“Which author or authors have most influenced your writing and how?”
This is going to sound stupid, but I've never really considered this before.
As I've said before, I haven't been writing long. Before I started writing I was much more into art and design. Though there are basic principles that cross over, my appreciation for Van Gogh and Monet and pretty much anything Art Nouveau doesn't do much for my writing. Cover design, maybe. :)
In high school, I did all of my assigned reading, but the only ones I remember really enjoying are Dickens, Poe, Alcott, and Tolkein. And though I was never assigned to read it, one of my favorites will always be To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Beyond that, the authors that have probably had the most influence on my writing and storytelling are J.R.R. Tolkein and Robert Jordan, and more recently Suzanne Collins, Simone Elkeles and Laure Halse Anderson.
Tolkein and Jordan made me love fantasy and the intricate worlds that are so prevelant in that genre.
Collins for her amazing ability to keep me reading even when I know I need to sleep. The woman is a master at pacing. She really makes you care about her characters too.
Elkeles is excellent at characterization and going beyond stereotypes. She's also a great example of creating tension in the romance area.
Anderson has heavily influenced the way I write emotion. She's amazing at taking the setting and using it to show what her characters are feeling. If you're struggling in this area, her books are a great place to start, though they may make you feel incredibly inferior. ;)
I'm sure there are others, but these are the ones that I can think of that have had a direct affect on my writing.
What about all of you? Which authors have influenced you?
Be sure to check out Shaun's post from yesterday and Cole's post tomorrow.