I’d make a lousy police investigator. When I watch a suspense on TV with my husband, he always figures out who did what before I do. Here’s what bugs me the most. We’re sitting there, both lost in the story. I’m on the edge of my seat, and ready to dig my fingernails into his arm as the momentum builds. Out of the blue, and as matter-of-fact as can be, hubby says “Bang!” The word’s barely out of his mouth, the bad guy gets shot. How in the world did my husband know that was going to happen when neither of those guys had a gun? Someway, somehow, he’d figured out someone else was going to show up and shoot the bad guy. It used to drive me batty to the point that I didn’t want to watch those movies with him anymore. He’s good at predicting what happens next–I’m not. That’s the reason I sometimes call him my muse and often go to him for help when I write.
I’ve always loved suspense movies. Let me ask you, though, is there anything better than a good whodunit novel? I like that no one can tell me what’s going to happen before it does.
Back in the late 1980s, I came across one of Mary Higgins Clark’s early novels. I wasn’t an avid reader back then, and had never heard of her. The back blurb of the book sounded quite suspenseful so I bought it. It had me hooked from the start and kept me reading until the end. The moment I closed the paperback, I had to get another one of hers. And then, another. Next thing I knew, I was buying her books left, right, and centre. Clark’s stories held me spellbound. I loved her writing style, how she hooked her readers and kept them turning the pages, and personally, the fact that I couldn’t figure out whodunit until the end. Her books inspired me to read more. Oh the many nights I stayed up until the wee hours.
Fast forward to 2009. I picked up a book by T. Davis Bunn, but didn’t notice it was part of a series. I must admit, he too hooked me from the start with his Marcus Glenwood 3-book series and once I was done, I had to read the other two. Bunn’s writing is much different from Clark’s but still a suspense/thriller style I absolutely love reading. I have acquired more of his books and he’s actually one of the few authors whose books I still collect. Reading Bunn’s books, more specifically his Marcus Glenwood series, inspired me to write again. It was something I’d done for many years but had never taken seriously. I decided it was time I did.
Since then, I’ve read tons of books by great novelists. Some have left a footprint on my heart. If you were to ask me who has been the most influential writer when I decided to pen my first novel, there’d be no hesitation. I’d have to name both Mary Higgins Clark, and T. Davis Bunn. Hands down!
Who were your influencers?