- Where are you from and where are you now?
I’m a Brooklyn boy, born and bread in Flatbush, though as I often point out—I am from Flatbush, not of it. I think of myself as more of a citizen of the world. Though I didn’t get far-I live in Union City New Jersey right now just across the tunnel from Manhattan.
- How did you get started writing?
I started writing as far back as I can remember filling notebooks in grammar school with ‘comic books’ of adventure characters.
- What do you do when not writing?
I fall down, or get stabbed or set on fire. I am a stunt man and fight choreographer who is a sword expert. I do plays, TV and films (lots of low budget late night drinking party watching films).
- What would readers like to know about you?
That I believe in heroes. Not just believe, I actively live my life trying to see the positive, not ignoring the negative, but choosing to operate ‘in the light.’ And so do my characters. I don’t want to spend any more time with ‘villains’ than needed to tell the story-I’m sick of the idea that the badguy is always more interesting dramatically-I thinks that’s not true if you really find the humanity in your hero.
- What inspired your first book?
I had a summer writing course in high school and we were supposed to write a short story each week-I talked my teacher into letting me do a ‘novel- a four chapter book (which by the way I rewrote as a novella some thirty five years later and it saw print!)
- How many books have you written?
To date I’ve written eighteen books, most of them in the last three years since I committed to writing as a career.
7. What are the titles of your books and in what genres?
The published or contracted books are:
The World of Altiva fantasy series books are: Death at Dragonthroat, Tales of a Warrior Priest, The Daemonhold Curse, Sister Warrior and the forth coming The Daemonhold Inheritance. (All from Epress-online.com)
The Exceptionals Sci Fi Thriller series books are: The Measure of a Man, Across theWasteland and On the Good Ship Caligula (From WhiskeyCreekpress.com)
The Dr. Shadows pulp detective/mystery books set in the 1930s are: A Hex of ShadowsShadows in Hong Kong (both due out from Epress-online late in o8 and 09.) and
And the first books of two series:
Vision Quest Factor (Sci Fi) and Knight Errant: Death ad Life at the Faire (Murder mystery)
Lastly: Them Fightin’ Words: A writer’s Guide to Writing Fight Scenes is a nonfiction book from Epress-Online where I give away some of my tricks.
8. How do you decide on a topic or genre and why are specifically qualified to write on that topic.
My stories always start with a character or two—the theme or genre actually comes later, in fact I ‘ve had characters shift genre’s on me when they wanted (Yes I think of them as alive). And I never write about something I have not experienced or researched very deeply—my varied background in my ‘other job’ has helped with that.
9. How do you manage to keep yourself focused when writing a book?
When I’m starting a book I have to really focus in—until the movie in my mind is running full bore-then nothing can distract me-I write while walking down the street, eating, talking with people—once I’m rolling I’m a ‘writing machine.’
10. Do you write to make money for the love of writing or both?
I write to be read-otherwise I could just fantasize the stories and be done with it. I want money for my writing so I can afford the time to write to be read by more people. Would I write for free? I might tell my stories for free at a gathering of friends but , no- as Robert Parker once said when Mickey Spillane referred to readers as ‘customers’—“That’s right, we ain’t giving it away for free!”
11. What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used. Which are most successful?
I am absolutely no judge of this—I haven’t sold enough for long enough to be able to tell you.
12. What are some unique methods you’ve used? Which are most successful?
Again, not a clue but I hope to have soon.
13. Do you sell through a website? What’s the address, if not why?
I refer people to the publisher’s website or Fictionwise or Amazon—I am not web savy enough to run my own site though someday I’d like to.
14. Where can people order your books?
My books are all available on Fictionwise or Amazon or from the publishers directly. Just goggle my name and I shall appear!
15. What format are your books in? E Book, Print or Audio?
So far both my publishers (and those of the anthology I have a story in) do both print and e versions. Hopefully audio books will follow.
16. Will you write more books?
Try to stop me!
17.What do you have in the works?
I just finished the Third Exceptionals novel and am about to launch into the fifth Altiva novel but I may take a little break to do some short form detective fiction I have a contemporary character Jeremiah Falcon that has been flying around in my consciousness waiting for a landing strip.
