Tag Archives: Robert Heinlein

I love Edgar Allan Poe

Whenever I am asked, as all authors are, who the writers were who influenced me, Edgar Allan Poe is always the first to come to mind.

I was an odd child, and in the year between seventh and eighth grade, I spent all summer wearing my swimming suit and living in my bed, reading. I read the collected works of Poe, of course, and everything from Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan, Pelucidar and more), Ian Fleming, Rod Serling, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury… I read voraciously. The only time I got out of bed was to load the books in the basket of my bicycle and head to the library for another load. This immersion in literature was the most valuable use of time (though my mother never understood) for a fledgling writer.

I’ve since read most of those authors many times, none more than Mr. Poe: the author, the poet, the enigma, the influence. I glean new appreciation every time I read something of his.

Several years ago I was invited to contribute to an anthology entitled Poe’s Lighthouse, a collection of stories about the most mysterious story of all: an unfinished one by Poe. Chris Conlon did a nice job of putting the anthology together, and I was delighted to contribute. Now that story is available as a $.99 stand-alone short story for the Kindle.



I hope all Poe fans enjoy it. As always now and forever: if you read something you like, post a review.

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Filed under Short Stories, Writing

Ahhh. A summer’s dream

I read an entire book the other day. I read “Sister Noon” by Karen Joy Fowler. It was an incredible book, unputdownable, if you know what I mean.  I’ve been a big fan of Karen’s since I first read “Sarah Canary,” and that book still resonates. Karen is a master wordsmith.

But to take the time to read an entire book in a day is to hearken back to that summer between seventh and eighth grades. I alluded to that odd summer a few days ago, when talking about the biking summer between sixth and seventh grades. The summer between seventh and eighth was when I fell in love with reading. Fiction caught me in its trap and I have been ecstatic about being its prisoner ever since.

That summer I spent entirely in my swimming suit (don’t ask me why). I would wake up in the morning, and with both parents gone to work, I would get up, brush my teeth and then go back to bed and read. I slept with a pile of library books, and when I finished each one in the stack, I put them in the basket of my trusty bike and went back to the library for another pile.

That summer I devoured everything I could find by H.G. Wells, everything by Edgar Rice Burroughs including all the Tarzan Books, the Pellucidar series, and some of the Mars books, everything I could find by Heinlein, Serling, and Ian Fleming, and then became magically transported to the dark side of Edgar Allan Poe.

It was an incredible summer. I read every possible waking moment. With no one to nag me about taking out the garbage or “go outside, it’s a beautiful day,” I had the luxury of feeding my soul.

Perhaps that summer has taken on some mythical aspects in my memory. Perhaps it wasn’t precisely as I remember it, but that’s okay. What I do know is that I read all those books in those short months, and that I have never been the same since.

Would that every child had such an opportunity.

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Filed under Reading, Summer