Name Glenn Scrimshaw, although I tend to answer to Dad as often as not and being called Mr Scrimshaw always has me looking around for my Dad.
Age In my forties, but doing my best to lose count.
Where are you from
I come from Bolton upon Dearne in South Yorkshire, it is in the heart of the old coal mining region around Barnsley. I left there when I was about twenty and lived for a while up in the North East in Sunderland before ending up moving down to Derbyshire.
A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc.
My education was just the usual, I managed to get into University to study art, although back then it was Sunderland Polytechnic. I always struggled to study things unless they interested me and most of the interesting things were not studied in school. I was reading Beowolf and the myths of ancient Ireland while the teachers were droning on about the Spinning Jenny and the industrial revolution. I managed a year at Sunderland Poly before I was shown the door and spent another couple of years up there before moving down to the Midlands for a job. It wasn’t long before I met my wife in Rock City in Nottingham and far too many years later I’m a dad of 4 and a granddad.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
At the moment I’m working on the third book in the Comedy Sci-Fi Alienbutt Saga as well as a few ideas for the second story of John the Barman. I’m not the fastest of writers and get too easily distracted.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I didn’t start writing until about four years ago and it wasn’t something I ever really thought about. Even when I began writing the first Alienbutt story I never thought about publishing it, it was just as a laugh because a friend suggested I should try it. I’d spent time playing a game on Facebook and posting on the discussion boards. There was a small group of us who began posting as our game characters and just being daft. To start with I just wrote bits and posted them up and was amazed people were enjoying the story and as it grew I decided I wanted a copy for my own bookshelf. I finished the story and with no thought of editing or proof reading I put it out through the Lulu self-publishing site. The book was rough and a mess as my English isn’t that great but the owners of Gingernut Books bought a copy and through the migraine inducing grammar of the book decided there was a story worth taking on. Several rewrites later I sent them in a better version that was sent off for proof reading and editing along with the first of my short stories about the Vampire Eloim.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t consider myself a real writer and defiantly not an author. I tell daft stories, often while sat drinking whisky on a night. I create a daft hero and then drop them into situations to torture them in funny ways.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Like I said a friend suggested I try and I just set out to write a throw away story to get a laugh or two. Actually having two books and five short stories published was never the intention but as I’ve started the ride I want to see where it goes.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Mainly drunken, the bulk of my ideas come from sitting with a bottle of whisky and just seeing where it takes me. I try to write stories with plenty of action and a good few laughs and it seems to be working.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My first book is The Alienbutt Saga, War of the Coffee Bean and I named the main hero after my online game name and many of the other characters are named after other gamers. The idea was to have the most stupid idea for a universal war so coffee bean addiction became the central plot as an unwilling hero discovers he is the only hope for the universe.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There is some satire and twists on events that happen here in the real world but on the whole I try to just tell an old fashioned action story with added laughs that show how life is funny when you look at it from the right angle.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Not in the slightest, on the whole they are total flights of fancy. The great thing about writing Sci-Fi is you don’t have to ground things in facts and events so you can wander where you want as the story develops.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I will use people I know as a basis for characters, using aspects of their personality to try and develop my characters. On the whole though any similarity to real life events are totally coincidental.
Fiona: What books have influenced your life most?
I’ve read a lot of fantasy especially Terry Pratchett that I think influences my style of writing with the way he twists normal things to make them funny. Raymond E Fiest and David Gemmill are also favourites for the way they build up epic stories and create characters that are not natural heroes. I’m not saying I’ve managed to repeat their style but that is what I aim at.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Without a doubt it is Michelle Gent, she is part owner and an amazing horror author at Gingernut Books. She saw something in my work and had the faith in me to take a chance and has since gently nudged me in the right direction to improve my writing. She has given me so much advice and help and always has time to answer my stupid questions.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’ve just finished reading A clash of Kings by George R R Martin and will be moving onto the third book soon. I’m avoiding reading it straight away as I’m reading through my Alienbutt saga as I work on the third book. Like the rest of the world I’m hooked on Game of thrones.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
For the last few years I’ve been reading more indie and self-published authors than the traditional authors. Michelle Gent’s werewolf books are great and have gotten me back into horror which I hadn’t read for many years. I enjoyed Sherrill Willis’s Ruby Lake books which are really a style of book I would never have read. Marie Harbon’s Seven Point Eight totally gripped me from start to finish. The list could go on as there are so many high quality stories coming out if people would give them a chance.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
The third book of the Alienbutt Saga is my main project at the moment, as many of my characters didn’t make it beyond the end of the second book I’m working on developing new characters. I am also working on ideas for a second John the Barman story which is a more down to earth tale of a bar where the gods and supernatural go to unwind after a hard day’s work. This story is more a satire on how those creatures would view humanity and our often silly ways.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
The online community of indie and self-published authors, they are always there with support and advise to help. It’s a great group of people who are willing to share what they have learned or just help get the word out about your work.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
At the moment it’s more of a hobby, it’s something I enjoy doing but I’m a long way from being in a position of making a living from it. As long as I can make enough to keep doing it then that’s great, any more than that is a bonus.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’m reading through both my earlier books and I’ve found a few things I would change or didn’t get quite right. It’s the same as when you paint a picture, you always see the mistakes rather than the picture.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I never really had much interest in writing and was never any good at it throughout my school days. I guess it was just something I stumbled into by mistake or blind luck just put things together at the right time to get me started.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I saw a post on Facebook saying no great story began with a salad so I set out to change that and this is the introduction to the third book.
