Friday, December 11, 2009

Gregory Funaro

Gregory Funaro has worked professionally as an actor, and is currently an associate professor in the School of Theatre & Dance at East Carolina University, where he teaches, acts and directs.

The Sculptor, his first novel, is out this month.

About a week ago I asked Funaro what he was reading. His reply:
At present, I am trying to catch up on my Peter Straub — picked up lost boy lost girl last week, but have only been able to get about halfway through it in between my own writing and my daughter’s late night feedings/dirty diaper changes (she was born on August 30). I hate having to put this book down. Told from the POV of a writer who is trying to solve a mystery surrounding the suicide of his sister-in-law, it’s part mystery, part serial-killer thriller, part ghost story so far — a real treat, and I look forward to seeing how all the threads will get woven together in the end. Peter Straub is one of the true masters of the genre — always manages to combine the horrific and twisted with the truly inspirational — and I encourage younger readers who may not be familiar with his work (and who appreciate dark fiction with a more intellectual bent) to begin with Ghost Story and just start knocking off the rest of his canon. In the Night Room is next for me, and I look forward to A Dark Matter next year.

Before lost boy lost girl, I finally finished Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (what more can be said about this masterpiece?) after taking a quick (if not obligatory) detour for Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. Say what you want about Brown, but the man knows how to keep you turning the page. I’ve learned a lot from him with regard to pacing and structure.

Another recent foray I recommend (and one I am ashamed to say it took me so long in my life to read) is Anne River Siddons’s 1970s novel The House Next Door — one of the great ghost stories of our time, and a huge (albeit unexpected) influence on my third novel: a 1940s paranormal murder-mystery.
Visit Gregory Funaro's website to learn more about The Sculptor and to view the video trailer for the novel.

--Marshal Zeringue