Todd Grimson's first book, Brand New Cherry Flavor: A Novel of the Occult (Schaffner Press, 2011), blends a phantasmagorical dreamscape with "cinematic realism." His follow-up, Stainless: A Modern Romance (Schaffner Press, Feb. 1, 2012), is an urban noir vampire novel set in late 1990s Los Angeles. Grimson has published short fiction online under the nom de plume "I. Fontana," appearing in such literary reviews as BOMB, Bikini Girl, Juked, New Dead Families, Spork and Lamination Colony. Schaffner Press will release Grimson's Stabs at Happiness: 13 Short Stories in fall 2012.
On your nightstand now:
The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq, Rule 34 by Charles Stross and Vanished Kingdoms by Norman Davies. I read every Houellebecq. I think he has an interesting mind. Meanwhile, I've been reading science fiction and ancient history--the imaginary future and the imaginary distant past.
Favorite book when you were a child:
Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe. I read this in second grade when I was home ill with the measles for two weeks. It inspired me to write my own version of the poem, "The Haunted Palace," and somehow this got noticed at school. Previously they thought I was slow, because I had a little stammer. But the stammer went away.
Your top five authors:
Of all time? Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, Anthony Powell, Saul Bellow, Marcel Proust. Dostoyevsky is what I'm always aiming for on some level. Flaubert is a different sort of ideal. There's probably more pure reading pleasure for me in Anthony Powell than in anyone else. The 12-volume A Dance to the Music of Time is worth rereading every two or three years, just like Proust. I'm not crazy about every single one of Bellow's novels, but I can reread and get something new each time out of Humboldt's Gift and Mr. Sammler's Planet.
Book you've faked reading:
The City of God by Saint Augustine.
Book you're an evangelist for:
The Devil in the Hills by Cesare Pavese.
Book that changed your life:
Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky. Read it when I was 12.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell.