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Catching up with Author Glenn Starkey (@GStarkeybooks)

I’m so pleased to have been given the opportunity to catch up with a familiar face on our site, the brilliant and very talented author Glenn Starkey. I know Glenn’s been very busy with a new release and another due out later this winter. I would like to thank him for taking some of his time to chat with us, it is always appreciated!

Welcome back Glenn!

Glenn Starkey (1)


I understand you’re pursuing a different genre…tell us a bit about your new release?

MR. CHARON is my first Young Adult paranormal novel of the six books I’ve written. It’s the story of five teenage boys whose fates become entwined in the dying town of Thornton, Texas during the summer of 1962. Their home lives are disturbingly different. Eddie has an abusive father, while Andy is the child of a single mother with debts too high for money alone to pay. They decide to right what they consider wrong in their lives.

A long forgotten Ouija board in a deserted barn becomes their answer. Together, they call upon a spirit but never expected the appearance of Mr. Charon, a demon who comes to haunt their small town with the help of his pets. Terror is unleashed and although Eddie and Andy are to blame, their friends agree to help.

With Mr. Charon released, somehow the boys must find a way to send him back to Hell and end the horror. Good and evil collide as they fight not only for their own lives, but also for the souls of the entire community. When all hope seems lost, help is found in a deputy sheriff, an Indian shaman, and their fathers. Too late, the five boys have learned that where demons roam, no one is safe.

I’m also very proud of the cover artwork by Patti Roberts of Paradox Book Cover Designs. In the short time MR. CHARON has been out, the cover has received numerous compliments.

Mr. Charon - Glenn Starkey


What inspired you to change genres?

A new publishing company asked me to write a YA novel as part of their startup line. I balked at first. I’d never written a YA work, but in time I grew interested in the challenge. My belief is that if I’m to be a true writer, I must be able to tackle a variety of genres. Unfortunately, the company had operational issues so I withdrew the completed work from them.

What challenges do you find (if any) writing YA?

I had never written a YA book and needed to educate myself about the genre, age groups comprising the readers, then decide which group I wished to target. My experience is in hard-hitting thrillers and action adventure novels with equally tough characters that mark the books as “mature content.” I had dozens of questions and the same number of self-doubts. But after a long talk with my young grandson, ideas formed and the pieces of the puzzle began to fit.

Upon completing MR. CHARON, I was fortunate to have a high school English Literature teacher use the novel as a graded semester project for her senior ‘gifted and talented’ level students. They reviewed every aspect of the book—its characters, storyline, my writing style, and so forth. They were at liberty to say anything they wished as long as it was done in a professional manner. That was a wonderful experience for me to obtain such great feedback, and upon the project’s conclusion, I held a Q & A session with them. I hope to do that again one day.

Do you think you will write in this genre again?

“Never say Never.” It depends upon finding the right story within me. While I may prefer other genres, I learned that the innocence of youth in my YA characters held a certain writing appeal. Adult characters must think with maturity and age appropriate intents, while children and teenagers may say or do most anything and it’s accepted as their youth, lack of experience and maturity. But as with all of my novels, I must have confidence in the storyline before embarking upon the long journey of writing it.

What does your average work/writing day look like?

Since retirement from the security world, there are not enough hours in the day for all I want to do, much less what I need to or must do. I may be an author, but I’m also a husband and grandfather with their responsibilities. The coordinated calendars (with their beeping alarms) in my computer, iPad, and iPhone, keep me on track.

Mornings (with coffee in hand) are primarily for emails, social media, and reviewing scheduled activities—followed (with more coffee) by research for my writing projects. Three days a week I try to be in the gym at noon. After a short afternoon break, I catch up on all the honey-do’s that I forgot. More reading after dinner, watch a few programs on the History Channel, write notes about my current projects, and around 9 P.M. I’m in my office to write. Between 2 or 3 A.M., I wake up Willie, my Labradoodle who shadows me everywhere, and retire for four or five hours of sleep. I’m up at 7 or 7:30 A.M. and start over again. Tuesdays are dedicated solely to my volunteer work at two elementary schools where I mentor students with their reading skills—and every Thursday afternoon, I pick up my grandson from school so we can share some quality time. My days involve a lot of juggling!

What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a writer and how do you overcome them?

