I tend to get on kicks. I ran through Homeland Season 1 in three days and then moved on. I became obsessed with baseball for a summer and then moved on (mostly). I spent one summer in high school reading every Ian Fleming and Doc Savage book ever. And then I moved on. I saved all of John le Carré’s novels until this last winter. And then I read them all back to back. And I’ve moved on. Now I’m reading every book I can find on the history of Special Operations throughout history. And I’m sure I’ll move on.
A few months ago, I was asked the question that is probably most often asked of authors: What are your influences? And for a minute I was stumped. I love every genre, not just crime. In fact crime is such a broad genre that it’s kind of impossible not to like. I love spies and espionage. And espionage, by its very nature is crime. Crime that is sanctioned by the state, but still criminal, depending on what side you’re on.
But when I though back I realized that there was a summer in 1988 right before I got to high school that I stumbled upon some reprints of the old Dick Tracy comic strips. They’d been repackaged into regular sized comic books and were being released as issues. Black and white comics? Ugh. What I was used to was full-color superhero comics and Doc Savage up to that point so these rough dark gritty comics were something else all together.