This post is part of our Guest Picks series, featuring members of our library community sharing their favorite books and movies.
Steve Ogden has been a professional artist, animator, and writer for almost 40 years. He’s worked for a variety of game companies, including Cyan (maker of the 1990s hits Myst and Riven) and currently works for Sid Meier’s Firaxis (Civilization, Railroads, and X-COM) just north of Baltimore. He is the creator of several comics: Croaker’s Gorge; the award-winning graphic novel Moon Town; his most recent, Madigan’s Guide to Acting Human; and Magnificatz, which is syndicated through Universal/Andrews & McMeel.
He also wrote Headstones and Monuments, which he terms “a slightly bone-chilling collection of short stories”—tales from a haunted childhood—based on his experiences growing up in a haunted 200-year-old house in Fredericksburg, VA.
When he’s not making computer games or comics, he can usually be found running or biking with his wife and three sons through Maryland’s horse country.
Headstones and Monuments. Neil Gaiman made me want to try my hand at creating a collection of tales, like this one, that hung together but were separate." (Also available on audio CD)
Fragile Things, it is a collection of disparate stories that nevertheless hangs together extremely well. Just After Sunset is the other book that inspired me to write Headstones and Monuments." (Also available in large print and on CD)
Hitchhiker’s Guide began life as a BBC radio production and was adapted into a variety of formats. The Ultimate novelization collects most of the disparate stories together, chronicling the adventures of a human who, seconds before the destruction of Earth, is rescued by a researcher for the revised Guide. Together, they rocket through galactic locales far and strange and have many hilarious and extremely British adventures."
"This eight-volume set of graphic novels chronicles the adventures of a young girl who finds a magic amulet in her great-grandfather’s house. Characters imaginary, fantastic, mechanical, magical and human weave in and out of this tale among compelling narrative threads. I recommend this series because it’s great. But Kazu is also a friend of mine, and I’m proud to see his creation take flight this way."
Pogo, and the story is as sweeping as The Lord of the Rings. But funnier."
On Writing speaks to many of the things beginning writers need to know—how to develop memorable characters, how to develop a Writer’s Work Ethic, how to battle self-doubt, how to develop a Writer's Toolkit and how to respond when people are critical of your work. There’s even a section on how to start getting published (though the book is 20 years old now, and a lot in the business has changed). Nevertheless, I highly recommend this book for any would-be writer, whether you’re a fan of Stephen King or not. As I say, I wasn’t a fan when I started reading it. Twelve years later, I list three of his books in a short list of books I recommend. I guess I’m a bit of a fan now." (Also available on audio CD)