Gregory G. Allen is the author of the novel Well with My Soul (ASD Publishing, October 2011) and Proud Pants: An Unconventional Memoir (ASD Publishing, July 2011). He has had stories and poetry published in many anthologies, and has been an actor, director, writer and producer. He's served as book writer and/or composer/lyricist for more than 10 shows, and his musical River Divine won Best Score from TheatreWeek magazine. He currently manages an arts center at Bloomfield College in New Jersey.
On your nightstand now:
My iPad is loaded with several books, but I'm reading In Leah's Wake by Terri Giuliano Long.
Favorite book when you were a child:
The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner... oh yes, and Superfudge by Judy Blume
Your top five authors:
That is really a hard one as I have some new authors I've come in contact with that I now love, and so many across many, many genres... but if I had to go back prior to the past six months--I will go with John Irving, Augusten Burroughs, Richard Matheson, Armistead Maupin, Tennessee Williams (my female author friends are going to hate me for that list... sorry).
Book you've faked reading:
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo in high school... and then I moved to New York and fell in love with the musical when I saw it onstage.
Book you're an evangelist for:
Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. I told everyone to buy this book after it came out. It made me want to be a novelist and not only a playwright/composer.
Book you've bought for the cover:
Attack of the Theater People by Marc Acito (a friend told me about Marc and when I saw the cover--it just cracked me up).
Book that changed your life:
Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson. I loved the movie Somewhere in Time and in the late '80s searched high and low for that book and finally located a used copy. It made me realize how different source material can be (and I even started my first adult musical that I wrote based on that book). It propelled me hard into writing musical theatre and put me on a different course from acting.
Favorite line from a book:
" 'HOW CAN YOU BE HAPPY IF YOU SPEND ALL YOUR TIME THINKING ABOUT DOING IT?' " Owen asked. --from A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. (The fact he had Owen's tiny voice typed all in caps in that book was genius... plus that one line speaks volumes.)
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin. I read it so many years ago, I'd like to go back now as a man in my 40s and read it again with fresh eyes.