Peppard writer’s inspirational love letter

Round & About

Glenn Bryant

Peppard writer Glenn Bryant has just published his first novel available now in The Bell Bookshop in Henley and Fourbears Books in Caversham

What would you do to survive if you were suddenly arrested in your own home? That’s the question posed by local author Glenn Bryant in his debut novel, Darkness Does Not Come At Once.

Four years ago he began writing inspired by a lifelong interest in the Holocaust and the question: how could ordinary people do something, in the worst sense beyond imagination, so extraordinary? Glenn learnt specifically how people with disabilities were targeted and says he knew he always wanted to write about that in this psychological thriller set on the edge of Berlin, 85 years ago.

He explains: “That deeper societal question was my motivation. My inspiration was Juliet, my wife, who has a spinal cord injury and a level of paralysis. We’re so happy together. My novel, at its heart, is simply a love letter to her.”

A “love letter” which on many occasions Juliet was unaware Glenn was writing as he would take to his keyboard first thing in the morning while she was still sleeping.

“Setting out to write a book is a commitment. It’s unavoidable. But… You can commit to it on your terms. I wrote three days a week: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the days I wasn’t working,” he says. “I was most interested in how many words I had written. I was aiming for 1,000 a day. From my document history, I can see I was writing a touch over 10,000 words a month. And in eight months, I had reached 85,000 words and the end of a first draft. Then the hard work starts.”

But having always wanted to write since he was a teenager he wasn’t deterred by rejections and knock backs from publishers and literary agents despite constantly asking himself “is your work ever going to see the light of day?”

Glenn adds: “You’re really on your own, and you feel it, so you have to be your own life coach and therapist too, and pick yourself up from the lows. But once I was through those moments, I pretty much loved the whole experience. I’m at the beginning of my journey as an author.”

And while he has plans for no more at this stage and is 100 per cent focused on this first work, he concedes: “I’m sure I will one day. You just need that gem of an idea to lodge in your head and I will be away, starting all over again with a blank Word document.”

Join Glenn for a relaxed Q&A style talk about the book on Friday 7th June, 7pm-8pm at Fourbears Books, 20 Prospect Street, Caversham. Enjoy free entry and complimentary wine when you get there.