He just finished writing his 14th novel and is ready to send it to the publishing company. But, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a 15th book written by Alvin’s Glenn Starkey. He has been busy writing for years, and, he is an award-winning author as well!
“I think I have always been a writer,” he said. He had written two books in private journals about his police and military years. He said the one on police work was in case something happened to him on the job. “I always wanted my son to know me, in case I was killed, he said.”
When his son, Jake, turned 21, Starkey tied a ribbon about the two books and gave them to his son for Christmas.
Family is clearly important to Starkey, whose wife of 46 years, Donna, served as municipal judge in Alvin for 26 years, some as justice of the peace. She was recently appointed to be the Brazoria County District Clerk to deal with problems in the jury selection process. Jake, their only child, is an ACC Regent, co-owner of the 1820 Coffee House and 1820 Marketing, and has a real talent for designing book covers, including his dad’s. Jake Starkey is also the father of 15-year-old Caleb. Clearly a proud grandfather, Starkey says, “We discuss my writings and I give one of every book to my grandson.”
Now serving a second term as the City Council representative for District D in his retirement, he said, “The beauty of retirement is that I can schedule time to write, and time to do my reading for Council.”
When he looks at the book industry, he says it has gone through major changes over the years. “There are only about five big (publishing) ‘houses’, which control everything.
“I used to go through a lengthy process of how things must be manually submitted and approved. Now, everything is performed and submitted electronically. Technology has changed the industry.”
All of Starkey’s books are sold on Amazon and other major book sellers. He has autographed copies at a lower price at 1820 Cofee House, where his son keeps them stocked.
Although most of his books are written with adults in mind, Starkey did write one, “Mr. Charon,” for young adult readers.
He just finished “McKenna”, set in Brazoria County in 2018. The murder mystery is based on human trafficking and a father trying to find his daughter.
“With every novel I write, I want people to learn something,” said Starkey. “I want to give my readers stories they will long think about.”
His novels have won Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals along with other awards since he began writing.
Before becoming an author, Starkey served in the U.S. Marine Corps for six years. He worked in Communications, spent a year in Vietnam, and was assigned to the U.S. State Department where he worked in Personal Protection Details.
When he returned home, he went into law enforcement for seven years, first with the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Department, then with the Alvin Police Department.
Later, he worked in the oil fields, a refinery in Texas City, and 30 years later, retired as a security manager for British Petroleum. “After the events of ‘9-11’ my job became solely focused on terrorism—improving security measures and dealing with volumes of government regulations,” recalls Starkey. “Those were stressful years, and I was glad to retire.”
Now, writing novels takes time and discipline, yet he still has goals.
“I am trying to enjoy my life. I am enjoying my family, doing things I want to do because all of my life, I did what was required of me.”
In order to gather ideas for his books, Starkey says he is always watching people’s mannerisms, habits and times when they just don’t realize what they are doing.
“With each book, I am learning and improving, and it is important for writers to read other people’s work,” he said.
‘If I get an idea, I write it as I would like to read it. I write with passion and emotion. I engage people’s senses: touch, smell and sound; that is my style,” he said. “It is what they know and feel, what it brings out in you and brings you into. That’s what readers relate to.”
He might say he is retired, but Starkey leads a disciplined life-mostly. “If I get the urge, I write all day and am up to 2 in the morning. It’s my peaceful time.”
He admits that his mind is frequently on the story he is either writing or just finished. “Off and on, I think about a book; I drive along thinking of something that would best work in a book. Writing has helped me make some good friends, get rid of my problems, and carry on through life.”
Starkey also wrote a non-fiction work, “Through the Storm: The John G. Slover Diary,” for the Alvin Museum Society and donated all proceeds to the Museum. The book is based upon the Civil War diary of John Slover, the Alvin resident that built the Slover cottage here in town.
All of Starkey’s books are sold across the United States, but also in Australia, England, New Zealand, Germany, and Mexico. They are all in English, and not translated into other languages.
The best way Starkey finds to get the word out to readers about his books is through word of mouth. “People read and enjoy my books, tell their friends, then they pass them on to others,” he said.
There are still more novels in his mind, waiting to be written, one at a time.
Teasers and awards for some of Glenn Starkey’s books…
“The Daggerman”: a finalist in the 2020 TopShelf Book Awards for Religious Historical Fiction. Two men born under the same star on the same night are destined to lead intertwined, yet separate paths – one to save people, the other to kill them.
“Into the Cauldron”, which was his latest work, is the life of Trooper Jonah Gustafson, based upon true events written in the pages of a Civil War diary by a Wisconsin cavalryman that served on the frontier.
“Solomon’s Men” won a Silver Medal in 2012.
“Amazon Moon” won a Bronze Medal in 2014.
“Black Sun” won a Gold Medal in 2016.
“The Councilman” which won a Bronze Medal in the Mystery/Thriller Category at the 2019 Joint Awards Ceremony of the Military Writers Society of America and the Southwest Writers Conference.