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Author Q&A-

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Being a student of Pulp history has helped me define what is now, Blazing! Adventures Magazine. Through this site, I've had the pleasure of publishing, and meeting, some extraordinary students of those ancient tombs.

In this issue, we spotlight one of those students.

The Granite Man himself, Teel James Glenn

Dash Courageous: TJ, you've become, through blood, sweat, & tears, to become the very essence of what Blazing! is about. I thank you for showing me that the spirit of Pulp lives.

Teel James: Thank you for the complimentary words, Dash-
I hardly deserve them but certainly will try to live up to them.

DC: Tell the world, when did you become a writer?

TJ: I have always written. I would see a story on tv or read a book and think –'No it should have gone this way or that guy shouldn‘t have died' and spin off in my own plots. In grammar school it was little comic books in the margins of my notebooks, then long comic book scripts then ‘novels’ that ran to ten whole pages!! But in High school I had two great teachers, one who ran the radio of yesteryear club and science fiction literature course & one who taught a summer English course that really opened the doors for me. In the radio club I met all the old time greats and in that summer course. Instead of a short story a week he let me do a novella with a chapter a week—a big ‘break through’ for me. So by college I was working on my first real novel The Vision Quest Factor-( finally out in sept 08 from something I did on and off for seven years before getting it rejected twenty one times and putting it in a drawer (I’ll come back to this).

DC: What was the turning point when you decided the written word was your calling?

TJ: I continued to write screenplays (sold one , had one optioned several times) and novels, and when they didn’t sell, I sold short stories for a few years. I’d sell a short here and there, but nothing big, no steady markets—and, frankly, the brick and mortar places cost so much to submit to with postage I couldn’t afford to send novels out much-then sit on my hands for a year or two to see if they wanted them. I wrote my last book in this period, an autobiographical murder mystery about a renaissance faire (Knight Errant:Death and life at the faire— ) which was about the death of a close friend who’s body I'd discovered. It was done only a week before my daughter was born so it went into a drawer and didn’t come out for eight years.

In the time intervening I had become sick with 911 lung ( I wasn’t one of the heroes in The Pile-I lived across from the Towers in Brooklyn and just caught a bad break from breathing like so many others have) and couldn’t work in my profession as a stuntman. So while I was laid up I pulled the books out and rewrote them. I sent one out to the new world of ebooks, because I could do that from a sick bed and, frankly epublishing looked like the future.
It sold! And in the three years since (I have gotten mostly better, and gotten work at my other ‘job’ again) I've contracted for/written/published twelve books. And decided that this is what I want to do and was meant to do.

DC: Tell me about your illustrious career? The world would be very interested in your life.

TJ: I wouldn't call my career illustrious, but I was a book illustrator-its what I went to school for. I was also a bouncer, personal trainer, bodyguard, martial artist and fight choreographer along the way, though my specialty was swords. I was/am a huge Errol Flynn and swashbuckling freak so I’ve done 46 Renaissance faires, countless Shakespearian plays and sixty movies along the way. All of it providing pretty good grist for the mill or my verbiage. I know more obscure stuff and trivia than most people and so am a terror at Trivial pursuit.

DC: Tell us about your acting career?

TJ: The acting career threads through all of this as I have gone from goon to thug to boss of thugs in thirty years. I’ve played the Frankenstein Monster, Dracula and Macbeth on stage and a bunch of serial killers and bad guys on film. Sense a theme here? Yes, I am six foot six and so am mostly cast as thugs. Unless I am a cop. It has crossed over to my stunt work so I am often the guy who has some lines and then is thrown down the stairs or am hired for a talking part and they add action because I can do it. But time marches on so I see a future writing career as a thing to do after I can’t get whacked in the head for money anymore.

DC: What about your connection with Robert B. Parker & Avery Brooks?

TJ: The Spenser connection is kind of cool. When they were shooting the tv series up in Boston I was lucky enough to land a stunt part in an episode titled “Thanksgiving” where my bouncer character called Hawk a clown—and he beat the tar out of me. Lots of fun! I had been a fan of the books and it was, to me a great honor.
Skip to years later and Robert B. Parker was doing a signing at the old Murder Ink store on Broadway and 92nd and when I told him I had been in the show and what scene I’d done he signed my hardcover “Hawk was Lucky!” It was and is still a rush.

DC: And the Capcom connection?

TJ: Capcom is the company that owns/created Street fighter, the video game. As I was healing up( massive vitaman therapy) I auditioned for a part in a spoof series called Street Fighter: the Later Years for I was cast as Vega and did the fight choreography for the ten episode web series. And it was a hit. One of the most watched web series in history. Now Mike Fass (Zangief) and I have written a pilot for an action adventure/comedy follow up series called Street Fighter: Reunion which is set to shoot in the next month. And I’m doing some personal appearances as Vega, most notably am in discussions to appear at the San Diego Con next year. It is a rush to be in a serial, even if it isn’t a Republic serial and I’m not Spy Smasher.

DC: I've asked this to a another Mystery Man and shall ask you also. Have you ever tried to get a novel published by NY based pulisher company called, Hard Case Crime? Having one of his Pulp painted covers with the Granite Man would be a feather in your swashbuckler's tunic.

TJ: I actually haven’t pursued Hard Case or any of the other publishers because of the book length ( I can write two e books in the time it would take to do one of the B&M required length books) and hard copy submission requirements. I feel that they will all come to the e book world eventually and by then I hope I’ll have the right reputation. I also have four series commitments to epublishers right now and there are only so many hours in the day-though I am trying to eliminate sleep to get more.
I am actually proud to have ‘broken into’ small press print with the BA anthology. I consider that something of a milestone.

DC: Your ability to write various types of fiction is a rare talent. From my experience with many writers, you are the one I've found to pull it off effectively. What do you contribute this amazing ability?

TJ: I guess the easy answer is ‘writing is writing’ though this is, obviously, more complex than that. While the thing I write ‘best’(I think) and which is near and dear to me is pulp adventure. And that subdivides to a number of genres without too much of a stretch—mystery, heroic fantasy, historical etc. So delving into another genre just means learning the style ‘tells’ of that genre and jumping in. Dent did, so did Gibson, Bradbury, and Howard (all to more or less success). It was adapt or die in the pulp days and not that much has changed.

DC: What does the future hold for you and the Granite Man?

TJ: The Granite Man, Dr. Shadows is going to be around for along time if I can help it. And here I have to give kudos to you, Dash/Bob, for getting me started on slaughter Island for you. It started me on a whole new cycle of Dr. S stories that made me decide he needed a better venue to showcase him than the publisher, Virtual Tales was giving him with their serialzed, The Adventures of the Granite Man. So, we parted ways. Now will be printing revised and new stories in series as The Mysterious Adventures of Dr. Shadows. The first book “A Hex of Shadows” will be out early in '09 and four have been completed taking him from January 1937 to march 1938. And of course I’m working on some ideas for more stories to appear in Blazing! Adventures magazine.

DC: You flatter me, TJ. Blazing! is a better Zine for having you and Dr. S. We expect good things from you. Thank you for you time.

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