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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Q&A By Author Glenn Kaplan of Poison Pill

Hello Readers!! I am here to announce Glenn Kaplan, Author of Poison Pill. I have done a review and now here are some questions that Glenn has taken time to answer. Hope you enjoy!!!!!

Can you start off by telling us a little about you?

I am a Maine boy transplanted to New York City many years ago.  I have a wonderful wife of almost 30 years.  We have a wonderful son who will turn 23 at Christmas.  He has severe autism, but he lives a rich, happy life at a miraculous place called The Center for Discovery in upstate New York.  Everything else is a minor detail.

 Can you tell us your latest news?

I am doing a Q & A for Ashley’s blog.  How ‘bout that?  Pretty exciting!

 When and why did you begin writing?

I was a copywriter in the advertising agency business.  Ads were fun and profitable to write.  But as a reader, I always felt that writing a book would be an amazing lifetime accomplishment.

 When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When my first book, The Big Time, was published.  It was non-fiction business and based on interviews with 350 people around the country (BTW I got to appear on The Merv Griffin Show alongside a then-unknown comedian named Jerry Seinfeld).

 What inspired you to write your first book?

A friend in the marketing end of a publishing house said, “Hey, you could write a book and get it published!”  I said, “Really?”  I couldn’t believe it, but he encouraged me.  It started like that.

 Do you have a specific writing style?

I would hope that “clear” and “fun to read” define it.

 How did you come up with the title?

I know the lawyer who invented the poison pill.  I also knew that corporate take-overs are very dramatic.  The rest sort of followed as I thought about what you could do with the title and the situation.

 Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Human values are worth more than monetary values.  But this is definitely NOT a “message” book.  It’s entertainment.

 How much of the book is realistic?

All of it IMO.  That’s something I worked hard to do.  I worked, probably too hard, to make sure that everything that happened really could and would happen under the circumstances I created.

 Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Yes, some.  No, I can’t say which ones.

 What books have most influenced your life most?

Too many wonderful books even to begin to start a list.  The point is that books influence readers at all stages of life.  And if readers grow with time,  books will never cease to be a source of enrichment and an influence on their lives.

 If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Raymond Chandler, even though my writing and my books are nothing like his.  The power of his words and his ability to evoke so much with so few of them never ceases to inspire me.

 What book are you reading now?

I just reviewed Olen Steinhauer’s forthcoming novel, The Cairo Affair, for a Publishers Weekly Signature Review (spoiler alert:  I really like it).

 Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Friends.  Friends are often better than family.

 Do you see writing as a career?

Not yet.  My first book’s advance supported me for the 18 months it took to do the research and writing.  But my three novels could never pay the rent and put food on the table.

 If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

OMG, don’t even start me on that.  And I know I am not alone in this.  Once it’s too late to change a book, every writer sees a million things he could have, should have done differently.  The French have a term for it -- L’esprit de l’escalier.  It means “stairway wit” and it’s what you think of after you have walked away and are heading down the stairs.  Too late!

 Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

In school, I was no good at math, but I loved reading and had a big mouth.  So writing, spilling out my own river of words, came as a natural consequence.

 Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’m thinking of a novel set in the art world.  My agent thinks it’s a terrible idea but he’s willing to let me try a draft.

 Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Not second-guessing myself and not being so self-critical that it becomes hard to keep moving forward.

 Who are your three favorite authors and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

John Le Carré: his ability to write deep character studies in the context of thrilling stories.

Raymond Chandler:  for the sheer magic of his words.

Barbara Kingsolver:  for The Poisonwood Bible, a towering epic of a novel.  One of those amazing stories that is literally about everything.

 Who designed the covers?

Eric at Tor.  See the Acknowledgements page, please.

 What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Seeing through the fog of uncertainty to discover what was going to happen next.

 Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I have to be more forgiving of myself, not seek perfection in every page, and keep moving.

 Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t be too hard on yourself.  Keep the manuscript moving forward.  You can (and will!) go back for re-writes.  Just get the thing down in first draft form.  You can (and will have to) fix it later.

 Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

At the moment, I said everything I wanted to say in Poison Pill.

Which comes first? The character's story, or, the idea for the novel?

For me, the idea for the novel.  And that may not be the optimal approach, but it’s how I operate.

 What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

Be prepared for more rejections than you can imagine.  Absolutely every writer has had to endure them.
Well there you have it readers! Questions and Answers by Glenn Kaplan the author of Poison Pill

 I just want to say thank you so much Glenn for taking the time to answer these for my readers and I. I look forward to seeing more work from you in the future.

Ashley Haines


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