Today I am saddened by the news that Tom Clancy has passed away. Clancy is the man who got me hooked on reading. His book Rainbow Six blew my mind away and introduced me to an amazing world that Clancy let his characters loose in. John Patrick (Jack) Ryan is one of my all time favourite characters as is John Clarke (also known as John Kelly) these two characters struck a nerve with me as I was coming to the end of my teens and crawling into my twenties.
My first knowledge of Clancy was the movie adaptation The Hunt for Red October, based on the book of the same name and it was always a book that I had wanted to read but as I said it was Rainbow Six which first pulled me in. I had played the PC game and later the Xbox game of the same name and just loved the idea of it and when I read the book I feel in even more love with the idea but it was the way Tom Clancy wrote that caught my attention. He was not afraid of playing for the big steaks or putting characters through hell in his fiction. The things that he puts Jack Ryan through are almost unbelievable at times, and it means you pull for the characters even more.
The depth of detail Clancy put into his fiction was amazing as well, and aside from one segment he wrote in a way that made me understand what he was talking about.
I feel quite bad at the moment because I have over looked Clancy, and more importantly the influence he has had on me as a writer and as a person, for the last few years. I have even forgotten to put him in my Influenced BY page on my blog here (that will be rectified shortly). It was Tom Clancy who got me reading, I picked up Rainbow Six and then devoured the Jack Ryan. Although I love Jack Ryan my favourite two books by Clancy are Rainbow Six and Without Remorse, both of which have the amazing John Clarke as the main protagonist.
I was reading Clancy as I began my journey as a writer and that definitely had a large influence on how I write, it also drove me knowing that Clancy wrote The Hunt For Red October in his spare time.
From what I have heard of Tom Clancy as a person he was a gentleman, as a writer he is one of the great storytellers of our time and we have lost something that cannot be replaced with his passing.
My thoughts are with Mr Clancy’s family and friends and I hope they know that he gave many, many people a lot of pleasure by the words he wrote.
Thank you for those words Mr Clancy, may you Rest In Peace.