RA for All...The Road Show!

I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: Blackout by Mira Grant

This review is excerpted from this post on RA for All:

My next series roundup review is of a last book in the Newsflesh Zombie Thriller trilogy, Blackout by Mira Grant.  Click here for the reviews of the first two books in the series.

To summarize though, here is what I said about the series at the Public Library Association Conference this past March (contact me for the full handout on "Trends in Horror Series"):
When Mira Grant began her Newsflesh series, people took notice immediately.  The series is best described as David Baldacci meets Dawn of the Dead. It is set in a near future in which the cure for the common cold, mixed with the cure for cancer has caused a small zombie problem. The world is full of zombies and they are not nice. Another speculative feature of this world is that when the dead started rising, the traditional news outlets ignored the story, but not bloggers.  Bloggers saved the day by working together to figure out what was going on and pass on information on how to properly kill a zombie and protect yourself.  In the first novel, our three heroes run a blogger network and uncover a deadly political conspiracy.  By the second, the bloggers are starting to realize the conspiracy’s roots go back to the start of the zombie plague.
As I have said many times about this series, while there are zombies here, it is not HORROR.  The appeal in these books is in the thriller, conspiracy, and the average Joe taking down the corrupt government story lines.  The zombie angle adds frame (and some fun zombie attack scenes).

That being said, Blackout, as the conclusion of this well plotted and entertaining trilogy, did not disappoint.  The conspiracy is revealed in its entirety, old characters from the first book return, and the good guys win (but with some casualties). This is an important point.  The series reveals itself to be true thriller in how it ends--happily ever after for Shaun and Georgia.  As someone who prefers horror, I could have done with a more realistic ending (ie, tragic), but I understood the series was more Baldacci than Maberry, so I was fine with it.

In terms of appeal, this is a fast paced book with 2 alternating points of view, with two separate story lines that converge about halfway through. At times the story is all about explaining the conspiracies or the movements of characters and then just as it begins to slow down, BAM!, zombie attack and everyone is on the run.

The action sequences are very well done, and unfold in a cinematic manner.  There is a fabulous one at the end inside the White House!  If Grant's prose cannot get your heart pumping, than you may need to check if you still have a pulse.

Three Words That Describe This Book: political conspiracies, zombies, fast paced

Readalikes: You can use this link for the readalike authors I suggested when I read the first book, Feed.

I would also suggest the Bourne series by Ludlum and others for those who want more conspiracy, and the Daniel Silva Gabriel Allon series for those who want a well plotted, smart, action packed thriller.

Finally, for darker suspense which crosses over well with horror readers, try John Sandford's Prey Series or anything by Dean Koontz.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Questions for Zombie Writers

Christopher Golden has edited a new anthology of never before published zombie stories by today's top writers (genre and literary).  Called 21st Century Dead,won't shamble into stores on 7/17, but it already has a starred review in Publisher's Weekly.  I just placed the order for our library's copy today.

The crime fiction blog Criminal Element, which has been doing a great job covering horror recently, ran this roundtable discussion about the allure of zombies with many of the contributing authors.

Click here for the full text, and for a chance to win your own copy of 21st Century Dead.

There are a bunch of comments on the post too, with lots of good zombie reading and watching suggestions.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Interview with Damnation Books Author Jason Gehlert

Last Interview.  Thanks again.  I hope people found this interesting and useful.  I sure learned a lot myself.

Don't forget that small publishers are putting out a lot of great horror in print and ebook.  Don't forget to use my publisher's index to find more great small presses offering plenty of terrifying tales.

RA for All: Please introduce yourself.
Gehlert: My name is Jason Gehlert and I've writing horror for over ten years and published for nearly a decade.

RA for All:  What are your first recollections of discovering horror books at the library?
Gehlert: Not wanting to leave the section. I read some vintage king, Bradbury, and Peter Benchley in the library. It was great to embrace the variety of works.

RA for All:  What draws you to writing dark fiction in particular?
Gehlert:  The battle of good and evil. The depth of the characters, and the draw of the unknown and unseen terrors that lurk everywhere.

RA for All:  You also write short stories as well as novels.
Gehlert:  Yes I have two short story collections Ghost Prints and Demon Revolver through Black Bed Sheet Books.

RA for All:  Tell me about your newest book.
Gehlert:  Ferrymen is a supernatural cop thriller set in New Orleans at mysterious estate. Two cops Lincoln and Joe are drawn into a world of spiritual criminals, voodoo and a criminal mastermind with his own agenda against Lincoln. Ferrymen is through Damnation books and Kindle and Nook.

