A Book Addiction

Instead of writing a novel today I have decided to write to you. Sorry it took me so long to respond but I am basically out of sorts. The emotional windmill has taken me for quite a spin and I don’t know if it is wind-driven or driven by the demons in my mind.

Yes, I have finally gone insane. When I take off my sunglasses I give the impression of a vast emptiness, as if one was peering into a black hole in space, a dark star. Was that a reference to David Bowie? It might well be.

I feel like I fled town safely with everything intact but my mind. I am no longer looking over my shoulder; the ghosts of the past remain in the past but the ghosts of the stories in my head are closing in.

I guess that is what happens when one reaches the age of 70 and develops a full-blown book addiction. Have you ever known something but refused to acknowledge it at the same time? I guess some people call that denial. The heart is a many-tiered bastion of twist. Common sense is eliminated almost immediately upon the first beat and then it’s just blood and fire. Do you have any inkling of what I mean?

When I feel like using, dope that is, I buy a book instead to dispel the impulse. I have quite a collection, and they just keep getting better. I just finished reading Driven by Kelley Armstrong, about a pack of American werewolves. It’s a fantastic read.

Elena Michaels is the Alpha of the pack; her husband Clayton Danvers is the Beta, the enforcer of the pack rules. Katie and Logan are their children, about ten years old but already able to change at will into werewolves.

It’s a love story with bloodshed. But what romance doesn’t have a bit of bloodshed, even if it is emotional spilling? The pack rules the North American area. If a werewolf doesn’t belong to a pack, they call him a mutt. Most werewolves are males; there are very few female werewolves.

In Driven, Curtis Cain, who is from a clan of mutts, calls on the pack for help. Supernatural hunters, one of whom is a werewolf, are hunting the mutts, killing them and taking their pelts. Elena Michaels, as the Alpha of the pack, has to decide what is the right thing to do in the situation.

Even though the mutts are not too nice, and not too bright either, the pack can’t have people killing werewolves in their territory. Malcolm, a new pack member, was a big bad wolf for many years because he killed viscously indiscriminately, doesn’t think they should bother with them, after all, they are only mutts. But he has to learn, as a member of the pack, he has to follow orders or die. So the plot thickens and the hunt is on.

The author, Kelley Armstrong, is a prolific writer. Not on the level of Stephen King, but she has written many books about her world of werewolves and other supernatural beings.

Most of these books are put out by the Subterranean Press, which you can find on the Internet. I own five of the werewolf series and love every one of them. The books come in two different editions.

The classy edition is signed & numbered; signed by Kelley Armstrong and her artist Xaviere Daumarie, with beautiful pictures interspersed throughout. Then there is the regular trade edition, which is half the price but still beautiful.

Subterranean Press puts out many books by different authors. Some of my favorites are Robert McCammon, Joe Hill, the son of Stephen King, Gail Carriger, David J. Schow, another master of the macabre and Caitlin R Kiernan who is one of the darkest writers I read. It’s rumored that her book, The Drowning Girl, which was put out by Centipede Press, will be made into a movie soon.

Centipede Press is one of those special presses that create books that are wonders to behold. Their books are filled with gorgeous art and a ribbon to keep your place, and the majority of them are signed & numbered by the writers and the artists.

Then there are books published by regular presses. An interesting book I have just finished is called The Girl With All The Gifts, by M. R. Carey. This book is dystopian in nature; the world, as we know it, has ended.
A fungus has been let loose in the world. Over 95% of humanity has been infected. This is the story of those who have not been infected and how they treat those who have been infected, especially the children.

One special child is a girl named Melanie who, even though infected, acts as if she is not. How do the infected act? You’ll have to read it to find out. Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to get bitten by one.

This book is also in the process of being made into a movie. M. R. Carey, the writer, has just finished another novel called Fellside, which is the name of a prison where strange things take place. I won’t talk about that right now because, even though I have read it, Fellside won’t be released for a few months.

These books have saved me from a fate worse than death. Instead of scars from needle tracks I have a beautiful set of valuable books and a head full of stories. Books I can always sell if I choose to, but needle tracks—no resale value.

A book addiction is much healthier than being addicted to drugs, but an addiction just the same. Wouldn’t you agree?