25 Writers Who Have Influenced Me

Author Raymond Benson started this meme on Facebook and it's quickly catching on. My list, of novelists and screenwriters, in no particular order is:

1. Gregory MacDonald 

2. Ian Fleming 

3. Robert B. Parker 

4. John Irving 

5. Larry McMurtry 

6. Frederick Manfred 

7. Stephen J. Cannell 

8. Roy Huggins 

9. Ross MacDonald 

10. Richard Maibaum 

11. Harry Whittington 

12. John D. MacDonald 

13. Elmore Leonard 

14. Richard S. Prather 

15. Ed McBain 

16. E.F Wallengren 

17. Michael Gleason 

18. Ross H. Spencer 

19. Stephen King 

20. A.B. Guthrie 

21. Blake Edwards 

22. William Goldman 6a00d8341c669c53ef00e54f35dc608833

23. Norman Lear 

24. Neil Simon 

25. Carl Hiaasen

Of course, immediately after compiling the list, I started thinking of people I left out… like Charles Willeford, Donald Hamilton, "Franklin W. Dixon," "Carolyn Keene," the guy who wrote "Encyclopedia Brown," the guy(s) who wrote "The Three Investigators," Steven Bochco, Leslie Charteris, Levinson & Link, Robert Ludlum, James Crumley, Trevanian, and Rod Serling…but I only had 25. (Pictured: Michael Gleason and Robert B. Parker & I).

4 thoughts on “25 Writers Who Have Influenced Me”

  1. Kinda cool seeing Blake Edwards’ name up there. Ask 50 people familiar him and 49 will say he’s a director and leave it at that.
    And of course, he IS a director. But they forget (or don’t know) that Blake Edwards wrote or co-wrote virtually all of his movies and broke into directing as a scriptwriter. Matter of fact, I think he got his start in radio!

  2. I got my M.A. in English, so the three classic writers who have influenced me are Shakespeare, Jane Austin and Tolstoy. Xenophon is also very good along with Herodotus. The modern writers you mentioned are all great. I would add Alistir McLean to the list and Winston Graham, who wrote the Poldark saga.
    One superb writer who is underestimated is Somerset Maugham. His short stories are among the best. And two of his novels are immortal: “Of Human Bondage” and “The Razor’s Edge.” He also wrote entertaining plays: “The Land of Promise” holds up well.


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