Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tom Leveen

Tom Leveen is the author of Sick, Party, Zero, and manicpixiedreamgirl. Zero was named to YALSA’s list of Best Fiction for Young Adults.

His latest novel is Random.

Earlier this month I asked Leveen about what he was reading. His reply:
Am I the only one who has multiple books going at once? Currently sitting on my kitchen table (where I do most of my reading) is Secret Windows, by Stephen King, which is an out-of-print book-of-the-month exclusive collection of King fiction, nonfiction, and interviews. Much of it comes from King’s Danse Macabre, which I recently finished after taking copious notes on other horror books to read and movies to watch. While both Danse and Windows are dated, the information in both is excellent for horror writers, or fans of the genre. I think that’s particularly true for young aspiring horror or urban fantasy writers—it’s important to know who came before, what they did, and why it mattered. King didn’t invent the horror genre, after all, and reading about his influences (and why they should be influential) is a critical part of writing in horror.

Next up is Zen and the Kingdom of Heaven, by Tom Chetwynd. I have been fascinated by meditation of all kinds since I was very young, and while I don’t sit zazen or meditate regularly, I do use it from time to time and find it beneficial. I also have decades-old guided mediation tapes I use once in awhile when I need to calm down, relax, or otherwise check out for an hour or so. Chetwynd is a Catholic, and draws comparisons between Zen meditation and Christian contemplatives and prayer. I am currently enjoying the read, but at halfway through, it hasn’t really yet touched on the exact places where Christianity and Buddhism intersect. It’s been an interesting autobiography, though, of one man’s journey into Zen without compromising his personal faith.

Next is A Canticle for Leibowitz, which my science fiction professor brings up all the time. I haven’t finished it, and while it’s not bad at all, I’m not sure what makes it a must-read in the genre. But that is why I’m reading it; like I said about Windows and Danse, you have to read those who came before. So this one is really more an academic read for me.

Lastly, I’m reading Encyclopedia Brown Keeps the Peace, #6 in the series. I’ve solved most of the mysteries. Most.

Books I’ve finished recently and can recommend: The Monster Show by David J. Skal; Monsters in America by W. Scott Poole; and Goosebumps: Ghost Beach, by R.L. Stine. Because sometimes you just gotta read Goosebumps.
Learn more about the book and author at Tom Leveen's website.

My Book, The Movie: Zero.

My Book, The Movie: Sick.

The Page 69 Test: Sick.

--Marshal Zeringue