Jun 16 2012

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Do you have a favourite author – or is it impossible to stick with just one choice?



Joe and I go back a long way. As a young man he used to cover sports for the weekly newspaper I edited. When I moved on he became a full-time member of the sports team, later taking over the sports editor’s desk. A few years after that he was sitting in the editor’s chair I had vacated. We lost touch for too many years but were re-united by our love of books and writing. I’ve had a preview of his novel SOMEONE HAS TO PAY, due out in a few months, and I can assure you you’re in for a treat.

Picking a favourite author is not something I would imagine comes easy for avid book readers. I certainly couldn’t. In a lifetime of reading quite a few thousand titles I’ve switched allegiance about as many times as Bill Murray changes his garish shirts – and I expect to go on finding new writers whose work I’ll pursue for a time before looking at broader horizons.

I think that’s as it should be. There’s a world of great authors out there waiting for readers to ‘discover’ them, no matter that some of the best have been around for years.  Discovery is not about newness, it’s about personally encountering something for the first time.

I’m one of those readers who tend to chase other works by an author if I happen to stumble across one of his/her books that I particularly like. I’ll chase them down and throw myself into them before looking for new pastures. Then the process starts again.

Like everyone else I tend to stay in particular genres. Mine’s happens to be action, thrillers and crime fiction. That’s a big world to explore, although being an author as well as a reader, I do take frequent trips into other genres. You can learn a lot from different writing styles and the way in which writers construct the various strands of their stories.

Okay, enough of the preamble. It’s time to commit myself to some choices.

My first real love affair with fictional adventures was with the inimitable Alastair Maclean. He’s the master who produced classics such as The Guns of Navarone, Where Eagles Dare, HMS Ulysses, Fear is the Key…. the list is endless. It was Maclean who sucked me into the world of action adventures – and some 40 years later I’m still here.

I swopped out Maclean for other, equally thrilling, action authors. Next up was Jack Higgins, whose early novels were ground-breaking in many ways, though there’s too much of a sameness with his current batch for me to continue the pursuit.

My up-to-date list of must-follow authors is pretty extensive. Here’s a flavour of who I read and whose latest works are a must-buy as soon as they hit the stores. In no particular order they are:

Vince Flynn
Lee Child
Matt Hilton
Brad Thor
Stephen Leather
David Baldacci
Sean Black
Mel Comley
Gordon Ferris
Austin S Camacho

One glaring omission from the list is Clive Cussler. Having gone through every one of his vast collection I’m just about exhausted. I made a conscious effort to take a Cussler break to explore other authors.

As I’ve said, there are thousands of authors waiting for you to discover them. If you have any recommendations I’d be happy to give them a go.

FOOTNOTE: Joe McCoubrey is an Irish thriller writer – and an old friend. His first book ‘Someone Has To Pay’ is to be published shortly. You’ll find out more about him at his Website – CLICK HERE.


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  1. kevin Taggart

    Another interesting blog Brad. I agree with your choice of authors and would add Dean Koontz, R.J.Ellory and a writer I’ve recently discovered- C.J.Box, an American whose books include, ‘Back Of Beyond’ and ‘Cold Wind’.

  2. Ger

    Great read Brad! Some of my favourite authors are Peter James, Arlene Hunt and Lee Child too! 🙂

  3. Brad Fleming

    All good choices!

  4. turner_tasha

    Surprised at what a different it makes being on the other side of the ocean in who re read.

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