My genre or subgenre is a little hard to pin down. I write mysteries with a touch of romance, although others might call it romantic suspense. I think they are actually cozy mysteries with a bit of an edge, which makes them hard to categorize. I chose the genre because I enjoy reading it, although I read much more widely than that. I think it appeals to me because mysteries are entertaining, yet at the same time they can make valuable observations about what life is like within our time. You can learn a lot from mysteries without feeling that you’ve been taught a lesson.
What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?
The most challenging thing is finding the right balance between outlining in advance and leaving room for spontaneous improvisation. I need an outline to work from because there is a structure to mysteries, which requires that the plot have clues that follow in a particular order to a definite outcome. You can’t just wing it, and hope it all falls together. At the same time, however, you don’t want an outline that is so rigid that you are afraid to make changes once you get into the writing process itself.
When and where do you do your writing?
I have an extra bedroom that doubles as a guestroom and den where I do most of my writing. I usually write in the mornings when I am most energetic, although once I am really into a book, I can write at any time of the day.
What have you learned about promoting your books?
Promotion is a moving target. With the introduction of social media, the methods of promotion are constantly changing and becoming more and more the responsibility of the writer rather than the publisher. This has the advantage of giving the writer more control over how his or her books are marketed, but it takes time away from the actual writing. It is also frustratingly difficult to gauge whether a particular marketing strategy actually works.
What are you most proud of as a writer?
I am particularly proud of several of my books, which I feel have worked better than the rest. They are not necessarily the most popular or the ones that have gotten the best reviews, but they are the ones that ended up coming closest to my original conception of them.
If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
Here I want to make what is probably an unpopular choice today: Ernest Hemingway. Although he is aften reviled today for his macho lifestyle and braggadocio, I think his style of writing, especially in his earliest work such as IN OUR TIME and THE SUN ALSO RISES, was very influential on me and many other writers in the twentieth century. There is a cleanness and directness in his way of writing that expresses things in a surprisingly powerful way. Although it might be hard to get him to stop talking about his life and accomplishments, it is his approach to the technique of writing that I would most like to talk to him about.
Glen Ebisch taught philosophy in college for over twenty-five years, and for the same period of time has been writing mysteries, first for young people, then for adults. He has been fortunate enough to have seventeen published books.
Glen lives with his wife in western Massachusetts and now focuses full time on writing, exercise, and travel.
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