J.B. Stevens πŸ”–answers thirteen questions in Booker's Dozen. 

 Reading Aloud And Allowed


TPQ: What are you currently reading?

JBS: I’m usually reading a few things. right now, I’m reading On Becoming A Novelist by John Gardner, which is outstanding. I’m also in the middle of The Confessor by Daniel Silva and I’m re-reading The Complete Stories Of Flannery O’Connor.

I read a lot of writing craft books and good crime fiction which, when reading for my taste, overlaps with Southern Gothic (and O’Connor is the best).

I read the occasional thriller. Lately, I’ve been working through Daniel Silva’s back catalog - I love his style. He is arguably the best there is right now. Some thriller writers go so over the top it can feel like parody. Silva is able to keep the story moving and exciting, while grounded in reality. It is an impressive skill. If I ever try to write a thriller, Silva will be my guide
 
TPQ: Best and worst books you have ever read?

JBS: Best? Craft, fiction, non-fiction? There are too many! With that said. I loved The Lord Of Discipline by Pat Conroy. It literally set the course for my life. Creating Short Fiction by Damon Knight is what got me started writing, before that book I wasn’t sure I could do it. Dale Carnegie’s books helped me so much I feel the need to mention them.

The worst book I’ve read? I haven’t read it yet. I remember a quote, I think it was from Joyce Carol Oates. To paraphrase—“People do not need help not reading books.”

TPQ: Book most cherished as a child?

JBS: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Due to this story, when I was nine I saved all my birthday money and went to the local hardware store and bought an all-steel Eastman hatchet with a leather grip. I played survivalist in the backyard for an entire year as a result.

TPQ: Favourite Childhood author?

JBS: There are a lot I love, but Gary Paulsen is the man.

TPQ: First book to really own you.

JBS: Dirt Bike Runaway by Matt Christopher. I became obsessed with riding dirt bikes at about 9 because of that book, and I still ride them. I’m actually hassling my wife for permission to buy another one today. (Erica, if you are reading this, the GasGas EC250 is a great investment for our family.)


TPQ: Favourite male and female author?

JBS: Male, Pat Conroy. Female, Flannery O’Connor.

TPQ: A preference for fact or fiction?

JBS: Fiction, all the way. The best fiction is really just fact that hasn’t happened exactly that way. If you read Thom Jones, it’s all factual, even the stuff that he made up.

TPQ: Biography, autobiography or memoir that most impressed you.

JBS: I don’t read much of these, but I liked Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins.

TPQ: Any author or book you point blank refuse to read?

JBS: No.

TPQ: A book to share with somebody so that they would more fully understand you.

JBS: The Black Echo by Michael Connelly and End As Man by Calder Willingham. If you read those two books, and the short story Break On Through by Thom Jones, you’ll get me, mostly.



TPQ: Last book you gave as a present?

JBS: The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton.

TPQ: Book you would most like to see turned into a movie?

JBS: The Devil Himself by Peter Farris. If you haven’t checked this out, you should. He is far less well-known than he deserves. This dude can tell a story and keep pages turning better than just about anyone working right now. Also, his books are the correct length/style/breadth for a movie.

I really dislike when a 120-minute movie is made from a 500-page book. If the movie version has to leave out all the subplots and character development, it isn’t doing the book justice. So many great books are adapted into mediocre movies because tons of the story is left out. (The rise of prestige TV has alleviated much of this problem.)

TPQ: The just must - select one book you simply have to read before you close the final page on life.
 
JBS: This is a tough one. I have to read, so something I haven’t read yet? Or something I claim a random dying person must read?

Myself? In Search of Lost Time in the original French, but I need to learn French . . So I don’t know how likely this one is, but a man can dream.

To all the dying members of humanity? Dirt Bike Runaway by Matt Christopher, trust me, it’s worth your time.

πŸ“• J.B. Stevens is a former U.S. Army Infantry turned writer and contributing editor to Mystery Tribune. His latest book, A Therapeutic Death: Violent Short Stories, is out now.

