My intent for doing these interviews was to learn more about each author that I have happened across. Thus far, I’ve presented authors who have had budding careers, touched people’s lives in some way, or have been Military Veterans. Today, I’d like to present another. A man with all these qualities and more. He has been known to help out others by word and deed. His contributions to improving literacy in youth have been mention in countless posts. He is a rising star within the Indie Community and as you will soon learn, he is a military veteran. Without further ado…author, Glenn Starkey.
“About the Author”
Glenn Starkey is a former Marine Sergeant, Vietnam veteran, former Texas law enforcement officer, retired from a global oil corporation as security manager. With three novels (Solomon’s Men, The Cobra and Scarab, and The Year of the Ram) published in print and eBook formats, and another novel (Amazon Moon) coming at end of year, Glenn stays active with his writing career and volunteer work with school children reading programs to promote literacy. Recently his novel Solomon’s Men was nominated as a 2012 finalist in the Mystery / Thriller genre by (MWSA) the Military Writers Society of America for their 2012 Conference in Dayton, Ohio.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for a span of 20+ years but throughout that time I had to take leave for my security career. Considering it paid the bills, and the activity load was so high then, writing had to be set aside until time allowed my return.
What was your life like before becoming an author?
One word best describes it: “ACTIVE.” Law enforcement had its unique demands, and once I moved into the field of security for a global corporation, my activities only magnified. Those were the years of “9-11” when people were still seeing terrorists at every corner and the federal government kept increasing its security demands for all petrochemical sites.
Who or what inspired you to write?
I didn’t have any particular person that inspired me to write. I will say that I’ve have mentors in my writing such as Nicholas Guild, Robert McCammon, Wilbur Smith, and David Morrell.
If anything I must say my life as an author simply evolved into a writing career. Every job I’ve had involved some form of writing, plus I always enjoyed weaving full scale stories together and figuring out all the parts, characters, and such…one day I began putting my thoughts on paper… In time, I found I was writing a book and my life story continues from there.
Do you have a specific writing style or genre?
My best genres (the ones I feel most comfortable with) are historical fiction, action adventure, and suspense. I believe a true writer should be able to write in any genre, although a majority of authors find a niche and remain with one. As for writing style, I’ve been asked that quite often and cannot really describe my style. I would have to let my readers describe it for me. I’ve read great reviews written on Amazon about my books, so I must have some worthy type of style.
Tell me about your latest book? What’s it about?
My latest published works were Year of the Ram and The Cobra and Scarab. My first published novel was Solomon’s Men. https://www.Amazon.com/author/glennstarkey
At the moment I am completing Amazon Moon, my first work to contain a hint of sci-fi. I say ‘hint’ because the overall work deals with a protagonist and storyline you would find in an action adventure novel. You follow a man through some of the roughest periods of his life until he is confronted by something totally unexpected… Sorry, but for now I must leave it at that until I complete the work. But I will say anyone who has read my novels will not be disappointed in the least with Amazon Moon.
What was your favorite part of the book to write?
Amazon Moon has been personally challenging in a number of avenues. I’ve delved deeper into my hero’s soul, the fine line between right and wrong when weighed against the outcome of events, and doubts about what if we were to learn everything we knew was purely fabrication. Has there been any one part I’ve enjoyed? I don’t think so. Each scene is written to the best of my abilities and each then becomes a favorite in one manner or another.
What was the hardest part to write?
As a true writer we draw upon personal experiences to provide the texture of realism in our writings. Without the reader knowing, they may be reading a passage developed solely from a writer’s life. There were a few parts which disturbed me in Amazon Moon but its best I leave it at that.
What do you find most rewarding in writing a book?
The ultimate reward of writing a book is when I receive an email, letter, or review from readers telling me how much enjoyment they received from my novels, their excitement, and sadness when they reached the final page. I once received an email from someone that began, “I hate you!” Then the email continued by saying, “I hate you because I lost so much sleep staying up late each night to read your book and was exhausted the next day at work.”
Everyone seems to find different aspects in my novels that appeal to them – which is fantastic because it tells me I am touching or connecting with reader’s emotions in many ways.
Do you have any other books complete or in progress?
As I stated before, Solomon’s Men, The Cobra and Scarab, and Year of the Ram are my previously published works. I have no other work in progress while now working on Amazon Moon. I once tried writing different books at the same time and discovered the quality of writing suffered.
What are your future plans in regards to writing?
I know I will continue to write. I know I want to continually improve and challenge myself as an author. Other than that, future hopes and dreams would be movie deals, major publishing contracts, and winning the Texas lottery (one of the big lotto’s with a lot of zero’s on the end.)
Are you listed on the major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc…
Oh, I’m on major social networks…almost too many to keep up with. I’ve listed a few of them, and this doesn’t even bring into mention the dozens of small groups found within Facebook and others I’m a member of….
If there was ever anything which surprised me about writing this past year, it would be the high demand social media takes on a writer’s daily time – which seriously takes away from writing.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
My strongest advice comes in parts: (1) READ. Read all types of books, not just one particular genre or merely one book a year. (2) First concern yourself with writing a novel worth reading, perform hardcore editing on it, and THEN think about getting the work published. (3) Don’t write junk with lousy editing and rush to get it before the public’s eye. (4) Don’t argue with someone who gives you a bad review. (5) Don’t expect every review to be dripping with sugar. If you receive only bad reviews, then maybe you need to pay attention to what they are saying. My first thought when I read an article where an author is arguing about a bad review they received is that they are a novice. (6) Don’t get on Facebook or other social media networks telling everyone how great your book is and please, please, please, please buy it. Let the quality of your writing speak for itself and let others speak about how good your work is. Yes, promote your work but do so professionally.
Outside of writing, what is your most favorite thing to do and why?
I enjoy spending time on the golf course, but those times are getting fewer and farther between due to my writings and other activities I’m involved with. I’m a military golfer because I go LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, all over the golf course chasing my golf ball.
Anything else you would like to add for future fans and friends.
I always encourage people to write to me if they have questions about my novels or simply want to discuss writing. My contact information is on my website http://GlennStarkey.net. I always write back. I’ve made some wonderful friends along the way and I believe that authors help authors to succeed.
But don’t write to me and ask for a canned review of your work. Every review I have received came openly and honestly from readers. I dislike hearing authors advising others what should/should not be written in reviews of their books — or basically “rigging” the game so to speak. The problem is that eventually the truth comes out and the damage is often not repairable.
Glenn, thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us today. I hope that everyone will be able to say they learned something new from this interview with you.