I just finished rereading The 97th Step by Steve Perry. It is the follow up to the Matador trilogy and is quite excellent. One of the things Perry excels at is action scenes. When I was focusing on improving my action sequences I reread a lot of his books. He keeps things trimmed down, sparse, focusing on the movement and flow of events rather than get overly introspective during combat. In the few times I have been in combat that is what it feels like, these short staccato moments even when things are flowing. I was having trouble translating what I knew into something that could be written down.
All his books in that series are excellent for that. He establishes character quickly and moves right into things, no fuss no muss. And he doesn’t give you too much information, using a lot of odd words, different languages, etc… to set to mood. The atmosphere is good but honestly, it his action sequences that get me.
His interpersonal stuff is also good. When characters fall in love it is easy to see the why of it all, which is nice. That way you can believe the actions that happen thanks to those emotions. All in all it is wonderful stuff and certainly helped me learn a great deal about writing. I have followed his blog as well, which has been interesting. He has many and varied interests and not all of them show in the books. That’s not bad. Getting to know him as a person has also helped me figure out stuff about being a writer. So I go back to that well often, to reacquaint myself with those characters, that way of writing and such. Good fun.