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).
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.
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?
AND JUST FOR FUN...!!
"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...?!)
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 ♥