“Do you want salad with that?” The girl behind the counter asked.
“Yes please, extra onions.” Dream replied with a smile.
“Dream, what are we doing here? The universe is about to collapse.” Trobjorn asked anxiously.
“We’re getting a kebab I’ve decided I want to try one.” Dream said watching as the girl heaped salad over the meat.
“Do you want any sauce?” The girl asked not looking up.
“Can I have some of that chili one please?” Dream answered happily.
“Dream, be serious. Your brother and sister are near death because of that damned cat ripping up the destiny of the universe and all you can think of is food.” Trobjorn pressed.
“Stop being so human Trobjorn.” Dream said as he accepted the kebab. “Alienbutt is back and things just need time to reset, trust me.”
“But you saw what happened, the prophecy is dead and everything is in ruins.” Trobjorn said throwing his arms up in desperation as Dream started to pick at the salad.
“You are not seeing the bigger picture in all this. Salad is actually rather nice, what is this red stuff?” Dream asked.
“It’s a slice of tomato, what bigger picture?” Trobjorn asked.
“How big can you dream?” Dream asked. “Fate and Destiny just had their prophecy crash and it’s going to take them time to jump start it and reload the programing. Is this cucumber?” Dream asked holding up a thin circle of cucumber for Trobjorn to see. “It’s very refreshing.”
“You’re not making any sense, how can the prophecy reset, the Coffee houses are destroyed and the Ick are entombed in dead space.” Trobjorn asked.
“Because Alienbutt is alive and he is still prophesised to save the Ick emperor and help save the Ick people.” Dream said finding his first strip of meat and popping it in his mouth.
“But the coffee Houses, just about the entire Federation navy have been destroyed by Fluffy’s droids.” Trobjorn pressed.
“The Coffee Houses have just had a change of leadership, sort of a hostile take-over.” Dream said with a grin. “This meat is good.”
Trojorn’s face split into a grin as Dreams words sank in. “So the universe isn’t going to end.”
“Of course not, you don’t think this is the first time we’ve messed up like this. Now why can’t we start more adventures with people sitting down to eat a salad?” Dream asked.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I’m terrible and grammar, punctuation and spellcheck is very active as I work. It’s the technical side of writing that I find hardest, well that and staying away from social media.
Fiona: Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
That’s difficult, I think overall though it has to be Terry Pratchett, I’ve loved his Discworld stories since my teens and I first discovered Mort. Over the years I’ve read each of his books many times and the humour never gets old.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
The great thing about writing Sci-Fi in worlds that don’t exist is I get to make it all up and don’t need to do any research on places. In my Vampire Eloim stories I’ve based some of the events in places I know or used google street view to get an idea of a place for the last story. As I just needed a rough idea for a place based on my research of the last of the English witch trials the maps and images allowed me to give a feel of the place without a visit.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I do my own covers, the Alienbutt Saga are CGI spaceships I designed while Vampire Eloim are based on photographs either me or my dad took of old monastery or castle ruins. I just edit them and add the effects and texts.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finding that idea that kicks off a story, the one that won’t lead to a false start. Often I will get those ideas from a comment or a picture I see. It’s that light bulb moment when something clicks and before you know it you’ve written a few thousand words and your fingers can’t keep up with your mind. I need more of those moments.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Never edit and drink at the same time as that leads to a disaster. Also even when you’re sober no matter how many times you go through your own work you will end up reading the story you know rather than the words you wrote.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I was told when I first started to think about turning my story into a book that you need to know the start and the end of your story, after that it’s just a matter of filling in the middle. Many people start a story but struggle with the end so it never gets finished.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks for sticking with my rambling this long, don’t worry it’s nearly over.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Apart from the old Ladybird Peter and Jane books? I think the first book I chose to read would have been something Kidnapped or Treasure Island. My Mum and Dad had a lot of books in the house so reading was a part of childhood.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I don’t watch much Television but instead spend time online or reading, in the summer if the weather is OK then I’ll try to keep the garden from becoming a jungle. Trying to keep the house from falling down isn’t really a hobby, more of an ongoing eternal battle but can take up a good deal of time.
Amazon Author page- Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Glenn-Scrimshaw/e/B009HNIXR8/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Website – http://glennscrimshaw.weebly.com/
Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Glenn-Scrimshaw/188876677867600
Twitter – https://twitter.com/P_Alienbut