I’m delighted to have you here today, Glenn, please make yourself and if the skies are clear tonight, who knows what you might glimpse.
1 – First up, Glenn, I like to make my guests welcome so what are you having? Name your poison. Are you an Earl Grey or a Latte man? Can I tempt you with a slice of chocolate cake or a helping of apple crumble?
GM - Well, since you're boiling water, Babs, I'll have some green tea and a bit of that lovely apple crumble.
2 –Mini bio time -Let’s get to know a little bit more about how you ended up here on my sofa, Glenn. Are you a full time writer or do you have an additional occupation or interesting hobby that drags you away from the keyboard. Let’s get an idea of what makes you tick.
GM - I guess you could call me a full-spare-time writer since I maintain a 9-5 gig as a bookkeeper to stay solvent. My interesting hobby would be astronomy. My wife and I have several telescopes and our own observatory in the backyard.
3 – How did you get into writing? What was the first thing you had published and how did you go about it?
GM - I got into writing the same way artists get into drawing and dancers find their way onto the stage. It's a creative need that has to be acknowledged and catered to. The first thing I had published that actually brought in money was a book review for an astronomy magazine. It was so nice to have my writing validated in that way that I almost framed the cheque instead of cashing it!
4 – Are you a planner, Glenn? Do you plot your novels out in advance or just go where the characters take you?
GM - I like to have a general idea of the main plot line before I start typing, and spend a long time just thinking of the possibilities. Once I have the framework in mind, I'm quite happy to let the characters take over and see where they lead me. That's one thing I enjoy about writing; even as the author I never quite know where the story might go.
5 – I love to genre hop, how about you? Do you write in a specific genre? Which is your favourite and why?
GM - The genre I'm most comfortable with is the thriller because you can really set the reader up for a surprise. Plus there is plenty of opportunity for action which keeps the story moving at an entertaining pace. I also like to mix in elements of crime with a law enforcement chaser just to keep everything accountable.
6 – Is there a particular genre or type of scene that you would avoid and if so why?
GM - From a writing standpoint, I'm not big on horror – too much gratuitous bloodshed. If a scene requires an animal to be the victim I find a way to gloss over it in a sentence or two, and I won't write anything that involves the abuse of children. My bad guys can be nasty without resorting to that sort of thing.
7 – As a child which was your favourite book? Were you read to as a child and did that develop your love of books? Do you have a favourite book and author now? What are you reading now?
GM - I started reading when I was four and, though I was read to, I often liked to do the reading. Since I spent my early years in England, the Biggles books were a favourite. In fact I still have them in my bookcase alongside tales of Robin Hood, and King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
8 – Promotion and marketing is the bane of most writers’ lives. How do you reach your readers and promote your work.
GM - I would like to say telepathically – that would certainly make things easier – but there really is no substitute for blog posts, maintaining a Facebook page, Twitter'ing, setting up book signings, and generally blowing your own horn. I'm still feeling my way around the whole marketing thing so any support from friends, peers, and readers is always appreciated.
9 – Tell us a little about the book you've brought with you?
GM - Torque is a thriller with an excellent set of characters. The protagonist, Chas Fenn, is an average guy who unwittingly gains possession of a street drug formula. The antagonist is a ruthless vixen, called Brittany Reis, who will stop at nothing to get it back. When writing Torque I put all the elements into it that I like to find in a book – action, suspense, mystery, police procedures, technical data, a bit of romance, and plenty of humour.
10 – How do you develop your characters? Pick your favourite and sell him/her to us in twenty words or less.
GM - Brittany Reis surprised me the most. Not bound by social morays or morals, one reader said that “Reis springs off the page at you!” and I would certainly agree.
11 – Can you give us a little hint at what you have planned next?
GM - I have a short story written that will be part of an anthology due out this Spring. I'm also working on the sequel to Torque.
12 – While I top up your tea would you like to read a short excerpt from your book?
GM - I'd love to. To avoid spoilers, I'm going to give you the first part of Chapter 5 in which the main character here is an aging con man whom Reis wants to recruit to retrieve the formula.
Torque - Chapter 5
The Stockport Lounge was busier than normal for a Wednesday. Fall’s crisp calling card had arrived and the office crowd was feeling cozy. Located on the mezzanine of Hanlon Place, a hybrid of office tower and luxury hotel, the bar’s hospitality beckoned to those who disembarked soundless elevators opposite the rain-specked brass and glass street exit.
