Glenn Cooper is a unique, best-selling author as well as his life is not ordinary. In his biography we read that in addition to a degree in archeology with the highest grades at Harvard, he was also involved in medicine (PhD) and then of biotechnology. Everything always with success. In media he is also a screenwriter and film producer. Now he is a writer and editor.
On the occasion of the release of his latest novel, "Il Calice della vita," I have the honor and the burden to interview him for you.
F&C:Glenn Hello and welcome on my blog. Reading your biography the first thing I thought was "wow, but they should make a movie about a person so interesting!". And maybe we would see well as actor Tom Hanks ... what do you say?
G: I wouldn’t want to see such a boring movie!
F&C:Let's start! It 'just came out in the bookstore "Il Calice della vita”, why did you choose the theme of the Grail? You have been guided by a "vision" as for the “
dei Morti”? Or is there another reason?
G: Written in the 15th century by an English knight, Le Morte D’Arthur was my inspiration for Il Calice della Vita. When I first bought a copy at the age of thirteen, I was drawn to it by the cover of the book illustrated with a splendid knight on horseback. It wasn’t a school assignment. It was pleasure reading, pure pleasure, I might add. I suppose it was the Harry Potter book of its time and I didn’t care or didn’t appreciate how the story jumped around haphazardly or how repetitive and contradictory the sections were to each other. What drew me in from the first to the last page was the fabulous imagery of chivalry and daring, of Camelot, of Lancelot and the knights of King Arthur’s round table, pure-of-heart, fighting demons and evil, for honor, for love, for their quest: the Holy Grail. In retrospect, it was my first thriller, and though I would soon find James Bond and science fiction, Le Morte D’Arthur stuck with me and I suppose it was inevitable that I would write about that book and the Grail one day.
F&C: And how did you choose to tell the story of Thomas Malory? What attracted you to this character?
G: Thomas Malory was a 15th century English knight who grew up immersed in chivalry but was accused of the most unchivalrous of crimes. It was that picture of contrasts that attracted me to his character – that plus the fact that he wrote one of the definitive books of Arthrurian tales. Malory was charged with an assortment of unsavory crimes including theft, grievous bodily harm, and rape. Historians believe that these were absurd and trumped-up charges against a knight bound by the code of chivalry, and it seems likely that they were leveled against him by political and social rivals. Nevertheless, he languished in prisons for many years and escaped, mentally at least, by turning to his love of Arthurian literature into his own version of the fabled knights and their Grail quest. He likely had some access to the great French editions of an earlier era as source material, but he essentially wrote a series of short stories under great physical and emotional duress which after his death were woven together into a book by the
printer, William Caxton. London
F&C:In this novel, the main theme is the intersection between science and religion. Now, imagine that you are convinced (like me), that evolutionary theory has a solid scientific basis: however, is there some element of weakness in this theory?
G: I enjoy writing about the intersection between science and religion, and especially I like to imagine scenarios where traditional religious beliefs might have a scientific explanation. This is the “big” theme of Il Calice Della Vita. As to evolution as a theory, I think it has no scientific weaknesses at all!
was correct. Darwin
F&C: I see that in your stories there is always a link between past and present: Do you like time-travel? ^ _ ^
G: I would love to travel in time. Can you imagine the historical questions which could be answered? If I could only make one trip I suppose it would be to Elizabethan
the time of Shakespeare, to see one of his plays performed at the Globe
Theater. How great would that be? England
F&C: Speaking of time travel, and my blog is oriented sci fi, do you think in the future to write a science fiction novel? I read that you are an admirer of the master Bradbury ...
G: Ray Bradbury was one of my favorite authors when I was growing up. Isaac Asimov too. As a matter of fact I have recently completed a new novel which is in the fantasy/sci-fi genre. It will be published in
end of this year. I won’t say more about it now but I hope my fans will enjoy
F&C: Is It true that you are used to read hundreds of books before and during the writing of a novel to inform you as much as possible on the object of your search? Why your novels seem to me to also research on the major issues of life, not only great entertainment, is that correct?
G: I enjoy doing historical research for my books. For Il Calice Della Vita I read all or part of about 250 history books. But it’s also true that I like to use my books to explore more than history. Each of my books is an exploration into a broad philospohical or religious theme – predestination, the nature of good versus evil, the intersection between science and religion.
F&C: Can you tell us a quality that you have, one that should have all the writers and advice for anyone who has not yet been posted.
G : That’s easy. It’s perserverance and stubbornness. To write, you have to constantly fight against the obstacles to publishing. Too many good writers stop writing when they experience failure. If you believe in yourself you have to keep working to improve your craft. If might take years or decades to get published and read so don’t give up!
I thank Glenn for the sympathy and the absolute willingness, perhaps even these are qualities that must be a great storyteller!