KIERAN SHEA’s fiction has appeared in dozens of venues including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Dogmatika, Word Riot, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, Crimefactory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir ...as well as in some beefy-looking anthologies most of which will make you question the tether of his shiny, red balloon. To his self-deprecating astonishment he's also been nominated for the Story South’s Million Writers Award twice without sending the judges so much as a thank you note. He co-edited the satiric transgressive fiction collection D*CKED: DARK FICTION INSPIRED BY DICK CHENEY and his debut novel KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY is out now from Titan Books. Kieran divides his time between 38°58′22.6″N- 76°30′4.17″W and 39.2775° N, 74.5750° W.
Can you force feed a teenager a love of books? I think so. When I was in high school, every summer we were assigned a reading list of, I believe, ten or more books. Mostly classics, some occasional edgier fare (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The Worldly Philosophers to name a few). We would be tested the first day back with brutal essay formats. My brother Jack is a public school English teacher and assigns books to his students. Poor guy has to fight for any variance in the stale "classic" offerings. That would frustrate the hell out of me. He's received serious legal threats over several books from weenie parents a shed lizard skin shy of being jingoistic, racist maniacs. The summer reading requirements weren't the spark of my love of reading, but there was plenty of fuel there. My love took off when I was bedridden for a few months with mono. Fortunately my passion detonated big time when I pursued my English Literature degree--not because of the curriculum, but because several professors took me aside and gave me reading lists outside the syllabus parameters, along with films, plays, and vast washes of overlooked and marginalized poetry. Some of those books and films? Oh yeah. Crime and pulp. Which professors? Sorry. I'll never tell.
Posted by Kieran Shea at 8/06/2009 05:00:00 AM