Another Column at MyShelf.Com

Babe To Teens, Past
A Youth Column
By Beverly J. Rowe

Summertime Adventures, An Interview with Glen Ebish, and Web Site Recommendations

     School is finally out, and the kids have their summer activities all planned. They don't?? Well, when you are planning new summer adventures, don't forget about the kids reading. Statistics show that reading skills usually deteriorate during the summer. Here are a few ideas to keep the kids sharp.

     Make reading aloud fun by reading outdoors on the front steps, patio, at the beach or park. Take turns and let the children read to you. For younger children, point out the relationship between words and sounds.

     Keep lots of reading material around the house. Turn off the TV and discuss the books that everyone is reading.

     Make family trips to the library and let kids choose what they want to read. Most libraries sponsor summer reading clubs with easy-to-reach goals for preschool and school-age children. Check the library calendar for special summer reading activities and events. Libraries also provide age appropriate lists for summer reading.

     Buy books on tape, or rent them from the library. They are great for trips in the car. Encourage older children to read the newspaper and current events magazines to keep up the reading habit over the summer and develop vocabulary. Ask them what they think about what they've read, and listen to what they say.

Lisa Wheeler       I just read the great new mystery series by Glen Ebish; Lou Dunlop, Private Eye; Ciffhanger and Faces in the Dark.

     All three books are about Lou Dunlop, a seventeen year old sleuth. They are full of adventure and excitement as well as a budding romance between Lou and Jessie.

     Glen has been writing for more than twenty years. His stories are unique and really capture a young adult reader's imagination.

     Glen has a PhD in philosophy and teaches at a small college in western Massachusetts where he and his wife live. In the past, among other things, Glen served in the army, worked in the business-side of an off-Broadway theatre, and was a substitute teacher. Glen's hobbies include yoga, weightlifting, and reading.

     Here's what he had to say about his writing career:

     Bev: Good Morning Glen. Thank you so much for joining us at Babes to Teens to discuss your writing. Tell us about yourself...what was growing up like? Were you a Lou Dunlop type of teenager?

Glen: I grew up in a suburb in Northern New Jersey and attended a very large high school (graduating class of one thousand.) Over a decade later I returned there for a brief period of substitute teaching, and I think that the image of high school that serves as the background for the Lou Dunlop books is a blend of my high school experience and what I encountered later. Although I think I was less troubled than Lou as a teenager, like most young people, we both had rich fantasy lives.


Bev: Tell us about your writing career so far.

Glen: I have been writing for twenty years as a part time avocation. Most of my early books were for young adults; however, lately I have been writing for adults. All of my books have varying mixtures of romance, mystery, and humor.


Bev: How does a guy go from being a Professor of Philosophy to writing mysteries for kids?

Glen: At about the same time I was substitute teaching, I got involved in a program for teaching philosophy to children in elementary schools using specifically developed novels that contained philosophical ideas. I spent several years training teachers to generate discussion in the class room using these novels, and later wrote one of my own that I have occasionally used with teachers in middle school. This got me interested in writing fiction for young adults, and tapped into an interest I'd had since childhood to write stories.


Bev: I see that you have also written romances. Behind the Mask is a young adult, coming of age novel, published by Silhouette for their First Love series, and written from a girl's point of view. Was that hard for you to do?

Glen: Actually Behind the Mask also is a mystery, but there is more emphasis on romance. I've never felt that I had any difficulty writing from a female viewpoint. How well I do it, of course, is up to the reader to judge. Another mystery novel for young people published by Harlequin, Shock Effect, was also written from the girl's point of view, and I have three adult novels written from the woman's point of view. I feel much freer writing from the perspective of someone different from myself: a teenager or a woman. One of the real pleasures and challenges of fiction is trying to internally experience the lives of others. I've written three adult novels for Avalon Books: two romances and one mystery. They are available in hardcover at


Bev: How about nonfiction? You have written in the Philosophy field, haven't you?

Glen: I've written a number of articles in different areas of philosophy over the years and numerous book reviews. This is a very different type of writing that relies more on reasoning and careful analysis. One of the things I like about writing fiction is that it seems to use a different part of the mind and serves as a nice balance to teaching and writing philosophy. Although the distinction between the two is not hard and fast, many times philosophical concepts will work their way into my fiction and fictional examples can often help elucidate abstract philosophical ideas.


