Reading with... S.T. Gibson

photo: Elizabeth Unseth

S.T. Gibson is the author of A Dowry of Blood, An Education in Malice, and other romantic fantasies. Her newest novel, Evocation (Angry Robot, May 28, 2024), is the first book in the Summoner's Circle, about a deal with the Devil, and a man who has to reach out to a rival and ex-boyfriend for help to escape it. Gibson lives in New England with her partner.

Handsell readers your book in 25 words or less:

An arrogant, psychic Boston lawyer is forced to team up with his sorcerer ex-boyfriend and the ex's new witch wife to break a family curse.

On your nightstand now:

The Folk Tales of Scotland: The Well at the World's End and Other Stories by Norah Montgomerie and William Montgomerie. I try to read a couple of folk tales before bed at night as research for an upcoming series.

Favorite book when you were a child:

The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. The Eternity Code was my favorite installment.

Your top five authors:

Catherynne M. Valente, Vladimir Nabokov, Maggie Stiefvater, Donna Tartt, and Sierra Simone.

Book you've faked reading:

I tell everyone I've finished House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski even though I stalled out about halfway through.

Books you're an evangelist for:

I'm a Lolita apologist (I am never beating the pretentious lit student allegations) and am always trying to get more SFF fans to read the Innsmouth Legacy series by Ruthanna Emrys. Also, we as a culture do not talk about The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht enough.

Book you've bought for the cover:

So many of them! Most recently, I bought Rouge by Mona Awad. The blurb sounds excellent (this would be my first Awad), but the cover just screamed chic city hot girl. I could easily imagine myself reading it on the subway looking troubled and literary and effortlessly cool.

Book you hid from your parents:

I hid my mother's own copies of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles from her! I would steal her keepsake '80s clothbound editions from storage when I was 13 and read them in secret because she said I wasn't old enough for them yet. Turns out, they completely rewired my brain. That led me to sneaking Anne Rice's erotica when I could. I was also very into reading memoirs of rock-and-roll groupies and mobster girlfriends and other women who had taken up with dangerous men, and my parents were definitely a little concerned about that.

Book that changed your life:

I really have to shout out KJ Charles's Spectred Isle! It was the book that made me fall in love with romance and, more importantly, made me want to write romance myself. I followed it up quickly with KJ Charles's Band Sinister, which cemented my love for the genre.

Favorite line from a book:

"If the world is divided into seeing and not seeing, Marya thought, I shall always choose to see." --from Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

Deathless was really crucial to my formation of identity as a young woman of 18 or 19, and there was something so powerful about reading about a female protagonist choosing curiosity, choosing hunger, choosing knowledge.

Five books you'll never part with:

My signed copies of the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater; my paperback of Sierra Simone's Saint with the original non-discreet cover; my battered editions of Anaïs Nin's diaries that I have scribbled in and underlined; the original 1991 mass-market paperback of the Life on the Border anthology edited by Terri Windling that I miraculously found in a roadside used bookstore; and a handful of devotional books gifted to me by a theology professor before her retirement.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

I would love to capture the emotional rollercoaster of reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt for the first time, but I read it the winter of my freshman year of college when I was 17, and I'm not sure anyone can top that developmental experience.

Your favorite nonfiction book:

I read a lot of spiritual nonfiction, and I think Honoring Your Ancestors by Mallorie Vaudoise is a really wonderful introduction to the practice of ancestor veneration that is friendly to a lot of different worldviews and access points.

Powered by: Xtenit