Glen Erik Hamilton

Countdown with ...

Glen Erik Hamilton

Glen Erik Hamilton grew up aboard a sailboat in Seattle, Washington, playing and occasionally finding trouble around the islands, marinas, and commercial docks of the Pacific Northwest.  Whenever the boat drifted on calm seas, Glen would raid his parents’ bookshelves, passing the idle hours with Travis McGee, Spenser, and the labyrinthine plots of Agatha Christie and Frederick Forsyth. Years later Glen would earn a theatre degree (as well as a computer science degree more obviously suited to a corporate job), and would meet his wife while both were performing in a Christie play, so time well spent.

It was moving away from his hometown that made Glen want to write about it. The combined real estate collapse and economic boom forced a massive amount of change on Seattle, and the divides between classes and generations became much wider. As his family settled near Los Angeles, Glen shifted his creative energies from stage acting to writing. He returned to the Northwest frequently to examine that transformed wilderness with new eyes, and to consider what sort of crime might thrive.

Glen’s novels have won the Anthony, Macavity, and Strand Magazine Critics Awards, as well as nominated for the Edgar, Barry, and Nero Awards. The latest in his Van Shaw series, Mercy River, was released in March 2019 to starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. Glen is the current President of the Southern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and publicly acknowledges his addiction to Columbo.


Interviewed 15 June 2019

Ten words to sum up your working life to date ...

Tremendous luck cleverly disguised as dogged perseverance. And vice versa.

Nine things you can see from where you're sitting ...

* Thunderclouds, an unusual sight here in Burbank.
* A stainless-steel French press, a gift from my wife, brimming with coffee.
* An Atlas Obscura calendar open to an illustration of Oymyakon, the coldest inhabited place in the world. * Silly Putty.
* A list of musicians and bands I’ve been meaning to sample, like Ex Hex and Gin Wigmore.
* Green bananas.
* A giant poster of Margaret Bourke-White’s famed aerial photograph of a DC-4 flying over Manhattan in 1939.
* Post-its in the shape of a dead body with a pen spearing the chest.
* And a tinfoil and plastic robot festooned with foam rubber stars, made by our daughter when she was five.

Eight minutes to prepare a meal. What's it going to be ?

Egg scramble with chorizo sausage, jack cheese, green onion, and Louisiana Crystal hot sauce. Thick sourdough toast slathered with absurd quantities of butter. Also serves as a last meal for the condemned.

Seven people you'd like to go for a drink with ...

Theodore Roosevelt, Eddie Izzard, Nellie Bly, Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson, Dorothy Parker, Charles de Gaulle.

Six things you can't live without ...

Things, not people…
Cozy socks, library card, punching bag, ginger snaps, large bodies of water close by, Columbo reruns on demand.

Five favourite words ...

Bourbon, paramour, Donnybrook, apeshit, favourite spelled with a ‘u’.

Four places you'd run away to ...

Queenstown, New Zealand. The Rue Cler in Paris. The Roisin Dubh bar in Galway. Princess Louisa Inlet in British Columbia, Canada.

Three books you've bought recently ...

* Sunburn by Laura Lippman
* The Killing Habit by Mark Billingham
* Go to My Grave by Catriona McPherson (a free advance copy but hey, I paid for the cab ride to fetch it)

Two things that make you rant ...

Wilful ignorance, and religious violence (of course that’s cause-and-effect).

One thing you'd tell your teenage self ...

Risk more and don’t stress about what will happen. Stasis plus tension isn’t a good look for you, kid.