Monday, May 21, 2018

Glenn Cooper

Glenn Cooper is an internationally known bestselling thriller writer who has sold over seven million books in thirty translations. His first novel, Library of the Dead, sold over two million copies. Of his thirteen published novels, many have become #1 fiction bestsellers in various European markets. He graduated from Harvard University with a degree in archaeology and got his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine before becoming an infectious diseases specialist. He later went onto medical research and biotechnology and became the Chairman and CEO of a large, publicly-traded biotech company in Massachusetts. During his free time he wrote screenplays and then tried his hand at novels, culminating in Library of the Dead, which is now in development as a TV series. His current series of religious conspiracy thrillers, beginning with Sign of the Cross, features Cal Donovan, professor of history of religion and archaeology at the Harvard Divinity School. Cooper lives and writes full-time in Sarasota, Florida.

Recently I asked Cooper about what he was reading. His reply:
I’m currently writing a new book, the fourth Cal Donovan in a new series of religious conspiracy thrillers that begins with the just-released Sign of the Cross in the US/UK. Parenthetically, the explanation for this English-language publication lag is that my European publishers have a leg-up on the schedule. While I’m writing, I tend to avoid fiction because I’m something of a magpie – i.e., in the heat of battle, I’m given to plagiarizing words, phrases, physical descriptions and whatnot. So leadeth me not into temptation. That’s why I’m reading non-fiction. Incidentally, in the brief inter-regnum between books, I eagerly read and enjoyed Le CarrĂ©’s A Legacy of Spies.

I’ve got a number of books on my table, mostly for research for my work-in-progress, one for pleasure/work. The latter is Foreign Devils on the Silk Road by Peter Hopkirk. My college degree is in archaeology and I try to keep up with new developments in the field for personal and professional edification (translation: fishing for new ideas for Cal Donovan who’s an archaeologist). The Hopkirk book is a revelation to me because it details an archaeological subject of which I was wholly ignorant—the wholesale looting at the turn of the twentieth century of China’s medieval cultural heritage by European, American and Japanese archaeologists and adventurers. It’s a gripping read and I’ve already got ideas spinning around that might land in Cal Donovan’s lap one day.

The other things I’m reading all involve historical background for my newest Cal Donovan book that draws heavily from the Elizabethan magus and polymath, John Dee, who exhaustively chronicled his conversations with angels that he summoned with his medium, Edward Kelley, to try to understand the mysteries of the universe. Dee learned how to speak and write the angelic language and I’m trying too without much success. It’s complicated.
Visit Glenn Cooper's website.

The Page 69 Test: Sign of the Cross.

--Marshal Zeringue