Okay, riffing a little off of yesterday’s post, let’s focus in on the R of ROWE (or I guess I could have called it WORE or even OREW…but OREW doesn’t make sense. Focus, Brett, focus.)
I wrote yesterday about how important reading is to the education of a writer, and how it begins with the first time we picked up a book.
So what I wanted to discuss today is early writing influences. I’ll list a few of mine, but I’d love to hear yours, too.
Here are mine in no particular order:
1. The Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigator books. I did a whole post about this a month or two ago, so I won’t go into any further here. Except to say I loved these books when I was a kid.
2. Anything by Alistar MacLean. I must have read a dozen books he wrote when I was still young…Ice Station Zebra, Where Eagles Dare, The Guns of Navarone, and The Golden Rendevous just to name some. These were truly the foundation of my love for thrillers.
3. The Eagle Has Landed by Jack Higgins. Wow.
4. Black Sunday by Thomas Harris – so much better than the film.
A break here for a moment. Obviously, my parents instilled in me a love of reading. But it was my Dad’s choice of genre that influenced me the most back then. He was and still is a huge science fiction fan. Being a physicist (now retired), I guess this stands to reason. So the following influences have a decidedly Sci-Fi base:
5. Robert Heinlein. He is first and foremost. I read everything I could of his. Stranger in a Strange Land, Farhams Freehold, Citizen of the Galaxy…the list is long.
6. Arthur C. Clarke. Of course.
7. Isaac Asimov. The Foundation books I read many times.
8. James White. A lot of people probably haven’t heard of him. He wrote a series of space medical dramas call, I think, Sector General. But those weren’t the books of his I read. It was his stand alones like All Judgment Fled (which I’ve read at least fifteen times), The Watch Below and The Dream Millennium that I love.
There are definitely more authors I could name. As I got older, Robert Ludlum, Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, Stephen King… And of course the list continues to grow.
If you’d like to share, tell me some of your early influences. I promise not to use the information against you…unless I really, really have to.