Filed under Interviews on August 25, 2011
Tagged: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Pirates & Swashbucklers, Pulp Empire, pulp fiction, Relvan's Rescue, Robert E. Howard, Teel James Glenn
The release of Pirates & Swashbucklers, the anthology featuring my short story “Relvan’s Rescue,” quickly approaches. I’m not the only author with a tale of daring adventure included, however. I share the table of contents with several other names you may or may not know.
I wanted to discover more about my fellow contributors, so I asked them some questions and would like to share their answers with you over the next couple weeks while we wait for September 19th to finally get here. Today’s interview is with Teel James Glenn.
When did you first realize you were a writer?
I can’t say how long ago that was or which story it was, but I know I wrote my first story as a reaction to something I read or saw on T.V.- you know, the “Oh, I can come up with a better ending than that!”
Storytelling in many forms has always been part of my life from illustration to acting and the fight chorography, and I had sold short stories and articles for many years. But when I sold my first book, 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 for the rest of my life.
What authors influence or inspire you?
Robert E. Howard is first and foremost the ‘go to’ guy for me for style and power of the words. And then I think Edgar Rice Burroughs as both a writer and an author. 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(s) have you read more than once? What drew you back?
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. And Mickey Spillane and Dashell Hammet. And the Doc Savage books by Lester Dent (writing as Kenneth Robeson) are just a rip roaring good time. That is my prime criteria for a book—do I have good time? And if so, do I want to spend more than one ‘visit’ with them?
In 25 words or less, how would you define “pulp” as a genre?
“A clear cut resolution to a sentimental problem.” Or simply; white hats and black hats. It was absolutely the place where dull writing was not allowed.
What made you decide to submit a story for the Pirates & Swashbucklers anthology?
You had me at the title. It is my—destiny!! LOL. I’ve lived with a sword in my hand for so many years I always feel like I’m ‘coming home’ to write swashbucklers.
How did you come up with the idea for your story? What is your writing process like?
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 is 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 be known for the seamlessness with which I fuse all the elements to make a great story.
In this case when I saw the anthology title I KNEW I had to write a pirate tale, but, as usual I wanted it to have a ‘different’ quality; In this case, a horror/swashbuckler.
As for my ‘process’, simple: I wake up; 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. I work out in between right in my tiny apartment and unless I have to leave to teach (sword 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. My workdays are 16 hours or more.
Do you consider yourself a “pulp” writer? Why? Is there another genre you like to write?
I very much consider myself a pulp writer- because to me pulp means exciting and professional—not self-conscious and ‘artsy’… I think pulp writers were the mirrors and sounding boards of the society much more than the ‘so-called’ literary writers—remember Dickens, Doyle, Hammet and Bradbury were popular authors not literary in their time. As for another genre-I think genres are irrelevant—good writing is good writing (I have written everything from horror to fantasy to hard SF and pure adventure—even romance).
Care to weigh in with your opinion of the e-book?
Simply put; it is the future. I may not entirely like it (I do like to leaf through a ‘real book’) but you can’t fight the future. And if my work can reach more people that way it is okay by me.
Where can someone find more of your work?
My website is theurbanswashbuckler.com but all my books can be found on Fictionwise.com, Amazon.com or Gypsyshadow.com
Anything else you’d like to tell us about your writing?
It is my hope that every time anyone sees my name on a story, regardless of the genre to know they will get a good read. I hope I never disappoint them. That’s my mandate and my promise. I’ve written a variation on a fantasy pirate tale “Wake of the Red Mistress” from Eternal Press that I hope fulfills that promise.