RA for All:  What are you working on now?
Gehlert:  Jeremiah Black. He's an immortal hit man for the devil. He must erase those who have cheated fate including his wife and son. The story takes place in 1897 London and ends in 1996 NYC on Ellis Island, where Jeremiah fights Michael Black his great great great grandson with a secret of his own. Can the NYPD and immortal London Inspector Jackson Granger stop Jeremiah once and for all?

You can see more from Jason Gehlert here or check him out on Facebook here.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Interview with Damnation Books Author Mike Kearby

I have two more authors to highlight this week.  Thanks to Damnation Books and the participating authors for allowing me to interview them.  I hope my readers have learned a little something about how horror writers create their dark delights.

So today it is the penultimate author Mike Kirby.

RA for All: Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed. Can you please introduce yourself?
Kearby:  I am an ex-high school English and reading teacher who began writing in 2004. My first six novels were in the Western genre, but as the Sacramento Review wrote on my work: "His use of historical figures, Indian languages, and the period all go beyond the Western genre and into historical fiction." I mention this because as I venture into the horror / thriller realm, I still use historical facts as the basis for my story line.


RA for All:  What are your first recollections of discovering horror books at the library?
Kearby:  In the sixth grade, during our Friday afternoon in the library, my teacher, Mr. Stevenson introduced me to Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury. I became hooked on both the story and the author. As I progressed through school, I couldn't get my fill of horror stories and horror films. Some of my favorite authors during that time were Blatty, Stoker, Kafka, Lovecraft, King, and later, Ketchum, Laymon, and Keene.


RA for All: What draws you to writing dark fiction in particular?
Kearby:  Dark Fiction has its talons in me is my best answer for why I write horror stories. I also love constructing a vision in the reader’s mind that might cause them to leave a night light on when they retire for the evening.


RA for All: Tell me about the new book, The Devouring~Kavachi’s Rise.
Kearby:  The Devouring-Kavachi’s Rise is based on my premise that vampire are not the undead, but an animal species evolved over millions of years to harvest a specific amino acid chain in human blood. My vampire or vampyre as I called them, once the earth's top predator, are rescued from a Nazi POW camp during WWII and domesticated by the United States government. The domestication is achieved by allowing the vampyre to run government owned mortuaries, where the vampyre have an unlimited supply of blood. That's the set-up. The plot, of course, is much more involved. Each week on my blog:  I post the back story of the novel, as well as translations of the old language used in the novel, and even sample screenplay pages for the book.


RA for All:  What are you currently working on?
Kearby:  I am currently working on The Devouring-Annihilation.
 *******************
You can find the trailer for The Devouring-Kavachi's Rise below or learn more about Kearby at www.mikekearby.com


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Guest Post from Damnation Books Author Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Today, I am, featuring a guest post from paranormal author Kathryn Meyer Griffith.  From her official bio:
Since childhood I’ve always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. I began writing novels at 21, over forty years ago now, and have had fourteen (nine romantic horror, one historical romance, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel and two murder mysteries) previous novels and eight short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press.

What is so interesting about her perspective is that she has been writing and publishing for a long time; long enough that her books are being re-released to a new generation of fans.  In this guest post, Kathryn Meyer Griffith gives the back story to her first novels.

This is not only a great post for any aspiring writers, but also for readers who enjoy learning about how authors create.

At the end of the post, you can find more links to order her books or keep up with what's new for Kathryn Meyer Griffith.

Why I Wrote Evil Stalks the Night
…and also The Heart of the Rose
Buy at Damnation Books (in E-book and print)



Evil Stalks the Night-Revised Author’s Edition is special to me for many reasons. It was my first published novel in 1984 and as it comes out again on June 1, 2012, rereleased from Damnation Books for the first time in nearly thirty years, it’ll bring my over forty year writing career full circle. With its publication all fourteen, and one novella, of my old books will be out again for the first time in decades. Sure, it’s been a grueling, tedious two-and- a-half year job rewriting and editing these new versions but I’m thrilled it’s over. I have my babies reborn and out in the world again…and all in e books for the first time ever. Now, perfectionist that I am, I can finally move forward and write new stories. 


I’ll start at the very beginning because, though Evil Stalks the Night was my first published novel, it wasn’t my first written one. 


That first book was The Heart of the Rose. I began writing it after my only child, James, was born in late 1971. I was staying home with him, no longer going to college, not yet working full time, and was bored out of my skin. I read an historical romance one day I believed was horrible and thought I can do better than that!
 

