Confessions of my Past, Present and Future
I hate to admit it, but I wasn't much of a reader of fiction before high school. Many authors claim to have written their first novel by the age of ten, and that they started reading while they still wore diapers. My lack of an early reading foundation has always bothered me, but I realize now that real life shaped me more than the books read during my childhood. I read during my formative years, just not novels. Every Sunday morning from the age of about eight or nine, I would read two newspapers pretty much cover to cover. We didn't have a lot of books around my house, but we did have a set of encyclopaedias. I would often sit down and read volumes straight through as if they were any other book. It wasn't until my freshman year of high school that I started to seriously read novels.
The book that transformed me into a book lover is Stephen King's Thinner. Many people would call it one of his minor works, but not me. It sparked my interest in reading, which soon created a desire in me to write my own stories. After Thinner, I went on to read many of King's other early novels, and as I worked through his backlist, I became obsessed with escaping into the realms of books.
I would read books on the sly during class, to the detriment of my grades. I would read during study hall. I read before and after school. I quickly branched out to straight up fantasy with David Eddings and Tad Williams. I explored Clive Barker's short stories, followed by his incredible early novels, Weaveworld and The Damnation Game. Other favorites from that time that still endure to this day are Dan Simmons, Harlan Ellison, Kurt Vonnegut, Jack London, Ray Bradbury, and Robert McCammon.
I often wonder where I would be today if I hadn't cracked the spine on King's Thinner. Would I have discovered a love of reading? Would I have ever tried to write my first poem? My first short story? I certainly wouldn't be the person I am today.
The last couple of years I've tried to take the old adage "read widely" to heart. I feel that if a writer restricts their reading to their particular genre, they won't develop to the best of their innate ability. I still read my fair share of horror, including many recent favorites: Lee Thompson, Brian Hodge, Richard Thomas, and Kealan Patrick Burke. But I've also tried to expand my reading base into the thriller category: David Morrell, Ken Follett, Greg Iles, Kevin Wignall, and many others.
I also have an affinity for nonfiction books delving into far ranging topics, such as: the technological singularity, anthropology and ancient history, environmentalism, and (don't tease me) veganism and health and wellness. I'm hoping these topics might inform either the themes I want to write about in the future, or might lend to character building along the way.
The year 2045. Hmm… I'll be… old. Like seventy-one years old. I'm currently in good health and work to stay fit, so hopefully I'll still be upright and knocking away at my keyboard. Or will it be some kind of neural transfer via subdermal implant by then? Instantaneous publication via retinal uplink? Who knows!
I'm currently looking at a bookshelf that sits across from my writing desk. Two whole shelves contain research books I'm chipping away at. They will help inform my writing when I eventually tackle my dream project, a book titled Facets of Perception. It will involve three historical figures and how their lives intersected, but it will also have a time travel aspect. I feel like I'm not quite ready to tackle the project. All I know is that I better be ready by 2045.
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Glen Krisch's novels include The Nightmare Within, Where Darkness Dwells, Nothing Lasting, and Arkadium Rising (Brother's Keeper Book One). His short fiction has appeared in publications across three continents for the last decade.
Besides writing and reading, he enjoys spending time with his wife, romance author Sarah Krisch, his three boys, simple living, and ultra-running.
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