Author Kathryn Orzech’s Favorites (in no particular order)

Fiction Authors & Books that Changed Me & Inspired My Writing

The Collector, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, The Magus, Daniel Martin by John Fowles
The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park, Congo, Strain, Sphere by Michael Crichton
Richard Matheson
Animal Farm and 1984 by George Orwell
Silas Marner by George Elliot
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Oversoul Seven Trilogy by Jane Roberts
The Egyptian by Mika Waltari

Films that Changed Me & Inspired My Writing

1950s — I had barely reached teen years in the fifties
Inherit the Wind — (Jerome Lawrence novel) fictionalized drama of real-case 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial and after this, I became a fan of courtroom drama
12 Angry Men — ditto re: courtroom drama
The Curse of Frankenstein — frightened by nightmares until my dad told me a woman wrote the story, then I was okay with the monster

1960s — during high school and art school years, I was thinking deeply
To Kill a Mockingbird — (Harper Lee novel) wonderful father-daughter coming-of-age story with relatable and unforgettable characters
Fail-Safe — by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler, a system malfunction triggers an inadvertent nuclear attack, pretty scary when we drilled hiding under school desks
Seven Days in May — political thriller by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II, an attempted military coup in the United States
Blow-up — a hip fashion photographer sees a mystery in his photos
Judgment at Nuremberg — great courtroom drama, a quiet man fighting for justice
King of Hearts — inmates take over an abandoned town, made one question who was insane
Zorba the Greek — from the 1946 novel by Nikos Kazantzakis, reinventing a life

1970s — my years of exploring and comparing religions, ethics, morals, and spiritual beliefs
Apocalypse Now — a renegade colonel is revered as a god to a local tribe
The Deer Hunter — the shocking deterioration of mind and morals
Don’t Look Now — haunted by our own ghosts, do we see? or think we see? One of the scariest films I’ve ever seen
Audrey Rose — a stranger believes a young girl is the reincarnated spirit of his daughter
The Reincarnation of Peter Proud — a recurring nightmare stirs memories of past life
Eyes of Laura Mars — fashion photographer sees psychic visions of murder through killer’s eyes
Alien — talk about a strong woman protagonist, you show ’em, Ripley

1980s — an interest in geopolitics grows
The French Lieutenant’s Woman — (John Fowles novel) I was blown away by the structure of shifting stories set in two times periods, made me want to write like that, so I wrote Asylum
Made in Heaven — spirits fall in love in heaven, can they find each other on Earth? Let’s hope!
Somewhere in Time — (Richard Matheson novel) love time travel tales, someday I’ll write one
No Way Out — thriller/mystery when a young Naval officer collides with geopolitics, scandal and romance

1990s — confused and torn between reality and the otherworld
Truly Madly Deeply — the spirit of a dead lover returns to Earth to ease inconsolable grief
Stir of Echoes — (Richard Matheson novel) a supernatural thriller set in blue-collar Chicago, released too close to Sixth Sense and couldn’t compete with its marketing campaign
The Sixth Sense — spirits that don’t know they’re dead seek help from a child
The Hunt for Red October — thriller/drama when the newest Soviet sub heads for the USA
Independence Day — how can you not love a united earth fighting alien invaders

2000s — ghosts and spirits are winning my attention with scary psychological horror, YIKES!
The Others — modern horror with old-fashioned spin
Identity — psychological thriller mystery set in a desolate Nevada motel during a nasty storm
The Skeleton Key — a hospice nurse digs too deep into a spooky New Orleans plantation home’s mysterious past, very scary
What Lies Beneath — psychological horror, well-to-do Vermont couple haunted by a secret past

2010s — I’ve got a lot of catching up to do with movies I want to see
Shutter Island — (Dennis Lehane novel) neo-noir psychological thriller set in an asylum for the criminally insane
Unstoppable — runaway freight train action and suspense

Favorite TV Dramas Entertain & Impress Me

The West Wing
Madam Secretary
Criminal Minds
NCIS
Law & Order, SVU, Criminal Intent
Downton Abbey
The Americans
Breaking Bad
Mad Men
The X-Files
Threshold
Medium
The Sopranos
24
Homeland
Sherlock
The Good Wife
Scandal
Star Trek – the full series
60 Minutes
The Twilight Zone
The Walking Dead
The Bachelorette
… and most British, Australian police/detective/spy series on PBS

My Favorite Music

Too scattered and changing to list, can’t even begin, let’s say Classical and The Beatles and leave it at that.