Mark Terry

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

10 Books That Influenced You

March 30, 2010
NOT necessarily your 10 favorite books, but 10 books that have influenced you and your writing career. In no particular order:

1. Fear Itself: The Horror Fiction of Stephen King edited by Tim Underwood and Chuck Miller. Now, I want to point out that it wasn't the book that actually influenced me. It was the Foreword by Stephen King, "The Making of A Brand Name" that inspired me to try writing. I don't always know whether to thank him or kick him in the head, but there you go.

2. The Young Unicorns by Madeleine L'Engle. Intrigue, music, religion, crime, lasers, psychology, family, art, culture, mysterious priests, romance, gangs. This novel has resonated with me for over thirty years.

3. The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman. Not only did it convince me I could make a living as a freelance writer, it convinced me I could make a good living as a freelance writer. Read it for the attitude, if nothing else.

4. The Fifth Profession by David Morrell. Pointed me, in many ways, to the types of novels I would eventually have some success writing.

5. Make Your Words Work by Gary Provost. A master's course in writing that I otherwise didn't get.

6. "I" is for Innocent by Sue Grafton. A great story, but also a prime example of the three-part story structure in action. If you want to see how a book looks if constructed of stone and brick, this is it.

7. Walking Shadow by Robert B. Parker. In an interview recently Harlan Coben commented that 90% of crime writers were influenced by Parker and the other 10% are lying. I agree. It's hard to narrow it down to one book, and I would definitely include Small Vices and Searching For Rachel Wallace in the mix.

8. The Lives of the Cell by Lewis Thomas. An amazing collection of nonfiction essays about science. I'd throw in The Medusa and the Snail is there as well. Proof that nonfiction can be as powerful, as beautiful, as lyrical, and as creative as fiction.

9. The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon. Say what you want, but my love of series fiction was grown in this particular garden.

10. Bag of Bones by Stephen King. For everything, I think. For great themes, great characterization, a sense of place, a sense of knowing this character, of sometimes being this character.

How about you? Do you have a top 10?


Blogger Richmond Writer said...

I went to Amazon and The Fallen is not linked to either Derek Stillwater or the previous 2 novels, or your name (as in when I am on Serpent's Kiss and click on Mark Terry only the first two books come up.)

11:56 AM  
Blogger Natasha Fondren said...

Have you made an Amazon Author Profile yet, Mark? They re-hauled them about a year or two ago, so you might need to make one again, if you did before.

Author Central

12:20 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Thanks, I'll look into it.

12:58 PM  

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