Saturday, January 24, 2015

Reader Profile: Author & Artist Glenn Porzig

Reader Profiles is where I'll speak to people about their reading habits. Face it, most authors seem only interested in speaking about writing. That's leaving out a huge portion of the publishing industry...

Glenn Porzig is a long time fan of fiction ranging from Michael Moorcock to Douglas Adams and all points in between. A graphic artists with comic book credits under his belt, Glenn tried his hand at fiction writing in 2014 with a short story in the fan anthology More Blood, based on The Destroyer series by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir, and his own novella series, Darkness Unbound.

How often do you read? How fast do you read?

These days I'm reading a lot! Pretty much on a daily basis. As a young kid, through high school and into college, I read a lot of comic books. I've read thousands, and I still read some today. When I'm reading, I tend to read pretty fast, but I'm often reading more than one book at a time, so it may take a long time to finish a book.

Favorite authors?

The author I've read the most would be Michael Moorcock. I was a big fan of his Elric series and all of the interconnecting books about the Eternal Champion in different realities and time periods. Moorcock coined the term Multiverse. I've read over thirty of his books. I was lucky enough to meet him a few years back.

The Hichhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was very important to me. I was even a big fan of the British TV show. I eagerly read all the books and then the Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency books. I've read just about everything Douglas Adams has written, and even a book written about him. It's a shame he's no longer with us.

A more recent author that I've become a big fan of is James Rollins. His Sigma Force thrillers are a lot of fun. Ancient artifacts, globe spanning conspiracies, high tech gadgets, his books have it all. I looked up some information on him and it turns out he's inspired by the Doc Savage books. I think that explains a lot about why I like him so much.

What are your preferred genres to read for fun? What genres will you NOT read, or dislike reading?

I obviously have read a lot of pulp. Even books I didn't really think were pulp at the time. When I was younger I read a lot of The Shadow paperbacks and listened to a lot of the radio shows as well. I also read a fair amount of Doc Savage and a little of The Avenger and The Spider.

Early on I read the Conan books by Robert E. Howard. That is the stuff I didn't really think of as pulp at the time. Lately my wife has gotten me into reading some H.P. Lovecraft.

Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion series is Fantasy, but some of his other books are action adventure with a dash of sci-fi.

I'll read pretty much anything as long as it isn't mundane. I need something paranormal. Give me robots, cyborgs, psychic powers or spies with exotic high tech gadgets.

The only reason I'd ever pick up a non-fiction book is for research for a writing project. Or a guide to help hone your craft as a writer or artist. I've read a few screenplay writing books.

What influences your choice of book to read for fun?

CONCEPT! If I like the idea then I'm all in! I won't really know if it is well executed until I get to read it, but if the concept fires up my imagination then I'm hooked. A cool title is a big help. An epic or clever title that evokes something inside me, sparks memories of other books or shows I like in that genre.

How could you not be interested in Superheroes trying to survive the zombie apocalypse? That's the concept in Peter Clines' EX-Heroes series.

Obviously a nice cover is a big plus. I'm an artist and I appreciate art. I have a collection of art books with paintings from sci-fi and fantasy novels. Good art will always get my attention.

When I'm reading a book I never want it to end. I don't want to leave that universe. So it is probably silly of me to avoid big books. I just don't want to tackle an epic tome like a Stephen King book. I like a lot of genres, and a lot of authors and I want to get on to the next book, so I shy away from 300+ page books.

As an avid viewer of genre TV shows, I am really appreciating the ebook trend of releasing short series, quick reads that are affordable and somewhat episodic. This is what I'm hoping to do with my own series.

What's the best book you've ever read?

(At the time) The Weird of the White Wolf by Michael Moorcock was the best book I'd ever read. I suppose where you are in life matters a lot. The timing of what you read and when you read it sometimes just magically syncs up. When I found it on a paperback shelf at Kmart it didn't matter that it was book two in the saga of Elric of Melnibone, or that I had no idea if/when I'd ever find book one.

That silver border with strange symbols. The gaunt pale hero with his long white hair blowing in the wind. He was clutching a large sword with a black blade engraved with mystical runes, and it drank the souls of his foes granting him superhuman strength... I had to have that book! I later bought two copies of book one so I could have a loaner copy to get others started on the series.

What's the worst book you've ever read?

I've read a lot of the free ebooks and some are surprisingly good. Others are not. While I enjoy B-movies, B grade books aren't quite the same. It's so bad it's good doesn't really work with books. I try to stay positive and will decline from calling out a worst book I've ever read, but I'm sure there are plenty to choose from.

What elements make a good story?

I think a larger than life hero facing a more powerful foe is what I'm drawn to. The classic Good versus Evil from the Saturday afternoon serials and the comic books. The stakes need to be high. Exotic locations are a plus. I like things that a both fresh and familiar at the same time. A thriller needs to have high stakes and keep the pace up.

What makes you roll your eyes or groan in a story?

I'm pretty forgiving, but I want my characters to be in the moment. I don't want someone to break character for the sake of a cheap joke. This is difficult for me as a writer because I'm currently writing Occult Horror. With all of the murders and demonic possession going on there's not a lot of room for humor... but I'd actually like to write a little more humor.

Also, I love foreshadowing. That's a lot of what I do with my writing. So I hate it when something comes out of left field in a story. If I'm reading a mystery, I should have been presented with all of the elements to have a shot at solving it myself.

Ever watch movies based on books, or read a book because it's already been made into a movie?

I'm always interested in seeing a good book that I've read turned into a movie. Now that I've written a book I'd certainly love to see it turned into a movie! I know they are two very different things. There is no budget constraint when you write a scene in a book. And I know they only have so much time to work with when making a movie and lots from the book is likely to be cut out.

I almost never run out to read a book because I hear they are making a movie out of it. And I almost never read a book because I enjoyed the movie. A notable exception would be when I tracked down a copy of I am Legend by Richard Matheson because I enjoyed The Omega Man so much and I heard the book was good but very different.

Where do you like to read the most?

I've always liked to read in bed. That's a lot easier these days with a tablet and the Kindle App than it was back in the day. I used to have a lamp that would swivel out over my pillow that gave decent light for reading a paperback, but I'd always end up banging into the lampshade.

I once read the whole Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in one day, sitting in the bed of a pickup truck, and got a sunburn doing it. Much safer inside, away from all that radiation!

I'm a photojournalist on a news helicopter and I always bring either a paperback or my tablet (sometimes both) when I have a flight in case it is a long flight or I get stuck in an airport somewhere. It's fun to tell an author that I read their whole book while flying around in a helicopter!

What are you reading now?

On my tablet I'm currently reading LEGACY: Trial & Terror by Warren Murphy and Gerald Welch. This is book four of the new reader friendly spin-off series that follows the exploits of the son and daughter of Remo Williams, The Destroyer.

On my phone (often before bed) I'm reading The Compleat Crow by Brian Lumley. This is a collection of short stories featuring Titus Crow set in the Cthulhu Mythos by the author of the Necroscope series.

And occasionally, for research, I'm reading a paperback copy of Occult America: White House séances, Ouija Circles, Masons, and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation by Mitch Horowitz.

What are you writing now?

I'm currently writing Terror of Night, the second book in my Darkness Unbound series that started with Lady in Black. I have a bunch more books plotted out in that series. My wife and I have written some screenplays together and when I find time I plan to do novelizations of them. I also hope to put out some short stories, I'm currently working on one called Endangered.

If you'd like to share your reading preferences, email Troglodad AT Gmail DOT COM for a set of questions or make your based on what you see above.

Come back soon for an interview with Small Press Publisher/Editor Devin Murphy of Destroyerbooks.

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