As a stuntman, fight choreographer, swordmaster, jouster, illustrator, storyteller, director, bodyguard, and actor Teel James Glenn’s stories have been printed in Mad, Fantasy Tales, Black Belt, Fantasy World Geographic, Blazing Adventures, Tales of Old and Weird Tales. He has over two dozen books and anthologies in print in many genres including steampunk, westerns, mysteries, and science fiction including the bestselling series, The Exceptionals.
I was wondering where you get your story ideas?
Pretty much anywhere. An old TV show that has an interesting plot but I see a different way the ending could have gone, a classic book that I’d like to see in a different context (i.e. a 3 Musketeer type tale in the west or on Mars) or directly out of an existing character- “what did so and so do after the last book I wrote–how did he/she handle the resolution.
What is the usual process for your fiction writing? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Both. Sometimes I have a mood or a scene I feel I want to deal with but no definitive plot and as I write I begin to see structure. Then I sit down and plot my butt off. Even mystery stories can begin that way, though, of course, plot is much more important for that to work.
Once you have an idea that sparks your imagination do you research your idea or do any world-building exercises, or do you just begin to write and see where the Muse takes you?
Often when I have an idea I start to read background/research stuff until that either fits my initial idea and adds to it or sends me off in a new direction. It still comes down to the characters for me, but getting the details of setting/time correct mean a lot to me. I want the reader deeply immersed in the story and don’t want a wrong detail to ‘shock’ them out of it.
What is your daily writing time like?
Pretty much from eyes opening. I turn the computer on as soon as I get up, do a quick email check then pull up whatever I’m working on and go. I sometimes keep two things in the ‘on deck’ circle- and will go back and forth to them if one stumps me or I need to get some distance from it. Often the second piece is one that needs editing so it is not the same part of the brain calling me.
Are you a full time writer? If so when did you make the decision and what factors led to the decision? If you are not a full time writer…Is your plan to one day being a full time writer?
I have been a full time writer–when I made the decision to ‘be a writer’ ten years ago I was mostly bedridden and was able to keep afloat for several years primarily with my writing with just some side jobs doing fight choreography. This last year I took a job working at a haunted house to get me out of the house- I realized I was getting a little cabin fever and it was actually leading to writing fatigue. Hope to go back to it mostly full time this next year (save for teaching sword/doing fight choreography which I hope to never give up).
Can you tell us about your experience working with your current publisher? (Any other publishers?) (Or your self-publishing experiences?)
I have been very blessed with my publishers- 7 of them to date. My first publisher -ePress Online- was very nurturing and supportive and I had a great editor in Joan McNulty-Pulver. She and the publisher, Margaret passed away three years ago and I will always be grateful for the running start they gave me.
I have only had one publisher that sort of just said, sure we’ll publish this- and then just sort of walked away from the published work. (No names).
On the other hand publishers like Pro Se and BooksforaBuck have been very proactive in marketing and review support. I have been a very lucky writer, pretty much from the start.
What is your current release and (without spoilers) tell us about the new book or series.
The first book in a new series “The First Synn: The Bloodstone Confidential” just came out from Pro Se Productions.
“The Bloody Curse of the Vampire! Years ago Gideon Synn tried to save Faith Bloodstone from a deadly family curse in upstate New York. He failed and Faith died at the hands of a mysterious blood drinking fiend. Synn ran from his failure and became a world traveler, joining the French Foreign Legion and eventually becoming a mercenary in China.
Now, years later he has opened a security firm with his sister Kathy. Charity Bloodstone, Faith’s younger sister, comes to him for help against the same curse—the supposed vampire ghost of her ancestor, Justice Bloodstone! According to legend, Charity has only one week to live!
Has Gideon found love with Charity only to lose her to dark forces? Who are the armed thugs that have attacked the siblings? Can Kathy Synn keep her brother out of trouble long enough to solve the mystery of the Bloodstone Confidential?”
Can you tell us about some of your other writing (fiction or nonfiction) and any appearances or signings that you have planned?
“Them’s Fightin’ Words”: a writer’s guide to writing action scenes” just came out from Whiskey Creek Press.
I take the reader on a journey through the process of creating believable and dramatic action scenes in every kind conflict. Using humor and personal experience, I dissect action scenes from classic books as wella s my own for the keys to what makes them work.
From fantasy swordfights, barroom brawls, comic combat to martial arts knockabouts, I not only outline and explain the whys and wherefores of literary violence, I also explores techniques that allow you to create them yourself with a series of fun and easy to do exercises.
Hopefully I take the mystery out of writing action, but not the excitement!
As an author what inspiration or advice would you give to a writer who is working to make the transition to Author?
Write what you love. You may never make a living from it, so if that is the case at least write something you are proud of and love.
That being said, the world of publishing is exploding with new ways to enter it and to reach readers- no longer do you have to be funneled through five or ten publishers and a dozen agents.
In this new chaos you can make your way if you are persistent and determined. Bottom line is, always follow your dream!
Who is your favorite author, and can you recommend a book by that author?
I have five or six ‘go to’ authors whom I read and reread often for inspiration and enjoyment. I’d say that Edgar Rice Burroughs is top of the list and his John Carter Trilogy is still the most exciting epic story I have ever read.
Next would be Robert E. Howard for sheer excitement and guts. His Adventures of El Borak or Sowers of Thunder are sure to get your pulse racing!