I’d like to welcome one of this month’s ITW’s release authors, Glenn Kleier, whose novel, The Knowledge of Good & Evil, hits the shelves on July 19th. This is Glenn’s second novel, after his acclaimed debut, The Last Day, which is also an epic, theological thriller. So, let’s get right to the fun stuff.
Okay, Glenn, the first thing that obviously pops to mind is the fact that The Last Day, your first novel, was published in 1997. It came out with a pretty big push by the publisher, especially for a debut. And yet…fourteen years until Good & Evil. I find this intriguing.
Not exactly prolific, am I? I actually started this book (along with two companion novels) shortly after The Last Day, and was well into one when a family situation arose. It required a good deal of attention and pushed the writing aside for an extended period. I finally got back into things about six years ago, focusing on The Knowledge of Good & Evil. It took me that long to complete it.
Let’s hear a bit about who you are, what you do writing and/or otherwise, and anything else you would like to tell us about yourself.
I’m a Kentucky son, born and raised. Got exposed to great fiction early on, and it gave me a passion for writing. I picked up an English degree at the University of Cincinnati, intent on a career as a novelist, and landed a job with a publisher to be close to the action. But there I saw countless manuscripts flood in over the transom, not a one making it to print, and it disillusioned me. So I turned to another form of fiction—advertising—eventually co-founding what grew to be a national firm. Yet I never lost my first love. I worked on the side seven years to produce The Last Day, a suspense thriller/religious send-up. Warner Books bought world rights, Columbia/Tri Star the film rights, and that enabled me to write full time.
So guess what I tell my sons about following their dreams?
Give me your 25 word or less elevator pitch for Good & Evil.
A defrocked priest embarks on a perilous odyssey through this world and the next, seeking answers to life’s Ultimate Questions. And learns more than he bargained for.
Your book incorporates a fairly unique aspect for this genre in that you have some picture/images throughout. Tell us a little about that, why you wanted to do it, and/or how it came about with your pub, and what you hoped to gain with their inclusion?
Part of the story involves the intricate paintings of medieval artist, Hieronymus Bosch, whose pictures are worth ten-thousand words. Featuring those pictures saved me some pages. Also the plot centers around real people, places and events—an intentional device to ground the fiction in fact and blur the lines between reality and surreality. I felt photos of the people and places would abet that, and MacMillan publisher Tom Doherty and senior editor Bob Gleason got what I was trying to do and supported me. It took time and expense to chase down usage rights across the globe, but I trust it was worth it.