Glenn Quigley - Novelist releases ‘The Lion Lies Waiting’

By Hayden Moore

College for some can serve as merely an incremental value as their hyper-productive personalities take over to guide them to success regardless of a piece of paper saying they’re a graduate – and Glenn Quigley is a shining example of exactly that.

After deciding to finally put pen to paper on a short story in late 2015, that eventually grew into a novel and after being picked up by Ninestar Press, Glenn had that very novel published in March 2018.

Glenn Quigley with book

Glenn Quigley

The Jobstown native, who has lived in Lisburn just outside of Belfast, then penned an immediate follow up to the book ‘The Moth and Moon’ called ‘The Lion Lies Waiting’.

Glenn took some time out from the release of the sequel to tell us all about his writing journey to date, dropping out of college and how his mother is his creative influence.

What is ‘The Moth and Moon’ all about?

‘The Moth and Moon’ is about a burly gay fisherman named Robin Shipp. He lives in a tiny village on a fictional island in the 18th century. The story is about a storm that hits the island and changes his life forever.

The title refers to the enormous ancient tavern that is the heart of the village and is where most of the story takes place.

Where did the inspiration come from for the book?

I’ve always loved all things nautical so I knew that when I finally got round to writing a book, it was going to have that sort of flavour. The island is based heavily on Cornwall, a place I’ve visited a couple of times and fell in love with.

I took a lot of the inspiration for the village from places like Mevagissey. The initial idea was simply of the main character standing at his window, looking out across the sea to an approaching storm. Everything else came from that one single mental image.

Its sequel, ‘The Lion Lies Waiting’ came out recently, what can people expect from it?

‘The Lion Lies Waiting’ takes place four months after the events of ‘The Moth and Moon’. The action moves to a nearby island and we get to see more repercussions from the storm of the first book.

It’s set over the Winter Solstice and is full of snow and cobbled streets and all that lovely wintery stuff! In the world of my book, there’s no religion, but I’m a big fan of Christmas and I wondered what this time of year would be like for my characters.

In their world, the main winter festival is Midwinter and it draws heavily on the pagan roots of Christmas.

The story of is a little bigger than the first book and the stakes are higher. There’s action, adventure, romance and political intrigue!

How did the writing process differ from book to book?

I wrote the first book to see if I could actually write a full length novel as I’d only ever written short pieces before. Once I’d discovered I could do it once, I had to try it again! Writing the sequel was actually quite different in many ways.

There was a pressure to maintain a consistent tone while at the same time giving the reader something they didn’t see in the first one. The main fear I had was repeating myself, but I think I’ve manged to avoid that.

Writing ‘The Moth and Moon’ was an absolute joy, I had so much fun building these characters and their world. Writing ‘The Lion Lies Waiting’ was more complicated because I hadn’t planned for there to be a sequel so I had to work within the confines of what I’d already established.

What made you take your first leap into the world of writing?

A few years ago, I decided to go back to college to study graphic design. I’d been a designer for years but I was self-taught and I wondered if perhaps an official qualification might be useful. The first year went very well, the second year did not!

I never enjoyed school and I don’t thrive in an academic environment so I decided to cut my losses and leave the course. This left me at a loose end and I decided I’d better have something to show for that year, so I started writing a book.

My mother has always said I should, and frequently asked me when I’d get round to it. A year later I had a publishing contract from an American publisher named Ninestar Press.

It’s all been a very steep learning curve, not just the technical aspects of building a story and writing it, but the nuts and bolts of publishing and promotion.

Thankfully there are lots of great resources online and the writing community as a whole is very supportive. Twitter has been an enormous help and source of support.

What would you say had the biggest influence on your creativity growing up?

My mother is an artist and I definitely inherited my interest in art from her. We would often visit libraries and galleries when I was young. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting in the old Tallaght library in the village, back when it was just a sickly green portacabin!

We both attended art classes in what I still think of as the “new” Tallaght Library by the Square. I’m also a big comic book fan. I read something every day. Stephen King said “if you don’t have time to read you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write” and I completely agree.

Both ‘The Moth and Moon’ and its newly released sequel ‘The Lion Lies Waiting’ can be found in store (use ISBN 978-1-949909-71-5 to order it in) or an eBook is available from Amazon. Follow Glenn on Twitter at @glennquigley or on his website

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