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Clean Sheets and Dirty Sex

Now that I have your attention (you marvelous perverts–I DIG you!) it’s time for…

 AJ’s SUPER-SERIOUS SUMMER READING LIST

(and holy shit, is this colour ever cremating my optic nerves!!)

As any writer with children knows, summer vacation is upon us, which means a huge drop in wordcount and a rapid increase in the number of times one is forced to utter phrases like: “dont lick the dog there!” and “why are you punting perfectly good Fig Newtons at your brother’s head?” and  “put my foot massager back in my sock drawer!” and “No-no-no-no that isn’t CANDY!!!” (Note to self: find a new home for sex toys and blueberry-flavoured lube)

In an attempt to not become completely berserk by September, I have put together a Sanity Liberation Action Plan, or SLAP. SLAP reads as follows:

Step One: Locate booze–kidding (mostly).

Step Two: Launch first novel, “Touched”, in ebook format July 22nd, 2011. WOOT! *chews nails to the quick*

Step Three: Relocate well-hidden sex toys (Hey, I’m gonna need a time-out, get off my case) 

Step Four: Do not stress about lowered wordcount. Also: do not obsessively check ebook sales of “Touched” every ten minutes for the entire rest of the summer. 

Step Five: Instead, catch up on reading list! Memorize the phrase: “Kid, can it wait until the end of this chapter, or is someone on fire?”

 

As per Step Five of SLAP, I’ve taught my children how to use the fire extinguisher, and put together a reading list to plow through, incuding some works by my new indie friends in Twitter’s fabulous #pubwrite group.

1. “War and Peace“, by that dead Russian dude who’s totally famous–except in my head, where I’m drawing a blank. I tell people I’ve read “War and Peace“. I have not. I intend to report by the end of the summer that I have actually, honestly read this. I highly doubt it will be a statement of truth. TOLSTOY! See? I knew I’d get it. Ok, I lie, I Googled it. You know what makes me happy? Picturing Tolstoy shakin’ it to DMX’s”Party up In Here”. I think Tolstoy woulda got jiggy with it.

2. “Tommyknockers“, by his majesty, the king of horror, Stephen King. Because I’m just really in the mood lately for a (spoiler alert) buried spaceship that drives a whole town homicidally bonkers, y’know? I need a break from zombies, ghouls and killer ass weasels. *considers this* Woah, that’s weird: I’ve never been sick of ghouls before.

3.  The sequel to  “Gabriel’s Redemption ” by Steve Umstead. I know it’s coming … not sure when, but soon. I very much enjoyed Steve’s forray into SciFi, loved the character Evan Gabriel, and will download this sequel the day of launch.

4. “The Mighty T ” by Everett Powers.  It’s sitting on my iPad waiting for me, calling to me … AJ, read me read me. After launching “Touched”, I will finally have time to explore this author. I have a feeling he’s gonna blow me away: that’s why I stole his gun, shhh don’t tell him.

5. “Schlongmaster, an Erotic Fright-Fest and Intergalatic Cookbook” by AJ Aalto. Wait, what? That’s totally not a thing! But gimme a few weeks, because it sure sounds like it should be, am I right?

6. “Death to Dust” by Kenneth V. Iserson, MD. A re-read, a massive lap-cracking tome, and not for the faint of heart, but a necessary brush-up on the science of death and decay. If you wanna know it, it’s in here. Iserson spares no detail.

7. “I, The Creation of a Serial Killer” by Jack Olsen and Keith Hunter Jesperson. This is a second attempt to read this book, the only book that has ever horrified me to the point where I could not continue.  I should point out: I’m not unaccustomed to reading True Crime. I, in fact, love True Crime. I could be content reading about serial killers all night, in my house alone, in the dark (I know, right? Reading in the dark, so fucking talented–I’m like a ninja, if ninjas could see in the dark). In this book, though, there was this part … oh God, I can’t even talk about it. It was one of the worst things I can imagine, and 2 yrs after trying to read it, I ‘m not over it yet. I must plow through it, if not in the name of research then for my pride. I can’t let a human monster get the better of me, nuh-uh, not gonna happen. There should be nothing a human being can do, that I can’t read about. I am a horror writer, I can hack it! (Get it? Hack? NEVERmind)

8. “On Killing” by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, recommended for anyone who ever needs to write about murder, or understand the psychological effects of killing. So far, my characters only kill monsters and otherworldly shit, but the day may come where my main character has to take on a berry-bad human. That might fuck her up a wee bit, so I should know exactly how that might mess with her.

9. “The Pregnant Widow” by Martin Amis. Because I read “The Information” and loved it too much for adequate description, really. The minute I set it aside, I could not wait to pick it up again. It’s been AGES since I loved a book (or an author) this much, and this had been my first exploration of Amis. I will absolutely buy all of his books.

10. “Grave Undertakings” by the very cool R. A. Evans–when he launches it–because I loved his horror novel “Asylum Lake” and will patiently wait for the sequel. I’m hoping it happens before I go to the cottage, because the atmosphere would match completely.

11. “The Book of the New Sun” by Gene Wolfe, all four books. No reason, just thought it sounded like a kickass science fantasy romp.

12. “Drood” by Dan Simmons, one of my all-time favourite authors. The very genius twist on the psi-vampires in “Carrion Comfort” entertained me endlessly, as did his “A Winter Haunting” which was the best ghost story I have ever read. If “Drood” is in keeping with everything else this multi-genre master has to offer, I am in for a treat.

I’d like to give a final shout-out/kick-in-the-pants/cyber-wedgie to one of my very favourite indie authors, Al Boudreau, who would have topped this list with his second novel, if only he’d written it in time! I loved his first, the 5 STAR thriller “In Memory of Greed” so much that I find myself wondering about his characters and what they might do next. He’s been keeping me in the loop, but he needs to hurry the hell up! Until then, I eagerly follow his Cage Matches on his blog, and am participating in Horror In The Cage in August against a very worthy opponent, Mr. Jesse James Freeman (aka @mythcop) Should be a bloodbath; I’m psyched, intimidated, nervous and nauseous, but I’m gonna win. *RAWR!* It helps that I absolutely respect and adore Jesse as a person … he’s the Real Thing, and we’re going to have a blast going head-to-head.

So there it be. Join me on my Super-Serious Summer Reading List (oy–that colour–eyeballs incinerating–nerve damage imminent) if you dare, but please keep in mind: this list is for adults only, and only those adults who have iron stomachs and wills like dreadnaughts.

Oh, and one last thing. For Leo “Big-Baller” Tolstoy …. “All my street street people, meet me outside meet me outside meet me outside!

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2 Responses to Clean Sheets and Dirty Sex

  1. Rik Davnall says:

    Can I volunteer to co-write Schlongmaster with you? XD

    And omg, you’re a Dan Simmons fan? I’m more into his sci-fi than his horror (being, as previously discussed, a wussypants), but I still re-read the entire ‘Hyperion’ series about once every 18 months…

  2. Violeta says:

    You had me at Schlongmaster. 😀

    Yeap, all sound good. I haven’t read War and Peace either and I only say this because we’re being confessional. I’ll probably deny saying this but still, I feel light and carefree. Of course I’ve read all other classics so I’ve nothing more to confess (not!).

    Oh and good luck with Touch. I’ll be stalking your ass for updates. Not that you keep them there… dunno what you keep there. Lol, I’ll shut up now. Just know that I blame you for any silliness your posts have inflicted on me for the rest of the day/night!

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