Writers Reading | Paul Byers

Although things are changing somewhat, we have one last writers reading before we go and check out the fans shelves. Thanks to Paul Byers for joining us here.



AS a writer, we all have things we should do and things we shouldn’t do. I’m not talking
about the lyrics of the Jim Croce song that says you shouldn’t spit into the wind or tug
on Superman’s cape; I’m talking the serious stuff here and I’m afraid I am guilty of
committing a Cardinal Sin.









Now again, I’m not talking about the classic sins of wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust,
envy (okay maybe a little envy of Steven King or Dean Koontz for their success) and
of course the last sin, gluttony. (but it was only a dollar more to supersize it!) No I’m
talking about the Cardinal sin as a writer that I commit by give away the books I just
finished reading for someone else to enjoy instead of telling them how wonderful the
book was and then making them go buy it, thus supporting the author! That’s why my
bookshelf is not as full as some of the past contributors.







Okay, neither of the bookcases is really mine, and the slanted one is not from the
Titanic, I just used them for the illustration. The books I have (those I have left) are
stashed under the stairs at home piled with a bunch of other stuff.

I think most writers will agree that it’s important not only to write, be to read a lot as
well. While my bookshelf may not show it, I do read, though not on the scale as other
here have. (here comes envy again to those who have the time to read) The only time I
get to read is at work during lunch and I average about two books a month.

So what do I read and what has influenced me? For the most part I read what I write,
action thrillers and adventures, but I’m not limited to that. When I was younger, I went
camping with my folks a lot and they were really into Louis L’Amour. I enjoyed the
classic cowboy stuff but it was more than that, I also learned things from him. Did you
know that when you’re walking in the woods, you should turn around every once in a
while and looked where you’ve been so it looks familiar when you are on your way back
so you don’t get lost?

Or when you come in from the cold, never get into a gun fight. Your fingers are stiff
and won’t work the gun as well as when they are warm. You don’t know how many
times that one has saved me!

But L’Amour has written more than just westerns. One of the best books I’ve read is
called the Last of the Breed, about an Air Force officer captured by the Russians and his
escape and trek across the vastness of Siberia.

I’ve also enjoyed crime thrillers from Jeffery Deaver and James Patterson and even
gotten a little of the spooky stuff with Dean Koontz. Deaver has a great way of
educating his reads in areas they may not be familiar with without you even knowing
you’re in school! One of the best books I’ve ever read is Dean’s, (yeah, we’re on a first
name basis, lol) was Odd Thomas. Great, great book! I hated the ending, but it was the
only one that kept the credibility of the book. I would recommend it to anyone.

He is such a good writer that I use one of his passages from his adaptation of
Frankenstein when I talk to high school kids about creative writing. To me, it’s a great
way to use description in your writing. It gives description but also lets the reader fill in
the blanks with their own imagination.

Here it is: Victor’s immense lab was a techno-deco wonder, mostly stainless-steel and white ceramic,

filled with sleek and mysterious equipment that seemed not to be standing along the walls but to be imbedded in them, extruding from them. Other machines swelled out of the ceiling and surged up from the floor, polished and gleaming, yet suggesting organic form.

What action library would be complete without talking about Michael Crichton and
Tom Clancy. I like Clancy’s early stuff and tried to pattern my books like his with short
chapters that leave you hanging at the end of each one as you jump from one part of
the story to another. Michael Crichton is such a good writer, in his book, Prey, in the
first 100 pages nothing blew up, nobody got killed, nobody invaded the world and yet it
still held my interest and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

I’m going to throw a dark horse name out here along with the well-known writers that I
like to read, Jeremy Robinson. He is what we would classify as a mid-lister but he writes
some great stuff. He is your sci-fi, monster, action adventure kind of guy. Great fast
paced stuff.

I’ve also had a couple of friends who have written young adult books and though they
would not have been my first choice to read, I did read them and I did enjoy them. A
well written book, no matter the genre is a pleasure to read.

So there you have it, even though my bookshelf may not show it, I do like a variety

of books on different subjects. So hopefully I’ve taken all the good qualities of these
writers and put them into Arctic Fire and Catalyst and the rest of my books yet to come.

Thanks for your time in reading and to Adele for having me here. Click on the links to
learn more about my books or myself and shoot me any questions you might have.