"Which author or authors have most influenced your writing and how?"
Everyone I read influences me in some way. Recently I was reading Raymond Chandler and I came up with this description for a character:
Lexi isn't the kind of girl you expect to have cancer. She isn't plucky or strange. She doesn't have indie cred or a brilliant ray of sunshine that beams out of her ass no matter how bad things get. She's bookish and eager and the kind of girl who likes getting extra English homework over long holiday weekends.Now, I know that it's not Raymond Chandler there, but reading the awesome prose of THE BIG SLEEP directly influenced that. I've also been recently influenced by the awesome pacing of Patrick Ness in his CHAOS WALKING triology.
But the BIG influences are the authors I read as a boy. C.S. Lewis and Susan Cooper and Tolkien and Terry Brooks and John Bellairs and John D. Fitzgerald. They're the authors who sparked my imagination. The one's who showed me that there's magic in every cupboard, ring, and belt buckle. They're the reason I love smart narrators and the nerdy adults who help them. There's this passage between childhood and adulthood that holds so much wonder and pain and magic. These authors, and really all YA authors, explored that area. And they weren't just telling stories. They were drawing maps. Leaving clues to help others traverse that creaky bridge. Their books helped me through adolescence and influenced the kind of work I write.
If I can leave just one clue of my own, then I'll be happy. Their influence may not be in my word choice or my style, but if there's any magic in my work, it's there because of them.
Hey! Tomorrow head on over and see who's influencing Abby. And if you haven't already (and shame on you if you haven't) go check out the alt-rock recollections of Kate! Maybe we can convince her to do some karaoke :)