The publishing world has plenty of aspects that aren't so enjoyable (sitting in front of a computer or a printed manuscript hasn't done my posture or BMI any favors). Chatting with new authors, however, is a colorful highlight. I feel like it's important to get to know who an author is and what makes him/her tic before I can really help with their work. One of the first questions I ask newly signed authors is what they like to read. I mean, what a person reads tells a lot about them. Each book on the shelf is a chapter of their biography. Those books resonated for them. They show their likes. Dislikes. They show an author's experiences. And they show whose voices speak to them most.
I had a chance to catch up with Maine author Howard Hachey. Howard was the second author to sign on with Fluky Fiction. So, it has been a little while since I asked that revealing question. Howard was gracious enough to give a more formal response to our first installment of "let's get to know the author."
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (Philip K. Dick)
Hands down the most bizarre book I've ever read. An incredibly weird and fun read for anyone who loves mind bending science fiction. Dick was a master of his craft.
Ham on Rye (Charles Bukowski)
Bukowski, more commonly known for his prose and poems, also wrote several great novels based on his life. Combining gritty realism with poetic insight, Ham on Rye is nothing less than riveting from first to last page. In my opinion, Bukowski is the only poet worth reading.
Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
Beautiful. A surprisingly short book full of so much rich language and symbolism. The first time I read it I thought to myself, "Well, shit... I'll never be that good."
Nightmares and Dreamscapes (Stephen King)
King is a phenomenal author, arguably one of the best, but he rarely gets credit for being a master of the short story. Something that most authors know is a special skill in itself. This book is only one of many short story books that King has compiled over his long career, but definitely one of his best. It was very hard for me to choose just one. He literally has a pile of gems to choose from, novels and short stories alike. When I was pressed to pick, it came down to this one and The Night Shift.
In the end, I went with this whopper of a collection because it features some of my personal favorites such as: "The Night Flier," "Suffer the Little Children," "The Ten O' Clock People," and "The Moving Finger."
Necronomicon (H.P. Lovecraft)
If I ever had anything close to a spiritual beacon when it comes to writing, it would be Lovecraft's work. His Victorian elegance and grandiose visions of cosmic horror are some of the most original and thought provoking stories to ever be put to page. A century later his stories continue to inspire not only me, but I'm sure countless authors everywhere. The Necronomicon is my literary bible.
The first book of Howard's debut horror series, The Doll Man Duology: Ionic Relapse, will be released this summer. The second book has a pending release date of late 2018. He is also working on a stand-alone novel that explores the inner workings of psychosocial rehabilitation. More details to come!