Greg Iles is often referred to as ‘the master of southern Gothic crime writing’.
Southern Gothic is characterized by dark family secrets, racial tension, violence, and a living relationship with the past. “Marshall Frady, a southern journalist, once wrote that ‘in the South, the Old Testament and the crucifixion always seemed to count for more than the New Testament and the resurrection – a dire melodrama of thorns and betrayal and midnight anguish, with nothing in the life of Jesus mattering quite so much as his suffering and his death’,” says Iles. “I love that in a nation of ever-increasing homogeneity, the South as a region stubbornly retains its unique identity, both its dark and light sides.” Iles is particularly interested in darkness, with his books constantly exploring the twin issues of human psychology and evil.
“Ideas come out of the ether,” says Iles when asked where he gets his from, “from your subconscious, from the smile on the face of a woman you saw once in your life. Sometimes you’re exorcising demons, other times you’re painting the flights of your imagination on to paper. The more fictional the idea is, the more true it’s likely to be.”
Before becoming a writer, Greg Iles was part of a band called ‘Frankly Scarlet’. He left the music business because it was interfering with his family life (the year after he was married, he was on the road for 50 of the year’s 52 weeks). He continues to spend much of his free time playing music, and is a member of the legendary group, ‘The Rock Bottom Remainders’, which includes authors Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Stephen King, Scott Turow, Amy Tan, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount, Jr., Matt Groening, and Kathi Kamen Goldmark. The RBR’s motto is “We play music as well as Metallica writes novels!”