We haven’t done one of these viral social blogging posts in a while. Which seems a little odd to me. After all, there’s plenty of questions I know people are just dying to ask me. Questions like “What’s a day in the life of the world’s sexiest man like?” or “What deities do I have to thank for the fact that you’re in my life?” or “How exactly are you supposed to pronounce Aether, anyway?” Given that I’m still one of the internet’s biggest enigmas, I felt I owed it to the world to respond when our good friend Mishka Jenkins hooked us into the Bookshelf Tag that’s been going around the internet. Basically, got ten questions here, all about me and books. And because I basically carved out this corner of the internet for me to do nothing but talk about myself, I’m going to answer these questions. With words. And self-indulgence. Because really, isn’t that what the internet’s all about?
Here we go!
1. Is there a book that you really want to read but haven’t because you know that it’ll make you cry?
Not really. If a book can make me feel, that’s a beautiful thing. Even if that feeling is sad. If a story can break me out of my bitter, mortal shell, and actually feel for the characters to the point that I weep for them, that’s that almost always something worth experiencing. There’ve been times that I put off sad stories until I was in the mood for them, because I knew they’d make me feel that way, but nothing I avoided outright. Also, I’m a rock-hard stone-cold hunk of manly manliness who never ever cries. That part helps too.
2. Pick one book that helped introduce you to a new genre.
‘Stolen Bloodline’ by Mishka Jenkins. I very rarely dip into the romance genre, but I’ve actually been enjoying the works Mishka’s been putting out since she decided to start making a living as an author. It’s not just because she and I are close, I’ve honestly been enjoying her works on their own merit. She mixes up a lot of the fantasy and adventure and conflicts and other stuff I do usually like with some well-written love stories, and it’s made me a lot more open to the romance genre than I was previously
3. Find a book that you want to re-read.
‘The Burning City’, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. I read it a lot as a kid, and really liked how well-realized and unique the world was, but looking into it more recently I’ve been seeing that there’s a lot of transparent and blatant allegory and imagery that was lost on me in my younger days. Haven’t read it in years, but I’d love to give it another go to see what my older, better-educated mind might be able to pick up now.
4. Is there a book series you’ve read but wish that you hadn’t?
Nope. Even bad media has some sort of value. There’s been stories that have wasted my time, but none that I’m actively worse off for going through.
5. If your house was burning down and all of your family and pets were safe, which book would you go back inside to save?
Well, I’d probably try to save my video games first, but if it had to be a book… well, it’d probably be my collection of the original Elfquest publications. Those are available for free online now, but the copies I’ve got were part of the first run, back when you had to get a subscription from a small time independent publisher to get your hands on them. They used to belong to one of my relatives, before being passed down to me, so it’s more sentimental than anything else. The fact that the story’s really, really good helps the decision.
6. Is there one book on your bookshelf that brings back fond memories?
Any of my Star Wars books. I used to be crazy into Star Wars as a kid. ‘Wraith Squadron’ is probably the one I carry the most memories for, to the point that I actually got a bit depressed when its author passed away earlier this year, despite being as jaded as I am.
7. Find a book that has inspired you the most.
Hmm… that’s a tough one. Terry Goodkind’s early books in the Sword of Truth series, I’d guess. I don’t particularly like his work nowadays, but those were one of the biggest influences that got me into writing in the first place.
8. Do you have any autographed books?
My copy of the Ocean at the End of the Lane is autographed by Neil Gaiman.
9. Find the book that you have owned the longest.
A copy of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ I’ve had since we put on the play in 6th grade. I played Oberon. Unfortunately, my parents were in the habit of selling everything as soon as they thought I was done with it, so I don’t have anything older. I lost a lot of my childhood, that way.
10. Is there a book by an author that you never imagined you would read or enjoy?
I’m not actually a fan of most classic or older literature. I find the writing style and plot development to be a bit less nuanced when written before the era where people were studying and educating themselves on these things. So, I was very surprised when I found myself getting drawn into Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novels in such a major way. The plots are generally just as poorly developed compared to most of its modern counterparts as everything else of the era, but the stories are still really well-written otherwise, and I find myself drawn into them quite easily.