Thanks for joining me on my blog today, Glen.
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Kerry. I’m a novelist, screenwriter, and journalist. I practiced trial law for a few years before joining the Washington, D.C. press corps to cover national politics and the Iran-contra trial. Now I write historical novels and mystery-thrillers. My books have taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, to the Scotland of Robert Bruce, to Portugal during the Age of Discovery, to the trenches of France during World War I, and to the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
Strange as it seems, the inspiration for my first three books came in dreams. These dreams are always very vivid and contain names, symbols, and images that tend to lead me on quests to solve the mysteries of their meanings.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
Not consciously. Because my books are historical, I try to stay true to what I can learn about the real persons I’m writing about. When I weave in historical elements into thrillers, I have a bit more leeway. Occasionally I’ll look back at what I’ve written and see aspects or personalty traits similar to people I’ve known, but that’s rarely done intentionally.
How do you pick your character’s names?
History usually chooses the names for me. My first novel, set in 13th-century France, featured several characters whose real names were challenging for English readers: Folques of Marseilles and Esclarmonde de Foix, as examples. Those don’t exactly roll off the tongue. In those rare instance when I need to create names, I try to find ones whose pronunciation invokes their personalities and emotional qualities.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
When I’m in writing mode, I usually write in the morning and edit in the afternoon. I spend months on research, and I always try to travel to the locations of my novels. Authors tend to divide into plotters–those who like to outline and plan their books in detail–and “pantsers,” who sit down at the computer and spill out whatever comes to them. I’m a confirmed plotter; I think one almost has to be if writing historical fiction.
Do you have a favourite author?
Although I write historical fiction, I tend to read more non-fiction, largely because I’m always doing lots of research. Historians I admire are Robert Caro, William Manchester, and David McCullough. My favorite historical novelists are Nigel Tranter, Gore Vidal, and Sharon Kay Penman.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Yes. My mother was a high-school English teacher, and she would bring home the Classics Illustrated comic books that told the famous works of literature in dramatic drawings. I got hooked on history early on when my great uncle took me to American Civil War battlefields and told stories of how his father, a Union captain, fought there.
When did you start to write?
I never dreamed I’d be a writer. My first professional attempt at writing was as a law clerk drafting legal opinions for a state appellate judge. After my stint as a lawyer, I attended Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and took jobs with newspapers and magazines. After that, I had a brief flirtation with movie writing after I won the Nicholl Fellowship, an award given by the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences for best new screenwriting. Then, a legendary Hollywood writer, Harry Essex, encouraged me to turn my screenplays into novels.
What are you working on right now? When can we look forward to a new release?
I’m writing a novel set during the American Civil War. I wish I could tell you when it will be published, but that’s in the hands of the muses.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
I’m always happy to hear from readers. My author website is www.glencraney.com, and I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Glen has very kindly sent me a review copy of The Virgin Of The Wind Rose which I will be reading as soon as possible.
You can find all of Glen’s books on his AmazonUK page HERE
Other links –
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-virgin-of-the-wind-rose-glen-craney
Glen Craney is a novelist, screenwriter, and journalist. He holds degrees from Indiana University School of Law and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He practiced trial law before joining the Washington, D.C. press corps to cover national politics and the Iran-contra trial for Congressional Quarterly magazine. The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences awarded him the Nicholl Fellowship prize for best new screenwriting. He is a Chaucer Awards First-Place Winner and a three-time Foreword Reviews Book-of-the-Year Award Finalist. His debut historical novel, The Fire and the Light, was honored as Best New Fiction by the National Indie Excellence Awards. His books have taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, to the Scotland of Robert Bruce, to Portugal during the Age of Discovery, to the trenches of France during World War I, and to the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression.
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