Here are some of my influences – these are the favorite fiction novels I’ve read.

  1. Heart of Darkness – these are not in any order, but this one came to mind first. It has been one of my favorites for the most time. I had a creative writing class at the University of South Florida in 1993, and one of the requirements was to read this book. Of course I didn’t read it then. When I heard our professor reviewing what was happening, and the meaning of the book – the deeper meanings, it was so fascinating to me. I read it and thought it was cool. Over the last 25 years I’ve read it about a dozen times. One of my top 3.
  2. Clear and Present Danger – Tom Clancy. I’ll just lump all the Tom Clancy books into one here. I liked most of them. I loved Clear and Present Danger. This is the book that put the idea in my head that it would be great if I COULD WRITE A BOOK. I figured I’d try to write something similar. Then I realized, the research he did was a huge turnoff. Just could never hold my ADD/ADHD mind together long enough for a long-term project like that.
  3. No Country for Old Men – Cormac McCarthy. My recent favorite author, I read this one first, then the next one below.
  4. The Road – Cormac McCarthy. This floored me. The feeling… got to me so much. I have a daughter, and I fear the future, and I put myself in this guy’s place. Scary to the core.
  5. Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy. Super horrifying, and incredible characters like in all of his books. The bleakness, the violence, the pointlessness of life… all taken to a new level here. Favorite book EVER.
  6. Hannibal – Thomas Harris. Some of the writing here was like Christ himself wrote it. A very evil Christ.
  7. Hawaii – James Michener. Another recent read. A phenomenal story taking place over centuries. Around 1,000 pages. I’m on page 910, and hardly noticed the time I’ve spent reading because it was so good.
  8. Lord of the Flies – William Golding. Maybe the first novel I’ve read. The story was phenomenal.
  9. The Call of the Wild – Jack London. I scoffed at reading such a ridiculous premise. Started reading, and just couldn’t stop. Exceptional story. I’ve read a lot of Jack London’s stories about Hawaii and the South Pacific.
  10. Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk. Wow. I’ve read a couple of his books. Survivor was also quite good.