Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Interview with fantasy author Teel James Glenn
Reviews and Interviews is happy to welcome fantasy writer Teel James Glenn today.
Welcome, Teel. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
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 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 Fantsybookreview.uk.
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, Fantasy World Geographic, 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, 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 on stage and screen go into my written work.
Please tell us about your current book, Wake of the Red Mistress.
The book is a fantasy tale of thwarted love and piratical lust, blood and treasure! Sister Shinara of the Yulinites is on a ship that is attacked by the notorious pirate Aurzia - the Red Mistress. When the pirate’s men are going to kill Shinara and the five novices in her care the sister makes a deal with the pirate queen to lead her to a ‘great treasure’ in a distance monastery.
Meanwhile, near that monastery, young monk Zak has been having an affair with a noblewoman but he feels guilt for the affair (and has memories of Shinara) and keeps trying to resist his desires for the older woman.
The Red Mistress leads her brigands on a cross-country trek to loot the monastery with Shinara and the sisters in tow.
When these characters come together and how they interact is the tale.
What inspired you to write this book?
I had written two stories before My Seven Kingdoms World (a novel “The Traveler’s Tale” and a short “The Jester’s Touch”) but wanted to explore other parts of society. And I wanted to write something that dealt with life on a number of different levels; lustful, unrequited, religiously motivated and platonic — all in the same story. I’m very happy with the result – it is one of the more unusual and unpredictable stories I’ve written.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I am working on the next of my Dr. Shadows series. He’s an adventurer in the 1930s who investigates unusual crimes and fights against the Japanese Imperial ambitions. His stories take place in America and China and are written with an attempt to create a character/series that might have been on the newsstands then, with no nod to the modern point of view. It takes a lot of research but its very rewarding.
The first collection “Shadows of New York” is out from Booksforabuck.com.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always written and I sold articles to major magazines while still in college, but it was just a ‘side thing’ to my performing career. It wasn’t until I was sidelined by an ailment in 2004 that I pulled an old novel out of my ‘trunk’ and sent it out into the brave new world of cyber publishing. The day I got the phonecall from the acquisitions editor was the day I new that I was a writer!
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your workday like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
When people ask me what my day job is I tell them writer, but I still teach sword one day a week and have the ‘odd’ show or film to choreograph fights for. It has reached the point where I resent the ‘intrusion’ of the other work into my writing time - which is how I know I’m really a writer!
My best work day involves rolling out of bed directly to the computer (about five feet away) and writing for 16 hours without leaving my 'work station.' And when I’m lucky I can get two or three of those days in a row. Heaven!
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I hate to write in silence so I have the TV running from the second I wake up — I love the history channel and the military channel — get lots of good ideas/facts as a bonus.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Oddly enough, I always dreamed of writing and drawing comic book characters and then playing them in film. Skip ahead 40 years and I drew comic professionally, I write characters, and have even played some characters I have created on film. Pretty cool.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Just that you can never be sure what is coming so never give up — any dream can be achieved with enough time, work and a little luck. I’ve been blessed to live many of my dreams so just keep dreaming!
Thanks for being here today, Teel. You're quite a busy guy!