Sunday, February 18, 2007

"What is Mario Acevedo reading?"

Mario Acevedo is the author of The Nymphos of Rocky Flats and the forthcoming X-Rated Bloodsuckers.

I asked him what he has been reading. His reply:
Last year I attended BoucherCon, one of the big mystery conferences for both authors and fans. A constant and loud screech from the writers was, “Read? I barely have time to write!”

So with time at a premium, you would think I'd plow into heavy, brainy reading material. You know, Nobel Prize winners. Or dig into the scholarly opinions of The Economist.

Instead, I get my dose of current events from Mad Magazine. Not only is the sarcasm more honest than any of the double-speak we get from our government, it’s intentionally funny and less tragic. My favorite article from this issue: The Iraq War chess set. Among the rules: for every insurgent we kill, three take his place. (Do the math.) The pawns: Their side, suicide bomber jihadists. Our side, National Guardsmen.

I am reading books. As a fantasy writer, I wasn’t familiar with Jim Butcher’s work (shame on me) and figured it to be heavy into gothic horror. Was I wrong. (Butcher, what a name for a writer of vampires and other supernatural monsters.) His Dresden Files series is urban fantasy told with a wry smirk. What makes the stories so enjoyable is Butcher knows how to craft a phrase. As in Blood Rites when Butcher introduces the villain: “Lord Raith’s smile made me think of sharks and skulls.” Wow. Them’s good words.

To make me look smart, I do read literary NYT stuff. I recently finished Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. He gives us a family more dysfunctional and weird than anything in Butcher’s fantasy novels (Yet again, life trumps art. None of his characters was as loopy as a murderous, love struck Navy captain astronaut wearing diapers.) Burroughs’ mastery of prose kept me hooked with gems like this description of Dr. Finch’s mistress:

“Geraldine was the female equivalent of a diesel Mercedes sedan. She was, it seemed to me then, well over six feet tall. She was broad-shouldered and broad-faced. When she lumbered into the room, the word mistress did not come to mind.”
Read the results of the Page 69 Test for Mario's The Nymphos of Rocky Flats.

His new book, X-Rated Bloodsuckers, comes out in March.

Visit his official website.

--Marshal Zeringue