Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Books

What's Christopher Buehlman reading?

Nightstand

Christopher Buehlman

He's a busy guy. Buehlman, 47, holds a degree in French from Florida State University. His 2014 book, The Lesser Dead, was named best horror novel by the American Library Association. His poem Wanton received the grand prize in the Bridport Prize for Poetry competition in 2007. His play Hot Nights for the War Wives of Ithaka was performed by Jobsite Theater in 2012. And, he's funny. Seriously. Buehlman, a longtime Pinellas County resident who graduated from Northeast High, spends much of the year travelling to Renaissance festivals across the United States as Christophe the Insultor, flinging insults at audience members.

When home in St. Petersburg, Buehlman focuses on writing. This month, he's seeing the release of his fifth book, The Suicide Motor Club, a creepy, otherworldly horror story that takes place on the open road. "Actually, you could forecast my career with the comic book collection I had as a kid,'' he said. "It included Mad, Creepy, Eerie, Secrets of Haunted House and Weird War.''

What's on your nightstand?

The First Law: Book Two, Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie. He's a fantasy writer.

How does it compare to the first?

It's even better. He develops the characters further, and he is very good at building the reader's relationship with characters slowly. I think what he is doing in fantasy is what I'm trying to do in horror. He has rich characters, and he grounds his fantastical situations in reality.

Can you explain that reality?

He gives you sensory details that make the set pieces real and humanize the characters. I also have another book on my nightstand ready to go, too. The Royal Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay: Life in Medieval Africa by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack. I have a history minor, and I love the medieval period in Western Europe, but I have a knowledge gap in much of the rest of the world.

In light of the mass shooting in Orlando, we are all dreading real-life horror. Can you speak on the place of the horror genre?

There's a reason why I write about supernatural horror, and it's because there's plenty of real-life horror in front of us every day. I don't need to add to that by writing about a serial killer or terrorists. My villains are difficult to believe in and thus more fun to dread.

Contact Piper Castillo at [email protected] Follow @Florida_PBJC.

Comments
Review: Eleanor Kriseman’s assured debut, ‘The Blurry Years,’ an affecting coming-of-age story

Review: Eleanor Kriseman’s assured debut, ‘The Blurry Years,’ an affecting coming-of-age story

With the first lines of The Blurry Years, Eleanor Kriseman pulls us right into its young narrator’s world:"We could hear them in the walls before we saw them. My mom said it might be mice. We were eating dinner in bed. We would have eaten dinner in t...
Published: 08/10/18

Book events: Jeff Klinkenberg, Literature and the Environment: Readings by Tampa Bay Authors

Book TalkFormer Tampa Bay Times Real Florida columnist Jeff Klinkenberg (Son of Real Florida: Stories From My Life) will discuss photographer Clyde Butcher and Real Florida at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Dali Museum, One Dali Boulevard, St. Petersburg. Wo...
Published: 08/08/18
Bancroft: Despite his thorny place in culture, Raymond Chandler remains a great love

Bancroft: Despite his thorny place in culture, Raymond Chandler remains a great love

Some writers you enjoy, some writers you admire.A handful of writers you love, and one of my handful is Raymond Chandler.His seven novels, published between 1939 and 1958, were transformational for me when I first read them in the 1970s. They sparked...
Published: 08/03/18
Novelist Seth Greenland reading works by Hazzard, Abbey and more

Novelist Seth Greenland reading works by Hazzard, Abbey and more

Seth GreenlandNovelist Greenland returns to his roots by setting his new book, The Hazards of Good Fortune, in New York City and neighboring Westchester. The protagonist is Jay Gladstone, an heir to a massive real estate fortune, owner of an NBA team...
Published: 08/02/18
Review: Ace Atkins’ ‘The Sinners’ a bloody, and funny, trip to the altar

Review: Ace Atkins’ ‘The Sinners’ a bloody, and funny, trip to the altar

There’s always so much to deal with in the weeks before your wedding. For Quinn Colson, there’s his mother’s threat to sing Elvis karaoke if he doesn’t hire a band, the question of whether his long-gone stuntman daddy will show up at all, his bride-t...
Updated one month ago
In September, Bouchercon will be the place to be for Tampa Bay mystery fans

In September, Bouchercon will be the place to be for Tampa Bay mystery fans

If you’re a mystery fan, the Tampa Bay area will be the perfect place for you in September.On Sept. 6-9, Bouchercon 2018, the premier annual event for readers, authors and all lovers of crime fiction, comes to the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Res...
Updated one month ago
Review: Kent Wascom's 'New Inheritors' a novel of love, power on the gulf coast

Review: Kent Wascom's 'New Inheritors' a novel of love, power on the gulf coast

When a woman looks at the hands of the toddler who will become the main character of The New Inheritors, she sees "written in the lines of his palms a bird’s vision of the rivers and creeks that fanned across the region of his birth, the upper ...
Updated one month ago
After writing ‘Squeezed,’ about the economy, Alissa Quart reads poetry

After writing ‘Squeezed,’ about the economy, Alissa Quart reads poetry

Alissa QuartYou might find brand-new information in Quart’s book, Squeezed; however, you might also find she is providing a simple answer to your question: No, you are not crazy. Even with your college degree and full-time job, it is extremely diffic...
Updated one month ago