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.
Glen: I am a retired attorney who specialized in high-end jury trials and served as an international business and banking consultant. I grew up and practiced law in Midland, Texas, which because of being an oil center does business in nations around the world. I think the desert Southwest is beautiful and I enjoy living here.
Michael: Where and when did your writing journey begin?
Glen: My journey began as I was acquiring an English degree at Baylor University. I was bit by the writing bug, then. However, after law school, there was a 40 year hiatus in which I only wrote legalese. At the end of that career, I entered federal prison, when I pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud and money laundering on behalf of a client. There, I was assigned Col. George Trofimoff as my cellmate. He was serving life for a conviction of spying for the KGB. As a result, he is the highest-ranking American military officer ever convicted of spying. He asked me to read a copy of the transcript of his trial, which I did. Once I read every aspect of that jury trial in Tampa federal court, I realized it was a travesty of justice and the story must be told. I began writing again.
Michael: Wow, I’m really interested in finding out more about your encounter with Col. George Trofimoff, but let’s get back to that when we discuss your book. I want to learn more about how you developed as a writer. Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing?
Glen: Because of my interest in criminal and social justice, I quite enjoy John Grisham. Grisham has the ability to take a complicated legal or social injustice and weave it into a fascinating story. However, Grisham writes fiction, while I write nonfiction. But now that The Prison Trilogy is published, I look forward to attempting Grisham – like fiction.
Michael: I’m looking forward to that. Now that your trilogy is complete, what does a typical day in your life look like? And how does your writing routine fit into your day?
Glen: When I’m writing, I generally begin at 5 AM and write to about 11 AM. I am fortunate in that I am retired, so I can contribute all my efforts to writing. I have a writing room in the back of our house in which my two Rottweilers lay around and keep me company while I am going through the writing process. However, now that The Prison Trilogy is out, my efforts are mainly consumed with marketing. I find, for me, my brain simply doesn’t work well doing both writing and marketing at the same time. I seem to have to do one or the other.
Michael: Alright, so we touched briefly about your book earlier, I want to get the whole story now. When did you decide that you were going to write this book series, to capture moments of your life?
Glen: As I returned home from prison, I knew that the story of Col. George Trofimoff had to be told. Living with him in a cell not much larger than your bathroom for 13 months, I had taken copious notes and he had given me the entire transcript of his jury trial that resulted in his conviction. I began working on that book, and it was tedious work, because I wanted to show the reader rather than tell the reader the transgressions of that trial. During that process, I decided I would write the story of what brought me to prison and the wealthy Wall Street Journal heiress and her husband that I represented. That was easier for me to write because I had lived it, so that book came out first. George’s book ended up taking me 10 years to complete, but it has now come out as one of the books in the trilogy.
Michael: As someone who was once an officer of the court and also someone who experience the legal system from the inside, what are some of the problems that you see with our current legal system?
Glen: There is a common source between both civil law and criminal law, which relates to the imbalances in the court system, state and federal. Legislators and congressman make the laws. They are influenced by stimuli such as special interest groups, heavy lobbying, and their own individual ideology, all of which cloud the search for truth. Many years ago those who wanted to have a leg up in the legal system realized that the power was in procedural law, which controls what the courts can and cannot do as well as the lawyers. But if one side has the laws of procedure in their favor, they can determine the outcome of a legal issue, they can and will win. No layperson realizes this, so there is no counter to it in favor of fairness when procedural laws are drafted. For example, we all agree that there should be a law against murder, but how you decide the procedure for determining whether a given person is guilty is where the influence for guilt lies. It is procedural. Even a jury does not realize what is going on. The same exists in civil procedure, whether it is a personal injury, a contract violation, or any other type of cause of action.
As to criminal law, a recently released book, Unfair, The New Science Of Criminal Injustice, by Prof. Adam Benforado does an outstanding job of describing what I demonstrated in the Third Part of the Col. George Tofimoff Story.
Michael: Thanks for that insight. Between the three books in your series, which moments define the most memorable moments in your life?
In Observer: the Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story, I think I can set out the following moments:
- when I learned that Ron Morgan was gay.
- when I learned that Ron Morgan was going to marry the Wall Street Journal heiress, Jackie Bancroft Spencer.
- when they bought – off Lubbock, Texas District judge declared the trust I had set up for Ron Morgan void, which then meant that I had violated federal law.
- when the FBI and the federal prosecutor told me that I would not get probation, as inferred, unless I disclosed every client I had ever had that I had managed funds internationally for. I refused, which meant I was going to prison.
In Observer: The Colonel George Trofimoff Story, I think I can set out the following moments:
- when I learned certain facets of George’s life, such as how, as a boy of 14, he walked across Germany to escape the Nazis and how his grandfather, who was a colonel in the White Army in the Bolshevik revolution, was murdered by the Communists, along with his grandmother.
- After a month of studying the trial transcript of the United States versus George Trofimoff and realizing what a horrible travesty of justice, this whole case was and how the story must be told in public media.
In Observer: The Prison People: The Prison Experience, I can set out the following moments:
- as Chief (ad inmate of the Lakota Sioux tribe from the South Dakota reservation) served together on Suicide Watch of the incarcerated mentally ill and as I read his poetry, which was quite moving.
- as I met and came to know inmates, both good and bad, and the mystique to me of how races separated, voluntarily.
Michael: Wow, that’s really quite something! What do you hope for your readers to take away after reading your book series?
Glen: I would hope that readers would take away a new feeling of the humanness and fallibility of mankind. That they would once again see that nothing is perfect and we must not let our guard down as to social are legal injustice are inequality.
Michael: What are your hopes for the trilogy?
Glen: I would hope that each volume in the Trilogy would be widely read. Each has a separate similar message, while at the same time being interesting reading.
Michael: Each book definitely sounds like an interesting and worthwhile read. What do you have in store next for your readers?
Glen: I am currently researching what I call “the race to annihilation.” Nuclear proliferation has a good chance of wiping out humankind by some trigger-happy country. Ecological devastation by the earth’s increasing population will ultimately destroy life as we know it. Which will win the race?
Michael: Wow, sounds like you’re going to have another interesting and tense book coming up. Thank you so much for sharing with us your story.
Please check out book 2 of the Observer series by clicking on the book cover below.
Observer George Trofimoff Story, The Tale of America’s Highest-Ranking Military Officer Convicted of Spying (The Prison Trilogy Book 2)
…to sharing a prison cell with a 70-something Army officer…
• In prison, Aaron was assigned Colonel George Trofimoff as his cellmate. The Colonel turned out to be the highest-ranking U.S. Army officer ever convicted of spying. After initially resisting, Aaron agreed to look at the Colonel’s case with the hope of finding a reason to make an additional appeal. What he found was a complete travesty of justice. For two years, an FBI agent had posed as a D.C. Russian Embassy representative in a sting operation designed to entrap the Colonel into exchanging what turned out to be a made-up story of espionage against America for the promise of a $45,000 payment. The resulting federal trial in Tampa railroaded the Colonel into a life prison sentence. The second book in The Prison Trilogy is that story.