Originally from New York City, Parris migrated south to escape the cold and snow, but fell in love with the southern charms of Georgia and Carla, his wife of nearly 23 years. He now writes cross-genre in medical mystery, science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction. The Renaissance of Aspirin is his debut novel.
Website URL: www.GlennParris.com
PJ: How long have you been writing?
Glenn: I’ve been writing for pleasure for over 20 years, but I really think I started writing in 2010 when I went to a workshop for physician writers hosted by Tess Gerritsen and Michael Palmer.
PJ: At what point did you reach a place where you felt successful as a writer?
Glenn: I was extremely happy when the first few reviews started coming through.
PJ: Is the writing life what you expected when you started out? If not, how is it different?
Glenn: No. I guess like all writers, I thought that writing my stories was the hard part. Developing characters, plot, tone, etc. that’s a major milestone, but the real challenge is marketing the book.
PJ: The general public seems to think authors are relatively wealthy. Without prying too much, has your writing income lived up to expectations?
Glenn: Say that to an audience of writers and you’ll get more laughs than a Robin Williams bit (rest his soul). You might make enough for a nice vacation if your sales are fairly good. You can do a nice renovation on a basement, kitchen or bathroom if sales are good, you might even put a kid through college if you’re lucky and sales are very good. Hit the jackpot and you can quit a good day job.
PJ: Early on, so much focus is given to getting published. Now that you’re published, how has your focus changed?
Glenn: Writing the next story and getting the word out in advance to booksellers and reviewers. Developing a loyal audience is key in this day and age.
PJ: How long did it take you to get published the first time?
Glenn: I self published which used to be a terrible thing to admit, but that lingers among agents and publishers mostly. I publish when I think the story is ready for the world of readers. For me it’s usually about two to three years. A little faster maybe for sequels. If you have a good editor and your story is popular, I don’t think readers make the distinction.
PJ: Would you do anything differently if you had it to do over again?
Glenn: I would have liked to have met a good publicist before the release date and developed more of a plan.
PJ: Writing new material, rewriting, submitting new work, waiting, promoting published work…the list is large. How do you manage to divvy up your time to give adequate attention to all needed areas?
Glenn: You have to have good people around you who know what you don’t. When you self pub you need very good people around you. And a lot of friends.
PJ: What is the single most exciting thing that’s happened to you as a writer?
Glenn: Fans. I can’t find the words to describe the feeling I get when readers share my visions and feelings. Not everyone will like your work so no matter how you go about publishing you need a thick skin, but even critics who are honest sometimes give good feedback you may incorporate into future works.
PJ: What is the single most disappointing thing that happened to you as a writer?
Glenn: The realization that so many people who identify themselves as readers can’t find time to read these days.
PJ: What’s the most memorable thing (good or bad) that’s happened to you while promoting your book?
Glenn: I got a cold call e-mail from an agent who heard the premise for The Renaissance of Aspirin, and asked to see the manuscript that she heard about from another agent I pitched to at a workshop.
PJ: With more books being released each month now than ever before, what do you believe sets your work apart from the others?
Glenn: This is the first work of fiction to address Fibromyalgia. It’s a condition that’s poorly understood even by experts in the field and so many suffers are shunned into silence as family and friends believe they are hypochondriacs.
PJ: What would you like to share with writers who haven’t reached the point of publication yet?
Glenn: Keep writing. The more you do it, the better you get at it. Read in your chosen genre and analyze what you read. It’s the cheapest workshop you’ll ever find! Work with other for feedback.
PJ: What do you feel is your most effective tool for promoting your published work?
Glenn: Even in this world of digital media, I find going where readers go to be the best strategy.
PJ: What area of book promotion is the most challenging to you?
Glenn: Digital media. Facebook, twitter and blogging don’t come naturally to me so I struggle with them.
PJ: Do you have a local independent bookseller you’d like to mention?
Glenn: Book Warehouse and Books for Less.
The Renaissance of Aspirin
PJ: Where can we buy it?
Glenn: Book Warehouse, Books for Less, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and of course my publisher Xlibris of the Penguin Publishing Group.
PJ: What last thing would you like to share with us that nobody knows about you and your work?
Glenn: The Renaissance of Aspirin is a modern southern romantic thriller. I think it works as a work of fiction, but the scientific theme reinforces the need for more research and support in fibromyalgia and other systemic diseases.