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By Gabino Iglesias

I never judge people by their looks; I judge them by their books. I love talking books and often wonder what the bookshelves of authors, editors, publishers, reviewers, and fellow book addicts look like. This is my attempt to satisfy my curiosity and share those bookshelves with the world. Writer, editor, and Cthulhu devotee Ross E. Lockhart kicks things off.

Who are you and what role do books play in your life?

I’m Ross E. Lockhart. I make books. I’m an anthologist, editor, author, and publisher. I edited and published the anthology Tales of Jack the Ripper through my company Word Horde, and I’m the author of the punk rock novel Chick Bassist, published by Lazy Fascist Press. I’m also a voracious reader and have amassed more than enough books to build a small-to-medium-sized fortress out of them.

When did you start reading and what got you hooked on it?

I’ve been a reader as long as I can remember, and I’ve been writing almost as long. I’m a big fan of story’s power to sweep us up into something larger than ourselves, and the way that story-telling is integral to the human experience. Nothing is quite as reaffirming, yet revolutionary, as a well-told story.

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Ross reads to Elinor in front of his bookshelf. Elinor is known in the publishing business as the dog that edits the editor.
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What are some of your favorite books? Any prized tomes in your collection?

I’m a huge fan of classic weird and fantastic fiction, particularly Poe, James, and Lovecraft, but I’m equally influenced by Lenny Bruce’s How to Talk Dirty and Influence People and Groucho Marx’s Groucho and Me. I take horror and comedy very seriously–both genres seek a physiological effect, whether shudder or guffaw–and find the line between the two to be about as thin–and slippery–as a banana peel. The difference is whether slipping on that banana peel lands you on your ass or breaks your neck. As for prized tomes, I’m not much of an autograph collector–to the point that I often forget to sign books for friends. I buy books to read them, to lose myself in them, but not as commodities. I do have a few rarities, but those tend to carry stories of their own.

Are there any books you’d like to add to your collection?

Absolutely. My Amazon wish list is out of control.

You work with books, so tell us what you’ve written/edited so we can buy it!

Chick Bassist is my latest novel. Tales of Jack the Ripper is my latest anthology, but I also edited The Book of Cthulhu I and II, and am working on a third volume now.

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