Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Conversation with Novelist and Screenwriter Glenn Cooper

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Glenn Cooper
with Glenn Cooper

We are delighted to welcome back novelist and screenwriter Glenn Cooper to Omnimystery News today.

Glenn last visited with us in July, when he discussed the difference between writing screenplays and novels. He has three new thrillers out, The Resurrection Maker, The Devil Will Come, and Near Death (Lascaux Media; November 2014 trade paperback and ebook formats), and we recently had the opportunity to talk with him more about his books.

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Omnimystery News: Your Lascaux Media has released four of your stand-alone historical thrillers, and you have also written a series. Introduce us to your characters. What is it about these characters that appeal to you as a writer?

Glenn Cooper
Photo provided courtesy of
Glenn Cooper

Glenn Cooper: All my protagonists have one thing in common: they have glaring weaknesses and flaws. I've never been attracted to uni-dimensional heroes. I like men and women who are all too human which means, like all of us, they must overcome their frailties and rise to the challenge.

OMN: What criteria do you use to decide whether a book will feature a series character or do you come up with a plot outline first, then decide whether or not it is more suitable for a series character?

GC: I've always been a writer who sparks off an interesting high concept or philosophical question. As I'm developing plot ideas, images of a lead character and antagonist begin to form. I've done two series and four standalone thrillers so far. I realize that as a thriller writer the better business decision is to have a recurring hero but I get restless and want to explore scenarios that only a standalone can satisfy. How else could I have put a young Italian nun as my lead character in The Devil Will Come?

OMN: How would you categorize your books?

GC: Conspiratorial thrillers rooted in history which explore central philosophical or religious issues. I like to ask questions of my readers, not impose answers.

OMN: Tell us something about The Resurrection Maker and The Tenth Chamber that isn't mentioned in the publisher synopses.

GC: From a research perspective, The Tenth Chamber was the easiest book to write because it involved subject matter I specialized in as a student of archaeology. The Resurrection Maker was the most difficult because it involves physics and cosmology, not my strongest suits.

OMN: How would you tweet summaries of Near Death and The Devil Will Come?

GC: Near Death asks what would happen to society if we had "proof" of the afterlife. The Devil Will Come is an exploration of evil, where only a simple nun can save the Vatican from an ancient plot.

OMN: How true are you to the settings of your books?

GC: I generally won't invent fictional locales. I like to write about real places, usually European, in a cinéma vérité kind of a style. That usually requires travel and research which as they say, doesn't exactly suck.

OMN: You mentioned some of your research challenges. Tell us more about your overall writing process.

GC: My books are extremely complex and intricately plotted. Without a detailed outline I fear I'd get lost along the way and risk wasting big chunks of time. I'll start with research, reading all or parts of up to a hundred works of non-fiction, then progress to outlining. Only then will I start to write.

OMN: Where do you usually find yourself writing?

GC: I live in one of the oldest houses in the country and have a wonderful ancient library. That's where I do most of my work.

OMN: You've self-published some of your books here in the US. How involved were you with the striking cover designs?

GC: I'm published traditionally everywhere in the world except for the US. While I've had terrific success around the world with over 6 million books sold, I've lagged behind in the States. So rather than do yet another disappointing traditional deal here, I decided to put out four books via my own imprint. That means I've been hands-on with all aspects of publishing including cover design. I initially tried to adapt my favorite European covers to the US marketplace but they didn't really work to make a bold, branded statement in the thumb-nail world of ebooks. All my US covers have been designed collaboratively with a great Seattle designer named Asha Hossain.

OMN: What are some of your outside interests?

GC: I've had multiple past lives: archaeologist, infectious diseases physician, biotechnology CEO, independent filmmaker, and now writer. Writing is the best of the bunch and I don't feel any need to diversify my interests anymore. I write seven days a week and spend my downtime watching film and TV.

OMN: What kinds of books do you read for pleasure?