Bev: What kind of writing do you most enjoy, and why?

Glen: I enjoy writing fiction the most because when things are going well the words flow and you really feel as if you are witnessing the story rather than writing it. So far I have been most satisfied with the books of mine that contain a heavy dose humor mixed in with the romance and mystery.


Bev: What author most influenced you as a writer?

Glen: Probably Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett were most influential when I first began. More recent influences are Sparkle Hayter and Janet Evanovich.


Bev: Tell us about developing the idea and plots for the Lou Dunlop series.

Glen: The series began with the character of Lou whose voice worked well for me. I also wanted to have some romantic tension in the stories so I introduced Jessie. I decided to reverse the traditional roles by having Lou be more cautious and passive, while Jessie was less risk averse and willing to charge ahead, sometimes to the detriment of the investigation. The plots were generally based on the kinds of things that adventuresome high school students might get involved in doing, and the story line also had to advance the relationship between Lou and Jessie.


Bev: I notice that Lou Dunlop, Private Eye, is the only one of the Lou Dunlop series that has come out in book form, with the others being e-books, available as downloads or CDs. Are there plans to publish Cliffhanger and Faces in the Dark in book form? Which format do you prefer, and why?

Glen: LTD books plans to eventually have all its e-books available as trade paperbacks, so I'm sure that this will some day be true of the entire Lou Dunlop series. I don't have a personal preference as an author when it comes to format. I think that having a story available in multiple formats is ideal because it allows me to reach the widest possible audience. My e-books have garnered much more internet publicity than my print publications, and hopefully this will interest people in reading more of my books whether e-books or in print.


Bev: How do you see the future of publishing and e-books?

Glen: This is a hard question. People with a great deal more knowledge of the publishing industry than I have seem unsure of the answer. My best prediction is that e-books will have a place in the future because they are tied to a technology that is bound to expand and develop. What the configuration of the e-book industry will be like in five or ten years is anyone's guess.


Bev: What do you have in the works now? Are you planning more Lou Dunlop series books?

Glen: I have just finished an adult mystery which has elements of romance and lots of humor. I think of the main character as a combination of Bridget Jones and Agatha Christie. I would certainly be willing to write another Lou Dunlop if LTD were interested. I think Lou and Jessie still have quite a bit more to say to each other and to the reader.


Bev: What advice do you have for aspiring writers, and especially for our young readers?

Glen: I think that the most difficult aspect of the children and YA market is figuring out what editors are looking to purchase. This is the one field of publishing in which the people who are going to actually read the books are very different in age and interests from those who are doing the publishing. I think the best approach is to find the age level and type of book that you feel you write best, and read as many of the most recently published titles in that area as you can find. Then write your own book, remaining as much as possible within the parameters of those that have been published. Don't be afraid of duplicating a famous author, your book is bound to sound different. An editor will be happy to see a book that fits into an already established niche. Most new authors try to be too different, too original. Sometimes this works, but the publishing business is pretty conservative, and editors are most interested in purchasing stories that are rather like ones that have already sold well.


Bev: What other thoughts would you like to share with us?

Glen: Only a handful of published authors are geniuses, most are just reasonably talented people who spend a great deal of time working at their craft. This means that a person of average skills who persistently works at getting published has a good chance of being successful. Writing is the easy part, not giving up is the hard part.


Bev: Glen, thanks so much for taking the time to join us on We wish you continued success in your writing career, and we are definitely looking forward to reading more of your work!

Download a free excerpt of Lou Dunlop, Private Eye:

Lou Dunlop, Private Eye
Faces in the Dark

Web Site Recommendations:

Here is a contest for fans of the Darren Shan Cirque du Freak Vampire Chronicles...
You can win Vampire Mountain and the brand new Trials of Death.
Time Warner Bookmark | Get Psyched for Teen Reads

You'll find some very interesting ideas here:
Los Angeles Times - Kids' Reading Room

Here are sweepstakes, book reviews and you can write to your favorite author!

2003 Past Columns

Glen Ebish

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