novel would make a great horror movie with a combination of live-action and CGI. I know you like old drive-in horror characters like Godzilla, and I was wondering whether you had these movies in mind and whether you were trying to create a modern update of them when writing your novel.

JG: I tried to picture the book as a movie in my head as I wrote it. And in a way, you can say Godzilla was an inspiration for my book. Godzilla was a very tragic movie monster in the first film ‘Gojira’ and I wanted to make a monster that you could fear but also feel sorry for because he can’t help what he is or why he is here. Godzilla is a lot like that.

-copyright Simon Sandall