So I got out my borrowed typewriter with the keys that stuck, my bottles of White-Out, carbon paper for copies, and started clicking away. I’d tentatively called that first book King’s Witch because it was about a 15th century healer who was falsely believed to be a witch but who was loved by Edward the Fourth. At the library, no computers or Internet back then, I did tedious research into that time in English history: the War of the Roses, the poverty, the civil and political strife between the Red (Lancasters) and White Rose (Yorks); the infamous Earl of Warwick and Edward the Fourth.  Edward’s brother Richard the Third.  A real saga. Well, all that was big back then. I was way out of my league, though. Didn’t know what the heck I was doing. I just wrote page after page, emotions high believing I could create a whole book. So na├»ve of me. Reading that old version now (a 1985 Leisure Books paperback) I have to laugh. Ironically, like that historical novel I’d thought in 1971 was so bad, it was pretty awful. That archaic language I’d used–all the rage back in the 80’s–sounds so stilted now. Yikes! Yet people, mainly women, had loved it.


And so my writing career began. Over 40 years ago now. Oh my goodness, where has the time gone? Flown away like some wild bird. It took me 12 years to get that first book published as I got sidetracked with a divorce, raising a son, getting a real job and finding the true love of my life and marrying him. Life, as it always seemed to do and still does, got in the way. The manuscript was tossed into a drawer and forgotten for a time.


Then years later I rediscovered it and decided to rewrite it; try again. I bundled up the revised pile of printed copy pages, tucked it into an empty copy paper box and took it to the Post Office. Plastered it with stamps. I sent it everywhere The Writer’s Market of that year said I could. And waited. Months and months and months. In those days it could take up to a year or more to sell a novel, shipping it here and there to publishers, in between revising and rewriting to please any editor that’d make suggestions or comments on how it could be better. Snail mail took forever, too, and was expensive. But eventually, as you shall see, it sold.

Now to Evil Stalks the Night.

In the meantime, as I waited for the mail, I’d written another book. Kind of a fictionalized look back at my childhood in a large (6 brothers and sisters) poor but loving family in the 1950’s and 60’s. I started sending that one out as well. Then one day an editor suggested that since my writing had such a spooky ambiance to it anyway, why didn’t I just turn the story into a horror novel…like Stephen King was doing? Ordinary people under supernatural circumstances. A book like that would sell easily, she said.  


Hmmm. Well, it was worth a try, so I added something scary in the woods in the main character’s childhood past that she had to return to and face in her adult life, using some of my childhood and my young adult life–my heartbreaking divorce, raising my young son alone, my new love–as hers. It was more of a romantic horror when I’d finished, than a horror novel. I retitled it Evil Stalks the Night and began sending it out. That editor was right, it sold quickly to a mass market paperback publisher called Towers Publishing.


But right in the middle of editing Towers went bankrupt and was bought out by another publisher! What terrible luck, I remember brooding. The book was lost somewhere in the stacks of unedited slush in a company undergoing massive changes as the new publisher took over. I had a contract, didn’t know what to do and didn’t know how to break it. Heaven knows, I couldn’t afford a lawyer. My life with a new husband, my son and my minimum-wage assistant billing job was one step above poverty at times. In those days, too, I was so clueless how to deal with the publishing industry.

That was 1983, but luckily that take-over publisher was Leisure Books, now also known as Dorchester Publishing. A publisher that quickly became huge. Talk about karma.


As often as has happened to me over my writing career, though, fate stepped in and the Tower’s editor, before she left, who’d bought my book told one of Leisure’s editors about it and asked her to give it a read. She believed in it that much.


Out of the blue, in 1984, when I’d completely given up on Evil Stalks the Night, Leisure Books sent me a letter offering to buy it! Then, miracle of miracles, my new editor asked if I had any other ideas or books she could look at. I sent her The Heart of the Rose and, liking it, too, she also bought it in 1985; asking me to sex it up some, so they could release it as an historical bodice-ripper (remember those…the sexy knockoffs of Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodiwiss’s provocative novels?).  It wasn’t a lot of money. A thousand dollar advance each and only 4% royalties on the paperbacks. But in those days the publishers had a huge distribution and thousands and thousands of the paperbacks were printed, sent to bookstores and warehoused. So 4% of all those books over the next couple of years did add up. 


