31 Days of Wicked Xmas With Anton Strout

  • What is next for you book wise in 2013?

Well, to kick it off with a bang, I have to turn in the manuscript follow up to Alchemystic, which will be book two in the Spellmason Chronicles.  Around late February, I’ll get editorial notes back on it from my editor, fix those, then rewrite a bit in March.  In the meantime, I’m trying to put some time into a yet unsold Dickensian young adult steampunk Iron Man sort of book.  I’m already tired just typing that.

  • Do you have a favorite book of 2012?

Because I’ve been watching a lot of Doctor Who this year, I’ve been a bit preoccupied with time travel.  So Stephen King’s 11/22/63 was really excellent reading.  I may have wept a little.  On a more humorous but similar bent, I was also a fan of So You Created a Wormhole:  The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which is geekily awesome.  It covers all kinds of stuff like Terminator, Back to the Future, Doctor Who, Bill & Ted.  I’ve also been binge reading a lot of The Walking Dead graphic novels to keep ahead of the show, not that they’re exactly the same. Highly recommend them all.

  • What is your favorite holiday food?

Oh, man.. there’s so much, but if I have to narrow it down to one holiday Kryptonite for me, I have to say it’s peppermint bark.  When that hits the shelves, it’s over!  My favorite is made my Ghiradelli, and it is ridiculously sinfully good!

  • Least favorite holiday song?

I only heard of this modern song in the last year, but it’s got quite a reputation already.  I believe it’s called Christmas Shoes… and I’ve blocked most of its offense from my brain at this point.  Now I just get a cold shiver up my spine when I speak of it versus wanting to shove knitting needles in my ears.

  • Do you have any holiday family traditions?

Not that I’m super religious, but I used to enjoy going to a midnight mass.  Something so tranquil about going to church at midnight… very centering.  The one tradition I HAVE to do when I go up the Berkshires to see my family is go out on Christmas eve, drive around with the holiday music cranked and check out all the light displays all around the region.  I mean, we’ve got Norman Rockwell’s famous Stockbridge at Christmas paintings to live up to, so I find this a tradition I always try to do.  Also, on Christmas Eve day, we always go out for Polynesian because it’s one of the few places up there that’s open.  Scorpion Bowls for the drunken win!

  • Worst gift you ever received?

One year my father and I both got matching Statue of Liberty Commemorative knives, with gold plating, from his father.  Kind of a Franklin Mint issued sort of thing… they gave us a good laugh, and then when the gold plated Lady Libery pieces fell off both of ours, we laughed even harder

  • Worst gift you ever gave?

Embarrassingly, I’m going to admit that yes, I have given copies of my books to people as gifts for the holiday.

  • Favorite holiday memory?

We used to have HUGE holiday gatherings with much of extended family that don’t really happen anymore, and I have vivid memories of myself at 10 and my cousin at 8 flying the Millennium Falcon around chasing our toy AT-AT’s through the parties.  Also, I remember getting a Muppet drum set with Animal on the kick drum that I lost my mind over.

  • If you could share one lesser known fact about yourself to our readers, what will it be?

I have un unhealthy obsession with the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones, since like 1991 when they were just a local Mass band.  I’ve been to tons of show, as recent as two months ago (they get together a few times a year).  Tons of shows, tons of t-shirts, all the albums, rare singles… I love something about their ska with horns style…. I even have a regular fiction book loosely based on them that I need to get back to one of these days.

  • Weirdest thing you collect?

Hmmm… my office is filled with the most random assortment of action figures or fast food toys, but the think I can’t help collect is a new set of Dungeons & Dragons dice every time I go to a convention where they are sold.  My Crown Royal bag of them runneth over.  Oh, also, I keep a box of blood sample slides in a long wooden box to keep track of all my victims.  Wait.. can I change that one?

Giveaway Details: Anton is giving away a copy of Alchemystic & Dead To Me to one lucky winner. Just tell Anton what the worst gift you ever gave away was!

  • Lee December 12, 2012 at 10:30 am

    A Chia Pet at a white elephant gift exchange.

  • Theresa Brundage December 12, 2012 at 10:51 am

    My husband and father-in-law have been re-gifting an Obama Chia Head to each other for the last 4 years. I originally gave it to my husband because he’s a die hard Republican.

  • Melanie Meadors December 12, 2012 at 11:01 am

    When I was in my younger, more foolish days, my best friend was talking always talking about losing weight. So, um, one year I gave her some workout equipment and clothes. It seemed like such an awesome, helpful idea until she opened it….AWKWARD.

  • Lily B December 12, 2012 at 11:11 am

    A red sox christmas figurine to a yankees fan, but it was a joke for my new brother in law, like a welcoming to the family 😀 he took it like a champ!

  • infinitieh December 12, 2012 at 11:21 am

    One year I bought handmade gifts from the various clubs on campus to support them and to give one-of-a-kind presents. My brother’s reaction to his, “a ceramic slug?!” (it really wasn’t a slug)

  • Sandyg265 December 12, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I got a seal a meal machine one year. It was a pain to use and I finally donated it to a charity sale

  • Readsalot81 December 12, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Just a couple of years ago, I received a pair of pink, sparkly socks sprinkled with glitter ponies. I’m not knocking socks.. as I’ve asked for slipper & cozy socks over the years.. but err I’m 31. 🙂 I’ve been past the glittery, pony stage for at least 20 years now. (Btw – the socks DID go to use..I used them to dry dishes once I washed the glittery stuff off)

  • Van P. December 12, 2012 at 11:45 am

    A poorly made light purple Snoopy watch.

  • erinf1 December 12, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    I can honestly say that I haven’t “bad” gifted. If anything I’m bland as I give giftcards to pretty much everyone 🙂

  • Anita Yancey December 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    I once gave my sister-in-law some sexy underwear, and when she opened the package she was so embarrased. I felt bad after that.

  • Viki S. December 13, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Maybe a food tower when I was a teen. It was really dried up pastries. I thought they’d be good – SO wrong.

  • Texas Book Lover December 13, 2012 at 10:49 am

    I think I gave away this ugly water fountain globe thing that my mom gave me…actually I think I gave it back to her.

  • Brenda H. December 14, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Pshaw…I would never give a bad gift. LOL Okay, okay. I gave my husband a George Straight CD because he said he wanted one– but told me the next day that it was the worst one because it had none of the songs he liked on it. Geesh, how was I to know!

    I have to say I am SO with you on the Shoe song. Hate. It.

  • rissatoo December 15, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I also brought a chia pet to a work white elephant party. Unsurprisingly, no one traded *for* it… :p

  • JenM December 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    I had received a couple of those hand-knitted toilet paper covers – you know, the ones that look like a woman with a big skirt? Anyway, I used them as my contribution to a white elephant gift exchange. Everyone kept trying to give them away. I can’t imagine why, LOL.

  • Rebe December 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I gave my husband (then fiance) a nice watch to wear while teaching and he’s worn it all of 5 times and we’ve been married 6.5 years. What a waste of money, lol! The Xbox 360, however, was a huge success.

  • Chelsea B. December 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    I hope I’ve never given anyone a bad gift! I try hard not to!

  • bn100 December 20, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Maybe a holiday sweater

  • blodeuedd December 23, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Hm…a candle that I got for a xmas 5 years ago and then gave away

  • Denise Z December 28, 2012 at 12:26 am

    I generally only give gifts that were on a wishlist or I would like to receive myself; but I will admit to putting coal in a stocking this year LOL

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