Books I Love
With the release of my first novel, Still Dark, I’ve been hit with a wave of excitement that had been a long time coming. Every biography I’ve ever read of the authors I admire suddenly become more relatable than before, even if I’m less than a blip on the radar. While I still have a long way to go, I’ve been thinking more and more about the books that got me here. Below is a list of some of my favorite books of all time, the ones that taught me to dream that it could be my name on the cover one of these days.
This is always an easy pick for me. It’s one of a handful of books I’ve ever read more than once, and it was one of the books that made me seriously consider the power of world-building. Tolkien’s novel reads like a breezy daydream, a simple story that hid serious depths under all that whimsy. I still love it to this day.
You won’t find this in the horror section, but you probably should. Cormac MacCarthy’s dystopian hellscape was remarkable for how unremarkable it was. There were no aliens behind this apocalypse, no robots, no zombies. Just an endless stretch of bleak, empty nothingness, our familiar world turning to ash all around us. The fact that I read it around the time I became a dad made it even more horrible.
Anyone serious about being a writer should give Stephen King’s book a read. Half how-to book, half memoir, On Writing takes all the stuffiness out of the craft, a fitting approach from one of the best known writers of all time. Some of the details might have aged a bit over the years, but the core of the book is still golden. Even better, it gives aspiring writers a voyeuristic view into his early life, letting us all know it’s okay to struggle, to fail, and to keep going.
Any Lovecraft Collection
I wouldn’t be a horror writer if I hadn’t tumbled so thoroughly down the Lovecraft hole in my early 20s. It’s cliché to call him influential at this point, but there aren’t many writers that can claim to create an entire subgenre. For me, it was all about the mystery of his work, the things that we didn’t know and couldn’t know. I still try to work that into my own work today.
I’d like to thank D.W. for stopping by and letting us take a peek into what books he enjoys. Reading his list made me begin to ponder my favorite books and I’ll let you know what mine is after I can sort it out.
Until next time,
When a thunderous explosion rocks an idyllic cabin resort in the Great Smoky Mountains, animals and humans alike begin to act strange. Jim, along with his wife Laura and son, Sam, are cut off from the outside world, but they soon realize the true nightmare is just beginning…
Deep in the snow-covered woods, something is waiting. The creature calls itself Apex, and it’s a traveler. Reading the minds of those around it, Apex brings the terrifying fears hidden in the human psyche to life with a singular purpose: to kill any that stand in its way.
Locked in a fight for their lives, Jim and his family must uncover the truth behind Apex, and stop the creature from wreaking a horrifying fate upon the rest of the world!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR — D.W. Gillespie has been writing dark fiction in one form or another since he was old enough to hold a pencil. He’s been featured in multiple horror anthologies, both in print and online. Still Dark is his debut novel, and his second book, a short collection titled Handmade Monsters, arrives in 2017. He lives in Tennessee with his wife and two children.