Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Glenn and Sasha Gabriel, authors of the short stories THE LOST MOMENTS, THE WINDOW, THE LETTER, and the AMANDA ACKERS book series, amongst their many works, and welcome them to my blog.
Welcome Glenn and Sasha!
Thank you Marcia, and thank you for thinking of us.
You’re most welcome.
Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?
GLENN: Many. I’ve traveled a good deal and have seen and experienced many things, good and bad. I’ve incorporated many of my own life experiences, such as falling from a cliff, being caught in an avalanche, diving into a huge hole as a giant boulder tumbled down the mountain and slammed into place above me, trapping me inside, as the hole began to fill with water from a torrential rainstorm – took a while to get out of that one, and I almost didn’t make it. Gave me nightmares for years!
But besides re-living many of my own adventures into my writing, life itself has taught me that most all of us want to escape our everyday troubles and immerse ourselves into stories that take us to strange, exotic and mysterious places, allowing us to become part of adventures we would never encounter in our own lives. Imagination can take us all to the most wondrous and exciting places.
SASHA: First, I want to thank you for this great opportunity! Second, to answer – yes! I had a near death experience when I was 13 which had a profound effect on me. From that experience, my mind opened wide, never to close, to the extraordinary and strange wonders of life.
Even though I was always drawn to the mysterious and unusual, I never contemplated writing until my amazing husband encouraged me to try. And with that, the floodgates of my imagination opened. I look at what seems to be everyday situations or places and wonder if they are more than what they seem… and the stories flow from there.
Q: For how long have you been writing?
GLENN: On and off for the past ten years. Much more off than on. My Amanda Ackers adventures epic novels was what got me started, writing just for the fun of it. I would write a few pages, put it away for months, even a year or two, then write more. It is because of the huge success of Book One of that series, that I am continuing to write.
SASHA: Only a few years for the actual process of writing – though I’ve been formulating stories in my head for many.
Q: You have a prolific output of both short stories, and several longer works. Do you have a writing program which works for you?
GLENN: All the short stories were written in two weeks. Lulu.com had a short story writing contest which was just about to end. The contest was open to anyone, and the stories had to be six hundred words or less. I told Sasha she should enter. She said she would if I would, so, laughing, we both wrote all our shorts over two weekends. As for my writing program, I’ll use my Amanda Ackers series as an example. I go online and perform a search for “fantasy.” I then click on “images” and scan what comes up. When I see an image that sparks a story, I save it to my hard drive. After an hour or so, I have enough images to write an entire book. I then sit in front of my monitor and visualize something like a movie playing in my head. I simply write what I see and hear the characters doing. Using the images for inspiration, thus far, I have never experienced writers block.
SASHA: Writing programs do not work for me – they seem to be so formulaic that I feel hindered. We wrote some short stories for a writing contest offered by lulu.com, and the challenge was to write a full story in only 600 words. That was incredibly difficult for me as I’m the type of writer that if you give me a choice of using a single word as opposed to a paragraph – I’ll take the paragraph most every time!!
That being said, I now love the short story concept just as much as the longer story/novel layout.
Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?
GLENN: I don’t read much actually. But when I do, I very much like fantasy and the paranormal.
SASHA: Oh, yes! Mystery, suspense, adventure, paranormal, ghost, venture/quest, thriller, horror.
Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?
GLENN: Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and Mark Twain when I was a kid. The Harry Potter series and the Lord of The Rings more recently.
SASHA: I absolutely loved the JK Rowling, Harry Potter series. Her writing is phenomenal and mesmerizing and influenced me greatly. My dream would be to someday meet her and speak with her. Though I also love the Lord of the Ring series, for the depth and breadth of such an epic tale. The masters (both yesterdays and todays) of the genres I mentioned – H.G. Wells, Lovecraft, Dean Koontz. Matthew Reilly, James Rollins, Dan Brown and the collaboration (and individual writers) of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child – all sensational writers!
Q: Your books tackle very different subjects in a fresh, compelling and entertaining manner, such as the paranormal, and precognition. From my personal reading, your books contain a startling moment that is revealing about the story itself, but also, reminds us about how life’s unexpected events can sometimes take our breath away. When did your interest in these fascinating topics first garner your attention?
GLENN: When I was about seven or eight years old, for my birthday, my mother took a friend and me up into the mountains in California. We camped by a stream on what we thought was just a nice spot. Late in the night, nature called and I left the tent to answer the call. As I turned from the large tree I was standing at, I looked at the stream. It was a full moon and the silver light illuminated the pines and the light was dancing off the stream.
