Today we’re thrilled to invite author Glen Aaron, author of The Prison Trilogy, to the blog for a Q&A about his writing and upcoming works:
1. Tell us about you…
I am a retired lawyer and international business and banking consultant. In the twilight of my forty year practice, I came to represent an heiress of The Wall Street Journal, who later decided to marry another client of mine, a gay interior decorator. The name of the heiress was Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan and her new husband was Ronnie Lee Morgan. Jackie was seventy-two years old. Ron was fifty. I had previously placed Ron in bankruptcy in that he owed about $1.5 million and couldn’t pay it. Jackie wanted to give Ron ample money outside of the bankruptcy. So I set up a blind trust and over the course of a half dozen years. Jackie poured $40 million worth of cash and assets into the trust. When she mysteriously died, the Bancroft’s sued me and every member of my legal staff. Ultimately, the result was a two – year prison sentence for me in federal prison. The reason was quite technical. The Prison Trilogy starts with this book, The Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan story, a tale of people, greed, envy, manipulation – – even crime.
2. What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I actually look forward to getting out of bed each morning about 5 o’clock to start writing either on a book that I’m working on or my column for the local newspaper that reviews the works of West Texas authors. I am stimulated by the desire to write and to read the creative works of others.
3. If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I would like to hang out for a day with Barney Frank and ask questions about events that he has written in his new book, Frank. My reason for wanting to do so is to gain some understanding of how a person finds the strength to continue fighting in favor of unpopular causes, one after another.
4. What’s the story behind your latest book?
Well, I have already mentioned how the book begins, but to understand Jackie one must understand the history of the ownership of The Wall Street Journal. Her husband, Hugh Bancroft, Jr., who was owner of the Journal, along with a sibling, died after only five years of marriage to Jackie, leaving her at their New Mexico ranch with three small children, and also one of the wealthiest women in America, which she really didn’t realize for the first five years. In part, the book is her story, but it is also the story of Ron Morgan and a tale of greed and manipulation and what it can lead to.
5. Tell us your writing process.
As I said, I began writing at 5 o’clock in the morning and right until noon. By this time, either the body or the muse has left me and I go on to other things. I do this six days of the week. In nonfiction, as in The Prison Trilogy, I look at all of my research, cross index it, and then began to develop an outline of chapters. In fiction, I do not outline and I allow myself to go with the flow of the plot, keeping in mind basic writing principles of fiction. Of course, this creates a lot of rewrites.
6. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I graduated from Baylor University with an undergraduate degree of English literature and a dual degree out of the business school in macro-economics. Even though I had business knowledge, much of which was handed down to me by my father, I was a bit of a romantic and loved literature. I thought that I would like to write. However, after graduation from law school at the University of Texas and entering law practice in business, there was no time for forty years to write anything but legalese. As I entered federal prison and ended up with Col. George Trofimoff as my cellmate, I saw this as an opportunity to write. That story became the second book in The Prison Trilogy, which is about Col. George Trofimoff and raises the question, Was he a spy or not?
7. Tell us about your main character.
As you’ve seen from what I’ve said about the Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Story, I write the story as I viewed them through my eyes as an Observer. Interestingly, for someone who had the magnitude of wealth that Jackie had, she lived rather modestly but did immodest things, such as building what she called her “little Pearl,” the $23 million theater for the performing arts, nestled in the mountains of Ruidoso, New Mexico. She paid cash. Ronnie Lee Morgan, on the other hand, personifies just about every character defect you can think of. Of course, I represented both of them. Lawyers don’t generally sit in judgment of their clients. If they did, they would have no clients. However, this book takes liberty from that principle by simply telling the story.
8. What are you working on next?
I am currently working on what I believe will be called The Race To Destroy Life On Earth. The question is, which will win the race to destruction: nuclear proliferation ————– eco-– destruction?
9. Do you have any specials/extraordinary talents?
I don’t think so. I can’t paint. I can’t play a musical instrument. I can speak publicly and write.
10. Who are your favorite authors? In fiction, I have always been intrigued by the ability of John Grisham. In nonfiction, I look for those extraordinary authors who do credible research and take it to the level of telling an interesting story.
11. What do you like to do with your free time? Sit with my wife in the evening, have a glass of wine, interesting conversation, and pet my dogs.
12. Tell us your plans for upcoming books.
Well, as I mentioned I’m doing research on nuclear proliferation and eco-– destruction. Surprisingly, I have for years done research on biblical tenants of the New Testament. I have always thought it would be interesting if you took the English common law principle of proof, “proof by a preponderance of evidence” and applied it to the writing and teachings of the New Testament. I don’t know whether I will ever finish that one or not.
13. Where can people find you on the web?
14. Any final thoughts?
Yes, I want to thank you very much for having me and giving me and giving The Prison Trilogy and its first book this opportunity. The entire Trilogy has just been released and the titles are, as follows:
Observer: The Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story, a tale of people, greed, envy, manipulation — even crime.
Observer: The Colonel George Trofimoff Story, the tale of America’s highest-ranking military officer convicted of spying.
Observer: The Prison People; The Prison Experience.
About the author
Glen writes both fiction and nonfiction from his forty-year career and experience as a trial lawyer and consultant in international business and banking.
His nonfiction work as the observer in The Prison Trilogy tells the tales in chronological order of how he came to be a lawyer for a Wall Street Journal heiress and her gay husband and how that representation landed him in federal prison. That is the first in The Trilogy. The second book tells the story of his cell mate, Colonel George Trofimoff, serving life for spying for the KGB, and the final book of The Trilogy describes the prisoners, Glen’s experiences and takes a hard look at the American criminal justice system.