Warren Paul Glover, Monday Writer, 17 August 2020

Warren Paul Glover

Warren Paul Glover is a British-Australian screenwriter, playwright, poet and actor, based in Sydney. Warren has a degree in Sociology but gave up a Masters in Global Health and Public Policy at Edinburgh to pursue his interest in writing. His plays, films, poetry and fiction have been performed, screened or published in Britain, Ireland, Australia, Mexico, the UAE and the USA. His written work has appeared in Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Please See Me, The Sea Letter, Tuck Magazine, Cats With Thumbs, Door Is A Jar, Heart and Humanity, Metafore, Plum Tree Tavern, Scryptic, The Moon Magazine, The Blue Nib, Two Sisters Writing, Down in the Dirt Magazine, Debut Magazine and in Envy: 7 Deadly Sins Vol. 6, by Pure Slush Books (Australia) and in ‘One Surviving Story’, an Australian anthology by In Case of Emergency Press. Warren’s most recent screenplay, Captive, won Best Feature Script at both the Los Angeles Film Awards and the Vegas Movie Awards (April and June 2020). Captive has been adapted into a stage play (available from www.PlayScripts.online) and Warren is currently turning the story into a novel. As an actor, Warren made his Australian stage debut as Lord Montague in Romeo & Juliet. His last appearance on stage before Covid closed down all productions was at the Sydney Opera House in Opera Australia’s original production of Whiteley, an opera based on the life of Australian artist Brett Whiteley, where Warren played six roles, including famous English journalist Jeffrey Bernard and famous English murderer John Christie. Warren is represented by Sydney’s TCM Agency.

The Monday Writer Interview

The Beginning

I used to dabble in poetry and short fiction in my teens and early twenties (I’m 53 now) but then got sucked into the world of work, so I stopped writing for myself (although I was doing a lot of writing professionally: research papers, press releases, policy positions, magazine articles, conference speeches etc). It wasn’t until 2009 that I began to revisit writing short stories, and later that year I took redundancy and moved from London to Edinburgh where my wife’s new job was going to be based. I knew we were only going to be in Edinburgh for a maximum of two years before moving back to my wife’s homeland, Australia, so my plan was to do a Masters in Global Health and Public Policy at Edinburgh University (I’d previously been employed by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Royal College of Nursing, so a continuing narrative in health made sense). However, we arrived in Edinburgh in June and the Masters wasn’t due to start until September, so to kill time I took advantage of some short courses in writing fiction and poetry, and screenwriting (which I’d never previously considered) that Edinburgh Uni offered. And that was a life-changing decision as I was so taken with writing poems about avocados and wardrobes that I pulled the plug on the Masters and decided to give writing a go full-time.

SLQ actually published a couple of my poems from that time, Edinburgh (funnily enough!) and ‘Tastes of Blue’ in Sentinel Champions #6 (May 2011) and ‘The Mountain’ in Champion Poems #2 (February 2010) as well as a couple of short stories: ‘For the Greater Good’ (SLQ, January-March 2012) and ‘Table for Two?’ (Sentinel Champions #9, February 2012).

I remember writing a poem called ‘In Dreams’ whilst at uni (I did a sociology degree) which was a real stream of consciousness thing. I wrote it in one go after coming home from a night out. I later got it published in a US journal, Scryptic, in March 2018 (the poem was written in 1988). Nothing I’ve written since has flowed straight from my brain onto the page like that poem did. Sometimes writing is like pulling teeth, and what spills out on the page bears no relation to how I framed the piece in my mind. I find writing poetry, particularly, is like tackling a fiendishly difficult crossword puzzle. I also write stage- and screenplays, which come easier as I think I’m better at writing dialogue more than anything else. At the moment I’m attempting a novel, and sometimes it’s difficult to get the words out but at other times I do find a flow, so it varies. I wouldn’t say writing is easy, though.

Themes

I write a lot of dark comedy but I’ve also written historical fiction and my current project (the novel) is part family drama part geo-political thriller. Love triangles (great sources of conflict) and death feature a lot.

