Thursday, October 13, 2011

Alma Katsu

Alma Katsu is the author of The Taker, a gothic tale of desire, obsession and the need within us all for redemption.

The Taker
has been described as "an epic supernatural love story" and compared to The Historian," Interview with the Vampire, and Twilight even though it doesn't have one vampire in it.

A few weeks ago I asked Katsu what she was reading. Her reply:
I’m in the middle of revisions for the second book in The Taker Trilogy, and that means I’m doing little reading for pleasure. But man cannot live by his own writing alone, so I’m sneaking in a couple books in my rare free time:

Property by Valerie Martin. This book, which won the Orange Prize in 2003, is the story of a woman unhappily married to a brutish plantation owner, who has had two children by one of the family’s slaves.

I heard about this book from another writer. I have a ‘thing’ about books with unsympathetic narrators, probably because I am drawn to create these characters myself. I know how hard it is to create characters that are so well developed and real and compelling that you can’t stop following them, and I am intensely curious as to how other writers pull it off. Property’s subject matter is off-putting, but the book is so well written that I couldn’t stop reading, because I was studying how she did it. Indeed, it was like taking an exquisitely woven piece of lace and pulling it apart stitch by stitch to discover how its beauty had been made.

Reamde by Neal Stephenson. I haven’t read much of his work, but enjoyed Quicksilver so much that I thought I would attempt Stephenson’s latest novel, another huge doorstopper of a book. I’ve just started it and so I haven’t much to say. I chose Stephenson in order to analyze his writing as well as to enjoy it. He is wildly imaginative in addition to being highly logical and, reportedly, a prolific writer whose work comes out so ready made that it needs little editing. What writer wouldn’t like to have half his ability?
Visit Alma Katsu's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue