Why? Modern master of suspense. Sympathetic view of small town people. Steven King has written over 65 novels and has been adapted for the big screen 83 times. He is one of the most important novelists in the last half of the 20th century and into the 2000s. King is so much more than horror. […]Read more "Authors you should read: Steven King"
Why? Possibly the greatest woman short story writer of all time. Flannery O’Conner was native to the state of Georgia. She died at age 39. She wrote only two novels and 32 short stories. Yet she made an impact as deep as the bed of the Savanah River. Some characterize her style as “Southern Gothic,” […]Read more "Authors you must read: Flannery O’Conner"
Why? The best source for psychological scares. Bloch was a pulp era superstar who wrote in many genres until he settled into horror. His most famous novel is Psycho, which Alfred Hitchcock turned into the celebrated movie. Bloch’s best work, however is in his short stories. His scares come from his understanding of people. The […]Read more "Authors you should read: Robert Bloch"
Why? Rich characterization of real people. Drama built through relationships. We, the people of the 21st century, are lucky. There is so much wonderful literature behind us. You could read ten hours a day for your entire life time and still die with a gigantic pile of books you didn’t have time to get to. […]Read more "Authors to read: John Cheever"
Why? His respect for people, history, and locale. Louis L’amour was born in North Dakota in 1908. His father was a respected Veterinarian to a sparsely populated farm community. Then came a banking collapse and the family traveled south so that the father and sons could find work as ranchers, cattle skinners, lumber mill workers, […]Read more "Authors you should read: Louis L’amour"
Why? You will love his characters because they react believably to high suspense. How do you go from a story about a small town in Texas (The Last Picture Show) to the sprawling epic of Lonesome Dove? Because McMurtry sells his characters. He puts you in their heads on cattle drives or playing pool in […]Read more "Authors you should read: Larry McMurtry"
Why? Optimism, high energy, succinct but compelling character descriptions. Hubbard wrote two dozen novels and hundreds of short stories. The bulk of this output came in just a seven year span in the 1930s. Sometimes it seem that the only place for optimism in fiction is middle grade books (8-12 yrs), romance, and westerns from […]Read more "Authors you should read: L. Ron Hubbard"
Basic plot: The world is taken over by bad guys and the good guys are oppressed. This has been used in about a million movies and novels. Road Warrior, Star Wars, Running Man, 1984, A Clockwork Orange, and on and on. How is it portrayed? What is the author’s intention? Compare two books: Battlefield Earth […]Read more "Intention: part 3, how it shapes story."
The recent Bio-movie, Bohemian Rhapsody, is about redemption. A great artist turns against his friends and wastes his talent. These things could have been the theme of the movie. Instead, the producers intended to make a movie to lift the spirit by highlighting the inspirational ending to Freddie Mercury’s life. I didn’t want the movie […]Read more "Intention of a story, Part 2"
In the last fifteen years, a number of movie franchises have had sadism as their subjects. Hostel, Saw, and others of that ilk. The production values are high. They are well directed and acted. So there is a lot of quality in these movies that lures an audience. But what message do they intend to […]Read more "Intention carries the story"