I had been corresponding off and on with James in the past. I did a review for his book, Stone Cold, and was intrigued by his writing. He writes in the crime thriller genre, which encompasses a fair amount of my writing. What intrigues me is that James’s lead character is a female.
I grew up in a family of strong females- six of them, seven if you add my mom. Each as strong as the next. I am married to a strong female, and together, we have two strong, independent young ladies. Proud of them both.
But even though I grew up in that house and now live in the house I share with my wife, I never considered a strong female lead in my writing. Those of you who read my work, I have Victoria, mother of Brett and Bobby; Summer Storm, FBI agent; and various other characters. But both Victoria and Summer are secondary characters. After interviewing James and after reading his exceptional book, I will have to consider a change or two in my writing!
James Glass retired from the United States Navy. After retiring, he exchanged his rifle for a pen. He and his family moved back to the Florida Panhandle. He’s married and has two children. James is also the President of the Panhandle Writer’s Group.
How did you become an author?
It was a challenge from another master chief petty officer in the Navy. I had been working on a training program for junior sailors who aspired to become a chief petty officer. He challenged me to turn it into a book. One year later, I did and landed my first publisher.
What genre do you write, and why that particular genre?
Crime thrillers. I love taking a reader on a journey seen through the eyes of a homicide detective. Death investigation is hard work. First is the pursuit of countless dead ends. Next you add the colossal chunks of wasted time and energy. Then throw in the many obstacles along the way. You mix it all together and the truth is in there somewhere.
If you were to name one or two books that you deem unforgettable and that had a major impact on you, what would they be? How did they impact you?
The first was Misery by Stephen King. It’s the first book of his I ever read. I had just graduated Navy boot camp in San Diego and my girlfriend who is now my wife mailed me several books. The story was so scary, yet I couldn’t stop reading. King is exceptionally good at the craft and I have read many of his books including On Writing. As an author I have learned so much from him about crafting stories.
The second book is The Lion’s Game by Nelson DeMille. I read this while in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. DeMille has a writing style I fell in love with. He has great characters and is probably the best authors of my time.
What authors do you read regularly? Why?
Stephen King, Nelson DeMille, Michael Connelly are just a few.
What would be a reason you don’t finish reading a book?
I genuinely want to finish every book I start to read. But if I find the plot or characters to be unlikeable or too unbelievable, this turns me off. Or if the author failed to get an editor and there are too many grammatical errors, this makes it difficult for me to slug through. I can handle some errors, but too many, and I set the book aside.
What is your writing routine? When you write, are you a planner/outliner or are you a “pantser”?
I wake up every morning and write from 4 to 6 am. This has been a routine I set for myself after retiring from the Navy.
Is there something you set out to do, but somehow, it didn’t work out for you? (in terms of writing, or something else you felt was important to you at the time)
I have a psychological thriller I have been working on for several years. Whenever I’m between projects, I’ll work on it. I’ve also been working on a book titled, Interrogation Techniques for Writers. Both will get finished, but like many writers, other projects take priority.
What tips do you give to new or even experienced writers?
Write, write, write. Get the story onto the page. Don’t worry about how the first draft looks because first drafts aren’t meant to be perfect. And read. Reading is the homework writers need to keep improving as a writer. And finally, join a writer’s group. Find one that provides constructive feedback. The one I belong to has turned me into a better writer and that’s what we strive for.
Is there a type of writing/genre that you find difficult to write? Why?
Science fiction is difficult for me to read because I find it hard to follow along on the world building. However, I have discovered several authors in this genre who have simplified their novels in a way that’s easier for me to follow along.
You have a strong female character, yet you are a male. How were you able to come up with the character? What difficulties, if any, did you encounter? Research?
My lead detective in Stone Cold is female. The way I have been able to write her is by taking feedback from the women in my writers’ group on how women would act, talk, thoughts, etc. And my editor is a female who also provides a wealth of experience.
Tell us about your book? How did you come up with the concept?
Detective Rebecca Watson was a minor character in my first crime thriller. She was such a likeable character, I decided to use her as my protagonist in later crime thrillers. She’s tough but vulnerable.
How did you come up with the title?
The original title for the first in the series was called Things Not Forgotten, but my publisher thought it sounded too much like a title for a romance novel. We brainstormed for a while and decided on Stone Cold.
From your book, who is your favorite character? Who is your least favorite character? Why?
Rebecca Watson is my favorite character, but she has two aunties who are hilarious. My least favorite character in my crime thriller, Whisper Creek, is a guy named Edgar Tobias. He’s done some very horrible things.
You can follow James on Social Media:
We can find all of his books on his website: https://www.jamescglass.com/books/ or
B & N