I'd feel better about having some writers on my Kindle if they'd have me in their dens and offer me a carrot juice or Cafe Rebuccino. In fact, I'd settle for a post that lets me greet the spirit of the author of the book. And today I'll try to offer you the sort of things I'd like to know before I decide: Will I spend my time and money?
Who are my favorite authors?
I'll have to divide that one into three parts, since I delve freely into Classical, Pop and Literary.
a) Classical: the ancient Romans, foremost: especially Ovid and Horace, for their mastery of style and structure. Also: Tacitus, for his incredible fusion of gravitas and dry wit, eloquence and terseness. And Homer, of course, from the Greek camp: I've read most of the major translations. Russians: Pushkin and Gogol. Brits: Byron, G. B. Shaw, Oscar Wilde. Yanks: Mark Twain, Walt Whitman.
b) Pop: emphasis on mysteries and thrillers. Lawrence Sanders is, far and away, my favorite: in equal parts, a showman, stylist and commercial master. I also like: Stieg Larsson, James Lee Burke, Stephen King, Micheal Connelly, Sue Grafton, Sarah Paretsky, Lee Child, Brad Strickland, Michael Prescott, Claude Bouchard, Russell Blake, Diane Rapp.
c) Literary: I love the poetry of W.H. Auden and Leonard Cohen. Gore Vidal's essays. Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale. Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five.
What sort of films do I like?
I disappoint a lot of people with my preference for 'low-brow' films. Can't help it: I love action--and it shows in my work. That said, I don't go to just any old B-movie, though I do prefer Quentin T to Stanley Kubrick and Hitchcock to Terrence Malick.
Some favorite films: Kill Bill 1 and 2, The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs, Alien, The Exorcist, The French Connection, Chicago, Jackie Chan's Project X, Tootsie, Any Given Sunday, Scarface, The President's Analyst, Something Wild, Sleepless in Seattle, On Her Majesty's Secret Service...
What sort of music turns me on?
My taste is limited. I acquire a stable of favorites, then listen to them endlessly. Born that way, as Gaga says.
Likes: Rod Stewart, especially the Great American Songbook CDs. The post-Beach Boys Brian Wilson. Imogen Heap. Rolling Stones. Eminem. George Gershwin. Josh Groban. I'm always open, but nothing else is calling now.
Are there any movies or music that have a bad affect on me?
I'm allergic to the Beatles, though I salute their genius. I may leave the room when I hear them. Worse, if I even see a poster of Kubrick's 2001, I begin to weep and babble, crawling off on all fours. Kubrick never met a great idea he didn't like--to butcher.
I'm such a mild and temperate soul. Do I have any, well, pet peeves?
People who talk with their mouths full or spray the table with chewed goo. Petty, mean-spirited people with no sense of the grandeur of my own personal woes. Hot babes who won't go out with me because I'm not famous enough for them yet. Bullies. Braggarts. Studmuffins with mustaches badder than mine.
Are there any ruling passions it saddens me not to be able to share?
Ah! The world would be a better place if everyone shared my passion for Prison Break, in toto, not just the first two seasons. And I wish more people shared my passion for the towering acting ability of William Fichtner, who played Agent Alex Mahone in PB. One of the best, and most under-rated, American actors today. And, frankly, I'm always a little bit hurt when a close friend refuses to share my belief that black cherry's the best ice cream flavor on earth.
Do I have any last words on the issue?
Of course I do, I'm Reb MacRath. It's a fine thing to have character. But it's far more difficult to do so while being one--and, preferably, a blend so rich it spins our blinkin' heads: outrageous, witty, quirky, lovable, feisty, sexy, sometimes wise.