Glenn Fain, writer of all unconventional and combination of genres
The first book I published was “Tease”, back in 2014. Then I published “The Angel Experiment” in early 2016, and “The Woman of My Dreams” last month. Not much to say about myself personally; I feel if anyone wants to know me, everything that is me is in my books. They are all unconventional, all different from each other, and all on the strange side, difficult to put into a box, which gets frustrating when places like Amazon force me to pick a “genre” when really they have no genre, or they are a combination of genres.
When and why did you start writing?
I started writing poetry back in college freshman year, although I had dabbled a bit in very bad short stories earlier than that while in high school. After I lost the poetry, I switched to short stories more seriously and wrote those on and off for many years. Then I eventually attempted a novel, which became “Broken People” (not published yet). It was only then I got into writing seriously. It was as if the form of a novel was the perfect fit for me, and I found my voice. I always enjoyed using words to create something new on paper, whether it was poetry or short stories and now novels. It was something I did for fun back then, but now it’s more like a marriage. Sometimes I’m loving it, and other times I most certainly want a divorce…..
What inspires your writing?
Everything inspires me. This is a difficult question. For instance, my most recent novel, “The Woman of My Dreams”, was inspired by an idea that has fascinated me for many years, starting over a decade ago. I even tried it to write it as a short story a few times, but never got anywhere, and it got tossed. I eventually wrote it as a novel and it practically wrote itself. More recently, I met my friend’s father, and seeing him I felt a tingling inside, an excitement, like a part of me was telling me there’s another novel here and that was very inspiring. So sometimes ideas, other times people, even places can trigger enough inner stimuli that becomes the kernel that triggers everything else.
What has been your worst moment as a writer?
It’s putting my heart and soul into a novel and not being able to sell it, because no one knows they even exist. Then seeing someone like Michael Connelly whip out his zillionth “Bosch” book that instantly sells millions of copies. (They’re cool books, but that’s not the point.) I find that immensely frustrating, and has given me many moments of “Why the f*ck am I still doing this?”
Do you have any writing rituals to get you in the mood for writing?
I wish I did! I have a 40 hr/week job that pays the bills, so when I’m working on a novel, I write when I can after work and on the weekends, preferably every day even it’s only for 30 minutes. I’ve been flirting with short stories again and can do those with less regularity. It would be GREAT to have the luxury of having a ritual. I do like writing in a dark room or with a candle, anything to help my concentration. Although saying that, if I’m really on, I can write in coffeehouses and bars and block out everything around me. But yeah, darkened rooms provide the most benefits. Concentration is crucial for me.
If you could, what would you go back and tell yourself as a writer starting out?
Come up with a plan to sell the books before publishing them, to avoid the disappointment and frustration of not having much of an audience.
How do you measure success as a writer?
Most importantly, it’s when the book is born (published) I can look at it and say, “Hey, this is a good book! I know this is a good book. I’m happy with it.” That to me is success, writing something that I think is very fine. (God knows I’ve tossed out tons of stuff, that didn’t make it.) That’s one level of success. Another level of success is people reading the books and liking them. Another level of success would be selling a zillion copies of the book. But is writing a mediocre book yet selling zillion copies success? And is writing an excellent book yet not selling many copies a success?
What do you believe make for great writing?
All of the greatest novels are totally unique in some way, are timeless, are as honest as honest gets in their own way. Great writing has to be relevant, and not only relevant today, but relevant 100 years from now, 1,000 years from now assuming the human race still exists and people are reading books. This is another tough question that could take a few hundred pages and still not answer. I’m re-reading “Don Quixote”, which was written around the time of Shakespeare, about 400 years ago. Besides being a lot of fun, I’m trying to figure out why it still works, why it’s so great a book, and I have no answer. It just IS a great book. People can attempt to say what makes it great, but they will never really answer the question. But the fact that it still speaks to people 400 years later is a testament to its greatness. And it’s bloody hilarious.
What is your biggest fear as a writer?
Never getting a large audience, which means my books will never be read. That makes me very sad.
What would you like readers to take away from your writing?
My first and foremost objective is to entertain them. We all do have a compulsive need for entertainment these days, but I also want them to think more and feel more and perhaps see the world a bit differently afterwards.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Write what you want to write and don’t worry about the rest of the world. Until you have to…..
What is next for you?
Yesterday I had the idea to go back and edit slightly the first book I published, “Tease”, and try my damndest to sell it and get it an audience. I really haven’t tried hard to sell my books yet, but I’ve come up with a plan. I’m also thinking of publishing the first novel I actually wrote, “Broken People”, which has some of the poet Rainier Maria Rilke’s “Duino Elegies” strewn throughout, and is another strange love story with an angel and a talking cat, among other things. Love and madness do seem to be my two main themes. Take that how you will…….Never getting a large audience, which means my books will never be read. That makes me very sad.
by Glenn Fain
Sleepwalking through a decade of soulless jobs, Arnold Brinckman is still reeling from his girlfriend’s suicide. When he is convinced all hope is lost, the beautiful and exotic Anastasia appears in his dreams, teaching him to live and love again. But this lesson may come at a price Arnold isn’t willing to pay. Suddenly, reality and dream bein to blur as Arnold loses his way. Is the woman of his dreams really a nightmare Arnold can’t survive?