Proper time management is always a killer. Overcoming self-doubts about my writing is another stumbling block. I’m critical of my work, often overly critical. And as if developing a story, writing it, editing and more editing are not enough then comes the marketing. I’m not good at ringing my own bell and shouting, “Buy my book. It’s the best!” Another minefield to walk through is the good and bad people/companies that offer publicity and marketing plans. Even the major houses expect you to aggressively hawk your work, so, the challenges are never ending.

How to overcome these? Perseverance and self-discipline. You take one thing at a time. Forget about marketing until you have a completed work. Writing and editing a book is the biggest mountain to climb. Pay attention to what other authors do to market their work. Learn from their mistakes. Don’t live on social media all day or night. It takes away from your writing. The list goes on, and I could probably write a thesis on the challenges confronting an author.

What message do you hope your readers walk away with after reading your books?

A reader once told me they appreciated the themes of deep family loyalty and love, strength and hope to overcome the adversities of evil, and the tests of honor and personal faith in God that my characters undergo. I do not intentionally set out to have blatant messages in my novels, but find that one or all are present upon completion of a project. One reader said, “…it made me pause and think…” It was then I knew the long hours of writing were worthwhile.

Can you tell us what is coming up for you and where can we find you online?

In two months I believe my historical fiction BLACK SUN will be released. It’s a novel I have worked on for years.

Black Sun Ebook Cover JGS 10262015

Set in Mexico during the Revolution of 1910, a young man working in the mines is accused of a murder he didn’t commit and is forced to flee into the Sierra Madre Mountains. There he must survive and grow into manhood through a turbulent decade that erupted into the bloodiest revolution of the twentieth century. He’s swept into a maelstrom of tragedy as revolutionaries, led by his mentor and friend Pancho Villa, battle the forces of a corrupt dictator. BLACK SUN is based on actual events.

I’m proud of this novel for several reasons. First, I used my grandfather as the model for the protagonist. Next, my son, Jake Starkey, designed a wonderful cover after I obtained permission to use Diego Rivera’s famous mural art “Liberation of the Peon.” Art is one of my many passions and I take great pride in every book cover. Jake also designed two other covers for me: SOLOMON’S MEN and YEAR OF THE RAM.

My novels are available through every major online bookseller; Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks in Apple iTunes, and more. I appreciate reviews and welcome emails from all. Feel free to contact me through my website, “Follow Me” on Twitter, or stop by and click a “Like” on my Facebook page.

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss my writings with your readers.

Glenn Starkey

Barnes & Noble:



Solomon's Men

Year_of the_Ram9781458200693_COVER.indd



 To learn more about Glenn, please check out his links, not to mention his wonderful work!


For previous posts about Glenn please check here:

Posted in Uncategorized

Interview with Author Glenn Starkey

I’m so pleased to have been given the opportunity to interview the brilliant and very talented author Glenn Starkey. I know Glenn’s been very busy and I would like to thank him for taking some of his time to chat with us ~we can’t wait to learn more about his writing and life. 

Welcome Glenn!

Glenn Starkey -1-2

Tell us a little about yourself. When did your interest in writing begin?

I’m a native Texan, spent six years in the Marine Corps, did a tour in Vietnam, was a Texas police officer for seven years, retired as a Security Manager from a global oil corporation, and recently finished a six-month Security Director assignment for a major Gulf Coast port. Writing has always been such a part of me that it evolved without any true realization of a beginning. If I were forced to choose when my serious writing began, it would probably be with my letters from Vietnam to my aunt. She used to say they were ‘mini-novels.’

Solomon's Men

Where do you find inspiration?

I do not go in search of inspiration, it finds me. I always wanted to be an artist, painting with oils, so visualization is important. A picture or scene will stick in my mind. If the idea is strong enough, I’ll see more pictures, and when I least expect, the pictures form an entire story. Depending upon my mood, sometimes a song will create a mental image. Other times, looking at art works will spark a story within me. My life experiences (both good and bad), travels, and interface with a spectrum of people all come into play as well.

What authors have most influenced your writing and life?