On why he writes

For better or worse the decision I made in August 2009 to can my Masters and concentrate on writing full-time is why I write. I made my bed and now I’m lying in it; sometimes comfortably, sometimes restlessly. But there’s no going back now.

On whether or not his work is significantly autobiographical.

I’d say a lot of my work is autobiographical, yes. I’ve written about certain situations I’ve experienced in my life, and lucky for me I’ve travelled a lot and had heaps of adventures, so I’ve got a lot of source material to draw on! I don’t think you can get away with not putting something of yourself into your writing, whether that’s direct experience or some intellectual or emotional insight or essence.

Biggest challenges he faces as a writer.

Commissions/collaborations can blow you off course from writing your own material. For example, if I accept a commission to write a screenplay then I’m tied up in a collaboration for a long time, which isn’t easy as you have to learn how to work with someone new or under a different system, and sometimes this means balancing or finding a way through conflicting visions for the work, and you inevitably lose momentum on your own material.

Best advice received.

“There’s no limit to better.” Never give up. Keep going.

What advice would he give other writers?

Be patient. Give yourself time to explore yourself as a writer by trying different forms and genres while you find your voice. Don’t be put off by rejection and persevere. Check out this article I wrote for The Blue Nib: https://thebluenib.com/altered-imagery/

His award-winning short play Falling for Harry, was published by Heuer Publishing. Has he published any other books?

Other than that, no, although I’ve had individual poems and short stories published in books, which you can find on Amazon

Best 5 books he has read.
Blimey! What a question. Very hard to pick but, if I have to…
The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje (a wonderful read with an emotional punch that transferred to the screen beautifully too)
The Gormenghast Trilogy – Mervyn Peake
The Stories of Eva Luna – Isabel Allende
Perfume – Patrick Suskind
Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter

Has his writing been influenced by these five writers?

I don’t write magical realism (apart from one piece, maybe), so I can’t say Angela Carter or Isabel Allende have been major influences on my writing although I absolutely fell in love with their books. David Lodge has perhaps been an influence but my writing’s been compared to John Steinbeck, Charles Bukowski and Douglas Sirk, so who knows!

Warren’s writing habits.

I treat my writing like my day job, which it is, but depending on what my current project is I could be writing poetry, short fiction, a stage play or a screenplay. There’s also research, marketing and PR to do so I might not always be getting words down on my project but it’ll still be writing-related activity that I’ll be doing. I’m also an actor so when I have an acting gig I have to work my writing around that. Having momentum is key, but that’s not always attainable.

WARREN PAUL GLOVER
PPE (personal protective equipment)

Without it I play a game of Russian Roulette
except this ‘gun’ has more bullets and my death,
when it comes,
will be slow and painful;
a tragic treason behind the reason I came into this job in the first place:
with a desire, a want, a need, to help others.
Some call it a vocation.

I may leave this job for the same reason;
that I stayed to help others, sick with this world-changing virus.
Covid-19.

We’re described as being at war,
assured that we will win the battle.
In the end.
But at what cost?
I am not a soldier, sent to fight with no bullets or boots,
but the military metaphor holds.
I am on the frontline of a different kind; a home front,
a theatre of engagement with the same danger:

Death.

Which has taken colleagues – comrades – already.
A roll call; first and foremost, people, like you and me:
mothers, daughters, fathers, sons,
husbands, wives, lovers, brothers, sisters, friends…
Nurses, porters, doctors, support workers, surgeons,
healthcare assistants, specialists, technicians, locums, midwives…
Highly skilled professionals that our society needs to function effectively.
Who can we rely on in this critical time of need?

I’m a clinician, not an accountant nor a politician,
but the personal has become very much the political.
For what can be more pressing than an existential threat?
I go to work. I don’t come home.
Hardly seems fair.
So, a plea
for PPE.

Prime Minister, over to you.


Connect with Warren Paul Glover
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/WazMan01
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WarrenPaulGlover
• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/warren-paul-glover001/
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/warrenpaulglover/


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