Name James Glass
Where are you from
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I’m a 22 year veteran of the United States Navy. I completed two tours in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
After retiring from the Navy, my family and I moved back to Florida. When I’m not writing I enjoys spending time with family and my 4-year-old grandson. I’m also the President of the Panhandle Writer’s Group. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Management from Grand Canyon University in 2011.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’m seeking a publisher for my latest crime thriller, Whisper Creek. It’s with my editor and not sure of a publishing date yet. I also completed a short story about a female assassin (The Kestrel) which should be published later this year. I’m working on my next crime thriller.
I’m also writing my third children’s book, under my pseudonym Johnny Copper. The Pleasantville Junior Detective Agency: The Great Denture Swap. It’s about a 9-year-old boy named Perry Winkle who becomes the neighborhood junior detective. The reader tries to uncover each clue and solve the case, such as The Case of the Stolen Yu-Gi-Oh Cards, or The Great Train Robbery. For those that haven’t cracked the case by the end, they can turn to the last page of each chapter and see how Perry solved it.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
In 2011, I had a friend challenge me to write a book on my experience as Chief Petty Officer in the Navy and how junior sailors could use it to aspire to become a Chief. Once I was published, I caught the writing bug and have never stopped writing.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still ask myself that question, lol. Although I think I’m a writer, I’m a student of the craft and I continue to learn more each day.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It was a challenge by a friend, Herbert Kelton. Once I took the challenge and wrote my first book, I was hooked.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m a mixed bag of panzer and plot points. I’ve been told I write crime thrillers the same way Stephen King writes horror. Not sure if that’s a compliment or not lol. My crime thrillers are pretty scary, I guess. I’ll let the readers be the judge.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My wife comes up with my titles. She’s great at this and I love her for it, because all of the titles I come up with sound like a cliché from a bad ‘B’ movie.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
For the crime thrillers I want them to get hit with a shot of adrenaline on the first page and keep the drive going until the last page.
For my children’s books I want the kids and adults alike to have fun trying to solve the latest crime.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Although I write fiction, I want to make sure the procedures used in real life are still followed. I just try to cut the boring stuff.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Some of the scenes in my books or some of the details used are based loosely on my own life or someone I knew.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Of Mice and Men would be the biggest book that influenced me. It was the first book I ever read. As far as mentor, I have several. I keep in contact with several New York Times Bestselling authors who have been nice enough to pass on some of their knowledge.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich and The Closers by Michael Connelly.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Not new to the industry, but new to me. I love Janet Evanovich and enjoy her story about up-an-coming bounty hunter Stephanie Plum.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m wrapping up my latest crime thriller, The Silencer.
Under my pseudonym Johnny Copper I’m working on the third book in The Pleasantville Junior Detective Agency series.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My biggest supporters are my fellow authors of The Panhandle Writer’s Group. They’re a group of writer’s that get together each week to read and give constructive feedback.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I can’t see myself ever stop writing. I wake up each morning and write from 4-6.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I don’t think so. By the time I finish the umpteenth edition, my brain doesn’t want to deal with it anymore. Then I send it off to the editor for one last polish.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I think it’s always been there, deep in hibernation until 2011.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My latest novel is a crime thriller about a vicious killer known as The Silencer who’s struck again. Like his previous victims, he’s removed their tongues and sewn their lips shut. In each murder scene, he leaves behind a biblical quote.
Detective Rebecca Watson of the Eugene Falls Police Department is working the case. As a distraction, she’s dragged back into court for the retrial of a man convicted of murdering his girlfriend five years earlier. His defense attorney will use any means to get his client freed, including involving Detective Watson’s mother, who abandoned her at the age of nine. Detective Watson had killed her stepfather for molesting her. This throws Watson into emotional turmoil.
Digging deeper into the silencer investigation, she discovers there may be a connection between the killer’s victims who were all navy veterans at the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. More bodies are discovered. Nothing can prepare her for the world she’s about to uncover and the motive behind The Silencer.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
For me, I find writing the first several chapters challenging. But once I get the momentum going, the words flow almost effortlessly.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
There are so many great writers to choose from, but if I had to choose one, it would Nelson DeMille. I love the way he crates his characters, tells the story and watch the plot unfold. He’s a true master of the craft.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I’ve done some. As a writer, even with two separate publishers you still have to promote your books. There’s no way around this. I wish there were, so I can get back to writing, lol.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My first book was designed by my publisher. They did an amazing job. I’ve designed three of my book covers.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part for me is trying to narrow down which story to tell next. I’ve got so many stories swirling around in my head, it’s tough to pick my next book. What I’ve found that helps me is after I complete a book, I’ll start three new stories. After several weeks one of them will capture my attention the most and I’ll run with it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learn every time I write. I do a lot of reading and research on my stories. Although I mainly write fiction, I want to make sure I’m still capturing the reality of life. If a detective comes to a crime scene, I need to make sure he’s doing things a real detective would do. If I go outside the lines, then it needs to be explained.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write, read, write, repeat. In order to be a good writer, you have to know the craft. Reading helps hone these skills. Also, once you get in the writer’s seat make sure there aren’t any distractions. Make your writing area your sanctuary. And don’t try to be perfect, at least not on the first draft. The first draft is always garbage. If you can attend a writer’s group, do. They can help you to become better, and provide constructive feedback. However. If you come to a writers group that trashes each other’s writing and can’t be constructive, LEAVE!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Please write a review. Most writers spend countless hours working on their stories. For some, it may take years before getting published. We love to know what you think of our stories and a review is a great way to let us know how we’re doing.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Of Mice and Men. Absolutely loved it. It’s still my favorite book.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I have a weird sense of humor. Horror movies will get me laughing and the people around me tend to move further down the seats or aisle, as if they’re sitting next to a serial killer. I’m not much of a crier, but How to Make an American Quilt got the tears flowing. My wife made me watch it. Okay, maybe I watched it with her, willingly.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
I’d love to sit down and talk with Stephen King. The man has a gift and I’d love to just sit with him. Not to pick his brain on writing, but to carry a conversation with the man.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
No Regrets. That’s it Just those two words. No Regrets.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Running. The cool thing is I don’t need a dog to motivate me. Been doing it for 30+ years and still enjoy it. I also love fishing with my grandson and watching bad sci-fi movies with the family.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Dexter, Blue Bloods, and the old Law and Order reruns.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Foods – Homemade grilled cheese and tomato soup to dip it in. Waldorf salad.
Color – Red
Music – Metallica, AC/DC, Queen, Johnny Cash, and Brooks & Dunn.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I loved my job in the Navy. I was an investigator.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
No, but I should get one. Here’s my books on Amazon.
Things Left Behind
The Ultimate Chief Petty Officer Guidebook
My children’s books under Johnny Copper
The Pleasantville Junior Detective Agency
The Pleasantville Junior Detective Agency: The Catch a Jewel Thief