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June 12, 2013

Many authors have inspired me, directly and indirectly. Many you’ve heard of. I’ve already covered two. Although Stephen King never directly inspired me artistically, I wanted to get him out of the way because I admire him for his accomplishments. Since one of the genres I write is icky bug, naturally, he’d be at the top of my list. I covered Clive Cussler because he had such profound influence on my style with the Gold series. However, without the kind help and influence of one person, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.

When I first started with this passion back in 1995, there were lots of books to inspire me. With plenty of authors on that list to get to (yet), my focus was all over the place. I mainly read icky bug but also read science-fiction based thrillers and pure thrillers as well as action adventure (which I mentioned in the Clive Cussler article). One day I was browsing through the racks at Hastings in Altus, Oklahoma and ran across a cool cover with an intriguing title. Night Passage.

At the time, I was in a transition between finishing The Cave, my first science fiction thriller and starting The Greenhouse, my first icky bug. I’d never heard of the author, Carol Davis Luce. The cover and book blurb looked intriguing, so I picked it up, and loved the story! It was a woman-in-jeopardy thriller set in a northern Nevada mining town. It involved underground passages and a lot of plot twists and turns. From that point, I haunted the bookstore and library, looking for any other novels by MS Luce. Unfortunately, by that time, all of her other books were already out of print.

Along came the Internet. I looked her up and found an e-mail address. I wrote her. To my great shock, she responded. Not only did she respond back, but she did every time I wrote! It was a start of a lifelong friendship.

In Altus, OK, I had no writer’s group. I had nothing except myself and my rejection letters and a few friends and family to beta read. Carol became my lifeline to the real world of publishing. She not only became my friend but my writing mentor, which she still is. She’s been there for me through thick and plenty of thin. She’s been there to kick me in the pants when I was on the verge of giving up trying to pitch my stories, even while she was having her own issues with the same things. She was there to encourage me, coach me, beta read and proofread my work. She could’ve stopped writing or told me to get lost, but she didn’t. She stuck with me.

In turn, as I gained experience, I’ve beta read some of her work. We’re certainly not equals, but we’ve helped each other out over the 18 odd years I’ve known her. I’m ready to drop everything to edit for her if she asks.

All it took was an exchange of e-mails in the dawn of the Internet from an aspiring writer to an author he admired based on a single book.

I’ve since obtained the rest of her backlist and loved every single one of her novels. I pitch them every chance I get. She’s still at it, with new stories coming out including the recently released Awakening.

Carol Davis Luce has been as much, if not more of an influence on me than any of the authors I’ve mentioned so far or will mention in the future. If not for her, I probably wouldn’t be as far along as I am now. The Greenhouse might not have reached the end. The Gold series might not be up to six novels, so far. Meleena’s Adventures may never have made it past page one (and with a publisher). I thank you Carol!

You can check her out at

Her books are all available on Amazon. Just type in Carol Davis Luce.

I feel very lucky.

Happy writing!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 12, 2013 4:56 pm

    Awww shucks, Fred, I am humbled. Thank you for the kind words. From fan to friend, there’s nothing better. Can’t wait to read Meleena’s Adventures when it’s released.

    • June 14, 2013 2:46 am


      I am the one that is humbled and honored to have such a great mentor and friend. You’ve stuck with me through some pretty rough times and I’ll never forget it.

      One could be so lucky!

      You rock!


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