John Rector is the author of The Grove, Lost Things, The Cold Kiss and Already Gone. He won an International Thriller Award for his novella Lost Things in 2013 and was nominated for an International Thriller Award in 2012 for Already Gone. His short fiction has appeared in many magazines and won several awards, including the Porterhouse Prize; many of his stories can be found in his collection The Walls Around Us. Rector's new book is Out of the Black (Thomas & Mercer, August 27, 2013).
On your nightstand now:
Joyland by Stephen King, and Stoner by John Williams.
Favorite book when you were a child:
I'd have to say The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden.
Your top five authors:
Charles Willeford, James M. Cain, Ira Levin, Stephen King and Raymond Carver.
Book you've faked reading:
I'm not sure I've ever faked reading a book. The closest I've come is probably The Sound and The Fury by Faulkner. I read it years ago for a class, and I think I made it about a third of the way through before calling it quits.
Book you're an evangelist for:
I've given away more copies of Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg than any other book, followed closely by The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis. But the book I'm currently pushing on everyone I know is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. So much nostalgic fun in that one.
Book you've bought for the cover:
I believe my most recent cover-based purchase would have to be Cornell Woolrich's The Bride Wore Black with the Steranko cover. Before that it was the orange, 35th-anniversary edition of Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin, with the Dakota building on the front.
Book that changed your life:
I don't know if it changed my life, but Pet Sematary by Stephen King has a special place in my heart. I was 10 or 11 the first time I read it, and at the time I had no idea books like that existed. So in a way it was my gateway drug. It's certainly the book that opened my eyes and turned me into a lifelong reader.
Favorite line from a book:
I've always thought Fitzgerald wrote some of the most beautiful and poetic single lines, but the only one I know off the top of my head is this one from The Great Gatsby: "In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars."
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Tough one. I'd probably go with one of the big, epic novels. I'd say Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. It doesn't get much better than that one.
Your favorite bookstore:
My favorite bookstore is The Tattered Cover in Denver. I used to work a few blocks from their old store in Cherry Creek, and I'd go there every day during lunch to explore the shelves. They closed that location a few years ago, but they have others that have the same great feel to them. I go back to Denver a couple times a year, and I always make a point of breaking away from whatever I'm doing just to go to the Tattered Cover.