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EXCEEDINGLY GOOD BOOKS...



Today's guest is best-selling, award-winning Josh Lanyon, who is very graciously joining me on almost his first day back into the (online) saddle this New Year! How cruel a taskmistress (but how grateful) am I, eh?!

He's sharing his Christmas reading with us, after a break that was certainly well deserved, following a flurry of publishing activity at the end of 2009: a great new fantasy adventure, e-novellas, sequels, anthologies, a charming Christmas-inspired e-book, and - OF COURSE, did you think I'd forgotten, fergodssake? - the last instalment of the fabulous Adrien English series, The Dark Tide.



Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, Adrien English returns in The Dark Tide, his fifth and final adventure, and this time it's all on the line, as the dark secrets of the past reach out, threatening everything he holds dear. Will the plucky bookseller be able to rise above the tsunami of the past that's heading his way or will he be swept away? What about the corpse that's been discovered in his building? And what about his on-again, off-again relationship with a certain hunky ex-cop? And what's the deal with all these exes that keep popping up? And then there's that corpse that's been discovered in his building... Buy it HERE!.

(and I offer only half-hearted excuses for all my pic-spamming here, because not only does he write exceedingly good books (sic), he does have some extremely tasty covers...LOL).


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That creaking sound you hear is me prying my eyelids open.

Not that I slept through the Christmas holiday -- but not far from it. These last two weeks have been the first “real” vacation I’ve had in…almost two years. I mean a vacation where I didn’t have to be anywhere at anytime -- and had no deadline waiting for me at the end of it. It took me nearly one full week to remember how to relax. I spent that week plotting out next this year’s projects (still working on that) and doing all the stuff one does to get ready for a holiday…when one has waited till the last possible minute.

But Week Two? Heaven. I’ve done nothing but eat, sleep, read, and watch movies. I ended up watching more movies than reading, but I hope to remedy that soon. The new plan is a more realistic work schedule. The kind of thing that allows for weekends and holidays -- and friends and family. I’m looking forward to it.

Eventually.

Because I’m not quite ready to throw myself back into it yet. Yes, I need to get moving if I want to eat next month, and ideas are percolating, but…

I don’t feel it yet. I don’t feel the lights turning on, the synapses firing up in that creative surge. It’s not there yet. Soon.

In the meantime I’m reading a lot of non-fiction. I prefer it to fiction at the moment. It’s very difficult for me to read fiction and just enjoy the ride. Too many manuscript evaluations this year, I guess. It’s hard to shut off the blue pencil in my brain.

So what have I read?



The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession by Allison Hoover Bartlett. Fascinating true crime account of an obsessed book thief and the “bibliodick” who finally brought him to justice. I think Bartlett does a good job of reducing the rarified world of book collecting to its basics. Granted, it’s a topic that holds endless appeal for me, and yes, I am planning on writing about a “book dick” one of these days.

The Golden Age of Gay Fiction edited by Drewey Wayne Gunn. Yes, I contributed an essay on Joseph Hansen’s early work under the nom de plume James Colton, but I hadn’t had the chance to read through the other pieces. Of particular interest to me were Gunn’s articles on gay mystery and gay military fiction, Rob Latham’s essay on science fiction, and Neil DeWitte’s offering on gay westerns. The artwork (pulp book covers) alone is worth the price of admission. Remember book covers before the dawn of clip art?

We Boys Together: Teenagers in Love Before Girl-Craziness by Jeffery P. Dennis. Very well-written and well-researched exploration of modern concepts of masculinity and male friendship in pop culture. Dennis manages to achieve that difficult blend of scholarship and readability.

Cornell Woolrich from Pulp Noir to Film Noir by Thomas C. Renzi. I don’t think you can beat Woolrich for inventiveness and nerve-shattering, screaming tension and suspense. An amazing author, though I find the man himself a tragic and depressing figure. (One reason why it’s always a good idea to separate the art from the artist.) Basically this is an exploration of Woolrich’s considerable influence on film noir. I’m working my way slowly through the analysis of twenty-two novels and over thirty films.

Bachelors, Manhood, and the Novel, 1850-1925 by Katherine V. Snyder. Still reading, but I find this a disappointment given the narrow body of fiction Snyder examined and her slightly stiff, dissertation-y prose. How interesting it would have been to work in genre fiction to support her thesis. Doyle’s Watson, for example. Still, it’s a terrific topic and it definitely holds my interest.

So what books did the holidays bring your way? What are you reading in the New Year?

~~Josh Lanyon~~


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AND JUST FOR FUN...!!

Today's Quote:
"Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man." Benjamin Franklin

Today's Daft Google Searches for 'Clare London':
"An Unlikely Pairing, an Undeniable Success" (does that refer to Adrien and Jake, or to me and my Muse...?!)