In youth I always loved the writings of Poe, Burroughs, Wells, Doyle, and Howard. When I began writing novels, I realized Nicholas Guild, Robert McCammon, and David Morrell unknowingly had a great impact upon how I wrote. Each of these authors is different from the next in the novels they write, but it is the manner in which they weave their stories that makes them unique to me. I enjoy a good David Morrel novel for its action entertainment. Robert McCammon, in my opinion, masterfully wrote a novel titled “The Wolf’s Hour” which served a mentorship for me on the craft of writing. Yet it is Nicholas Guild, author of “The Assyrian” and other great works, who most influenced my overall thought processes with his style and depth of writing. He has been a true mentor in many arenas. And, I’m proud to say that we have become friends and correspond frequently about writing. He has graciously provided his thoughts on my various works and edited my latest novel “Amazon Moon” which I hope will be published later this year.

Year_of the_Ram

What tools/methods do you employ when writing a novel? ( i.e. do you outline or are you a “pantser”? Do you work chronologically or a scene at a time, typing or longhand etc.) How has this changed from when you started out?

In my early years, I began with outlines and quickly learned that didn’t work for me. While images of the entire story dance through my mind, I begin making brief notes upon paper, circle them, and draw lines to connect each circle. Pretty soon I discover I have the majority of the story established – then I begin writing those scenes and weave them into a novel. Often I will sit and stare at my computer monitor and see the story unfold before me as if it were a movie. Sometimes I cannot type and keep pace with the images, but if the story has presented itself strongly to me, I don’t worry about losing it. The story will be there the next day.

What is the best advice you have received with regards to writing? What is the best advice you could offer a new writer?

I’ve had my share of good and bad advice from many good and bad authors, but my advice to a new writer is simple:

(1) Read all genres, especially classical works. Pay attention to the writing styles employed by those authors.

(2) Be yourself. Develop your own writing ‘voice.’ Don’t attempt to copy another author.

(3) Stop buying every “How to Write” book that’s out on the market. You will only grow more confused and poor.

(4) Write, write, and write more. Then edit, edit, and do more editing. When you proofread, read it aloud because your ears will tell you when a mistake has been made. Words are like music which must flow smoothly.

(5) Everything you write is NOT great. Everything you write is NOT junk.

(6) If people review your work, accept what they say and learn from it. Don’t argue with a reviewer. You wanted an opinion and received it. (Most importantly, just because your girlfriend, spouse or mother likes your book doesn’t mean it is destined to be a New York Times Bestseller.)

(7) Remember that writing is a business, not a hobby or a game! You climbed the mountain and now have a finished product – but marketing has to be equally well planned and developed.

(8) And above all, forget that rat race of counting how many stars you receive in reviews. Pay attention to what the reviewer (not trolls) have to say about your book. So you got “3 Stars” in a review…so what? The essence of the review is what a reader felt from your book. (bear in mind, every reader has different taste and you are not going to please everyone…)


What is the most memorable response you have had about your writing and has it changed the way you write?

I’ve been fortunate to have a few memorable responses. One reader wrote to me and said, “It was as if I was right there, in the book, feeling everything about it.” Another reader wrote, “I began reading your book one evening and couldn’t stop. I was late to work the next morning and sleepy all day, but started reading again once I got home.” Those kind remarks didn’t change my writing, but made me realize that properly intertwining action with dialogue, along with imploring the human senses, were key ingredients to a page turner.

Which one of your characters (if any) would you invite to stay with you for a few months? Do you think you’d get along or would they be the house guest from hell?

Oh, my… I’m not sure if I’d allow any of my male protagonists to stay with me. They’d probably drink all my Jack Daniels, grill all my steaks in the freezer, and my wife might want to run-away with one of them.  And I surely wouldn’t bring any of my female characters home because I’d be in divorce court the next day or my wife would just shoot me!


Can you tell us what is coming up for you and where can we find you online?

My novel “Amazon Moon” should be out later this year and I am also working on converting my published novel “Year of the Ram” into ebook format. Recently, I found one of my formerly lost manuscripts, “Dragon’s Breath”and will be working on it. This will definitely be a busy summer, but I’m excited about these new prospects. As for finding me online, that’s quite easy. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and have a website. I encourage everyone to write to me with any questions or discussions they may have.

Thank you for this opportunity to be your guest. I truly appreciate all you do.

Glenn Starkey,  Author

Solomon’s Men” Book Trailer Video

 To learn more about Glenn, please check out his links, not to mention his wonderful work!