The Incomparable GLEN DELANEY: Pitch Wars 2017 #PimpMyBio
My friend and CP, Angela has kindly hosted this bio on her website. Because I hate writing about myself, I also stole her template for questions. She in turn stole them from our other CP, Kat, which in a way sums up the creative process of our CP circle.
A little about myself.
I’m a Brit living in sunny California. In my spare time, I’m a board game enthusiast, I brew beer (if you have a beard in California, it’s assumed you will, or will imminently, brew), and I try to garden in the ferocious heat. In the past, I used to dress up as a Viking and hit other people with blunted iron weapons for fun (that’s me up there, at the top of the page.). It was very therapeutic.
In my ‘earn money to write’ part of life, I’m a Vice Consul at the British consulate in San Francisco. I cover tech trade and policy, specifically hardware. It’s fascinating stuff in the best place in the world for it. I get to interact with companies on the bleeding edge, making everything from AI to autonomous vehicles, drone motherships, and light transmitted wifi. It’s great inspiration for writing SF, but since I’m submitting fantasy this year, you’ll see none of it. Sorry.
What types of books do you write?
SF and Fantasy. Magic and tech are tools to explore the world, and they’re blurring closer every day. In the past, I’ve written non-fiction. I tried my hand at writing a compendium of alcoholic mythology. You can find the first three gods here. Unfortunately, I had a beer or two for inspiration and never got around to writing the other 162.
What were your early influences? How do they manifest in your work today?
All the greats from Narnia to Dune. I like books that make sense; worlds that could exist somewhere, through the standing stones, or below the surface of a frozen moon. Those stories that you can step into seamlessly without suspending disbelief have always appealed, and I try to replicate by writing worlds that make sense logically, even if their rules are very different.
And I still check the wardrobes in my hotel rooms. Just in case.
Are there aspects of writing that excite you? What is your writing Kryptonite?
Again, world-building in all its glorious, intricate detail. My PW MS, Riverborn, focuses in part on the Lunar Society, a real-world gathering of gentlemen scientists (and their equally inquisitive wives), who jump-started the industrial revolution with their discoveries. In Riverborn, they try to apply their scientific principles to magic. I’ve taken care to match the real and fictional motives and chronology until I have a story which just might have happened in secret.
Conversely, I get obsessed with the details, and have to balance plot and character development with the worlds I create. It’s a tricky balance, but I think I’ve cracked it on this one.
Tell us about this year’s Pitch Wars WIP.
After confronting his nemesis, the Saltstone Beast, in a pitched battle, ten-year-old Odd is washed from his home in the sewers and into mortal Birmingham. To survive, he must discover his origins and reclaim his magical birthright. The legacy of a society of 18th century iron-wizards hold the key. Odd will need to learn from their mistakes quickly because the Beast’s free too, and it’s still hunting Odd.
Tell your younger writing self anything.
Back up everything. Daily. You fool.
How do you select the names of your characters?
With great care. Names have power, after all. A name is a shibboleth: it opens doors, it paints a picture in the mind, it provides a foundation for character. One does not enter into such a venture lightly.
In the real world, parents who’ve only passed the practical test are given carte blanche to wreak havoc on young lives without any thought of the repercussions.
In Riverborn, names can be given, names can be stolen, and most powerfully of all, they can be won. None of this checking the baby dictionary faff.
What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Cheese. If that shocks you, welcome to sanity. If, on the other hand, the thought of being torn from all future lactose induced comas does not fill you with dread, then you’re not really living life.