Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Straight Chatting from the Library: J.P. Lantern

J.P. Lantern has stopped by The Library to chat with us as part of his virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. J.P. will be awarding a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and one commenter on each stop will receive a digital download of a backlist book-- so leave a comment or ask J.P. a question. You can also see the other stops on his tour here:


Thanks for stopping by The Library. What is the favorite book you remember as a child?
I think it's a tie between like, J.R.R. Tolkein's The Hobbit and David Eddings' The Belgariad. Those were two of the very first actual books (or series) that I read, and they've stuck with me ever since. They were just so full of adventure and action. I remember having lots of very involved dreams about the quests all the characters were on, and I would like, act them out and create magic staffs out of walking sticks, things like that. I’ve been a big nerd my whole life.

Tell us about your current book, Dust Bowl, in 10 words.

Dystopian, genocidal road trip starring emotionally scarred man looking for love.

What are you reading right now?

Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick. It's really good and has a lot in similar with my Red Country Trilogy, so I'm pretty glad I'm reading it now! I think if I had read it beforehand, I would have tried to steal too much.

It is, unless I'm highly mistaken, the first Dick that I'm actually reading. I'm pretty embarrassed about that. I’ve loved Blade Runner and A Scanner Darkly as movies for years, and I’m happy to finally get started on reading this guy’s work who has influenced so much of science-fiction for so long.

Do you have any bad book habits?

I buy way more than I can read in any reasonable time frame. I bought a lot of books at the local used book store not too long ago, and I probably won’t get to them for years. I also buy a lot of history and philosophy that I have no real intention of reading in any time frame.

E-Reader or print? and why?

With respect to the above, I have a freeze on buying any kind of e-reader for myself until I finish the enormous pile of books behind my desk. So, I should be good to go some time in 2030 when they're just downloading books straight to our brains.

One book at a time or multiples?

I usually end up reading multiples. I'm also vaguely reading Saul Alinksy's Rules for Radicals, but I paused on it a month or so ago for no good reason. It's still following me around in my bag, though. I should probably get on top of that.

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much)

Most of the time I just try to remember the page. What ends up happening most of the time is that I'll start a little before where I was, and reread some pages, but I find that pretty enjoyable most of time time.

Favorite book to recommend?

Besides Dust Bowl? Haha…uh, I really love Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun. I think it should be required reading in school. It’s just so fantastic on every level. I read it cold the first time, and I had no idea Severian (the main character) was lying for large sections of the novel, so it was a real joy to go back in and read it and start doubting and picking apart what he reports about his experiences.

Re-reader or not?

I sometimes re-read. I have a lot of books I plan to read again. I just finished the last book of Cormac McCarthy’s that I hadn’t read—Child of God—and I plan to read all of his stuff again with a more total vision of what his works are doing. As I said above, I’ve re-read Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun and was making notations in the margins and all of that, and I really enjoyed it, and so I probably will end up doing that again someday. Maybe after I finish all the other Urth novels that he wrote.

Keep books or give them away?

I am a book-keeper, for now. I suppose there will come a time when I'll have to start giving them away to libraries and so forth, but I think that's fairly far in the future. I keep everything—I keep things that I know are completely unimportant, like instruction manuals to appliances that break. (Maybe they'll fix themselves, and I'll need to know how to work them again!) So, books that I've enjoyed and spent considerable portions of my life with—there's a very big block in my mind to throwing those out.


J.P. Lantern lives in the Midwestern US, though his heart and probably some essential parts of his liver and pancreas and whatnot live metaphorically in Texas. He writes speculative science fiction short stories, novellas, and novels which he has deemed "rugged," though he would also be fine with "roughhewn" because that is a terrific and wonderfully apt word.

Full of adventure and discovery, these stories examine complex people in situations fraught with conflict as they search for truth in increasingly violent and complicated worlds.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Amazon Author Page


With the world ending around him, Ward flounders for purpose and survival. Resources are gone, disease is rampant, and governments have all but dissolved. The only way off the broken planet is with the Order. Obsessed with technology, the Order is a cult that has developed the means for faster-than-light travel. They claim they can populate the galaxy and save humanity.

Ward joins the Order, inspired by sudden and irrational love for a mysterious beauty named Kansas who saves his life. But quickly, he finds out Kansas and the Order want him to kill adults and kidnap children from across the country. With impressionable youth filling their starships, the Order hopes for their tenets to be spread to all future generations of humanity.

The Order is Ward’s only chance for survival in the wreck the earth has become. Worse than that, those in the Order come to accept him and value his skills for their nightmarish quest across the dystopian landscape of America. But, somewhere inside of him, still, is the strength to strike out on his own and protect whatever good he can find left in the world.

Buy the book at Amazon.


  1. Happy New Year! Thanks so much for this wonderful opportunity! Can't wait to check it out. ^_^

    cloud.weaver.girl AT gmail DOT com

  2. I really think this book sounds awesome. I really enjoyed your comments.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. The book sounds realy cool. And your influences seem like they'd produce something really interesting. Dick, McCarthy, and Saul Alinsky? I'm excited to read this book :)

  5. Thanks for featuring the book! Happy New Year everybody.

    I've got a resolution to read at least two books a month--falling short of many of you, I expect. Anyone else have any reading-type resolutions?

  6. Great interview!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Sounds like a really good read!!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  7. I enjoyed the interview thank you.