GC: Honestly, between reading non-fiction for research and doing my writing, I have little time to read fiction anymore. When I have a week here or there, I usually re-read my favorite classics, works by Steinbeck, John Fowles, Graham Greene, John Le Carré.

OMN: What's next for you?

GC: Currently working on the third book in a trilogy, my version of Dante's Inferno, which I'll be releasing in late 2015. Have also closed TV/film deals for my "Library of the Dead" trilogy and Near Death and hope to do some writing and consulting if the projects get legs.

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Glenn Cooper has a degree in archaeology from Harvard and practiced medicine as an infectious diseases specialist. He was the CEO of a biotechnology company for almost twenty years, has written numerous screenplays and has produced three independent feature films. His novels have sold six million copies in thirty-one languages. He lives in Gilford, New Hampshire.

For more information about the author, please visit his website at and his author page on Goodreads, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Resurrection Maker by Glenn Cooper

The Resurrection Maker
Glenn Cooper
A Conspiracy Thriller

Echoes from the past guide Arthur Malory on a dangerous search for the Holy Grail, a quest that may shed light on the mystery of the resurrection of Christ.

Arthur Malory, a seemingly ordinary Englishman, has a burning interest in the Grail, a passion inherited from his father.

Thrust into a life-or-death quest to find the precious artifact, he will discover not only his own amazing heritage but the power that the Grail possesses, a power that informs the resurrection of Christ and explosively merges spiritual and scientific thought. Print/Kindle Format(s)

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The Devil Will Come by Glenn Cooper

The Devil Will Come
Glenn Cooper
A Conspiracy Thriller

The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike,
The Devil will come, and Faustus must be damned.

These enigmatic lines from Christopher Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus may hold the key to a shocking, centuries-old truth …

Elisabetta Celestino, a brilliant young archaeologist at work in Rome's ancient catacombs, has discovered a unique pattern of astrological symbols on an underground wall. She feels sure that evidence of a previously unknown pre-Christian sect lies in an adjacent chamber where the untombed skeletons bear a strange anomaly, and is devastated when the Vatican refuses to support her excavation project.

Ten years later, a cave-in damages the vault, and a shocking discovery is made. Following a violent and traumatic event, Elisabetta has left has left archaeology behind for the serenity of prayer and teaching, but the young nun unexpectedly finds herself in a race to solve the secret of the catacomb and prevent an apocalyptic event that threatens not only the Vatican but the future of mankind.

Moving between present-day Europe, 1st-century Rome, and Elizabethan England, The Devil Will Come is an exhilarating tale of a battle between good and evil that has been fought in the shadows through the centuries and across continents — and that both sides are willing to kill to keep secret. Print/Kindle Format(s)

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Near Death by Glenn Cooper

Near Death
Glenn Cooper
A Suspense Thriller

A brilliant neuroscientist, obsessed with death since his own childhood near death experience, resorts to drastic measures to prove the existence of the afterlife.

Milan, Italy today. It is the most serious crisis that the world has ever faced. Bewildered, young and old, believers and atheists are asking all the same, distressing questions: What will they do now that the greatest dream of humanity has turned into a nightmare? What will happen when the countdown clock winds to zero?

Boston, a few months before. It is the most complex investigation that Cyrus O'Malley has ever faced. The FBI special agent looks at photos of the victims for the umpteenth time and wonders why, after being strangled, the serial killer has drilled a tiny hole through their skull. For Cyrus, the case becomes an obsession. To solve it, he will be forced to give up everything he holds dear.

England, 1988. It is the most overwhelming feeling that Alex Weller has ever had. In ecstasy, at the pivot point between life and death, the boy sees a river of light flowing in front of him and on the other side there is his father, joyfully urging him to join him. But Alex cannot move, and suddenly he is back at the site of the terrible car accident that has just killed his parents.

Since that time, Alex has had only one goal: to understand and relive that experience. Even if he is forced to kill. Print/Kindle Format(s)


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