18.What does the future hold for you and your books?
I would like to do an illustrated version of some of my work—and a collection called Visions of Altiva-I am a painter/illustrator as well- which would explore the world visually. And The Exceptionals was originally conceived as a TV series and I’d love to shoot it—I did do a pilot trailer for it which I later recut into the book trailer.
19. What is the most successful thing you’ve done to promote your books?
Getting reviews, I would think—I did a lot of research and went after reviewers for my last few books and I think it has helped get the word out. That and making sure the books really were the best thing I could do and had my heart in them—I think the word gets out if you do that.
20.What is the least successful?
I don’t know—it is hard to gage-probably the writers groups I belong to—I don’t think most writers have the money to buy a heck of lot of the competition’s wares. But I might be wrong.
21. Tell us about your most recent work.
The first Exceptionals book: The Measure of a Man came out in May and has been doing well, was in fact the best seller for Whiskey Creek Press. It is about bio-enhanced bounty hunters in the year 2030 whose identities are protected by UN mandate.
22.what makes this book special?
It is my take on realistic ‘superheroes’ filtered through political science and current technology. And a way to examine just what it is, philosophically that makes a person risk their lives to do what they perceive is right. When I created the world of the Exceptionals in 1998 with my writing partner Jerry, we imagined terrorists attacking the World Trade Center in 2010. We were off by years but a lot of the world we foresaw is happening, and maybe will happen.
23.What sort of comments have you gotten about the contents of this book?
It has been doing well, a best seller for Whiskey Creek Press and spent a couple of weeks at number 17 out of 4400 at fictionwise. And one of the reviews at Simply Romance reviews said, in part:
“…The Exceptionals is a great book and the start of what I hope to be a long series in the science fiction/thriller suspense genre. The authors fictional world set in the mid 21st century is so vivid and compelling you find yourself believing that this reality of the world actually exists. Teel James Glenn and Jerry Kokich have created a great fictional world for their Exceptionals and I for one can't wait to return.”
24. What makes this a book other people must read and why?
It offers hope for that darker world to come and deals with some eternal issues about life, its meaning, purpose and direction. And the action is darn good.
25. What people need to read this book?
Anyone who loves adventure writing, strong women characters and political thrillers.
26. What sparks your creativity? And any tips for others to help them spark theirs?
I can get my inspiration from anything—A tv show that I didn’t like the plot twist and so see it going another way—or one I liked so much I want to do my version of it. A book I read, an article. Or some location I think a character should go to. As to sparking others’ creativity—just be open it comes at you from all sides. Just pick one and go with it.
27. What do you think motivates people to become authors? What motivated you to get into this unusual industry?
I think it is the same motivation that the firs story tellers had sitting around a campfire—they have something to say- about themselves, the state of the world or some hope they need to express. It is easier now than ever to get your story out there—less of a monolithic new York tower to climb so more people are taking the plunge-which is good in many ways but bad in the sense that there are so many voices now that it is hard to be heard even if you do have something to contribute.
As for me—I have always wanted to share my stories with people. One of my biggest thrills is reading my work ( ala Dickens) at conventions. I do story telling at Ren faires and to know my work can touch people is a tremendous feeling. It is a hard industry, however, and so I have had to work to become a craftsman as well as a storyteller and that is the stage, I am afraid many new authors don’t embark on—it is the hardest part.
28. What is the most unusual thing you have done to promote your books?
Let people hit me in the head with pipes. On screen. The book trailer I did for Measure of a Man, culled from the TV pilot has me being bashed about quite a bit. And I do a lecture demo for Them’s Fightin’ Words that has a bunch of that in it.
29. If a potential reader wasn’t interested in this book what could you say to convince them to read it?
If they aren’t hooked by the first page I’d be surprised. It starts off at a dead run and doesn’t stop; the characters, even the bad guys- are people you can relate to.
30. Why does this topic interest you and why would a reader want to read it?The search for meaning is universal and ultimately that is what all my work is about—that and the search for love to give life meaning. Even heroes need love