Short, Sharp Interview: Fiona Glass

BRIT GRIT, Byker Books, Fiona Glass, short sharp interviews

PDB: Can you pitch ‘Gleams of a Remoter World’ in 25 words or less?

FG: ‘Gleams of a Remoter World’ by Fiona Glass, out now from Riptide Publishing.

Serving ghosts with the Guinness” – a haunting, bittersweet paranormal mystery set on the remote Irish coast and oozing with ghosts, intrigue and forbidden love.

PDB: Which books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?

FG: It’s got to be the recent outbreak of ‘Scandi-Noir’ – I’ve been glued to ‘The Killing’, ‘Wallander’, and ‘The Bridge’, and can’t wait for the next installment whenever it arrives. When we do stuff like that in the UK it often ends up trite, pretentious or incomprehensible, but the Scandinavians come up with sharp, realistic scripts, brilliant performances and stunning cinematography at the drop of a hat.

PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?

FG: I think it is, yes. I’m not very objective when it comes to reading my own work, but I still read a vast quantity of fiction and like to think I can recognise good writing without my own voice intruding. The one thing that has got harder over the years is tolerating writing that isn’t quite as good, but that might have happened even if I wasn’t a writer.

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?

FG: I wouldn’t say no if somebody asked my permission to adapt one of my books for movie or tv, but screen-writing isn’t something I know a great deal about – I doubt a one-week course in writing plays would count for much! I still tend to think in terms of words on a page, rather than the visual effect of each scene.

PDB: How much research goes into each book?

FG: Quite a bit. Although I’m something of a ‘pantser’, I am serious about checking the facts before I write, and also about immersing myself in the landscape and/or culture of a book as much as possible. In the case of ‘Gleams of a Remoter World’ I’d spent time in Ireland on holiday, but I also researched pretty much everything from the library in Galway City to the transport arrangements during the First World War. It can be tedious, but it can also be fascinating.

PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?

FG: I’m not sure I would manage without them, since my publisher is in America and without the internet I’d have a job even keeping in touch with them on a daily basis, let alone taking part in any marketing campaigns or contacting my readers. It makes it so much easier to do research, as well, since you have access to whole libraries of information without having to leave the house. I probably spend too much time prettying up my website and my blog, though, when I should be writing!

PDB: What’s on the cards for the rest of 2012/13?

FG: Apart from a nervous breakdown after all the hard work preparing my novel? Well, the last eight months or so have been a constant stream of submissions, editing and marketing. It would be good to find some time to just sit down and write. And having just moved to Cumbria, I have a novel set in the Lake District stirring in the depths of my brain…

BIO:

Fiona Glass currently divides her time between a pointy Victorian house in Birmingham (the original one in the UK) and a slate cottage within stone-throwing distance of England’s largest lake. She hurtles between the two so often it makes her head spin, which might explain the breathless style of her most recent writing, but she hopes to be settled permanently in Cumbria soon.

From her attic study she writes pretty much everything from fantasy to noir, but her particular love is gritty contemporary short stories with a strand of dark humour running through them. She draws her inspiration from the people, situations and news headlines around her, as well as from the landscape, myths and legends, dreams, music and books.

Many of her stories have been published in anthologies, magazines and online, most recently with Riptide Publishing, Pill Hill Press, QueeredFiction, Mslexia, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Pygmy Giant, Byker Books, and Flash Me Magazine; but also with MLR Press, Haworth Press, Aspen Mountain Press, Velvet Mafia, Gay Flash Fiction, and several magazines that have now ceased publication.

Her first novel, Roses in December, a gay paranormal romance, was published by Torquere Press. Her second novel, a ghost story set in Ireland and called Gleams of a Remoter World, is due out from Riptide Publishing in autumn 2012.

Fiona Glass’ website is http://www.fiona-glass.com and her blog is http://fionaglass.blogspot.co.uk .