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Top 10 Favorite Writers Influences

Updated on March 15, 2013

Who influences you?

We all have influences in our life, people who helped us become the person we are today. As a writer I have many, some famous the world wide and some only famous to me.

I am and always have been an avid reader, though I prefer absurdist fiction I will read anything I can get my hands on (even textbooks!) I've read the classics, I've read popular fiction, the cult classics and even movies have influenced my writing style greatly.

Each book I read goes into a file in my brain. I tear up each story and try to figure out what makes it work, and what doesn't. I've learned from the best writers and I've learned from the worst. I've discovered that knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do.

If you are a writer, your list is likely far different from mine but that's okay. We need all kinds of writers!

Dr. Seuss

We all owe a huge thank you to Dr. Seuss for saving us from the tedium that was "Dick and Jane" Though many of us have fond memories of Dick, Jane and Spot they really weren't an exciting bunch of characters.

Then in walked Dr. Seuss, books that were easy to read but also FUN!

I was four when my mother taught me how to read, I remember following her finger as I repeated the words to "The Cat in the Hat" and "Green Eggs and Ham." As I grew older my favorite Dr. Seuss became "The Sneetches" and it remains so to this day...

The Sneetches

A. A. Milne

My love of reading was cemented when I discovered a pudgy little bear and the boy who loved him. It was my Aunt Tammy who introduced me to Winnie the Pooh shortly after I learned to read.

These are the books that sparked my imagination and lead me to eventually making up stories of my own, usually involving animals. I have no doubt these books led to me writing my first story - the story of a bunny trying to hide his mothers birthday gift. My mother still has this little book written and illustrated by five year old me.

Your greatest influence...

As writers we all have different influences, those who have inspired us, those who have directed us, those who have shared secrets with us. Sometimes our greatest influence comes from those who are closest to us, others it comes from afar.

Who is your greatest writing influece?

Judy Blume

Both loved and hated by adults everywhere, and quite often banned for discussions of menstruation and other "adult" topics. Judy Blume was a huge influence on me as a writer. She touched on subjects that nobody else did. When I was younger it was sibling problems in the form of "SuperFudge" and if I hadn't read "Are You There God, It's Me Margaret" I would not have known what to expect when it came to puberty.

A Writer is born

When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?

See results

C.S. Lewis

My uncle Rob passed his collection of the Chronicles of Narnia on to me many years ago. My children each have a set of their own. The first real fantasy novels I ever read, simple to read but powerful imagery and strong story telling have made these books a lifelong favorite!

Stephen King

I was in seventh grade the first time I read a Stephen King novel, once again a gift from my Uncle. Salem's Lot scared me to death, but I found I couldn't put it down. I went on to read nearly every novel he has ever written, including my favorite fiction novel "The Stand," which I've read more than five times through. (I've also read the extended version once, with 100, 000 ADDITIONAL words it was close to the longest book I've ever read - "Atlas Shrugged" being the winner there.)

Then I discovered the Dark Tower series. Once you have read them, his older books come to life, you suddenly understand things that never made sense before. A powerful adult fantasy where even Stephen King himself makes a fictional appearance. A series so unique it is difficult to explain, but I usually tell others to think of Old West versions of the Jedi Knights to describe the gunslingers.

But my favorite book of all is "On Writing" it encouraged me to stop dreaming and start writing. As it turns out all writers begin in the same place, with a blank page... what we do with that page is up to us.

Anne Rice

A friend gave me a copy of "Interview with the Vampire" when I was in High School, and I was instantly hooked. It wasn't just the tales of the immortals that hooked me, but her style in general.

She can set a scene like nobody else, describing architecture and landscaping so vividly that you can almost reach out and touch them. I can actually smell the magnolia's as she describes a character walking down the streets of New Orleans. I've read most of her books and found each to be a work of art in their own right.

Her later books lost a little bit of her earlier style and I discovered it was because after a time she insisted on editing her own work. She taught me that we all need an outside eye to evaluate our work properly, someone who isn't emotionally involved.

