Doctor Storyteller – interview with Glyn Pope (30 March 2011)

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GlynPopeIntroduction

In the last edition of my newsletter, I asked if people wanted to be interviewed for this column. Nadine Laman very kindly directed Glyn Pope my way. As such, without further ado, I have great pleasure in introducing to you, Glyn Pope …


Aneeta: Glyn, welcome and thank you for agreeing to this interview.

Glyn: It is seriously, my pleasure.

Aneeta: Let’s start with a little about you. Where were you born, where did you grow up, what do you do for a living and where do you live now?

Glyn: I was born in Leicester. Actually where my novel, The Doctor, The Plutocrat and The Mendacious Minister, is set. It is a piece of fiction though, none of the characters exist, nor any of the events happened. I grew up on a council estate in Leicester. I lived in Northampton for a time and then  Devon before finally moving to France in 2007 to take up full time writing.

Aneeta: Before we talk about your books, I am intrigued by the fact that you studied theology at university. Why theology?

Glyn: A rather obvious flippant answer is why not. I’m intrigued by the fact that my son-in-law studied liquid engineering for his degree. Er, what is liquid engineering? No, seriously, religion is at the core of our lives. There are those who are fervent in their religious beliefs, but those who aren’t have to state the fact by saying they are atheist or agnostic. There isn’t a term for saying I don’t believe in liquid engineering. Aneeta it’s a whole different interview, why theology, religion; it can’t be simply answered. There is much beauty in religion, just as sadly it can produce so much hatred. So much fine language has been created in the name of religion. A book I love most in the world is The Gospel According To St. Luke. If you want to pin a religious term on me then I am a Christian/Buddhist. I certainly don’t believe in God or the afterlife. When we are dead, that is it, final. There’s a reason why me must make the most of our lives.

Aneeta: Has studying theology affected your writing in any way?

Glyn: That’s a difficult one, because you take influences from everywhere in your life. I have yet to write a theological novel, in the likeness of Chaim Potok,  if that’s what you mean.

Aneeta: So, let’s get to your writing career. Please tell me what you’ve had published so far?

Glyn: I have had short stories published in five different collections. I self published a book, which I have now withdrawn. I published To The End Of Love with a company called Turner Maxwell. That was a sort of breakthrough, but the company didn’t edit or proofread. I’ve withdrawn that novel. My first ‘proper’ novel, edited and proofread is The Doctor, The Plutocrat, and The Mendacious Minister.

Aneeta: I know that your latest book is called The Doctor, The Plutocrat and The Mendacious Minister. Please describe it for me.


Glyn: The main character Doctor Latymer arrives on a council estate in Leicester, England, full of hope after dreadful experiences of the war. He happily settles into life on the estate trying to forget the nightmare images in his memory. The young doctor quickly becomes the local miracle worker when he cures the attention seeking hypochondriac Reginald, and takes the time to befriend a sad little boy who has lost his Mother. However, when food poisoning strikes the estate residents, Doctor Latymer sets out to right injustices that he doesn’t fully understand. He tangles with Sir Brian Britley, the Plutocrat, and Sir Henry Norrington, the Mendacious Minister for the British Government. In the process, he unravels the delicate balance between rich and poor, and the struggling economy still reliant on rationing and the black market. Doctor Latymer’s story is written in authentic British English, adding to the richness that brings the local characters to life as the reader is whisked back to 1948 post-war Britain.

Aneeta: Clearly, storytelling will feature in your work. What aspect, therefore, of storytelling, do you feel is most important for a storyteller to master?

Glyn: The best novels are those that are worth reading more than once. I’ve read Lukes’s gospel, The Stranger by Camus and Solzynitsyn’s Ivan Denisovich many many times. The Doctor The Plutocrat and The Mendacious Minister, whilst I don’t compare it to these classics, I have attempted to write on more than one level. There is the obvious AJ Cronin tale of a new doctor working on a council estate in Leicester in 1948; there is the political plot and corruptness; and the greater story of young versus the old. Where really does experience lie. Not all readers see this, and that’s fine by me. Take the tale at its simplest or look a little more into the depths. I could have only attempted something like this though by reading quality books and learning abut writing. There are too many people around who feel that because they can write a shopping list and have a laptop that qualifies them to be a writer. Musicians, artists have to practise daily. I write every day 365 days a year for at least three hours. I read quality literature and think about what I am reading. Harsh facts but if a person isn’t prepared to that then don’t bother to be a writer.

Aneeta: What advice would you give those who would like to venture into storytelling?

Glyn: Don’t self publish, or if you do then pay for a professional edit and proofread.

Aneeta: Glyn, this is all I have to ask. Is there anything you’d like to add?

Glyn: The novel The Doctor, the Plutocrat, and The Mendacious Minister is available for download in all formats at around 4dollars/sterling/euros.

Worldwide as a signed paperback from gjpopeuk@gmail.com at £9.99/11.50euros inc.postage except France where the cost is 2euros for postage.

And in the United States from http://www.cactusrainpublishing.com/

Aneeta: Glyn, thank you.

Glyn: Thank you Aneeta, for giving me your time and space on your web page. It has been a pleasure.


This piece may NOT be freely reprinted. Please contact editor @ howtotellagreatstory.com for reprint rights.

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