Wednesday, February 01, 2012

OMN Welcomes Mystery Author Spencer Seidel

Omnimystery News: Authors on Tour

Omnimystery News is pleased to welcome crime novelist Spencer Seidel. His newest thriller, Lovesick (PublishingWorks, October 2011 eBook), is a murder mystery set in Portland, Maine.

Today Spencer tells us about a kid and his books.

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Because my fiction can be so dark, I occasionally get asked what kinds of books I read as a kid. I suppose some people think I was raised on a steady diet of old horror movies and King novels. As Frank Zappa famously (and flippantly) said to a senator inquiring about what odd toys his children must have had: "Well, why don't you come up to the house and I'll show 'em to you." That's sort of what I'm going to do here. Hopefully, this short list of my favorites as a kid will bring back some fun reading memories of your own.

Spencer Seidel
Photo provided courtesy of
Spencer Seidel

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. This classic was the first big-boy book I remember reading on my own from start to finish. I was probably five or so, but I don't know for sure. What I do remember is the absolute thrill the experience of reading something like this gave me. The little kid version of a head rush, I guess. I think I read it six times in a row.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. As I recall, I had to give this a start a few times to get through it. The language was tougher in Phantom Tollbooth than in other books I'd read and the concepts far more abstract. Once I caught onto it however, I couldn't let go. To this day, I think about Milo driving his car through that play tollbooth.

"The Great Brain Series" by John D. Fitzgerald Man, did I eat these up. My favorite was The Great Brain at the Academy, but I loved them all. Remember how The Great Brain used to climb up in that hay loft and haul the ladder up after him so he could think? Or the fact that the kids were always fist fighting in those books? These books were gritty. Publishers would have a hard time with that today, I'd wager. Wonderful, true-to-life series depicting real, not-even-close-to-politically-correct kids doing kid stuff.

Anything by Judy Blume. I can't say enough about Judy Blume and the influence her books had on me. I read them all, even the girly ones like Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. And I probably read them all before I was technically old enough, and that's part of the reason I love my mom. Her philosophy was: if the kid wants to read something, let him, because he'll find a way to read it anyway. My mom is probably mostly why I have such respect for women, but I'm sure Judy Blume's female characters had something to do with that as well.

Anything by Beverly Cleary. When I was a kid, I was a strong reader, so they put me in a program called "Great Books." What a joke. I hated the books they wanted me to read. They were all ancient and had kid characters I just couldn't relate to. It's a miracle those people didn't poison my love of reading. Sheesh, if a kid is reading on his own, stop trying to control it, let him be, and enable the habit with all the books he wants! He'll get to the good stuff before too long. Besides, a lot of that "literature" is overrated — crap grown-ups think kids should read and not what kids want to read. Anyway, I didn't last long in that misguided program. See, what I wanted to read was stuff about kids like me. Back then, I guess I felt that way about Henry Huggins, because I couldn't get enough of those stories. I think a part of me still wants to be like Henry.

Honorable Mention: "The Hardy Boys Series". I must confess that I didn't love the Hardy Boys books, but I aspired to read them all, as some of my friends did. If you're looking for a hook into my dark side, the Hardy Boys series was probably it. Something about their world was dangerous (but not too dangerous) and scary (but not too scary). Kind of perfect for a kid who is maybe curious about the evils people commit behind closed doors …

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Spencer Seidel's love of reading and writing began — as he mentions, above — after he discovered Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. When he's not writing novels, Spencer enjoys playing loud rock guitar, something he's been doing for over twenty-five years. To learn more about the author and his books, visit his website, SpencerSeidel.com.

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Lovesick by Spencer Seidel

Amazon.com Print and/or Kindle Edition

Barnes&Noble Print Edition and/or Nook Book

Indie Bound: Independent Bookstores

About Lovesick:

Late one night out on the Eastern Promenade Trail in Portland, Maine, the police discover an incoherent teenager sitting in a pool of blood, holding the body of his best friend and the murder weapon. The girl they both love has been missing for weeks.

The kid's jealousy clearly drove him to murder. He says the missing girl is the love of his life. She also happens to be the girlfriend of the murder victim.

It's an open and shut case, or so most of Portland thinks.

Dr. Lisa Boyers, forensic psychologist, receives a call from an old friend, a connection to her troubled past. Attorney Rudy Swaner wants her to interview the young killer Paul Ducharme, who is claiming he doesn't remember the events leading up to the murder.

In her jailhouse interviews, Lisa helps Paul to recover his memories. But something about Paul's disturbing love story shakes Lisa to the very core of her being. To understand Paul, she is forced to confront her own ugly, violent secrets.

Media attention mounts. Reporters stream into Portland. All eyes turn to the psychologist who seems intent on exonerating the vicious teen killer. Soon Lisa finds herself the focus of an over-zealous reporter with a knack for digging up dirty secrets.

But the killer who has Lisa in the crosshairs already knows them all.

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