Thus my career began. I slowly, and like-pulling-teeth, sold ten more novels and various short stories over the next 25 years–as I was working full time, raising a family and living my hard-scramble life. Some did well, my Leisure and Zebra paperbacks, and some didn’t. Most of them, over the years, eventually went out of print. 


And twenty-seven years later, when publisher Kim Richards Gilchrist at Damnation Books contracted my 13th and 14th novels, BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons, an apocalyptic end-of-days-novel, and The Woman in Crimson, a vampire book, she asked if I’d like to rerelease (with new covers and rewritten, of course–and all in ebooks for the first time ever) my 7 out-of-print paperbacks, including Evil Stalks the Night–I gave her a resounding yes!
 

Of course, I had to totally rewrite Evil Stalks the Night for the resurrected edition, as well as my other early novels, because I discovered my writing when I was twenty-something had been immature and unpolished; and not having a computer and the Internet had made the original writing so much harder. Also in those days, editors told an author what to change and the writer only saw the manuscript once to final proof it.  There were so many mistakes in those early books. Typos. Grammar. Lost plot and detail threads. In the rewrite I also decided to keep the time frame (1960-1984) the same.  The book’s essence would have lost too much if I’d updated it. 


As I finished the final editing I couldn’t help but reminisce about all the life changes I’ve had since I’d first began writing it so many years ago. Though it was actually published in 1984, I’d started writing it many years before; closer to 1978 or 1979. I’m as old as my Grandmother Fehrt, my mother’s mother and who the grandmother in the story was loosely based on, was back then. While I was first writing it so long ago, I was a young married woman with a small child holding down my first real job and trying to do it all. Now…my Grandmother, mother and father have all passed to the other side. Many other family and friends I’ve left behind, too. I miss them all, especially my mom and dad. It’s strange how revising my old books reminded me of certain times of my life. Some of the memories I hid from and some of them made me laugh or cry. This book, though, is the most autobiographical of all my novels as it contains details of my childhood, my devastating divorce, and what my life was like when I first met my second husband, Russell, who’s turned out to be my true love. We’ve been happily married for thirty-four years and counting. Ah, but how quickly the years have clicked by. Too quickly. I want to reach out, at times, and stop time. I want more. I have so much more life to live and many more stories to write. 


So Evil Stalks the Night-Revised Author’s Edition republished by Damnation Books/Eternal Press will be out again for the first time in nearly thirty years on June 1, 2012, and I hope it’s a better book than it was in 1984. It should be…I’ve had over thirty more years of life and experiences to help make it so.

Written this 1st day of June, 2012 by the author Kathryn Meyer Griffith



***



A writer for over 40 years I’ve had 14 novels, 1 novella and 7 short stories published with Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, the Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press since 1984. And my romantic end-of-the-world horror novel THE LAST VAMPIRE-Revised Author's Edition was a 2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS FINALIST NOMINEE.

My books (all out again from Damnation Books and Eternal Press :  Evil Stalks the Night, The Heart of the Rose, Blood Forge, Vampire Blood, The Last Vampire, Witches, The Nameless One short story, The Calling, Scraps of Paper, All Things Slip Away, Egyptian Heart, Winter's Journey, The Ice Bridge, Don't Look Back, Agnes novella, In This House short story, BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons, The Woman in Crimson, The Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Volume 1 (I did the Introduction) 
You can keep up with me on my Facebook page, my Author’s Den or my My Space

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Interview With Damnation Books Author Matt Shaner

Today it is Matt Shaner's turn.  First an introduction from his personal blog:

My name is Matt Shaner.  I live in Wyomissing, PA with my wife and son who will turn four this summer.  My wife and I met in high school and have spent thirteen wonderful years together. Our son loves everything to do with sports and action.  We attend Glad Tidings Assembly of God church in Wyomissing.
I have eighteen short stories published online and in print including one selected for anthology by Fantastic Horror.  Eternal Press has published my novella Life After Death and novel The Reserve. I’m editing a novel I just finished for publication and trying to get other work out there.  If you read my stuff and enjoy it, please let someone know!
Now on to the interview.
RA for All: What are your recollections of discovering horror books at the library?
Shaner:  One of my earliest experiences was during our RIF (Reading is Fun) days in      elementary school.  There was a great series of scary stories/urban legends called Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark with these almost gothic style drawings.  I snapped them up with the usual selection of Goosebumps books and eventually finding my way into Stephen King and other masters of the dark. Halloween was always my favorite holiday and the libraries would move the scary titles front and center. Dark fiction, written well, is a great escape.