As hard as it may be, editors are our friends.

Kevin Smith

Can a movie maker actually influence a writer? In my case, yes. At first I wasn't all that impressed with his style, but as his movies progressed I began to see a glimpse a true artist under the stoner jokes and silliness.

In the movie "An evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder" he talks about the creative process, and I realized that we all struggle with the same things no matter how we choose to share our message with the world.

He's just a normal guy who had a vision, and he found a way to share that vision with others. Isn't that what any writer wants?

Piers Anthony

I've read quite a bit of Piers Anthony's work but none influenced me so much as "Through the Ice," a book that left me in tears long after I had finished it. You see the book was started by one of his young fans, Robert Kornwise, who died in a tragic car accident.

The family went to Mr. Anthony and asked him if he would finish the book and after some soul searching he did finish it. I was so touched by the story that I wrote to Mr. Anthony and told him of my dream of becoming a writer.

Not only did he respond right away, he took the time to encourage me and give me some advice. I was so touched by his actions that I decided to put my writing on the front burner.

I don't know how long I've been given on this earth, but I now know I have to many stories that will be left untold if I don't start now.

Tom Robbins

I love absurdest fiction no matter who does the writing, but Tom Robbins is the master of the genre. His books are silly and serious at the same time. With brilliant characters such as the can of beans, an old sock, a stick, and a shell in "Skinny Legs and All" to the pagan god Pan in "Jitterbug Perfume."

Reading Tom Robbins is an experience, you never know what his characters are going to do next, or where they will end up. A truly unique writer with a flair for the unusual, if you have ever wanted to read something truly different Tom Robbins is your man.

Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk (Paula-Nick) left me curious after watching Fight Club. What kind of mind could come up with something so bizarre? Then, I began reading his books and discovered he was just getting started.

"Invisible Monsters" is the only book I've ever read that left me gasping at the end of each chapter, "No F*%&$*g WAY!" Yes, not only was there a way but a new surprise at every turn.

His style is so far apart from anything or anyone else I have ever read that in this, Chuck P. stands alone.

Invisible Monsters

When the song "Time to Dance" was released by the band Panic! At the Disco there was a lot of debate over what the odd lyrics meant, but Chuck Palahniuk fans already knew.

The lyrics are taken directly from the book "Invisible Monsters."

...and thank you for all of your support!

Thank you for reading!

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    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Thanks for doing this lens!

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 6 years ago

      @tandemonimom lm: PS: **BLESSED** for Valentine's Day!

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 6 years ago

      @tandemonimom lm: PS: **BLESSED** for Valentine's Day!

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 6 years ago

      Love reading about writing influences! Many of your faves are mine also - and yes Dr. Seuss would be at the top of my list too!

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      Ayngel Overson 6 years ago from Crestone, Co

      @PromptWriter: I've been to quite a few of your lenses, and we do have quite a few interests in common. Thanks for stopping by!

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 6 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      I have a few of the same favorites. I love Kevin Smith's blog (but haven't been in a while).

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Love the lens. Definitely one of the better ones I've seen today

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      nice, few of them influence me to read and write!

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      Kathy McGraw 8 years ago from California

      Hmmm many of your book choices I like, or liked. When I read Pet Cemetary I was so scared I never picked up another Steven King book (had already read several others). Anyway, I agree My manin influences were of people that helped others.

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      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      My mother had a huge influence on my writing, though I didn't choose her as my greatest influence. But she was definitely a big contributor and helped me a lot through middle school and high school and even some in college, long-distance.

      And I see you included Chuck Palahniuk. I've read of couple of his (warped) books. :) They're so refreshingly different. I can't say he's influenced my writing, but I do enjoy his work.

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      VBright 8 years ago

      Very interesting lens. Thanks for sharing. 5* and an angel blessing

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      Ah yes, the Chronicles of Narnia was one of my fav set of books when I was a child - I even wrote a lens about it!

      Lovely lens and SquidAngel Blessings for you.