Monday, December 14, 2009

I hate vampires! (sort of)

Ok, I admit it. I have never read any of the Twilight books. Or Harry Potter, although I've seen and enjoyed the movies (my wife and 11-year-old make sure of that). I've also never read Lord of the Rings or any Tolkien for that matter.

I know. I know. My bad.

But fantasy just doesn't ring my bell. I harbor no ill will toward those who like a little magic dust sprinkled on their dragons and elves, or who swoon when a pasty-faced young vampire leans in for a little nip before sun up.

No, I like my fiction gritty and straight-forward. Real. Of course, a few monsters and vampires are a good thing, as evidenced by my longstanding love of Stephen King, but I just can't muster any enthusiasm for the current crop of fanstasy titles.

But I'm glad they are there, because I suspect more young people are reading today than perhaps ever before. And that, Dear Readers, is a very, very good thing.

Over the past several months, as I began pursuing my fiction career in earnest, I've joined several online writing groups and I've noticed one thing -- there are a ton of young adult fanstasy writers out there! Dear Lord, they are crawling out of the woodwork. Some of them are writing novels at an age where I was still drinking beer, smoking dope and arguing with my Dad over keeping my room clean.

Good for them!

My own writing tends more toward a darker reality, my prose more masculine than fantastic. Let's just say I use fewer adverbs and adjectives and leave it at that.

If today's young adult fantasy is, say, the literary equivalent of Lady Gaga or Lily Allen, then mine is more Springsteen or Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Closer to the bone, so to speak.

It's been said the market for adult fiction is shrinking, while the market for young adult fantasy is growing. My hope is that once my book is ready for submission, it finds a yearning for more adult literature.

Meanwhile, viva la difference!

How about you, Dear Reader? What books trip your trigger? Let me know and we can compare favorites.


  1. My favorite book of all time is: "Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs," by Hunter S. Thompson. It's great reporting and an exciting book. I first read it in high school and have read it hundreds of times since. I like to re-read books over and over. This book influenced my writing as it showed how sometimes, with non-fiction it can be crucial to jump in and become part of the story. For me that's what makes writing fun: Doing crazy things and meeting unusual people under the guise of writing something.

  2. I used to really get into Thompson back in the day. I think my favorite was "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 72."

    Yeah, I think the Good Doctor was one of the first participant journalists, for better or worse. I was never a big advocate of that, although I know it was popular and I DID use it some during my career. But I'm old-school enough to think journalists should stay objective and just tell the damned story!

    I, too, re-read books over and over. I think I've read Updike's Rabbit books a dozen times each. And each time I read them, I get something new from them.

    Thanks for reading, Marty. Hope all is well. Come back!

  3. Well... dad... seeing as you were my main influence regarding most things in my life (i.e. music, books, movies, et cetera) I think you know what books I like... pretty much the books you like, but not because it isn't my opinion, I just find you have good taste in things.

  4. I love to read anything I can get my hands on including "Twilight" however I am a sucker for a good memior. I really enjoy reading about anybody with a fucked-up childhood.

    Currently I am reading the 9th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series "Dead and Gone" by Charlaine Harris. For a little reality check during this series I enjoyed "Smashed" by Koren Zailckas.

    I hope your lovely wife is reading the books that I sent home with her at the wedding. Speaking of lending books did you ever read "The Life of Reilly" by Rick Reilly? I think I left it with you like 6 years ago.

    I'm really enjoying your blog and can't wait to read more and get my hands on that book of yours.

    -Sam (McBroom) Klauer