Interview with William A. Glass, Author of Off Broadway: A Marriage Drama

Please share about your journey to become a writer and published author? Was it a dream from childhood or did it come later in life?

My writing journey began at an early age when I discovered the escape that books provided. I was a precocious reader and soon began wondering about the magical people who create books. I lacked the confidence to think I might one day be one, but felt there was no hurry to find out, because my teacher said: “You must experience life before trying to write about it.” He told me about Jack London who was a prospector, a hobo, and a sailor before settling down to serious study. When I was age 12, I read London’s story, “To Build a Fire”. It completely floored me. Fast forward 43 years, and I retired from business with time on my hands and a rambunctious life behind me. That’s when I decided to write a novel.

This is your second book. Both have themes of alcohol abuse and dysfunctional families. What has drawn you to this recurring theme?

As a rookie writer, I have gone after the low-hanging fruit by basing my novels on personal experience. Little imagination was required, just recollection and competent storytelling. The later took a long time and much work for me to master. Now that I have confidence in my storytelling, I have begun a new novel about an imaginary world. It has gotten off to a great start and I’m very excited about it.

Review HERE!
For Off Broadway, you chose the retail industry as the main setting? Do you have experience as a sales rep or temp booker? If not, what kind of research did you have to do to showcase this industry in an accurate way during this time frame?

That’s a great question, Marilyn! The answer is that I for a long time I was a marketing executive for Bausch & Lomb with responsibility for maximizing retail sales of the company’s contact lens solutions, and other eye care products. My customers were major chains including Kroger, Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens. Later I worked for a firm that provided marketing support services for consumer-packaged-goods companies in the retail trade.

How do you approach writing a book? Do you set a scheduled work time each day or work when inspiration strikes? Do you map out the plot or does the story develop as you write?

My approach to writing is to try and fit the work into my busy schedule wherever possible. I work full-time as the soccer coach at a small college, so recruiting players, then coaching them takes a lot of effort. When I do have time to write, I try and find a quiet place and then get myself back into the midst of the story where I left off. The overall direction of the plot is in my head, but the wrinkles in the story must be improvised.

What is hardest about the writing/publishing process? What comes easiest for you?

To me, the hardest part is getting the complete story out of my head and onto paper. It is also the most exhilarating! However, along with the excitement comes anxiety as to whether it’s any good, and the stress of wondering if you will ever finish. Once the first draft is done, the grind begins. To me the rewriting and editing comes with the territory, and I don’t mind it because, at that point, it’s a labor of love.

As your books are emotionally dark, what do you do when you are done for the day to walk away, lighten your spirits and refresh?

That’s another great question! I say that because up ‘till now I haven’t thought of my books as being emotionally dark. I guess that’s because my main character, Dave Knight, finds the humor in just about any situation. In any case, my wife and I end each day with a long walk accompanied by our dogs. When we return to the house, it’s time to relax with a non-alcoholic beverage and some music. We particularly enjoy Irish folk music!

What's next? Do you have another book in the works or any upcoming events you'd like to share about?

Thanks for asking! My plan for the rest of the year is to win some soccer games and in my spare time promote Off Broadway. I have asked my employer to reduce my workload for the coming year with the intention of then turning my focus to writing the new book. It is going to be for young adults. My hope is that it will also be of interest to the general reader. It’ll be a complete departure from my previous books.

Thanks so much for having me as a guest on OLIO by Marilyn!

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