I'm honored and thrilled to be interviewing Glenn Langohr author of Roll Call, Upon Release From Prison, Race Riot, Lock Up Diaries, Gladiator, Underdog, Prison Riot and Pelican Bay Riot, on I Am Darmie Orem and Authors' Curtilage with Darmie Orem.
“Thank you, Darmie.”
Langohr, 42, has spent 10 1/2. Years - approximately a quarter of his life - in prison, the result of drug - related convictions which has evoked his desire to write and write and write some more about the story of his life after he found God and a calling as a writer.
The salvation found well-built author ran away at 12. By 15, he was selling pot supplied to him by Mexican Smuggler. By 18 he was serving his first hold in jail. When he got out he resumed dealing drugs, this time he became one of the busiest amphetamine dealers in South Orange County and also became addict.
Langohr in all has written eight books. He has been invited to speak before criminal justice classes at colleges.
His most recent book Underdog, a crime thriller true story opened with: Sergeant Torrez crowding the convicts’ cell door with a smirk on his face with six IGI Gooners behind him.
Glenn as the character Bj in the book said, they called the inmate Gang Investigators Gooners because they wore similar uniforms to the regular prison guards and had additional black stitching on their shoulders and chest that resembled tattoos to signify they were in charge of deciphering; who the gangsters were, usually was based on their tattoos...
Using the experiences of one's life and transforming them into fiction can be a great challenge. Langohr, how were you able to pull this off?
“I use the true colors of life and paint on a fictional landscape to protect the innocent and the not so innocent. “
From the opening of Underdog one could see that the story is tight and compelling. Did you have some sort of writing courses during your years behind bars?
“No. That is what we need to do as a society. Help prisoners get instructional writing guides and more learning power. What I did is pray and read the Bible every day. I also read everything else I could get my hands on. God answered my prayers and led me to write. Out of the blue, I got a letter from a Pastor by the name of David Hocking from the church, Hope For Today. From that point on I communicated with him and he sent me information on how to publish books and make movies. That lit a fire of encouragement inside of me and I kept on writing with new vigor.”
Obviously, you consider your life as some big book and ain't ashamed to go on talking about it. Why did you use life as novels?
“I wanted to change the destructive path I was on. When I ran away from a divorced family at the age of 12, I was hurt emotionally and had to find a way to soothe the pain. The streets and the drug world was an exciting distraction at first but always ends with prison, insanity or a coffin. I will use a quote from my novel Roll Call to make the point. "Sow a bad thought and reap an action. Sow an action and reap a habit. Sow a habit and reap a character. Sow a character and reap a destiny." I wanted to open up people's eyes that God can turn any life around, even those that society has cast aside as the worst of the worst. It all starts with changing your thoughts.”
When did you first get down events in your life on the paper? Did you start by keeping a journal or simply started writing it as a book?
“I started writing from a prison cell in solitary confinement with the hope that I could write a novel about the drug war that would turn into a movie or TV series. I woke up at 4 AM and wrote sporadically all day and night. ”
How did you act when it occurred to you that you could turn your life experiences into books? Or was it somebody that opened your eyes that you could do that?
“After a year of writing I saw the light. I knew the content I was writing about was destined to be read and understood. I got excited and started pacing the length of the cell back and forth and it helped me think even deeper.”
What's the central conflict of the novel Underdog?
“In California and other prisons in the U.S, prison tattoos on inmates are being used as evidence to classify prisoners to solitary confinement where they don't get to see the sun ever again. While I was in prison the Criminal Justice system sent way to many people to prison for drug crimes. That filled the prisons up to double their capacities. It made prison a more violent place and a bigger breeding ground for gangs. It was harder and harder to keep the peace and disputes arose over who could use things like tables, work out bars and showers. More and more riots happened. I was involved in a few that I did everything I could to avoid. When I went to the hole, solitary confinement, I saw first hand how the prison was falsely labeling prisoners as bad influencers based on their tattoos. I published Underdog one day after a prisoner died in a hunger strike over the same issues. “
You've been quite creative in transforming your life experiences into books. Any tips for those willing to also put out their life stories?
“Write every day until you are waking up before everyone else. Write before you get distracted! Don't worry about it being perfect or you will never get started. Keep in mind that you have to develop conflict and characters early. Always remember that any script must have a beginning, middle and end. So break it into those pieces and it will come together eventually. Know that you have to rewrite the script many times so the first time don't hold back. You can cut pieces out later. Just do it.”
Is there any word of advice for strayed children doing drugs?
“Don't do it! God is so amazing and He made us in His image. Drugs are poison and pollute the brain and worse, they stain the very soul. You only have one brain, one soul and one body, treat yourself like a Holy temple for God. If you are a child who is lost, ask for help! Go to all the churches and boldly tell them your problems. If nobody is helping you, don't worry. God will! While you are suffering, look at it as an opportunity to help other people who are suffering and you won't be suffering as much!”
Now that you are reborn again into a clean path, what sort of man would you describe yourself?
“I used to have to work out for 4 hours a day to deal with life and feel good. I found a way better way. If you sing worship songs to the Lord you feel the same way and get even better looking at the same time! It's true; singing makes your cheek bones more beautiful. The older and wiser I get, the more I realize I need God to direct my path.”
Are there any life's failures which could make you go back to your old ways?
“There is no way! I'm still hyper sensitive and all the same pains and temptations still exist, but I don't want to lose this connection I have with God. The Bible has proven itself to be the Holy Word of God by how many prophecies have been fulfilled. With that said, I believe the end is near and all this craziness is the last gasp of a fallen world. I want to be about God's Kingdom, not the devils.”
Please provide links to your Website/blog, your social media profiles, and links to purchase your book (s).
“Here are links to all my books in the U.S. in print and kindle”
Besides turning your life story into books, do you have plans of selling them to filmmakers for movie adaptation? I think you should contact FeatureWorld and see what they have to offer you if you've got any plans like that. Or you market all your stories at TVFilmRights
TV film rights is the Film, Television, and Publishing Industry's premiere online source for selling different kinds of scripts. There are always producers scouting movie ideas and screenplays on the site.
“Thanks for the links to sell the stories to the movies!”
Have you read through Glenn T Langohr interview? What do you think of him? Don't you think he's a product of grace everyone should reckon with? Feel free to submit questions for him at his email address and he will reply them promptly.
Once again Glenn, I'm honored and thrilled to have you stop by at my blogs.
“The pleasure is all my. Thank you, Darmie.”