Name: Glen R Stansfield
Where are you from: Lancashire, UK.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Brought up in the Lancashire Pennines in the nineteen sixties. An era when children used their imagination to play. I left school at the age of sixteen to pursue a career in aviation as an engineer, which I still do today. I have three grown up children from my first marriage and now live in Bahrain with my second wife, who has three grown up children of her own.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’ve just reached a deal with one of the largest bookshops in Bahrain to stock my paperback version of Fishing for Stones. I’m working on my second novel, Harry
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I suppose that started at junior school when we did ‘composition.’ After that it wasn’t until 5 or 6 years ago I returned to writing
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I sold my first book, though I still sometimes think someone will point at me and shout ‘fraud!’
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
When I was working in Aberdeenshire, it struck me how little security there was in those days, and how easy it would be to steal a helicopter, assuming you could fly one of course.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I think anyone who is serious about writing has their own style. What you see on the page is me. It isn’t something that is done consciously, it just happens
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
In a way the title gives a clue to the story. The ‘stones’ are diamonds, ‘Fishing’ in this case has a double meaning. Hence Fishing for Stones
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Crime sometimes pays? No, not really. I just want people to enjoy a story. I don’t think I take life seriously enough to put hidden meanings into my work
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I spend a lot of time on research, checking facts, looking at places, working out routes etc. I want people with personal knowledge of a place or event to think that possibly my story could be real. A lot of the events in my books are real, as are a lot of the places and people. The main characters and events though are fictitious.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think most writers will inject a little of somebody they know into their stories. My characters in Fishing for Stones are a composite of fictitious and real people. For Harry, things are a little different. As far as I know I’m not acquainted with any serial killers
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
It was a book by Robert Townsend, then CEO of Avis Rent-a-Car, Up the Organization. Later in life when I was in supervisory and management positions I remembered his philosophy on how to deal with people. I’ve tried to live up to that both in and out of the workplace.
Fiona: What book are you reading now? This is going to sound sad, but I’m currently reading a guide to crime scene investigation as part of my research for Harry.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Dietmar Wehr. I’m a huge fan of Sci-fi and I was really taken by the Synchronicity Wars. I think the big explosion in self-publishing has brought a wave of talent that otherwise wouldn’t be seen. On the other hand we are also in danger of being buried under a deluge of hastily written and poorly edited works.
Fiona: What are your current projects? Harry, is my work in progress. There are some germs of ideas for further works kicking around in the back of my mind
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Seumas Gallacher has been a great source of encouragement. Whenever I feel like giving up, a chat with Seumas rekindles my interest
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Not as a full time career, yet. Maybe a second career, after retirement
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Probably. I think I will never be satisfied and always looking for ways to improve something. There comes a point though where you have to stop…and publish
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Yes, my headmaster at junior school, Marcus Dearden, encouraged many of us to write stories
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
It is still very much a work in progress. The story centres around a former special forces soldier who became slightly unhinged during the first Gulf war. The death of a friend triggers his suppressed desire to kill, and he sets about ridding the streets of London of petty criminals and villains.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Focus. I’m easily distracted from the task in hand. I will start to research something about strangulation, and find myself looking at something entirely unrelated that attracted my eye
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Without doubt, Terry Pratchett. His books have many facets that on the first read can be easy to miss. Not only are they humorous, but they also contain many social comments.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Sadly no. I use Google Earth and Google Street to research my locations. Though if I am in the area I will check a particular aspect for myself. I was recently in London and checked several of the locations mentioned in Harry. It was a bit of a problem for Fishing for Stones, as it is set in 1990. Fortunately, many of the locations for that I did have personal knowledge of, though the scenes in Angola and Antigua had a lot of research done for them, including scouring home movies found on YouTube
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I did. I’m a bit of a control freak and want to handle all aspects of my books
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Working out the timing for the main event. I spent weeks trying to figure out a way that could be done
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
It is both mentally and physically draining, but just the one comment from a reader about how they enjoyed it makes it all worthwhile
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep at it and don’t be afraid of taking risks
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. Without readers I only have manuscripts, not books
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not specifically but Dr Seuss figures high on the list, as do the Paddington Bear books
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I find humour in all sorts of situations, even those that are meant to be serious. Human stories, good or bad make me cry. I can be very emotional
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
I always wanted to meet Nelson Mandela. Even after all the hatred and hostility, he could still inspire a nation, and the world
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Oi. Put me back. I haven’t finished yet
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Motorcycling. Sadly I don’t ride in Bahrain, here it is considered a form of suicide. When back in the UK I ride as much as I can. I read a lot, though not as much as I used to.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Anything with a high body count in it. Criminal and detective dramas such as Silk and Lewis. I love Martin Clunes as Doc Martin. Sci-fi films such as Star Wars definitely do it for me, but I will watch pretty much anything that is well written and well acted. Certain combinations of actors will also draw me to a film, Clooney/Pitt, Sandler/Barrymore
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Vietnamese cooking. Red and Blue. Rock, blues, classical
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Police officer. I did that part time for a few years, or maybe a barrister.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Author page at Amazon