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Follow this month with Clare (look at the goodies so far...):

Jan 01 : The New Year is ushered in with the release of the Immortal Fire anthology IN PRINT.
Jan 02 : author Chrissy Munder wonders whether following current affairs in our writing is a delightful touch or just dates us some time down the road.
Jan 03 : author Madeleine Urban describes how her characters hijacked her brain...although she was a willing victim!
Jan 04 : author Theda Black describes how her writing across various genres has been influenced by everything from a bionic penis to the power of Pan.

Want to grab a day to pimp, pose or pontificate? Email me at clarelondon11 @ hotmail.com and I'll happily find you a space ♥

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Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
jenre
Jan. 5th, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)
Well I started my Christmas holiday by reading this book that I'm sure no-one will have heard of. It was set in LA and had a hero who ran a mystery bookshop. Anyway it was the last of a series so I doubt anyone would be interested in it cos you'd have to read all the previous books to understand happened in this one ;).

As for the New Year, I actually have a number of paper books in my tbr pile that I really want to get onto reading. Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale is one of them and another is Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Klugar which I've heard lots of things about. Unfortunatley ebooks often taken priority over the paper books and they end up staying in the pile. I'm determined to dig them out and read them in the next few weeks.

clarelondon
Jan. 5th, 2010 01:55 pm (UTC)
Actually, I've gone the other way - I'm catching up on the paperbacks for a change! I've read The Talented Mr Ripley (Patricia Highsmith), Fathoms Five (Geoffrey Knight - such fun!), Mr Benson (John Preston), The Price of Temptation (MJ Pearson), the Pat Barker Regeneration trilogy (again, because it's coming up #1 in my top 10 at Elisa's, if I ever get that written...LOL), Looking For It (Michael Thomas Ford), A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine l'Engle) that I rescued from my loft, and Tanya Huff's Smoke & Shadows. Though I never read the previous books about her vampire hero Henry Fitzroy, so I may read my way *back* in series rather than forward to the sequel! I've liked all of these. I confess I rarely finish something unless I like it, so I don't have any 'poor' opinions to give.

And coming up I've got Dr Fell's volumes 1&2 (Syd McGinley), Same Old Grind (Judy Roe, about a stripper's life), Almost Like Being in Love (Steve Kluger), Strachey's Folly (Richard Stevenson) and some EM Forster short stories that I remember from years ago and want to re-read.

I daren't even look at the ebook list LOL. But tis Christmas I re-read Camp Hell (Jordan Castillo Price) and read Faith & Fidelity (Tere Michaels). And on my Itching-to-be-Read pile is that #5 book you so coyly mention above, plus KZ Snow's last Utopia-X book, and your AM Riley recommendations. I've bought them all, just haven't got around to reading.

Oh for longer days and deeper duvets :).
(no subject) - jessewave - Jan. 5th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jgraeme2007 - Jan. 6th, 2010 05:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - merith - Jan. 5th, 2010 11:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kz_snow - Jan. 5th, 2010 11:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - merith - Jan. 5th, 2010 11:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clarelondon - Jan. 6th, 2010 07:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - merith - Jan. 6th, 2010 01:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jgraeme2007 - Jan. 6th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clarelondon - Jan. 6th, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jgraeme2007 - Jan. 6th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
jgraeme2007
Jan. 6th, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
It was set in LA and had a hero who ran a mystery bookshop. Anyway it was the last of a series so I doubt anyone would be interested in it cos you'd have to read all the previous books to understand happened in this one ;).

I wonder what the hell THAT could have been?!

I thought Almost Like Being in Love was enjoyable. I loved Wicked Gentlemen -- I suspect you will too, Jen.

It's nice to switch back to print now and again.
kz_snow
Jan. 5th, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
Ever read The Beautiful Cigar Girl by Daniel Stashower? Its subtitle serves as a blurb: "Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder." I was engrossed by this examination of an 1841 New York murder, the life and mind of EAP (whoa), and the birth of detective fiction via Poe's Auguste Dupin stories. The author does a fine, lively job of weaving these elements together.

I'm currently reading Steve Kluger's Almost Like Being in Love, a dangerous book. Not only did it keep me up until 2 a.m. last night, I nearly suffocated trying to keep from laughing and waking up everybody else in the house. (My efforts didn't work for the dog, though; he sat beside the recliner and kept staring at me.)

Your list intrigued me.
jessewave
Jan. 5th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
KZ
Almost Like Being In Love was No. 1 on my list of Top Books on the site for 2009. I've been pimping it to everyone who will listen. After you finish ALBIL you have to read Last Days of Summer by the same author - a totally different story about a young baseball fan and his hero, slugger Charlie Banks.
(no subject) - kz_snow - Jan. 5th, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
merith
Jan. 5th, 2010 11:09 pm (UTC)
i read almost like being in love a couple of years ago (march of 08, I believe) and absolutely loved it! i enjoyed it so much, i bought extra copies and shipped them off to a few good friends to enjoy the story as well. ... it's been awhile; long enough that maybe i'll just have to read the story again. ;)
jgraeme2007
Jan. 6th, 2010 05:06 pm (UTC)
Ever read The Beautiful Cigar Girl by Daniel Stashower? Its subtitle serves as a blurb: "Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder." I was engrossed by this examination of an 1841 New York murder, the life and mind of EAP (whoa), and the birth of detective fiction via Poe's Auguste Dupin stories. The author does a fine, lively job of weaving these elements together.


