JQM PRESENTS A BLOG POST INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR Glen Dahlgren
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:
Glen Dahlgren is the author of the young-adult fantasy series, the Chronicles of Chaos–a passion project that is the culmination of Glen’s lifelong love of fantasy and years of experience releasing compelling characters into fascinating worlds and describing what happens. His debut title, the Child of Chaos–which Piers Anthony called “what fantasy fiction should be”–launched in 2020. Wearing slightly different hats, Glen has written, designed, directed, and produced award-winning, narrative-driven computer games for the last three decades. What’s more, he had the honor of creating original fantasy and science-fiction storylines that took established, world-class literary properties into interactive experiences. He collaborated with celebrated authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (The Death Gate Cycle), Robert Jordan (The Wheel of Time – soon to be a TV series from Amazon), Frederik Pohl (Heechee saga), Terry Brooks (Shannara), and Piers Anthony (Xanth) to bring their creations to the small screens. In addition, he crafted licensor-approved fiction for the Star Trek franchise as well as Stan Sakai’s epic graphic novel series, Usagi Yojimbo. When Glen isn’t designing games, he teaches a course on the subject every summer to international students at UC Berkeley. Glen also likes to read, play computer games and volleyball, and compose music—either dystopic synth-heavy themes or renaissance fair tunes for some reason. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his lovely wife and two teenage children, who all happen to be the perfect ages to enjoy his fantastic yarns (that means everyone can enjoy them–you get it).
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO WRITE?
I’m a dedicated creator and storyteller. Ever since I was a kid making D&D modules, I was creating fantasy storylines. I graduated into making games and, eventually, my own game company. Even then, I worked fantasy stories into the adventure games I designed, culminating in collaborations with Robert Jordan, Margaret Weis, and many more. In both games and prose, there’s nothing better than creating compelling characters and a world to put them in, and then solving problems and figuring out how it all happens.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS? WHY?
I’m a fan of classic fantasy authors. I read voraciously in my teens and into college, authors such as Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, Margaret Weis, and Steven R. Donaldson, among many more. Even now, I continue to read favorites from that time like Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS? WHY?
It’s hard to nail down favorites, so I’ll use this criterion: if I read a book enough times that I broke the binding, I must have liked it. This happened mostly when I was much younger. A few examples that I can remember: Mirror of Her Dreams (Donaldson), Split Infinity (Piers Anthony), and Eye of the World (Jordan).
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE LITERARY CHARACTERS? WHY?
Right now, it might be Gerald, the Witcher—if only because I love his portrayal in the Netflix series.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW AUTHORS AND/OR ASPIRING AUTHORS?
Someone told me this once: Writers write. It sounds simple, but it contains a lot of wisdom. First, you can only improve as you write. Second, you need to write for yourself, not for acclaim, so keep at it regardless of negativity. You’ll hear this from every successful author that they failed a ton before succeeding. Finally, it feels good to write THE END, so keep at it until you have a finished product. That will lead to more, and more, and more.
IMAGINE ONE OF YOUR BOOKS IS ABOUT TO BECOME A FILM OR TV SHOW. WHO IS YOUR “DREAM CAST?” AND WHO DO YOU ASK TO CREATE THE SOUNDTRACK?
Like any author, I’d be wildly excited to turn my property into a TV show or movie (although I think it’s more likely to become a video game), but I have not done any thinking about casting roles. I’ve cast enough game voices to know that you never know who is going to bring the right performance to the character until they try it. As for the music, my favorite film composer has to be the obvious choice: Hans Zimmer. I listen to the soundtracks to Gladiator and the Pirates movies whenever I’m writing.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH POTENTIAL READERS? *
My experience with games, especially casting and directing voices, led me to narrate my own audiobook. It was a crazy experience, but I learned a lot and people seem to enjoy it. I’ll definitely be narrating all of the subsequent novels in the series.
WHERE CAN WE GO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR LITERARY WORKS?
The first place to go would be http://www.mysterium.blog. There are tons of ‘behind the scenes’ stories about my games, like Wheel of Time, or Death gate, or even Glee—as well as a write up of learning how to narrate an audiobook. Also, signed copies of my books are available there too.