Patrick Ryder

Writer of dark fiction

Influences

I have been influenced by every single book I have ever read. I hardly ever give up on a book. If I start reading a book and decide I don't like it, I still keep reading, trying to work out why I don't like it. It's a good way of learning.

So, I am probably influenced as much by books that I regard as poor as the ones I think are pure genius. I don't have the arrogance or stupidity or whatever you want to call it to criticize the work of another author (especially when they've sold more books than I have), so this page lists only some of the strong positive influences I am aware of on my writing.

 
'Baxter' by Jessica Hamilton - novel front cover

Baxter by Jessica Hamilton

This short novel is one of the creepiest pieces of writing I have ever read. With remarkable economy of words, Jessica Hamilton evokes a burning sense of pure evil you will never forget. I believe this novel is now out of print, but you can still find reasonable secondhand copies. (My wonderful wife managed to track down my treasured hardback copy as a Christmas present.) If you've never read this book, get it now.

 
'It' by Stephen King - front cover

It by Stephen King

I have lost count of how many times I have read this novel. The horror in this tale is as scary as horror gets, but - for me - I feel this book is, as much as anything, about growing up. The flashback childhood chapters are so vivid that, sometimes, the horror fades into the distance... at least for a little while.

 
'Wolf's Hour' by Robert R. McCammon - front cover

Wolf's Hour by Robert R. McCammon

I believe this book is one that Mr McCammon won't allow to be reprinted because he doesn't feel his work was good enough at time. Well, I wish my best writing was half as good as this. The book is written half from the point of view of the protagonist as a human and half from his canine alter ego. Put this against the backdrop of Nazi Germany, and - to be honest - I did not expect to enjoy this read. But it is brilliant! Each point of view draws you in so completely that you don't want to switch to the other. Books are very personal things, so I would be interested to know what others think of 'Wolf's Hour', but I love it.

 

 

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