Pursuing one of Napoleon’s French frigates, the HMS Pegasus may soon find itself the prey of the mysterious Crotar!
Every time I read one of Grayson’s short stories (which have appeared in Jamie’s short story collections before), I’m always jealous! This one particularly got to me, with all its juicy historical details. Ah, well. One of the reasons that I like editing the Amazing Monster Tales series is that I get to read such great work before anyone else does. It gives me time to get over myself! Anyway, I love all the stories in our collection…but I particularly loved this one for being so spot-on with its historical feel.
You can find “Crotar” in Amazing Monster Tales #4: Into the Briny Deep, out now!
How do you feel about the ocean? Any particular memories you’d like to share?
I love the ocean. I have always been magnetized to water in general, and I never grow tired of the sea and its inhabitants.
A particular memory? I had the opportunity to visit an old favorite beach in the Santa Cruz area with my wife, Candi. We were just enjoying staring at the waves, but soon we noticed tall plumes of spray rising above the breakers. By an extraordinary stroke of luck, we had arrived with a pod of at least two dozen grey whales were feeding close to shore! I remember a wave rolling in, and within it I could see a whale rolling with the wave, looking straight at us through a thin sheet of water. Truly magnificent.\
What is your favorite media (stories, nonfiction, video, games, music) about the ocean?
Any favorites list of mine has to include the Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian. These books follow the adventures of a British sea captain and a doctor-spy-scientist during the Napoleonic wars. Over the course of the series, we are treated to stunning depictions of the ocean in all its aspects. O’Brian’s ocean is alternately beautiful, terrifying, bountiful, merciless, mysterious, and serene… the sailor’s great love, true home, and often their demise.
Anyone who reads my story and is familiar with O’Brian’s masterful writing will not be hard-pressed to spot his influence.
What monster did you bring to your AMAZING MONSTER TALES story in this issue? Why?
The monster is called “Crotar,” and owes no small debt to the kaiju movies that have been my delight since childhood. Like the immortal Godzilla, Crotar represents a reckoning that is destined to occur when humanity fails to respect the power of nature.
The other literary character to which Crotar owes his existence is Moby Dick. Melville’s book is often held up as a great allegory about any number of things, like obsession, hubris, revenge, fate, imperialism, the Bible, and so on. For me, it was always a superhero story about a cetacean who fights evil. I rooted for the whale from start to finish, and I contend that this is the most enjoyable and satisfying way to interpret the text.
Bonus question! Anything you’d like to share with the readers, promotional or otherwise?
Only to thank every reader who chooses to spend their time with Into the Briny Deep. I hope you enjoy reading “Crotar” as much as I enjoyed writing it!
[I haven’t been able to read much of Moby Dick; I get the urge to toss the book across the room and that’s dangerous when you read on a Kindle. I may try Grayson’s suggestion here.–Ed.]
Grayson Towler has had a lifelong fascination with dragons, dinosaurs, magic, and the mysteries of the natural world. In addition to being a storyteller since he could first string words together, he has been a marketing copy writer, web designer, substitute teacher, comic artist, and small business owner. He and his wife, Candi, and their dog, Luna, live in a house owned by three relatively benevolent cats in Longmont, Colorado.
You can find Grayson at: