Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chatting with author Teel James Glenn

Today's guest is Teel James Glenn discussing his latest release, Of Swords and Sorcery.

AUTHOR: Teel James Glenn
BOOK TITLE: ”Of Swords & Sorcery”

Please tell us about yourself?
I started out as a book Illustrator, got sidetracked into stunt coordination and fight choreography and then came back to my fist love, story telling.
As a writer I have over two score novels currently on the market including the SF thrillers “The Exceptionals’ series for Whiskey Creek Press, one of which was a the best seller’ and one an EPIC finalist.
One book in my sword and fantasy Altiva series “Sister Warrior” was named one of the hundred best fantasy novels of all time by
I have had short stories published in Mad, Black Belt, Fantasy Tales, Pulp Empire, Sixgun Western, Fantasy World Geographic, Silver Blade Quarterly, Another Realm, AfterburnSF, Blazing Adventures and scores of other publications.
On stage I’ve performed at 53 Renaissance Faires and on screen I have been in many genre films and TV series including Citizen Toxie (as fight choreographer and Toxie’s double), Spenser for Hire, Lord of the Strings, Spiderbabe, and all the New York soap operas but am known most widely as Vega in the world wide web series “Street Fighter: the later years.” Needless to say all my sword swinging at on stage and screen go into my written work.

Tell us your latest news?

I have four more books coming out this year; Wake of the Red Mistress from Eternal Press, Queen Morgana and the Renfairies and my first western “Silence in God’s Valley” from Whiskey Creek Press and Adventure in Otherwhen from BooksforaBuck. Each in a different genre; I like to mix it up.

When and why did you begin writing?

As a reaction to things I saw or read- you know, “Oh I hate the way that ended.” Or  “I wonder what would have happened if the character went this way or did this.” But I didn’t write fan fiction. I would create my own version of characters or variations on worlds. I think much of my writing is still that same sort of ‘This is how I’d do it.” Sort of thing.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think I always have, and I sold short stories and articles for many years before I sold my first book, “Death at Dragonthroat” but when I held a copy of that in my hand I knew I was an author at last and going to be a writer for a living.

What inspired you to write your first book?
 My first novel was “The Vision Quest Factor,” a science fiction book that I wrote for 7 years more or less in secret because I wasn’t sure if I could do it. That started in high school. It started as a way to explore difference in people, a ‘what if’ version of my own life.  I didn’t sell that one for 35 years, but eventually (with a bit of rewriting) I did!

Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

The stories in “Of Sword & Sorcery” are all about the interface of magic and mankind but on a deeper level they are about what is it, exactly, that makes  hero? Opposing evil? Doing the right thing? Or just surviving?

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?  (Has anyone ever realized it?)

All of the swordplay in the book comes out of my experiences as a swordmaster for nearly 30 years and grounded the action, but I ‘mined’ my past for more than that. “Synbad and the Sorceress” is set in Hollywood in the 1950s and all my years on movie sets gave that authenticity (and allowed me to drop some semi-famous names from the real world) and “No Strings attached” is set in a renaissance faire- a world I know well having worked in over 50 of them.
As for characters based on people I knew/know—you bet but I’m not telling.

What books have most influenced your life most?

The original Conan, Solomon Kane and Dark Agnes stories of Robert E. Howard are my first pick for fantasy reads, followed by the Martian Novels of E.R. Burroughs. I also read Lord Dunsany’s and Poe’s short fiction for the language. I loved the Lord Darcy stories by Randall Garret (I only wish he’d written more) and his Gandalara books. And the Doc Savage books by Lester Dent 9writing as Kenneth Robeson) are just a rip roaring good time.
And the classics: Dracula, Frankenstein (both of which I’ve played on stage) and Lord of the Rings.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I think Edgar Rice Burroughs. He was a model of a man who never gave up and all but invented the modern concept of marketing a literary work. And then there was the fact that he knew how to tell and incredibly exciting tale on a very instinctive level.

What book are you reading now? What do you like, or not, about it?

The Goliath Bone, Mickey Spillane’s last book (with Max Allen Collins). It’s an older Mike Hammer dealing with modern day terrorism. Spillane is an overlooked writer whose work always has a punch (no pun intended) but even more importantly is able to create real people on his pages.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Robert S.P. Lee, a crime writer is refreshing but no other ‘new w’ writers I can think of stand out from the pack. Sadly.

What are your current projects?

I’m working on a sequel to my Shadows of New York collection- my 1930s adventurer, and on “Queen Morgana and the Ren Fairies” which is an urban fantasy set partially in the renaissance faire world I know so well.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I try to challenge myself with each new story. I try to work on the action or the character or the mood so that each new piece if a step above the last. My goal is not be the writer who is known for his action scenes, or characters, or settings, but to t be known for the seamlessness with which I fuse all the elements to make a great story. No pressure on myself at all! LOL!

Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it?

I have never had writer’s block for more than a day on any project- and rather than ‘strain my brain’ I always have other things I can jump back to- to edit or rewrite.
 I wakeup I write. That is pretty much it. I do correspondence or editing when I first wake up to sort of ‘warm up’ my brain and then go on to whatever assignment I have that day. 
What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
I work out between paragraphs right in my tiny apartment and unless I have to leave to teach (sword book illustration and writing in New York) or such mundane things as shop for food I am very single focused on writing and may not go out for days at a time. I’ve become something of a hermit as I transition to this career with my workdays are 16 hours or more.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

This is the hardest question to answer so I will equivocate and give multiple answers:
The stories of Robert E. Howard are my first pick for fantasy reads, his work is so intense and alive. The original Conan, Solomon Kane, El Borak and Dark Agnes stories are the blueprint for action tales. And the first three Martian Novels of E.R. Burroughs are the read as the best sintgle tale of adventure of all time in my opinion.. I also read Lord Dunsany’s and Poe’s short fiction for the language. I loved the Lord Darcy stories by Randall Garret (I only wish he’d written more) and his Gandalara books.
And the classics: Richard Matheson is a brilliant master of words and of characterization. And Nathanial Hawthorne and Poe are authors I reread often- again for the mastery of language. Dracula, Frankenstein (both of which I’ve played on stage) and Lord of the Rings.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

“Of Swords & Sorcery” was easy to write since each story was its own world and I got to explore so many aspects of the mythos of the hero and the sorcerer.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write. There is no other way to learn than to write. Do it constantly, obsessively and both write what you love and learn to love what you write i.e. if you want to make it a business realize you will be edited and learn to pick you battles. Don’t be too precious about every word or phrase, be aware that the editors (and your beta readers) can help you improve your craft.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you. Without my readers I would be just a crazy guy in a basement talking to himself!!

Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention? 
I’m planning to be at Lunacon 2012 at the moment and at some of the local conventions in NY but my film work makes planning too far ahead problematic.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them? 
My Website is and it links to my blog for updates.

1 comment:

  1. The quests for love, and fights against fire breathing dragons, mystical dictators, alchemist summoned demons and deadly female assassins along the way. I love this book!