I've met Stashower a couple of times. A very pleasant guy -- and very funny. He's got a knack for writing topics I find engrossing. I haven't read TBCG, though.
(no subject) - kz_snow - Jan. 6th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
cdn_tam
Jan. 5th, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
I thought ...
you had lots of dicks in your books. Ba da boom. Yeah, I know, don't quit my day job.

I was suffering Toy Poodle Flu over the holiday so read a ton of shorts. I did get a particular series which shall remain nameless despite the plethora of photos of it in this post ;-) but I haven't started yet. I'll get there. I'm finding it harder to focus on paper books as I read more e-books these days. Not sure why that is. I just remembere I have the Geoffrey Knight book to read too. Sigh. And a bunch of yaoi.

I only seem to like non-fiction if it's got a scientific bent, like Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation. I highly recommend it, very funny and informative.

Glad you had a great vacation Josh.
jgraeme2007
Jan. 6th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
Re: I thought ...
you had lots of dicks in your books. Ba da boom.

Ouch.

Yeah, I know, don't quit my day job.

I wasn't going to say it -- though someone had to. *g*

Glad you had a great vacation Josh.

It was a much needed break. Gave me enough time to figure out exactly what I want for this coming year -- as opposed to simply rushing from deadline and promotion gig to the next deadline and promo gig.
dontkickmycane
Jan. 5th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC)
I went the fiction route, myself, and read Mercedes Lackey's Griffon series, quite good, If I do say so. I also read The God Box, by Alex Sanchez, and it was surprisingly good. I really didn't think I'd like it much, but turns out, I kinda did, and it made me think, to boot.

I also read a few e-books, and a Yaoi light novel, Caged Slave. (Just imagine your favorite Yaoi manga written in prose. Simple story, simple characters, lots of sex and guarenteed HEA. Sometimes, you just need that, you know?)
jgraeme2007
Jan. 6th, 2010 04:50 pm (UTC)
(Just imagine your favorite Yaoi manga written in prose. Simple story, simple characters, lots of sex and guarenteed HEA. Sometimes, you just need that, you know?)


Absolutely! Actually, that's what successful branding is all about --consistently meeting reader expectations. I'm philosophically committed to happy endings. *g*
dontkickmycane
Jan. 6th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
Since they don't happen in life (I'm currently finding out, much to my dismay) in fiction, it's coming to mean a great deal to me to make sure my characters are at least very hopeful that their furture will be bright and happy.
(no subject) - jgraeme2007 - Jan. 6th, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
merith
Jan. 5th, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC)
As many stories as you've given us this past year, I'd say you deserve the break.

[pause]

Okay, break's over! :)

Really, though, I've appreciated every new piece you've come out with and eagerly await for the next story. Dark Tide exceeded my expectations and left me with such a warm happiness. I will greatly miss Adrien and Jake, but know they are now so much happier than they've ever been. However, I don't think anyone would object to having the occasional glimpse into their lives every now and then. If only to see if Adrien is still getting himself inadvertently involved in murder, and Jake is always there to rescue him or help embroil him further.

A story about a book dick sounds like it's just up your alley. I love how you incorporate the hobbies you love into your stories; all things noir, books, and mysteries. Oh, and men, of course.



jgraeme2007
Jan. 6th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)
Okay, break's over! :)

That's sort of what it felt like.

Really, though, I've appreciated every new piece you've come out with and eagerly await for the next story.

Thank you. I'm very grateful so many readers seem to share your abberation. *g*

Dark Tide exceeded my expectations and left me with such a warm happiness. I will greatly miss Adrien and Jake, but know they are now so much happier than they've ever been. However, I don't think anyone would object to having the occasional glimpse into their lives every now and then. If only to see if Adrien is still getting himself inadvertently involved in murder, and Jake is always there to rescue him or help embroil him further.

Somewhere down the line I'm sure they'll pop in to say hi. I'd miss them too much to never write them again.

A story about a book dick sounds like it's just up your alley. I love how you incorporate the hobbies you love into your stories; all things noir, books, and mysteries. Oh, and men, of course.

My favorite literary triumverate: men, books, mysteries. Yes, I'll definitely be writing about book dicks and book collecting, etc. although I'm committing to very little for next year. Probably about a third of what I did last year.
kz_snow
Jan. 6th, 2010 07:40 pm (UTC)
"Probably about a third of what I did last year."

In all honesty, I was beginning to think you weren't an author but a consortium! ;-)
(no subject) - jgraeme2007 - Jan. 6th, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kz_snow - Jan. 6th, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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