Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Charlie Lovett

Charlie Lovett is a writer, teacher, and playwright, whose plays for children have been seen in more than 3,000 productions. He is a former antiquarian bookseller and an avid book collector. He and his wife, Janice, split their time between Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Kingham, Oxfordshire, in England.

Lovett's new novel is The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession.

Late last month I asked the author about what he was reading. Lovett's reply:
It may sound a dreadful bore, but at the moment I am reading my novel The Bookman’s Tale. I’ve not read the full text for several months and I live in dread of being asked a question while on book tour and having to answer, “I don’t remember that bit.” However, I have several other books on my shelf either in process or recently finished.

I loved Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Shop, which I originally picked up because the author, Robin Sloan, kindly contributed a blurb for my novel. The combination of a secret society involved with ancient books and the cutting edge of modern technology made the book fascinating to me on many levels—after all I collect old books but I love my technological gadgets. On a slightly unrelated note, I loved the first time I set this book on my bedside table and turned out the light—the jacket glows in the dark, a brilliant touch that somehow evoked both the old and the new.

Melanie Benjamin’s The Aviator’s Wife made for my most recent travel reading. There seemed something appropriate about reading the story of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh while traveling by airplane. I had had lunch with Melanie recently and had the pleasure of showing her around my Lewis Carroll collection (since she had written Alice, I Have Been, a novel about Lewis Carroll and Alice). It’s always fun to read a book by a friend, especially one so easy to get lost in. I love the way Melanie combines history and fiction—something I do myself in The Bookman’s Tale.

Top of my “to be read” list is Call Me Zelda, the new historical novel by Erika Robuck. The last time I saw Erika it was still a couple of months until her book came out and we were both in that “pre-publication” state of mind—excited, hopeful, and already starting to plan what we would say at author events.
Visit Charlie Lovett's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Bookman's Tale.

--Marshal Zeringue