Getting To Know a New Blogger…

Welcome to a new monthly feature, Getting to Know A New Blogger, that I will be running on Cindy’s Love of Books. Each month I will highlight a blogger that I know that perhaps you have never heard of before today. I figured this would be great in case we all meet up in NYC/BEA next year. This way it wouldn’t feel like we were complete strangers.

I am really honored that my very first Getting To Know a New Blogger is
Michael from
When I found out that Michael was going to start blogging, I knew he had to be the first because he is truly the only one person in blogging that I have known the longest.

He is new to book blogging but not new to me. I have known Michael since 1988. (Okay I am probably dating myself by saying this LOL) I met him when we started high school in grade 10. Michael was a friend of my cousin and he introduced us. We have been friends ever since then. He is one of a few friends from high school that I keep in touch with and truly love to hear from. Although I am not sure why as I did some pretty crazy things back in the day. LOL But I have to say that I am extremely happy that we did remain friends.

I got to meet up with Michael last summer when I went back home for a visit. He graciously invited us over for supper. This is a picture take last summer from that evening. You can even see Dakota got into the action too with the picture. Dakota is Michael’s dog.

Alot has happened in the past year since I last saw Michael. He is now a new dad to a sweet and adorable baby boy. I haven’t gotten the chance to meet him yet but thankfully for the little pictures Michael sends via email to me.

Michael graciously agreed to take part in Getting To Know a New Blogger and has answered a few questions for me.

CINDY: I have to ask you what is your favorite book and why?

MICHAEL: There are a few books that I return to again and again, for different reasons. One that comes to mind right now is “It” by Stephen King. It’s a story that pulls me in every time I pull open my copy’s tattered cover and read the first few paragraphs. Do I consider it to be an example of great literature? No – but I do consider it to be a hell of an example of storytelling.

CINDY: Perhaps I need to try and read Stephen King. I have never read any of his books. I know this question is always asked but I wanted to know If you could spend time with any author, dead or alive who would it be and why?

MICHAEL: I’d go with Horton Foote, one of the best screenwriters and playwrights there was. He’s best known for his adaptation of Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird”, for which he won the Oscar, and he also won another Oscar for his “Tender Mercies” screenplay. I would consider it to be an incredible opportunity to discuss with him how he approached adapting works, whether from novel or stage to film or television, and adapting his own works versus adapting another writer’s works.

CINDY: I remember watching “To Kill A Mockingbird” in high school and reading the book. I actually ended up buying the book as I really enjoyed reading it. I am curious as to why did you decide to book blog? Please don’t say I was the bad influence on you. LOL

MICHAEL:It was your blog – Cindy’s Love of Books – that brought book blogs to my attention. It was great to see how you and others were sharing your interest of good books, the whole sense of community. And while I was browsing through the blogs, I also got the sense that people were reading more than they would have otherwise, books that they found out about only through this connectivity. And that element particularly resonated with me, as I had recognized that my book reading over the past few years was sporadic at best. Outside of the screenplays I had read as part my side work as a story analyst or for my screenwriting group, the majority of reading was related to work. So, I decided to rediscover the joy of reading books, and at the same time think about why and how these stories worked (or not) and then share those thoughts through my reviews.

CINDY: Okay so I am a bad influence on you but hopefully in a good way? I have always been a reader but only started to keep track of books I read in 2007. Looking back into my note book I have noticed that my interest in books have changed and I am sure they will continue to change. Do you find your interest in books has changed over the years?

MICHAEL:Definitely. There were plenty of Hardy Boys books passed down from my brothers, and it wasn’t long before I was into my father’s collection of Robert Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth, Clive Cussler, Alistair MacLean and John LeCarre. Into that I gradually mixed some of the classics of fantasy like Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and Gray Mouser adventures, and sci-fi like Asimov’s Foundation series. It was university where my reading broadened as a counterbalance to my science degree. English, history and philsophy courses pushed me into the Iliad and Aeneid, Abelard & Heloise, The Divine Comedy, Aristotle and Avicenna, and so on. And that hooked me enough to make me come back after my degree was completed to do a degree in philosophy, which lead to studying Greek and Latin, and quite a bit more reading and analysis. After my graduate work, there was a long stretch of technical and business reading for my job, and it was only after I started the screenwriting courses through UCLA that I realized how little reading I was doing for myself. So I dove into screenplays almost exclusively, while working on my own screenplay drafts. And now, thanks to the book blogging community, I am getting back into a wide variety of books, many of which I would not have been aware of if not for this community.

CINDY: Even though I have known you for 20 years and figured you would read Sci Fi I never knew about the other books you have read. I agree with you, since blogging I have read alot of books that I normally wouldn’t have read other wise. I am so much aware now of new authors and stepping outside my comfort zone. Since getting into book blogging I am more aware of when books are coming out and having the chance now to see some of the titles that are coming out in the fall 2009 I have to ask you what book are you looking forward to reading and why?

MICHAEL:The screenplay for Slumdog Millionaire, to find out whether I would have voted for it to get the Oscar. In addition to reading books, I’m about to launch into a new round of screenplay reading. There’s a stack of about 150 screenplays, like American Beauty, The Shawshank Redemption, and Double Indemnity – that I ordered through eBay which I will soon have my hands on, and they will become part of a new weekly meme that I’ll be doing in the near future on my blog as well. So you have the world exclusive on announcing this upcoming meme – Screenplay Saturdays over at A Few Minutes with Michael.

Michael you will have to keep us posted on how “Screenplay Saturdays” is going and when it will make its official debut. Thank You again Michael for taking the time out of your busy day to answer these questions. If you haven’t already checked out Michael’s blog then you really should. He is an awesome blogger and I am not just saying that because he is my friend.

Would you like to be a part of “Getting To Know A New Blogger”?

If you happen to follow me and I am unaware then please let me know and I will add you to the list of Getting to Know a New Blogger or even if you are a blogger and want to take part leave me a message in this post and email at cindysloveofbooksarc AT gmail DOT com.

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