A movement caught my eye and as I looked, saw what appeared to be a man squatting at the streams edge, which startled me. He seemed strange somehow, almost as though I could see through him. He was not more than thirty feet away and was placing a large curved vase-like object into the water, but the water did not react to the movement of the vase moving through it. I was pretty scared when he stood up and turned slightly toward me – I could see through him!
He was clearly an American Indian, by the long hair and the type of shirt and pants he had on. He was barefoot, but left no impressions in the mud near the water’s edge. He began walking and as I was about to yell for my mom (being scared half to death), he simply began to break apart into wafts of mist, and was gone.
I walked over to where he had been kneeling. Something glinted in the water… reaching into the water, I pulled out a beautiful arrowhead. I just stared at it for a very long time, then got back to the tent as fast as I could and was awake the rest of the night.
I decided not to say anything about what I had seen that night, thinking everyone would think I was crazy. The next morning, the park ranger came by and I showed him the arrowhead I had found, which surprised my mom and friend, since I had not said anything about it to them. He looked it over, smiled and said that we had picked a great spot to camp – that this very spot used to be a small Indian village and that a deadly disease had struck the villagers and to keep high fevers down as best they could, the family members of those who were ill would come to the water’s edge and fill large vases with water, then do what they could to cool the ill. He said that perhaps an Indian had lost an arrowhead while filling one of the vases. He also said that the village burial ground was rumored to be somewhere by a nearby tree… and pointed to the same tree I had stood at.
Seeing my stunned expression, he asked why I looked so scared. I was so surprised at what he had said, I told him, as both my mom and friend stood by with their mouths open.
I’ll swear to this day as to what I saw. Even though I don’t truly believe in ghosts, I’m convinced that there are mysteries we have yet to explain. The paranormal has fascinated me ever since.
SASHA: Thank you so much for your kind remarks! That is exactly what we wanted to present! My mind opened to these with my near death experience at 13. Because of what I experienced, I was convinced that there is more than one dimension to our consciousness – probably many more. We live our lives, for the most part, in ordinary ways… hardly ever touched by the strange and mysterious. But when we allow ourselves to open our minds to the possibilities that ordinary things may not be so ordinary, after all… then things around us that we just accept as normal, can be viewed differently and in a heartbeat, do take our breaths away.
Isn’t it possible that things we lump into “paranormal” are actually “normal,” if just viewed differently?
Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, from either the past, or still on the air?
GLENN: I enjoyed the Star Trek series, which added to my belief that life may indeed come in many shapes and forms, with varied intents when facing other species. Also, I enjoyed the Murder She Wrote series. I like a good mystery.
SASHA: I loved the Murder, She Wrote series. Such fun! But, of course, The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits series were great! Star Trek was a fave. I also loved the interaction and rapport between characters in the Closer series, Frasier and (I wish it was still on the air!!) the Veronica Mars series.
Q: Do you have any hobbies you like to participate in when you have spare time?
GLENN: Writing, oil and acrylic painting, airbrushing, sculpting in synthetic clay, carving in wood and egg shells, wood burning, archery, pistol shooting, swing dancing, 3D-art design for some of our book covers, creating audio books from our writing, website design, amateur rocketry and many others.
SASHA: I’m an avid reader – my favorite thing to do since I was small. But Glenn introduced me to watercolor painting, pencil and charcoal sketching and character studies in clay. But my current love is writing. So when dinner is late… I tell Glenn it’s all his fault! LOL!
Q: Do you have any other writing projects which you would like to mention?
GLENN: Currently, I’m writing Book Three of the Amanda Ackers series on and off, while I work on two other novels. One is paranormal, the other a modern day treasure hunt of sorts. Sasha and I will both work on a novel which is all about the paranormal over the next couple of years, on and off, as we can find the time. Sasha is the main reason I write. It is because of her love, support and encouragement, that I continue writing. Sasha and I love to hear suggestions from readers on possible other works. They can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. That way, we know what other types of stories our readers may like to see.
SASHA: I currently am writing two novels – both having to do with everyday things and occurrences that I’m giving a different twist. I’ve wondered about these things for many years. The research for both has taken a few years to accumulate, but I think they’ll be interesting.
Glenn and I will work on a novel together about the paranormal – we’ve got a slightly different take on it and Glenn has already come up with an amazing story line.
Lastly… thank you for putting this together!!
I am certain that you will join me in thanking Glenn and Sasha today for their time, and that we look forward to reading more of their works in the future. If you wish to contact Glenn and Sasha, they are available on:
*Glenn and Sasha’s website is: http://www.chilipeppercreations.com/
– Glenn and Sasha’s books can be accessed by clicking on the book covers below: