My Writing Influences/Book Series That I Love: Part Two

This part two are the series that are my current obsessions, continuing chronologically (except for the last one).

Murder, She Wrote series by Donald Bain & “Jessica Fletcher”     I first discovered this series in October 2000. I found myself in Waldenbooks (does anyone remember this bookstore? it was my favorite), and I was looking at the Halloween display (I have a serious obsession with Halloween and Halloween related things) and came across the MSW book Trick or Treachery. Murder, She Wrote is one of my favorite tv shows, so I thought how cool, I need to check out this book. Loved it. Rest is history. Well over 20 books and counting, with the next being due out April 4th (squeeeee). My favorite ones are when they are located in Cabot Cove.

Murder-by-Month series by Jess Lourey     If I didn’t decide to buy a Kindle, I may never have discovered this fantastic author and series! I am SO glad I did. Jess is from MN, her books are set in MN, and they have the best titles ever (May DayJune BugKnee High by 4th of July, etc). I strongly recommend this series if you enjoy good murder mysteries, small town USAs, fantastic and interesting characters, and Nut Goodies!

Scot Harvath series by Brad Thor     I came across Brad Thor on recommendation by fellow Vince Flynn fans. I am slowly working my way through the series, but am very much enjoying it. Scot Harvath is a badass! (I can only dream about how awesome a Mitch Rapp/Scot Harvath team up could have been!!) If you’re on twitter, you can follow Brad (@BradThor) and I suggest you do.

And saving the best for last… absolute favorite author and series…..ever…..

Mitch Rapp series by Vince Flynn     I was late in discovering Vince. Now, I had heard about him from time to time, being a fellow Minnesotan, but never really thought much about it (and boy I kick myself about that all the time). Honestly, I never thought it was a genre that I wanted to read or would even like (boy was I wrong). In 2008/2009 I learned of a common denominator (which I will be keeping personal). Shoot forward to 2010, when he was releasing American Assassin, I decided to hit one of the local book signings, which was on a Thursday. Never reading one of his books, never been to a book signing before, I didn’t know what to expect. Before the singing there was a little Q&A, and even though I felt a little confused, listening to him speak, was point blank amazing. Got to mention a few things when he was signing my book, and the rest is, simply put, history. It was an amazing feeling on several different levels. That Saturday, I went back to the bookstore, and picked up Term Limits and started reading it. And I couldn’t put it down. That Sunday, since I am pretty addicted to Twitter, and noticing that Vince didn’t have one, and there were no fan ones, I decided to create one (you can find it at @VinceFlynnFans). By Monday, I had the support of the publishing company. That was pretty cool. So I finished TL which to date is my favorite VF novel. And so I started in on the Mitch Rapp books, Transfer of Power which was my favorite of the Rapp series (until The Last Man came along). My goal was to read all of them before the following prequel Kill Shot was released. I almost made it. I cannot quite express how much I love the Mitch Rapp series enough. Vince had magic hands for sure. Not only writing a strong, badass, kickass, someone I would want in my corner, male character, but many strong women characters as well. Vince’s fans range from the young to the old, male and female. And they are the best fans out there. From when I created VFF to present day, I have never encountered any negative comments (like many other fan twitters do). And I definitely think a person’s fans really speak about that person! From fellow fans, I have discovered many other wonderful authors (bestsellers and indie) and have made so many wonderful connections, in which I owe to VF. He was more than just an author, but, in my opinion, one of he greatest humans to ever live. If you had the chance to meet him, talk to him, know him, you are a very lucky person. June 19th 2013 was a very hard day. This is the day we lost Vince Flynn. But his words live on… He lives on…

I like a lot of books. Many different genres. I still hope to continue to broaden my horizons, maybe even getting more into classic literature. I have a very large pile of books to get through, but it is ever growing.

4 comments on “My Writing Influences/Book Series That I Love: Part Two

  1. Oh, wow!!! I didn’t know you had met Vince….

    Or, that you were a fellow Minnesotan of his.

    That makes me so happy. I don’t know what it is, but I always click with people from Minnesota. (I guess it’s because Minnesotans always seem a lot like Tennesseans to me. In fact, my best man was born and raised in Minnesota, so I’m not just saying this lightly.)

    And I’m envious that you got to meet Vince. I used to always imagine I’d become a best seller and he’d like my books and agree to let me meet him some day, and we’d meet, hit it off pretty well, and then go hit the lake some day, before going up to his cabin to write. (I remember an interview where he talked about being on the lake and writing up at a cabin as part of his routine.)

    It’s kind of funny, my weird love for this guy. Quick side story, to make a larger point….

    When I was in college, I met this super smart chick who I used to sit next to and talk with. One day she was digging in her purse and pulling things out to get to the bottom of it.

    Well, she pulls out a jagged chunk of concrete. And I’m like, “What is that?”

    And she’s like, “It’s a piece of concrete from the driveway of so and so.” (I can’t remember his name.)

    And I say, “Who’s that?”

    And she says, “The lead singer of so and so.” (I can’t remember the band name, but they were a pretty big-name band, like Nirvana big or so.)

    Me: “How in the world did you get that?”

    Her: “I drove to Louisiana one weekend to see where he lived. I wanted to meet him.”

    Me: “Did you?”

    Her: “No. He wasn’t there, but I stood in his driveway for several hours over two days… And then I finally just took a hammer and beat out some of the concrete of his driveway.”

    Well, by then, I was like, woah, this chick is crazy, but I’m curious and I say, “So, you’re almost like a chick who wants to be one of his groupies?”

    And she says, “Absolutely. I’d do anything for that guy.”

    And so I say, “Like ‘that’ kind of anything? Even though he’s been with hundreds of women?”

    And she says “Definitely. That would be the pinnacle of my life.”

    (And believe me, this chick was smart, introverted, didn’t date, etc. All of this seemed very strange and impossibly out of the norm for this super educated and with it girl.)

    But years and years later, once I started my second Vince Flynn book, and realized his first book wasn’t a fluke, I started becoming this girl.

    I started reading obscure interviews, watching half-buried YouTube video interviews of him, and concocting this weird idea that some day we’d meet and he’d like me and think of me as a peer.

    CLEARLY, this is nothing short of insane nonsensical thoughts on my part, BUT, all these years later, I understand that girl and her love for that lead singer a little better.

    And while I’m not going to find out where he lives and knock out a chunk of his driveway to carry around with me, I do sometimes imagine him looking down on me on those nights when I don’t feel like writing. And I do everything I can to spread the word about him, like I’m some kind of disciple of his. (Including having a page on my website dedicated only to him:

    Anyway, sorry for the super-long comment that totally hijacked your page. We’re both clearly nuts about Vince Flynn, and I’m so happy I found a fellow Vince Flynn maniac!

    • I just read that page earlier tonight. I only was lucky enough to meet him that one time, but it is a moment that I will forever treasure. It’s crazy that I didn’t think I would love the political thrillers as much as I do, and it’s been fun working on expanding from just Flynn. Maybe it’s because, even though it is fiction, in a way, it really isn’t.

      LOL That girl was crazy!

      • Yeah, I really love political thrillers. (And obviously try — key word, try — to write them.)

        My addiction started with Tom Clancy and kind of drifted from there. (Clancy’s books were too broad; like Presidents and Generals making decision and moving tons of troops.)

        I like political thrillers because they involve fewer characters who are closer to the action, and they generally move far faster and aren’t as dry.

        And I’m glad to hear from another girl that the student I described was half-crazy.

        I mean, I’d never be like that… And no, it IS NOT true that I’m holding a hammer in my hand, mapquest-ing Minnesota, and making sure the weather is clear enough to drive up there right now… Do you know if the roads are clear of snow?! : )

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