I am honored to welcome Glenn Snyder, author of One Moment In Time, which I reviewed yesterday. I hope you enjoy the interview.
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Steph: It looks like this is your debut novel. Have you always wanted to write? Or is this a new direction in your life?
Glenn: I’ve always enjoyed the creativity behind writing, but it wasn’t until I was a few years out of college that I really thought I wanted to write a novel. I started to write a really bad story in the late nineties, realized how bad it was, and chose to go to MBA school to “clear my mind.”
After I graduated in December 2001, I went back to writing. I tried to pick up and fix the really bad story I began, but only a few weeks later, I had the dream that gave me the premise for One Moment in Time.
Steph: I love the fact that the idea for this story was inspired by a dream. Without spoiling the novel, can you tell us more about this?
Glenn: One Moment in Time is really about opportunities. Every day, we all have opportunities that present themselves, but how many of us truly take advantage and act. After a horrific accident, Jack Barrett decides he’s not going to let opportunities pass him by, and with each opportunity, Jack gains knowledge and experience that leads him to have a great impact on the world.
Steph: What makes Jack Barrett a unique or unusual character?
Glenn: I tried to make Jack real. In many books that I read, the protagonists are people I like, but there’s not much I have in common with them. For Jack, I wanted to make each reader be able to relate to Jack and find commonalities within themselves. But the other thing that makes Jack unique is his combination of courage and trust. Usually characters are very courageous and like to do things on their own, or they trust people too much and get burned. Jack’s courage comes from his trust in those around him.
Steph: Are aspects of yourself reflected in Jack or in his life?
Glenn: There are a few pieces of me in Jack. For one, I tried to give Jack my quirky sense of humor. Many of the events that Jack went through in Italy (tripping on the top of the Duomo, making up a new story behind The Last Supper, and eating at a pizza restaurant with a grumpy owner) were my actual experiences. The only other links between Jack and me are that we both went to UCLA and work in finance.
S: I am definitely drawn to people with a quirky sense of humor. :-)
Steph: What do you do when you are not writing?
Glenn: Most of my time is spent at my day job (see the next question), but outside of work, I’m a season ticket holder with the Oakland A’s, I play racquetball, softball, and just about any other sport I can, and I enjoy traveling with my wife.
Steph: Do you have a day job as well?
Glenn: Yes, I’m a finance director at a large financial services firm.
Steph: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Glenn: This may sound a bit corny, but when I was in preschool, my favorite book was The Little Engine That Could. I can’t say for certain, but as long as I can remember, I’ve always believed that I could do anything I wanted, as long as I put my mind to it and worked hard.
Steph: Favorite novel?
Glenn: The Camel Club by David Baldacci
Steph: Favorite movie?
Glenn: A Few Good Men
Steph: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Glenn: My favorite character to write was Ana, and my favorite part to write was Oaxaca, Mexico. In Ana, I tried to capture the innocence and wholesomeness of a three year-old girl. It was refreshing to see the world through her perspective and what she could become if no one put any limits on her.
I loved Oaxaca. I spent seven days there (and one in Mexico City) to research the story. There is a fabulous culture in Oaxaca, and I found my story coming to life before my eyes. Although I have to say, spending three weeks in Italy to research that section would be a close second.
S: Ana is wonderful -- as I said in my review, I found the story of her being orphaned and adopted quite moving. And I really liked the sense of place in the scene where they find Victoria's house in Oaxaca. Your love for that setting really shines through. :-)
Steph: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Glenn: The toughest criticism I’ve received is that no one knows me as an author, and thus no large publishing house would be interested. This was the toughest, because there wasn’t much I could do about it. The other criticisms I’ve received were things I could correct and improve upon.
The best compliment I’ve received is when a reader tells me they laughed and/or cried. This is a great compliment, because it shows I connected with the reader to cause an emotional response. As a writer, I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Steph: What project are you working on now?
Glenn: I’m about 70% through the first draft of my second novel, Trapped. It’s a story about a successful stock broker whose wife is poisoned and he is accused of the murder. He’s in the fight for his life and his freedom, all the while trying to grieve for the love of his life.
Steph: If this novel were adapted to film, who would you want to direct the movie?
Glenn: I’m a big Ron Howard fan, so I would probably pick him, although I could see Rob Reiner doing a great job as well.
Steph: Who would you choose to play the role of Jack?
Glenn: For the old Jack, I can see Harrison Ford. For the young Jack, my wife tells me that Ryan Gosling would be a good pick.
S: Nice! :-)