RA for All: You are currently getting your MFA. What draws you to writing dark fiction in particular?
Shaner:  I think we learn the most about ourselves when we look at the dark side of life, emotion, psychology, and reality. There is power in dark fiction.  After reading a recommendation on a website, I picked up Sara Gran’s book Come Closer. It is short, can be finished in one night, and scared the crap out of me.  I put it down thinking, wow, this powerful stuff. Crime novels touch it, satire can make you laugh, romance will avoid it, but the darkness, when done well, can spur a primal emotion. We are addicted to fear. Walk to your car in the parking lot after a night shift and listen to the wind, the footsteps, or what was it? I mean the lot is empty right? Our mind plays fear so naturally that it is a joy to engage in writing.  I love losing myself in a scary story and, hopefully writing one good enough to provide the same impact to a reader.

RA for All:  What draws you most to the short story format?
Shaner:  Short stories are a great venue for quick engagement. Short stories can pack all the elements of a novel into a condensed punch.  I find good short story writers (Flannery O’Connor, Clive Barker, King, Raymond Carver, etc.) to be an inspiration.  Any of my short stories start as a snapshot, a mental moment in time and space. I love the way they flow. I love how a skilled short story writer can engage you and leave you wanting more. I think, in some ways, short stories can be more challenging than a novel to write and become more rewarding when they work in the end. 

RA for All:  Your work incorporated many genres and genre blending is quite a trend these days. What are your thoughts on genre distinctions' place in fiction today? Specifically, what does it mean to you as a writer, a writing teacher, and a reader?
Shaner:  I love the idea that we can now blur some lines and communicate across forms.  Now, there will always be fans of specific styles and I can’t take that away from anyone. There is a reason for our genre specific professional associations and people will always latch to a style they enjoy. As a writer, it offers a freedom not found often in the past. One of my favorite authors, Richard Matheson, is a great example. His writing spans the territory of horror, science fiction, crime, suspense, and fantasy.  Some stories hit all of those points. A good writer can make it work.
As a teacher and reader, it is a challenge to stay open and relevant for students.  Today we are in a quick hit media society. Readers need to be grabbed.  A book can be put down or returned to the library without remorse.  A movie fan will feel bad after dropping thirty on the tickets and snacks, and probably hesitate to walk out. Look at the most popular stories now, they cross lines of love and magic, fear and suspense.  People want to be engaged. They want to feel something and a good writer will provide that.  A good teacher will pick texts and structure lessons around quality stories regardless of genre. A reader will be more open to experiment as books can now be downloaded with a single touch.  We are in a great time for writers and readers.  I look forward to seeing what is coming in the future.

For more information about Matt Shaner check out the links he provided.
  • My novels can be found here and here
  • My most recent short story publication is here:
  • My personal blog including stories and random thoughts is here.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Vote for RA for All


Thanks to some awesome library friends, I am happy to announce that RA for All , my general RA blog, is a finalist for the Salem Press Library Blog Awards in the Independent--Public Category.

Click here to vote for me.  But only if you want to.

Interview with Damnation Books Author Dina Tosto

One of the newest additions to my Publishers Archive is Damnation Books.

Over the next week or two I am going to be highlighting some of their authors.  Today is is Dina Tosto's turn.

Ms Tosto was nice enough to answer a few questions for me.  After the short interview, you can find some links provided by Ms. Tosto.

RA for All:  You seem to incorporate quite a bit of research into your novels, can you tell me about how your library helped you.
Tosto:I used to be a teacher, so we have a lot in common.  I did most of the research for my latest novel at my local library.  In my recent novel, Halo of the Damned<, I used research about the ancient Yezidi religion (spellings vary).  The Yezidis originated from northern Iraq and spread throughout the Kurdish community, eventually making its way into Europe. Yezidis worship angels, especially Malak Tawas (spellings vary).  The peacock symbolizes this angel who many believe to be Satan.  Malak’s story in the Koran matches the same stories in the Bible and Old Testament about a rebellious angel who wages war with a third of all of God’s angels against God and the remainder of angels in Heaven.  Once defeated, God sends all of them to Hell.Yezidis believe God created Malak first, before all other angels, in His image, therefore he is also God.  They also believe the world was first created as a pearl.  Their holy books are Black Book and Book of Revelation.  Their afterlife ideas are vague, but lean towards reincarnation.  I found the religion fascinating and used it as part of the plot.

