Carson Morton was born in London and moved to the U.S. with his family as a child. He has worked as a professional musician, a playwright and screenwriter. He has written music for the BBC, and wrote and sang the theme song for the first Fox Children's Network cartoon series, Zazoo U. Stealing Mona Lisa (Minotaur, August 2, 2011) is his first novel. He lives in Nashville, Tenn.
On your nightstand now:
I usually have at least three books going at a time. Currently it's: David McCullough's The Greater Journey--Americans in Paris; Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff; and Spiral by Paul McEuen.
Favorite book when you were a child:
While my folks were watching TV, I'd take out any paperback by H.G. Wells or Jules Verne and read lying on their bed. I devoured all the Tarzan books by Edgar Rice Burroughs and actually read them up in a tree in our front yard to get the full experience! So sad to return years later to find the tree gone.
Your top five authors:
Ken Follett, David McCullough, Laura Hillenbrand, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Michael Crichton (at least his stuff that wasn't too right-wingy).
Book you've faked reading:
Great Expectations. Terrible, I know, but I do love the David Lean movie version.
Book you're an evangelist for:
Anything by David McCullough. Start with 1776.
Book you've bought for the cover:
The Son of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The Ace paperback. I so badly wanted to fight a giant gorilla to save a beautiful girl in a bikini. That was the one I used to read in the tree.
Book that changed your life:
As a kid, any of the Tarzan books. Before that I was a pretty wimpy kid. I actually advised a friend once who was always getting bullied to start reading Tarzan books. I hope he took my advice. As an adult, The Great Gatsby. I love reading a book and saying to myself: "How the &$#% did he/she do that?" Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire is one of those books, too.
Favorite line from a book:
Opening line of Great Expectations: "My father's family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip." Hey, at least I read that far!
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth. World Without End is not bad either. I listened to that on CD a few years ago while I took a road trip to visit all my relatives. I could never wait to get back on the road!