Booker's Dozen πŸ“š J.B Stevens

J.B. Stevens πŸ”–answers thirteen questions in Booker's Dozen. 

 Reading Aloud And Allowed


TPQ: What are you currently reading?

JBS: I’m usually reading a few things. right now, I’m reading On Becoming A Novelist by John Gardner, which is outstanding. I’m also in the middle of The Confessor by Daniel Silva and I’m re-reading The Complete Stories Of Flannery O’Connor.

I read a lot of writing craft books and good crime fiction which, when reading for my taste, overlaps with Southern Gothic (and O’Connor is the best).

I read the occasional thriller. Lately, I’ve been working through Daniel Silva’s back catalog - I love his style. He is arguably the best there is right now. Some thriller writers go so over the top it can feel like parody. Silva is able to keep the story moving and exciting, while grounded in reality. It is an impressive skill. If I ever try to write a thriller, Silva will be my guide
 
TPQ: Best and worst books you have ever read?

JBS: Best? Craft, fiction, non-fiction? There are too many! With that said. I loved The Lord Of Discipline by Pat Conroy. It literally set the course for my life. Creating Short Fiction by Damon Knight is what got me started writing, before that book I wasn’t sure I could do it. Dale Carnegie’s books helped me so much I feel the need to mention them.

The worst book I’ve read? I haven’t read it yet. I remember a quote, I think it was from Joyce Carol Oates. To paraphrase—“People do not need help not reading books.”

TPQ: Book most cherished as a child?

JBS: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Due to this story, when I was nine I saved all my birthday money and went to the local hardware store and bought an all-steel Eastman hatchet with a leather grip. I played survivalist in the backyard for an entire year as a result.

TPQ: Favourite Childhood author?

JBS: There are a lot I love, but Gary Paulsen is the man.

TPQ: First book to really own you.

JBS: Dirt Bike Runaway by Matt Christopher. I became obsessed with riding dirt bikes at about 9 because of that book, and I still ride them. I’m actually hassling my wife for permission to buy another one today. (Erica, if you are reading this, the GasGas EC250 is a great investment for our family.)


TPQ: Favourite male and female author?

JBS: Male, Pat Conroy. Female, Flannery O’Connor.

TPQ: A preference for fact or fiction?

JBS: Fiction, all the way. The best fiction is really just fact that hasn’t happened exactly that way. If you read Thom Jones, it’s all factual, even the stuff that he made up.

TPQ: Biography, autobiography or memoir that most impressed you.

JBS: I don’t read much of these, but I liked Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins.

TPQ: Any author or book you point blank refuse to read?

JBS: No.

TPQ: A book to share with somebody so that they would more fully understand you.

JBS: The Black Echo by Michael Connelly and End As Man by Calder Willingham. If you read those two books, and the short story Break On Through by Thom Jones, you’ll get me, mostly.



TPQ: Last book you gave as a present?

JBS: The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton.

TPQ: Book you would most like to see turned into a movie?

JBS: The Devil Himself by Peter Farris. If you haven’t checked this out, you should. He is far less well-known than he deserves. This dude can tell a story and keep pages turning better than just about anyone working right now. Also, his books are the correct length/style/breadth for a movie.

I really dislike when a 120-minute movie is made from a 500-page book. If the movie version has to leave out all the subplots and character development, it isn’t doing the book justice. So many great books are adapted into mediocre movies because tons of the story is left out. (The rise of prestige TV has alleviated much of this problem.)

TPQ: The just must - select one book you simply have to read before you close the final page on life.
 
JBS: This is a tough one. I have to read, so something I haven’t read yet? Or something I claim a random dying person must read?

Myself? In Search of Lost Time in the original French, but I need to learn French . . So I don’t know how likely this one is, but a man can dream.

To all the dying members of humanity? Dirt Bike Runaway by Matt Christopher, trust me, it’s worth your time.

πŸ“• J.B. Stevens is a former U.S. Army Infantry turned writer and contributing editor to Mystery Tribune. His latest book, A Therapeutic Death: Violent Short Stories, is out now.

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