19 replies
Which fiction books inspire you as a copywriter?

Because of their writing style and genre.

I know that Gary Halbert was a great fan of John D. McDonald.

Who are your favourite authors and books?
#fiction #pulp
  • Profile picture of the author dorothydot
    Mmm, let's think now. My favorite authors?

    John D. McDonald, for sure.
    Tony Hillerman
    Daphne DuMaurier
    Arthur Conan Doyle - Sherlock Holmes!
    Dorothy Sayers - Lord Peter Whimsey
    Dean Koontz - Great spooky stories, he sent me a letter regarding my own
    writing style for ghost stories.
    Recently discovered (thanks, e-reader!!!) the Charlie Chan series - they are
    great!
    There are lots more, but these are my top-of-the-list favorites.
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  • Profile picture of the author ARSuarez
    If you're into the Fantasy/Sci-Fi side of things, NOTHING beats George R.R. Martin, the "American Tolkien."

    While there are better "writers," Martin is the most amazing storyteller.

    His monster series, A Song of Ice And Fire, is amazing. But the stand alone novels, Fevre Dream among them, deserve credit.

    Really great stuff. Also fond of Rudyard Kipling. I would get "Kim" if I were you.

    All the best,

    Angel
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  • Profile picture of the author George Sepich
    J.R.R Tolkien's "The Lord Of The Rings" Trilogy. Story Telling At Its Best. Also Madeleine L'Engles Wrinkle In Time Series. Good Stuff.

    George
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  • Profile picture of the author CityCliq
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    I am reading Cormac MaCarthy. I first read The Road, and then found The Evening Redness in the West. Currently, I'm reading Outer Dark. He is the best writer I've ever read.

    I like James Carlos Blake, too.

    For style, I admire John D. Macdonald, Dashiell Hammet, Raymond Chandler, Jack Kerouac, John Dos Passos. Hunter Thompson.

    I'm a fan of Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick.
    Spot on choices, Ken! Of course, it depends on what kind of copy you primarily write, but you can't beat HST for maximizing efficiency and colorful language.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    I am reading Cormac MaCarthy. I first read The Road, and then found The Evening Redness in the West. Currently, I'm reading Outer Dark. He is the best writer I've ever read.
    Ken, The Road made me want to shoot myself in the abdomen, and I'm an upbeat kinda guy.

    Last 2 books I read...

    Jonathan Franzen: Freedom

    The Girl Who Played With Fire by the Swede who died just after turning in his manuscripts.

    TGWPWF was by far the more rolickin' read...

    --- Ross
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    • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
      Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

      MaCarthy's not for everyone. You forgot Jonathon Livingston Seagull.
      I had to Google JLS. Behind the curve again...

      --- Ross
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    George Orwell, the finest writer of English ever(in my opinion) said:

    • Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
    • Never use a long word where a short one will do.
    • If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
    • Never use the passive where you can use the active.
    • Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
    • Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
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  • Profile picture of the author wayne60618
    Ross, did you also read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo...also by that Swede who just died...Good book.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
      Originally Posted by wayne60618 View Post

      Ross, did you also read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo...also by that Swede who just died...Good book.
      Wayne... I saw the movie, but didn't read the book. Good movie btw. Now I need to read the hornets nest one but I might wait until the paperback comes out. But I am tempted because he's a great writer.

      Just re-read Stephen King's On Writing. Still a great book the second time around.

      --- Ross
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Newman
    Hello,

    The list below is incomplete:

    1. Ian McEwan (Try his Booker prize-winning AMSTERDAM,a novella.Tight prose)
    2. J. K. Rowling
    3. Kashuo Ishiguro (hope I got the spelling right)
    4. A.S.Byatt
    5.Abdulrazak Gurnah
    6.Martha Beck
    7.Stephen King (re-reading NEEDFUL THINGS for the third time!)
    8. William Styron (read SOPHIE's CHOICE twice)

    Would love to read more fiction...busy writing.

    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author ericthered
      "Peace Like A River" by Leif Enger.

      Story telling at its finest.

      The guy is a MASTER with metaphors.

      I hope they never make a movie from this story.

      Eric
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  • Profile picture of the author nigelzephyr
    every published book is a masterpiece. (right?)

    hmm.. top authors?

    1. ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE
    2. J.K. ROWLING
    3. LISI HARRISON
    4. IAN FLEMING

    CANT THINK OF ANYTHING ELSE
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  • Profile picture of the author Rigmonkey
    I've always had a bit of a passion for writers with an eye for the more sinister side of life. Anthony Burgess was an early favourite and Irvine Welsh has been an inspiration in recent years. On a more upbeat level, Roddy Doyle has always tickled my fancy while Nick Hornby produced some decent stuff in his earlier works. Iian Banks is also capable of producing some real gems ("Espedair Street" is a favourite of mine).

    Regarding Cormac McCarthy, I've read 'The Road' and 'Blood Meridian' and thoroughly enjoyed both.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marc Rodill
    I've read almost everything by Charles Bukowski, pretty much all of his poems and books, minus a couple I haven't gotten around to, and Chuck Palahnuik too. I love Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas" and should probably read more by him. And I just finished reading 3 books by Harold Robbins in 3 days last week because I have too much free time.

    (The stories and characters tend to blur when you do that...)

    Anything that is fast-paced and personal narrative driven, and can have you feeling a wide range of emotions rapidly, dealing with things like Rigmonkey said (the more sinister side of life) those are my favorites. I love a good understanding of human nature in dialogue more than anything.

    Judging from this thread, apparently I have a few more authors to add to my list. Maybe.

    I've never read anything by Jack Kerouac although I have been mentally meaning to. I don't really know why. And now that it's been mentioned, I've seen that Dragon book in almost all stores near me, but pretty much discounted it for that reason alone. So I might actually read it now.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
    Originally Posted by Steve Copywriter View Post

    Which fiction books inspire you as a copywriter?

    Because of their writing style and genre.

    I know that Gary Halbert was a great fan of John D. McDonald.

    Who are your favourite authors and books?
    - Early James Patterson fiction (before he started cranking out 4 books/year with co-authors). Two of his first books, Along Came A Spider and Kiss The Girls are great suspenseful thrillers. Black Market is also a great one too.

    - The Talisman - Stephen King (read it twice). Great storytelling in action.

    - Brad Thor. Love his counter-terrorism series especially earlier in the Scott Harvath series when Thor wasn't as well known. Great story build-up that gradually builds into a fast-paced action story.

    - Richard Marcinko's Rogue Warrior series. Marcinko is like sitting down in the room with your salty old uncle who was an old-school Navy Seal for 30 years (like Marcinko was)... who "drank, looted, and shooted" his way around the world and has lots of great stories about his adventures to tell. Pure macho, rated-R action story reading that can be pretty funny in spots too.

    - Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer series. If you ever watched the Mike Hammer TV series with Stacey Keach & liked it, then you'll love the books the show was based on. Pure 1950's style macho storytelling.

    - Robert Ludlum. I don't think I've ever read a book of Ludlum's that wasn't a great suspenseful story with rich descriptive prose.

    His "The Bourne Identity" series was absolutely great... and in typical Hollywood fashion, were butchered badly into 3 different movies. I really enjoyed his Covert One series as well.
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