RA for All: What are your recollections of discovering horror books at the library?
Tosto: I fell in love with the idea of free Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice and Tom Harris!  I Took full advantage and still do.  I love horror, thrillers, and biographies.  Romance has never been my thing, although I reviewed a couple of romance novels and surprisingly liked them.

RA for All: I have an entire chapter in my book about Satanic horror. Why you are drawn to that topic as a writer? 
Tosto:  Halo of the Damned addresses the age-old question of 'what is good and what is evil.'  It's the central theme of the book.  I've always struggled with that concept along with free will and the afterlife.  Although there is a great deal of religion in the story, it's never preachy, only honest.  Andel, the main character, is evil yet human and easy to connect with.  I'm currently writing a sequel.

RA for All:  I love the irony of Wheaton, IL with the Satanic stuff in Halo of the Damned.
Tosto:  Maybe you already know this, but if not, Wheaton is a Chicago suburb that has the most Christian churches per capita in the country-at least it used to.  It used to be dry, alcohol free, and still is lily white and wealthy.     

RA for All: What draws you to writing dark fiction?
Tosto: I'm fascinated with both politics and religion-the two things you're never supposed to talk about! Both give a writer reams to work with in terms of evil.  

For more information:


Thursday, June 7, 2012

HWA Roundtable on Cross Genre Horror

On Monday, the Horror Writers Association started a new project they are calling The Horror Roundtable:
Get yourself a drink and pull up a seat. Put your feet up. Welcome to the Roundtable, a public discussion about all things writing. A monthly virtual horror panel, if you will.
 What a fabulous idea.  To start here is the link to this month's first discussion, described below:
Is Cross-Genre Writing More Popular Now?
Special Guests: Nancy Holder, Norman L. Rubenstein, and Weston Ochse
There was a time when publishers were stumped on how to market works that conformed to more than one genre. Not only did they not know how to market something that was both science fiction and horror fiction (for instance), but with bookstore chains having separate shelves for each, they weren’t sure how to provide shelving guidance. But recent science fiction-horror smash hits such as Justin Cronin’s The Passage and Stephen King’s 11/23/1963 have demonstrated that readers want more genres. Books such as Daryl Gregory’s The Devil’s Alphabet (science fiction and literary fiction) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (historical fiction and horror fiction) have also found critical acclaim. Cross-genre fiction is now what readers want, should we give it to them? What are the challenges of writing cross-genre works and how are those best dealt with?
Click through to follow the discussion and comments.  The discussion is still going on 3 days later.  Add your thoughts to the mix.

I look forward to this becoming a monthly event.

RIP Ray Bradbury

Of course it was inevitable.  The great science fiction writer, Bradbury was in his 90s, so while I was not surprised that he passed away on Tuesday, I was saddened.

Bradbury is a writer I have always admired.  He wrote fantastical but accessible stories.  I felt a kinship with his world view.  And I adored how he loved the public library with all of his heart.

Fahrenheit 451 is one of my all time favorite books.  I have read it at least 10 times, but I refuse to own a copy.  Bradbury wrote the book by feeding dimes in the pay typewriters at the LA Public Library.  As a book all about the importance of books and reading, I feel like I show solidarity with his message by reading public library copies of this book.

Also, back in April, I wrote this "Back List Not to Miss" post about Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Many people have argued that Bradbury is responsible for moving science fiction into the mainstream. He was one of the first genre writers who transcended genre and was simply considered...a writer.  Current authors like Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, and Michael Chabon would not be held up as writers of great literary fiction without Bradbury first paving the way.  They might still be confined to the fringes as "genre writers."

As readers, lovers of great story telling, and, for me at least, librarians, we all owe so much to Bradbury, his vision, his imagination, and his talent. All I want to say is "Thank You."

Already planned before his death, a new collection of stories inspired by Bradbury entitled, Shadow Show, featuring new stories by authors as varied as Margaret Atwood, Joe Hill, and Jacquelyn Mitchard, is coming out in July.  What a fitting tribute to such an amazingly talented man.

Click here for Bradbury's official website.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pinning Horror

One of my summer projects is to get on Pinterest.  My first goal is going to be a transfer of the BPL annotated lists onto Pinterest.

The whole Pinterest thing is new enough that many people are still unsure what it is and how to do it.  Ahh, this is why I love teaching; I have eager students to look into the newest technology for me.  Last semester one of my students wrote her final paper on the site from the Readers' Advisory perspective.  Click here to read the details.

From the RA horror perspective though, Monster Librarian has already gotten their boards up.  Click here to see what they are pinning for the horror reader.