I have very strong memories of the closing days of the First Cold War which often resonate in my writing today.
Films like ‘When the Wind Blows’, ‘The Day After’ and ‘Threads’ had shown just how devastating a nuclear war would be. I remember news reports of US Cruise Missile launchers prowling the UK countryside on manoeuvres, practicing for the day that they might need to rain nuclear hell on the USSR.
For a teenager growing up in those days, reports about anti-nuclear protests by CND, the Falklands War, the Reagan Administration’s “Star Wars project” (ie SDI) , social uprisings in Eastern Europe, the eventual fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification made ‘The World’ seem like a very dangerous place… it was, and it still is.
Thrillers and Action Stories have always been a big part of my life…
I grew up with stories about World War 2, from family history, films and books. The combat scenes seemed ‘exciting’ (back then) but it was actually films with espionage elements like ‘Where Eagles Dare’, ‘The Eagle Has Landed’ and ‘The Odessa File’ that really engaged my imagination. James Bond films were often shown on television, along with other movies like ‘The Fourth Protocol’, ‘The Fourth War’ and ‘The Ipcress File’.
As a reader I’ve been enthralled by the classics like Fleming, Baldacci, Dan Brown, Michael Chrichton, John le Carré, Cussler, Lee Child, Clancy, Jack Higgins, Robert Harris, Alistair MacLean, Patterson, Cruz Smith… and too many more to list here!
Eventually I hit a tipping point and wanted to start writing my own Thriller stories – working on my ‘Lissa Blackwood’ series has been an amazing experience, she is an exciting character to write and I’m loving every minute of it!
I gained a love of the science fiction genre around 1980 when a family friend gave me a book by Isaac Asimov (I remember his name as the catalyst for my imagination, but not the book’s title).
Books were very expensive in those days and the free gift of a hardback was quite something. Over the 30 years since then I have enjoyed reading many sci-fi masterpieces. My focus often sits with what Robert Silverberg called the true Golden Age of science fiction, the 1950s. I have particular soft spots for writers like Douglas Adams, Aldiss, Asimov, Greg Bear, Bradbury, John W. Campbell Jr, Arthur C. Clarke, Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Stanislaw Lem, Silverberg, E E ‘Doc Smith and Walter M Miller Jr.
Outside of SF, I have been strongly affected by many wonderful writers like J G Ballard, Dante, Dickens, Dostoyevsky, T S Eliot, Graves, Koontz, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Solzhenitsyn and Tolstoy.
These influences have combined into strong feelings about the power of love and respect for others. These values and emotions are the glue that binds us together in societies, whether that be in families, towns, countries or ideologies.
Books by Lee Russell:
Dead Snow (2017)
An End of Beginnings (2016)
Future Visions (2012 & 2016)
In the Web (2011) – originally published in Jupiter SF #34, now available for free from my website
Swimming in the FastWarm Current (2009) – orginally published in Jupiter SF #27, now available for free from my website
“Think The Matrix meets David Cronenberg’s Existenz. Great premise, set in a dystopian future… a few good plot twists and a few unexpected surprises. Recommended as a Sci-Fi Thriller.”‘Dead Snow’ : Amazon UK, 4* review
“If you liked the Matrix, you will love this book.. Really well written & original. Give it a go!”‘Dead Snow’ : Amazon UK, 5* review
“… cold war… cyber-punk aspects… Let’s have another one soon please, Mr Russell!”‘Dead Snow’ : Amazon UK, 4* review
“Great story set in a dystopian future. Fantastic plot kept me reading to the last page.”‘Dead Snow’ : Amazon UK, 5* review