Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Who most influenced your writing, and who most influenced your reading?

I had a close friend in high school who influenced my reading. We both read a lot of sci-fi back then. Isaac Asimov was huge. Some Robert Heinlein. Stranger in a Strange Land – who could forget that?

Then somebody turned me onto Stephen King. He had a new novel out called The Stand. Wow – that book rocked my world. I was in my late teens and a friend of my mothers handed me the book and said it was interesting. I remember thinking – this book is about 800 pages and some woman in her forties thinks it’s interesting. I don’t think so.

But I started reading it because I had nothing else to do one night. No TV, no ipods, no internet. This was the dark ages of the late 70’s. Well, we had TV but not in my room.

I finished the novel in maybe 3 days.

So Stephen King has been very influential to my writing. And Thomas Harris. I think Cheslov is a cross between Randall Flag in The Stand and Hannibal.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

If you could change anything in today's world what would it be and why?

I’d change our political system, the one we have here in the US. It’s terribly broken. Some people say our country is the next Greece. Well, Greece can not possibly fix their financial problems without getting bailed out by another country, notably Germany.

But the US – we could fix all of our deficit problems, go from deficits of 9-10% of GDP to only 2% of GDP (that would put us at the bottom of the list of industrialized countries in that ratio). All by ourselves. The Bowles – Simpson bi-partisan deficit reduction recommendations would do it.

But our political system has devolved to the point where this country is paralyzed.

I think it’s a result of the non-stop scrutiny of 24 hour news channels. People tend to posture non-stop. Meanwhile, nothing gets accomplished.