Chatter ebbed and flowed around small round tables, cresting occasionally into laughter then receding to choppy conversation. Over bobbing heads, new arrivals caught the eye of the bartender. He nodded while slicing limes for the ever popular Mai Tai and Daiquiri. He couldn’t see the TV but listened, as he worked, to the news anchor’s summary.
“The Bank of Canada is forecasting yet another rise in interest rates, and the body of a second youth has been discovered in Hamilton. More details in a moment.”
The station switched to a commercial and the barman changed the channel. Stark reality was not good for the tip jar.
“You don't mind?” he said, indicating the large screen to the only patron who might have an interest in it.
The heavyset man on the barstool shook his head.
The Stockport Lounge wasn't exactly Stanislaw Svoljsak’s kind of place. Next to a beer at home he preferred a street corner tavern where the drinks were cheap and the patrons talked about hockey or fight clubs. The two-for-one cocktail hour was okay, though. He raised his glass and drained the amber dregs of a double scotch.
“Another one, sir?”
Svoljsak assented, and armed with the plastic miniature spear he sat hunched over the drink like an Inuit at a seal hole. He reached into his jacket and pulled out a hundred-dollar bill. On the side with the goose, written in fine blue marker, was the name of the lounge and the date and time he was expected. It was a novel way to get his attention, though a mere C-note wouldn’t keep it for much longer. Now twenty minutes past the allotted time his patience was already evaporating with the alcohol.
He took a sip and stole a glance at the segmented mirror behind the bar. The view was obscured by the bottles in front so he hitched around on his stool and casually panned the room. Most of the suits and skirts were there on his arrival. A mixed group in a large booth appeared to be fanning the flames of an office romance between two of their co-workers.
His scan had nearly reached its unobtrusive limit when he caught the pale sheen of white flesh in silk stockings. He took a quick mental snapshot then turned back to the bar as if he hadn’t noticed.
That woman hadn’t been sitting there when he'd arrived. Nor had she entered after he'd found a stool at the bar, he could see the doorway and wouldn’t have missed legs like that coming in. She must have followed him from the lobby. That could just be a matter of timing, but in Svoljsak's line of work timing was important.
There was a motion beside him, a hint of perfume, then a flash of silk-clad thighs being crossed on the next stool over.
“Thank you for coming, Mr. Svoljsak. I'm sorry for the delay, but one can never be too careful.”
After nine years on the road, Chas Fenn knows how to avoid accidental death - it's the intentional kind that gives him trouble.
The intentional kind is the seductive Brittany Reis, who plans to carve a niche in the street drug trade with a new hallucinogen. When her lab technician suddenly dies, Reis is forced to partner with an aging con man who sees the opportunity as a last chance for a big payoff.
There is dishonour among thieves, and the formula is misdirected to Fenn who's main ambitions are to win at darts, and get a raise. And maybe get laid. Now, with Reis and her thugs hot on his tail, Fenn’s life takes a dangerous detour where the normal rules no longer apply.
In the background, Detective Inspector Evan Lareault's case load of two homicides, a fatal overdose, and a fraudulent funeral home appears unrelated until Fenn discovers a family connection to the formula, and turns from hunted to hunter.
Torque is a high-action tale with powder-dry humour and a sexy villain you won't soon forget.
Torque is available to buy at:
And all the usual e-book retailers, Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble .
13– And finally a little game that I hope all my guests will contribute to. Can you give me 100 words of your choosing to follow on from this? Your last line will be picked up by the next guest... and so on:
“The foul tasting water seeping into her lungs and she knew in this drowning moment that this was not a dream…this was real....Something was definitely wrong with the holo-deck. She'd dialed in #65 – mad scientists, werewolves, and freaks – and the danger level was only rated as 3. Drowning on the other hand was a 9 and she didn't have clearance for that. Why does it always malfunction on my shift, she thought, and hit the KILL switch on her ring. The shackle fell off, and the water stopped rising but instead of receding just sat there. The crap from the dungeon must have clogged the drain. With lungs ready to burst she dove down but what she found on the bottom was another nasty surprise.
Thanks so much for dropping by Glenn. Love your addition to the story and I'm looking forward to reading Torque. Best of luck with the sequel.